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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3 Hot Teen Trends in Social Media

Years ago MySpace gave way to Facebook.  Now we have many social networks out there such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and more.

It is important that teens understand how to use their privacy settings in all their social media sites as well as never to give out their passwords.

Common Sense Media reminds parents of the current apps that teens are using today:

Microsoft Making A Difference In Social Media Online Safety

With over 112K followers on Twitter and 1.3M on Facebook, there is cause for celebration!

Parents, teachers, community leaders and people are learning from Safer Online by Microsoft.

I was thrilled and honored to be included as one of their key influencers!

Listed among people I highly respect, I love Microsoft and Safer Online for continuing to reach out and educate people through different mediums.  They offer a variety of resources such as articles, contests, books, quiz’s, video’s and fantastic educational and information websites.

Safer Internet Day 2014

safer-internet-calendar-logo1Safer Internet Day (SID) is organized by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

Safer Internet Day 2014 will be celebrated on 11 February 2014. The tagline for the campaign is “Let’s create a better internet together”.

What can you do to increase family online safety?

Make it a habit to continually learn something new about your gadgets, about a new app, social media site, your privacy settings, even as simple as remembering to change your passwords frequently.

Most importantly keeping those line of communication open with your kids about technology.  As you know the kids are usually a hundred miles ahead of their parents — it is time to be on equal ground.  Share your knowledge with each other – remember to have those face to face conversations.

Junes is National Internet Safety Month

ATTSMart

It’s hard to believe June is already here, and many students are already out of school for the summer!

The free time during summer gives kids ample opportunities to test boundaries as they explore the Internet, on both the home computer and their mobile device, talk and text with friends on their smartphones, and scan countless viewing choices on TV.

With kids integrating technology into their daily lives, parents need to keep abreast of their kids’ activities.

There are easy-to-use, effective tools available today that allow parents to stay in the driver’s seat of their children’s TV, Internet and wireless activities.  Here’s a quick primer:

Get tech savvy. Ironically, the first step in this process is decidedly low-tech: Talk to your kids. You have to be proactive in discussing what technologies they’re using and how they’re using them. You should even experiment with the technologies, for instance, by sending an instant message to a relative. This will give you a better feel in evaluating risks and potential abuses.

Armed with this knowledge, you can easily find out what parental controls are available. AT&T Smart Controls is one example that brings together information on the privacy and protection features available to subscribers of the company’s high speed Internet, TV and wireless services. The site is a show-and-tell of how parents can safeguard their children against misuse of technology.

Surf smart. From social networking sites and chat rooms to online gaming and other sites, today’s kids know their way around the Net. But most Internet service providers (ISP) offer parents tools to block access to specific Web pages as well as to services such as e-mail, instant messaging, chat groups and message boards.

Since it’s virtually impossible to stay informed about all the sites kids want to visit, also check to see if your ISP offers permission slips, which allow children to request access to unauthorized Web sites. You get to be the judge. Tamper controls are another helpful feature, alerting parents if children attempt to change the settings.

Be wireless smart. As technology expands, so do the possibilities for misusing cell phones. This may take the form of your child making inappropriate calls or downloading expensive or inappropriate material.

Many carriers offer features allowing parents to block select incoming or outgoing calls to the phone and to install “sleep” functions so that calls after a certain time of night do not ring but messages go directly through to voice mail.

With most people accessing the Internet from their smartphones today, carriers such as AT&T offer parental controls to restrict mobile phone access to web sites containing content inappropriate for children, as well as to restrict purchase of premium subscriptions and downloads such as games, ringtones and graphics. For example, AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless lets you limit your child’s data usage, texting, purchases, and times of day the device is used. The parental patrols provide your child with the freedom and security of a mobile phone while allowing you to set sensible boundaries for your child.
There also are location-based services, like AT&T FamilyMap, that let users locate a family member’s cell phone on a map via Web browser on a PC or a mobile device. These types of tools give parents peace of mind while they’re away from their children.

Watch smart. The bad news is that, with hundreds of channels on the air, there are more inappropriate viewing options for kids than ever before. The good news is parents have more control than ever over what their kids are watching.

Virtually all TV service providers offer tools to filter movies based on MPAA ratings. Many even offer additional programming protection based on expanded ratings such as violence, language, nudity and sexual content.

Looking to go one step further? Some providers also enable you to prevent your children from viewing selected channels unless they enter the correct password.

In the end, a parent’s responsibilities in overseeing their child’s technology use are not much different than in other areas of daily life. Set clear boundaries on appropriate and inappropriate uses of technology. Then monitor their activity and be consistent with enforcing rules.

Above all, don’t be intimidated. Even if you’re less savvy about the technology than your children, you have the tools to make your job simpler in an ever more complicated world.

Parents can find more information on technology safety and parental controls at www.att.com/smartcontrols.com or http://www.pta.org/parent_resources.html.

Parental Controls: Securing Your Kids Computer Settings

Parents know the importance of protecting their children from danger. It’s practically embedded in their DNA. That’s why parents put plug covers on outlets when they have toddlers in the house, keep car keys away from elementary school kids, and maintain a home security systemto safeguard their children from burglars at night.

So why is it that so many parents ignore the problems that their kids could face while on the computer?

Believe it or not, navigating parental controls on computers and other electronic devices is pretty easy. Getting into the right screen on a PC takes just a few clicks:

  • Start button (lower left hand corner of the screen)
  • Control Panel
  • Set up parental controls for any user (under User Accounts and Family Safety)

Then set up a password for the parental controls for the user accounts of your children. (Make sure that your kids don’t know it and aren’t able to easily figure it out.) Then click the On selection under the Parental Controls heading.

Now you can configure the computer so it can be used in accordance with your wishes. Here’s how you do that (be sure to always click OK when you finish):

The Time Limits setting brings you to a “calendar” screen of a given week. This lets you designate what hours of which days your child can utilize the computer.

  • The Games setting lets you allow or prohibit game playing, and also lets you specify which game ratings are permissible for your kids. You can also block or allow specific games.
  • The Allow and Block Specific Programs setting does just that: lets you set certain programs on your computer that can or cannot be accessed by your child.

But what if your kid spends more time on his or her smartphone or tablet computer than a desktop? No problem. You can set parental controls for those devices as well. Here are the steps for the iPhone and iPad:

  • Press the Settings Icon
  • Select the General option
  • Select the Restrictions option
  • Press Enable Restrictions

Then you’ll have to create a four-digit passcode. Just like your computer password, make sure your kids won’t be able to figure it out.

After that, just move the digital switches next to the programs that you don’t want them to access (FaceTime, Safari, Installing Apps, Multiplayer Games, etc.). You can also set restrictions on music and podcasts, TV shows, movies, and Apps.

See? Setting “electronic boundaries” is simple and can be done in no time at all. Now as for all the whining and pleading to have those parental controls changed – well, handling all that is up to you.

Contributor:  Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites and is also a ghostwriter for several blogs. In addition, he is an accomplished voice actor and an experienced sportscaster. Martin has also worked as a radio DJ, a traffic reporter, and a public address announcer for sporting events.

Sue Scheff Nes Articles on Parenting and Cyberbullying

newspaper2.jpgI created a Blog that I update regularly regarding News Articles on Parenting today as well as the expanding concerns that surround the Internet, such as Cyberbullying.

Click Here.

by Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts