I remember when I first started attending high school and I really wanted to have an email account and MSN messenger because I was meeting a lot of new friends and they all seemed to have it. I asked my mom one night and she said that I was not old enough. I remember the next day making an account at the school library and hiding it from her for 6 months until one day she said I could get an account and I acted like I had just made it then and there. I never did get an answer to why I couldn’t have an account and I think that I ended up
getting one because of a lack of an explanation of why not. Yes there are risks of being online but at the same time if we teach kids about these risks then they will have the smarts not to get into anything they shouldn’t.
One of my big things with kids being online – and this is my own personal opinion – is that a child can get a facebook or twitter account once they have reached the minimum age but until the child can prove save behaviours for a certain amount of time, the parents should have access to the password. With my students this year I am using an online password protected websites that sends the email that is registered for a certain individual notices every so often depending on the settings. With this classroom I explained to the parents that it was a protected area, I had access to everything and each student who wanted to be a part of it had to sign
a consent form stating how they were to conduct their behaviour online and that cyberbullying of any form was absolutely not acceptable. Another big thing that I had with the parents is I allowed the parents to decide what email was to be used to sign up with my course – theirs or their child’s. All of my parents have used their email except for one and that is mostly because the parents both work and if something went wrong with the inability to log in or a password reset, their child could still access the information needed. Also, I do not think many of my students have their own emails as they are mostly 12 and 13 years old and for some companies (such as Facebook) you have to be 13 before you can have your own account.
I am still trying to figure out how I would use social media with my students. I know how to keep everything safe while using Canvas and I think that is why I have not ventured from that yet, I am staying where I am safe until I
know more to use the next type of (less protected) social media as safely as possible. I have stated before that I am trying to become less of an ‘ostrich’ and a quote from the Forbes technopanic reading struck me. “[if] everything is viewed as a risk, then nothing is a risk. Fear-based tactics and inflated threat scenarios can lead to situations where individuals and society ignore quite serious risks because they are overshadowed by unnecessary panics over non-problems.” I want to move away from seeing everything at a risk and turn from ‘ostrich’ to ‘eagle’ and I really hope that over the coming weeks this will be possible.
Thierer, A. (2012) The six things that drive 'technopanics'. Forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamthierer/2012/03/04/the-six-things-that-drive-technopanics/