Social Media HelpLine Launches For Schools

SocialMediaHelpLine#iCANHELP AND NET FAMILY NEWS INC. TEAM UP TO PILOT A SOCIAL MEDIA HELPLINE FOR SCHOOLS DURING 2015-’16 SCHOOL YEAR

With 92% of middle and high school students online daily, 24% of them “almost constantly,”* it’s time schools had some help with social media! The Helpline’s developers – #iCANHELP and Net Family News Inc. – invite you to contribute to a fundraising campaign at Indiegogo.com: http://igg.me/at/icanhelpline. The goal of the campaign is $25,000 to cover “construction costs” for piloting in California next school year – Web site construction, communications tools and staff training.

“The helpline will be the hub of a whole help ecosystem,” said Matt Soeth, co-founder of #iCANHELP, “with real-time, research-based advice, help in reporting and escalating abuse in social media services, a directory of school policy and investigation resources and a growing, searchable database of school social media case studies.”

“Contributions big or small are huge to the helpline,” said Anne Collier, president of San Jose-based Net Family News. “This is about growing the digital literacy and citizenship of all members of school communities.”

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • A call centerplus: Schools can call during school hours for real-time help, but the Web site – which will include links to sources of specialized help and a directory of resources for prevention, incident response and policymaking – is 24/7/365. To be added as cases come in: an ever-growing searchable database of anonymized school case studies. The Helpline will also be a source of metrics & trends in school online safety issues for educators, researchers, policymakers and parents.
  • Schools not individuals – We’ll refer individuals to other great sources of help, but this helpline’s specifically for schools. If a member of a school community has a problem, we’ll ask him or her to work with us through their school.
  • Working with social media: We’ll help schools navigate sites and apps, report abuse and get content taken down that violates Terms of Service, providing the industry with much-needed local context as a trusted intermediary.
  • Part of a global network of helplines in other countries that help each other and, with a growing collective knowledge base, help users resolve problems in a global medium.
  • Unique among helplines in approaching students as part of the solution and building on established student leadership education and peer-mentoring practices.
  • Deep Internet safety experience: Builds on more than 15 years in the Internet safety space, working with practitioners and researchers and advising Internet companies.

About us: Net Family News is a San Jose, Calif.-based national nonprofit organization founded in 1999 to educate the public and advise the Internet industry about research and developments in technology related to youth. #iCANHELP is a Bay Area-based national nonprofit organization that creates and promotes positive, school-based solutions & interventions to anti-social behavior online.

Please make a donation to the iCanHelpline campaign at http://igg.me/at/icanhelpline

*Pew Research Center’s 2015 “Teens, Social Media & Technology” study

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Is Your Teen A Victim Of A Cyberbully? Would You Know?

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness day right around the corner on May 7th, 2015.  Bullying and cyberbullying can cause long term emotional scars.  Many times teens will hide these bruises from their parents – pretending to be brave – as if it isn’t cool to be sad or depressed.

Bullying has changed from the days of taking someone’s lunch money or giving them a swirly in the bathroom. Now, children are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying, or the use of electronic communication to bully a person. In fact, 20-30% of today’s children will be cyberbullied, and 10-20% of students will be cyberbullies.

However, it can be tricky for a parent to figure out if their child is experiencing cyberbullying; more than half of the children who experience cyberbullying do not tell their parents about it. And while around 55% of teens report having observed bullying behavior online, 95% report ignoring the behavior when it was observed.

There are a few tell-tale signs that can give clues that your child might be engaged in cyberbullying. For example long periods and odd hours of internet use, or changes in a child’s patterns of internet use, can signify cyberbullying. A child engaging in cyberbullying behavior might also become upset if their internet usage is confronted or cut off by their parents. Children with excessive social media accounts may be using them to follow and harass others.

Is Your Child A Cyberbully: Facts About Cyberbullying

Attribution – YellowBrick Program