This Is How Google Recommends You Stay Safe Online | Edudemic

This is a handy dandy chart from Google about how to stay safe online. However, many of these points require some mediation with students. I am thinking of using it as a guideline for some of my Digital Citizenship workshops….

The Internet can be a scary place. There are people on the web who are looking to take advantage of you for their own personal gain. There. I said it. These people are likely looking to confuse or convince you that they are someone you should be sharing important information with. In an effort to …


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Social Media and Parents

Last night, the wonderful Alissa Sklar gave a talk at our school to a group of parents interested/concerned/anxious about their children and the online world. They learned a little more about the teenage brain as it relates to their kids’ online use, the importance of teaching impulse control and how teaching digital citizenship is a partnership between school and home.

And then this morning, I came across this from Common Sense media about how to have an ongoing discussion with the parents. I am really intrigued by the idea of this program which has three components:

  1. First, host a teen panel for parents. Let the parents hear from other kids how they use social media, what is important to them, how it makes them feel.
  2. Then organize several discussion groups through out the year on different subjects, some ranging from pure technical know-hows to more philosophical discussions.
  3. Share the amazing toolbox of resources they have put together.

It will take me a minute to process this idea, but it might be the perfect time to implement this, especially after Alissa’s very galvanizing introduction to the topic…

Any thoughts?

Common Sense Media improves the lives of kids and families by providing independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media.


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Digital Citizenship

About a week ago, Sandra Bebbington, of the wonderful gamification workshop I attended, sent me a comment letting me know about the following site she’s been collaborating on. It is entitled

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It provides great videos, tips and lesson plans tailored for the teacher in Quebec. From how to use social media in the classroom to email etiquette to letter writing, this is an amazing resource.

Check it out!


Cyber Restriction: When Your Teen Abuses Their Digital Privileges

I was checking out some of the recommendations for some social media tips for parents when I came across this article- it re-enforces the importance of talking to your kids, as well as staying calm and not freaking out the moment they make a mistake. Of course, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences (though probably by the time the parent is hearing about it the kid will be feeling the consequences anyways, especially if it was a slip up with their privacy, or posting something they shouldn’t.)

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Most families have implemented boundaries and rules that their kids and teens have to follow when it comes to their gadgets. Hopefully, parents today understand that digital citizenship is as important to their children as potty training was to them …

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Why you should never give students your phone number

I just finished a first draft of a social media policy for our staff- one of the points was to never give your personal information (address, phone number, etc.) to students or their parents.

Let’s just say that the texts in this post make a better (and way more hilarious) case than I could ever make…

Here is just one sample:

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Humor, infographics, printables, and inspiration for every educator.

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You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet |

I wanted to share this article by Cory Doctorow as I think it makes some extremely salient points when talking about kids and privacy. He also quotes Danah Boyd’s new book entitled It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked teens, a book that is on my shelf, waiting patiently for me to get to it.

But here are some of the big points Doctorow makes that A) I haven’t heard before and B) now seem so obvious I can’t believe I didn’t think about it  in that way before:

  • Just because kids’ make mistakes (which BTdubs, is how we all learn) with their privacy online, doesn’t mean they don’t care about it.
  • That because kids’ make mistakes with their privacy, the companies take that to mean that they don’t care about it, which means they can play fast and loose with their data.
  • Actually, kids care a lot about their privacy. Just ask any parent who wants to know what they did at their friend’s house last night. You can’t get more cryptic than the ubiquitous, “stuff.”

Ande here’s a quote just to whet your appetite:

 ” Kids intuitively know what privacy is worth, but being kids, they get some of the details wrong. It takes a long time to learn how to do privacy well, because there’s a big gap between giving up your privacy and getting bitten in the butt by that disclosure. It’s like obesity, or smoking—anything where the action and consequences are widely separated is going to be something that people have a hard time learning about. If every forkful of cheesecake immediately turned into a roll of fat, it would be a lot easier to figure out how much cheesecake was too much.


So kids spend a lot of time thinking about being private from parents, teachers and bullies, but totally overestimate how private they’ll be from future employers, their government, and police. And alas, by the time they figure it out, it’s too late.” Cory Doctorow


He goes on to mention ways kids are guarding their privacy and ways in which we too, us curmudgeonly digital immigrants, can also protect our privacy.

In my opinion, this is a must read.

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Cory Doctorow discusses the importance of Internet privacy, and how companies profit from our mistakes.

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Google must respect ‘right to be forgotten’

Random thought: This kind of legislation is very interesting as it indicates a subtle shift in the conversation about who’s responsibility it is to protect people’s personal information and reputations.

It is common knowledge (I hope) that nothing comes for free. Services like Google and Facebook offer their services in exchange for you freely giving over your data. At least that is the way it has been. Is this right? Is there enough transparency? What is the agency of the individual to be able to control what people see and what they don’t see?

There is also the problem that there might be information online that we do not control (such as the Spanish man who brought the original suit discussed in the article below) – articles, fake profiles, etc. Who’s responsibility is it to take down this information? Is it a breech of freedom of expression or a “right to be forgotten”?

Big questions as the norms of privacy stretch and distort into…what? I guess we will see.

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Internet companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo can be made to remove irrelevant or excessive personal information from search engine results, Europe’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

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