My Learning thing
I. My learning thing: Keeping kids safe online, for parents
If your child is using youtube, there are 4 options for monitoring content. Check out this video for a quick tutorial:
Bonus! If you download the Family Link app, you can set a bedtime for your child’s device.
If your child is using an apple device, such as an ipod, ipad, or iphone, this tutorial will help you install filters:
Did you know? You can restrict SIRI web search, and restrict the game center.
If your child is using an Android device, try using a filter browser. Moblesip is reccommended especially for Androids, because once it is installed, another browser cannot override it.
If your child is using a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a Kid’s Mode app allows you to restrict content by age.
Did you know? You can install a daily time limit on your child’s tablet with Kid’s Mode.
Other important considerations for parents…
Geotagging. Basically, geotagging is making your location -or your kid’s location- public to everyone….scary! We need to teach our kids that anything they post (including pictures!) can be seen by ANYONE and can be on the web FOREVER. For more on location safety, see this article…
Wow. I had no idea that my teenager’s cell phones might contain geotagging on their pictures. Here’s an important tip from the above site:
Don’t Geotag photos including children
“I think it is a poor idea to geotag photos including children. It is our job to protect them.
What does this mean for photos taken at events that your school hosts? Has this been disclosed to parents? How can we educate about this?” (Cool cat teacher blog).
The author of that article pretty much sums up the main idea with her title,
“Privacy is a gift we give ourselves.”
Safety for older kids and teens
If we are discussing internet safety for kids, we cannot ignore teaching about cyberbullying, and Here is a great resource for discussing cyber bullying with your kids:
And, did you know that 23 states now have laws against cyberbullying?
Today, cyberbullying seems to be most prevalent on cellphones and can include invasions of privacy such as inappropriate photo sharing, etc. And here’s another new internet safety term we need to discuss with our teens: sextortion.
Sextortion is just what it sounds like: extortion in the form of sex, and in the cyberbullying world, that means blackmail by using inappropriate photos.
When we are educating older kids and teens how to stay safe on the internet, it may be helpful to define digital citizenship:
If you take a look at this video, you will see that another important component of keeping our kids safe online is media literacy, which means essentially determining the value of the vast number of media messages that they are bombarded with.
The video below provides 5 questions for media literacy, to determine the value of the media message:
Who created this message?
What creative means were used to capture my attention?
Why is this message being sent?
A Word on Tech Addiction, humane technology and video games
This website highlights my general concerns with technology; namely, that it has overwhelmed human vulnerability. And, who are among society’s most vulnerable? Our children. As a result of more and more technology, human beings face digital addition, political manipulation, superficiality, a decline in mental health, problems identifying the truth, and polarization of viewpoints. One result of inhumane technology that I see the evidence of in particular is shorter attention spans in children (and adults.) I also can see that kids are addicted to screen time and their devices, and that kids are competing for likes and shares on a superficial level.
” 67% of a 723-person sample of young Finnish Facebook users between ages 15 and 18 have been exposed to hate material — and exposure to online hate material is associated with poor attachment to family, lower happiness levels, physical offline victimization, and high online activity. Although this effect is correlative, it is part of a growing body of research that connects real-world issues, problems, and consequences with things that happen on online platforms.”PEER-REVIEWED · Oksanen, Holkeri, Hawdon, and Näsi, 2014. Soul of Society: A Focus on the Lives of Children & Youth (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 18) ↗
The above video discusses humane game design, a topic that should concern parents of kids who play video and computer games. So, how can game designers respect their players? Tips from this video ask designers to: accept the fact that games do affect people, consider what the subject matter is and how that affects society, and ensure that the time spent gaming is quality over quantity. Parents should be alert for games that focus only on profitability while sacrificing the game’s design. According to this video, humane design does not exploit friendships, does not put players gaming on a schedule, does not force players to pay money, and does not artificially exploit player’s time when reality calls.
In this video, former google design ethicist speaks out against the downgrading of humans. He says that while tech companies are upgrading technology, they are downgrading humans by working off of our primal instincts, or in other words, the animal portion of our brains. This basing technology off of our primal instincts is what can make technology so addictive to kids.
Ok, I had to include one more video about tech addition – in this video, former Silicon Valley insiders question why so many products and services are being designed specifically to addict people, especially teens. According to this video, google and apple shares are not based on how much time you access them, so these companies are in a prime place to pave the way for more humane design. This video also highlights that more time using technology is directly related to higher rates of depression and mental disorder. The bottom line? Limit your kids screen time and use common sense.
II. How has my thinking changed? It hasn’t, really, in regards to me still wanting to limit my kid’s exposure to screen time. However, I have come to realize that I can’t completely avoid it, especially as I have been spending the last week with family and kids running galore with iPads, youtube videos, and fortnite. So, if I can’t completely avoid it (which I can’t), I’ll teach my kids some common sense rules and I’ll learn how to set parental controls for when I’m not doing the Mom-helicopter maneveur that I’m oh-so-good at. What seems important is setting guidelines, and what seems less important is labeling all video and computer games as “bad” or simply forbidding my child to look at a device altogether.
I love the idea of thinking of digital citizenship as knowing how to add worthwhile content to the internet, and knowing how to act appropriately on the internet. An example of this might be teaching students to address teachers properly in emails and texts, instead of, “yo, wassup, teach?” I also like thinking about digital citizenship as an extension of citizenship in general.
I think as a result of taking this course, my opinions on limiting use of screen time and not using social media incessantly have not changed. I still believe it is more worthwhile for me and my kids to go play in the yard instead of watching youtube videos or instagram. However, after taking this class, I am more open to using the internet for specific tools such as making infographics (posterboards for grownups! And how wonderful for those of us lacking in artistic skills…) and Creative Commons licenses and resources. One future area of the internet I’d like to explore is publishing my own music (specifically for church) myself online.
III. If I can share some advice with future students, it would be this:
Choose to learn how to use the parts of the internet that pertain to you whenever possible. One thing I wanted to do but ran out of time to explore was to use a music recording program to record a piece and collaborate with a fellow student on it. I also really enjoyed using the program we used to upload videos of scenarios and answer each other’s questions. Think about what you want to learn more about that will benefit your family and your future career or classroom where you will be teaching.
Make connections with other students. I enjoyed reading everyone’s biography and learning about everyone’s unique experiences.