Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cybersafety Workshop

Great workshop with Davina Pruit-Mentle and Nancy Willard
These are very incomplete notes. Please check out their website for great information. Even better, go hear them speak.

Tactics that don't work to keep kids safe...

Fear-based Tactics
  • stranger danger warnings
  • kids view adults as not knowing what is really going on with teh internet

Misleading Use of Data

  • 1 in 7 youth have been sexually solicieted online - not true
  • generally received by teenagers from other teens

Reliance on Filtering
  • won't block porn traps
  • won't protect against online communication
  • won't deter determined teens because they know how to bypass the filter
  • frequently blocks appropriate sites
  • over reliance on this has created false security and doesn't teach kids safety skills, responsible choices

Simplistic Rules
  • "Don't post personal information online."
  • "Just say no" didn't work with drugs
  • Simple rules are appropriate for children but not tweens and teens

Sole Reliance on Adults
  • Tell an adult if you feel uncomfortable - assumes adults know what to do
  • Teens won't tell adults if they think the adults will blame them, restrict their online access, or make the problem workse
  • Most at-risk kids don't have great relationships with adults so they don't have someone they can go to for help. We need to educate those savvy teens on how to protect themselves and their less able friends

Avoiding Uncomfortable Information
  • Some programs don't discuss the intentions of predators, behaviors of the teen that might attract predators...

Successful Tactics
Children should not be out surfing the internet. Period. They don't have the cognitive capacity to independently make good choices online.

For middle school students, teach them practical problem solving. Teach them the values and standards they should uses in their ethical decision making. (Nancy has a great list of ethical decision-making questions.)

Risk Prevention Approach- we are pretty good at addressing the needs of the naive kids. We are failing at addressing the needs of the at-risk kids. Needs to happen at school, district, state and national level. People who understand technology often don't understand what they need to know about youth risk, and vice versa.