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Integrating Digital Citizenship Into the Classroom

Effective classroom technology initiatives should include instruction on digital citizenship, according to a new white paper from NetRef, a provider of Internet management tools.

The paper, “Digital Natives: Citizens of a Changing World,” addresses the critical importance of ensuring that students understand the consequences of using technology, particularly social media, as well as best practices for protecting themselves online. While education initiatives place increasing emphasis on digital fluency, students must also be taught to practice good digital citizenship.

According to the white paper, teaching students to be good digital citizens requires curricula, practices and policies that promote safe and responsible use of the Internet and personal technology. Students need to be taught about the permanence of their digital footprint and how it could affect their future education and employment prospects. They also need to be taught how to protect their privacy online and how to protect themselves from cyberbullying.

The white paper offers seven recommendations for schools implementing digital citizenship education:

  • Design a robust digital citizenship curriculum;
  • Counsel students that “what goes online stays online”;
  • Craft an empowering acceptable use policy for students;
  • Teach students their digital rights;
  • Advise parents of new social media and online trends;
  • Provide an easy-to-understand guide for online behavior; and
  • Equip teachers and parents with education technology programs and practices to manage children’s Internet use.

Healthy Kids Today wants to know what you think about digital citizenship education – should it be taught in the classroom?  Are you concerned about what your child is accessing online?

Share your thoughts with us through the comment box or on our Facebook page

Face-to-Face Interaction Trumps Texts for Social Closeness

girlsoncellphone

Adapted from Health Day

While technology use among young people offers some social advantages, face-to-face interaction does a better job of conveying emotional support and helping to read unspoken cues, new research contends.

In two separate studies on teens and young adults, researchers found that text messaging and social media’s emotional and psychological benefits are offset by an apparent cost.

One study showed that face-to-face support proved better than text messaging in brightening the moods of those who’ve just faced stress. The other study found that preteens who spent five days away from screens improved their ability to recognize nonverbal emotional cues.

“This is an extremely important phenomenon,” said Patricia Greenfield, senior author of the preteen study, and a professor of psychology at University of California, Los Angeles.

Click here to read more

Five Potentially Dangerous Apps for Kids

From Today.com

Today.com shares this lists of apps that you should closely monitor if your child is using them.

kikKik

  • Kik is a messing app that does not require a phone number or email address. All the user needs to do is create a username.
  • Users can chat widely with unknown people.
  • There are apps within the app, which can make it difficult for parents to monitor.

Yik Yak Logo - Labeled for ReuseYik Yak

  • Yik Yak is an anonymous posting forum.
  • The app uses a GPS locator that allows anyone within a certain radius to see your child’s messages.
  • Comments on posts can often start off innocently and escalate, exposing users to sexual content.

ask.fmAsk.fm

  • The app uses a Q&A format, in which people are encouraged to post questions that anyone using the app can answer.
  • There have been reports of bullying on the app.
  • Anyone on the app has the ability to block other users.

whisper-logoWhisper

  • Whisper is an anonymous app on which users post any confessions they may have.
  • Only those above the age of 17 are supposed to be using Whisper.
  • The app can expose the user’s location.

best secret

Best Secret Folder

  • Best Secret Folder is an app that helps hide content from parents.
  • The app looks like a utility folder, so it is easy to overlook on kids’ phones.

 

‘Screenagers Documentary Looks at Youths’ Digital Device Usage

 

Young people spend an average of 6.5 hours a day on cell phones, computers and other devices. That doesn’t include the time they use screens for school and homework. ‘Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age?’ is a documentary that explores how much screen time healthy. Physician and mother of two Dr. Delaney Ruston became interested in this issue when her preteen started begging for a smart phone. Dr. Ruston saw other parents equally confused on how to balance technology with a young developing mind.  She decided to delve deep into the science behind screen time to understand how it affects young people’s minds and development.

Through personal stories and input from leading researchers, SCREENAGERS sheds light on the impact this screen time is having on kids. The documentary explores how learning, playing and socializing online affects teens’ developing attention span, fragile self-esteem and moral instincts. SCREENAGERS examines the real risks of failing in school, social isolation and digital addiction. Ultimately, the film explores solutions to handle screen time and provides parents with tools to help young people develop self-control and find balance in their digital lives.

Click here to learn more, including the opportunity to book a screening

Click here for an interview with Dr. Delaney Ruston, the director of “Screenagers” about her own family’s messy struggles with digital distractions, and about the surprising insights she learned making this film.

Research Suggests Social Media is Messing Up Teens' Sleep

teen on phoneYoung adults who spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may pay the price in poor sleep, new research suggests.

Researchers tracked social media use and sleep troubles of nearly 1,800 Americans aged 19 to 32.

On average, participants said they spent 61 minutes a day on social media and visited social media sites 30 times a week. Nearly 30 percent of the participants also said they suffered sleep disturbances.

While the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, researchers found that people who spent the most time on social media each day were twice as likely to have sleep problems as those who spent less time on social media.

People who checked social media most often during the week were also three times more likely to have sleep problems than those who checked the least often, the study found.

The findings suggest that doctors may need to ask about social media when assessing sleep problems in young adults, the researchers said.

There are a number of ways that too much surfing on social media might get in the way of a good night’s sleep.

For example: it could replace sleep, such as when someone stays up late using social media; it could cause emotional, mental or physical arousal, such as when involved in contentious discussions; or the bright light emitted by devices might disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms.

Some young adults may also use social media to pass the time when they can’t fall asleep or get back to sleep.

Students and Parents Learn About Social Media

Jerry 3When Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) staff met with the principals from WPHF’s twelve partner schools in the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the principals were asked to share their top school health related concerns. Unanimously, the principals spoke about social media — students not understanding how to safely and respectfully use social media and parents not understanding how to effectively monitor their child’s social media usage.

In direct response to these concerns around social media usage, WPHF brought Jerry Ackerman, a nationally known student motivational speaker and social media expert to our area to speak to students and parents.

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, Mr. Ackerman spoke to all Winter Park High School Live.Life.Healthy (LLH) classes.  Launched about four years ago with grant support from WPHF, LLH was created to generate a buzz among the students of WPHS about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  In order to reach as many students as possible, LLH uses social media such as Twitter and Facebook to share their healthy lifestyle messages.  Mr. Ackerman provided LLH students information on how to respectfully use and make an impact with social media.  LLH students also learned what it means to have digital citizenship and respect for others online and how to handle conflict without using social media.

Jerry 4On Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 6:00 pm, Mr. Ackerman provided a parent presentation entitled “Parenting the Snapchat Generation” at Glenridge Middle School.  Mr. Ackerman gave parents a current look into the state of technology in a student’s life, rules parents should have for technology with their child, apps parents need to know about, and how parents can be armed to help the onslaught of technology. Approximately 50 parents and 15 children attended the presentation.

WPHF is in the process of conducting a follow up survey to determine the impact of Mr. Ackerman’s presentations.  If the information was well received, WPHF will bring Mr. Ackerman back for future presentations.

Questions?  Contact healthykidstoday@wphf.org or 407.493.9703

Slides from Mr. Ackerman’s parent presentation are available here – Parenting the Snapchat Generation

Parenting the Snapchat Generation

Join nationally known social media expert, Jerry Ackerman to learn about:

Parenting the Snapchat Generation

Key Topic Areas for the presentation include:

  • A current look at the state of technology in a student’s life
  • Rules parents should have for technology with your child
  • Apps parents need to know about!
  • How parents can be armed to help the onslaught of technology

This kid friendly, community event is FREE but registration is required.

Questions?  Contact healthykidstoday@wphf.org or 407.493.9703

Teens Spend More Hours Consuming Media Than Sleeping

­Young boy in bedroom using laptop and listening to MP3 player

A recent report on media use reveals that teens are now spending more hours consuming media than sleeping. The average American teenager is spending about nine hours a day on entertainment media alone.  The research shows that on average, kids are spending about 40% of this time on “passive consumption” compared with just 3% of their time on content creation.
Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two hours or less of screen time per day for children.  So how do we encourage our children to put down the electronic devices and engage in other activities?  Here are our top suggestions:

Watch your own screen habits. Although your teen may not seem to pay attention to anything you do or say, you are still her most important role model. So you can’t tell her to cut back on TV time if you’re watching endless hours of TV, texting while you’re driving, or eating dinner with your Blackberry on the table.

Remind teens to limit screen usage. Banning electronics completely isn’t realistic these days, but it’s important to let your teen know you’re paying attention to how much time she’s on a screen.

Encourage activities that involve socializing. Look for activities and clubs that engage your teen socially, so he will get out and be with other people.

Create screen rules together. You’ll be more likely to get your teen’s buy-in if you come up with screen-time rules as a family.

Talk about it. Simply setting limits won’t go over well with older teens, who need to have rules that make sense to them.

 

How Teens are Hiding Photos with ‘Ghost Apps’

Adopted from www.today.com

teen on phoneGhost apps or vault apps, are applications that look harmless but are designed to hide photos or other information. On TODAY Monday, experts explained how one app looks like a calculator, but when a password is entered, secret photos are revealed.

“Ghost apps, hidden apps, they’re everywhere and the kids know about them,” child Internet sex crimes investigator Mike Harris told TODAY. But many parents don’t.

In 2012, a study found that more than 70 percent of teens have hidden online activity from their parents. So what do experts recommend parents do to better monitor their kid’s activity?

  • Check out new apps, especially those that have access to the phone’s camera.
  • Look for redundancy, like two calculators on a phone.
  • Use parental controls, so you know what is being downloaded onto the phone.
  • Have a conversation with your teens and tweens about sexting.

TODAY has an associated video with additional information on this story.

How Teens are Hiding Photos with 'Ghost Apps'

Adopted from www.today.com

teen on phoneGhost apps or vault apps, are applications that look harmless but are designed to hide photos or other information. On TODAY Monday, experts explained how one app looks like a calculator, but when a password is entered, secret photos are revealed.

“Ghost apps, hidden apps, they’re everywhere and the kids know about them,” child Internet sex crimes investigator Mike Harris told TODAY. But many parents don’t.

In 2012, a study found that more than 70 percent of teens have hidden online activity from their parents. So what do experts recommend parents do to better monitor their kid’s activity?

  • Check out new apps, especially those that have access to the phone’s camera.
  • Look for redundancy, like two calculators on a phone.
  • Use parental controls, so you know what is being downloaded onto the phone.
  • Have a conversation with your teens and tweens about sexting.

TODAY has an associated video with additional information on this story.