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

Connecting the Generation Gap: Students Making A Difference

A great way for students to make a difference!

Cyber-seniors are now experiencing a new world thanks to students taking time to teach them about the Internet.

Learn more.

Smartphones, iPhones and Teenagers: Is Your Teen Ready for One?

TeenSmartPhone6Summer is approaching and many tweens and teens will be spending more time on their cell phones – and if they have the luxury of a smartphone or iPhone, are they ready for the responsibility of one?

  • Do children really need Smartphones?
  • Can Smartphones be beneficial to their learning alongside school?
  • Are Smartphones a fashion statement?
  • Is it fair if all families cannot afford them?  Peer pressure to those that can’t have them?

Pew Internet tells us 77% of US 12-to-17-year-olds now have cellphones and 23% Smartphones, so if your 12-year-old tells you “everybody has a cellphone,” s/he’s less and less far off the mark. But when to get a kid his or her first cellphone is very individual too, based on how s/he handles technology, people, and responsibility!

Cons: Smartphones can be used to bully other children through advanced messaging features which are available on smartphones and also apps which can be downloaded.

Pros:  Parents can track their child to make sure they are safe while they are out playing with friends or going to school.

An excellent article was recently written: Five things to do before giving your teenager a Smartphone – definitely worth the time to read if you are considering purchasing a phone for your child this holiday season.

Cellphone Safety Tips from Connect Safely:

Cellphones are increasingly full-blown handheld computers, and everything that can be done on the Web via computer – photo-sharing, Web browsing, game playing, tune-swapping, real-time text chat, and (oh yeah) talking – can be done on a phone. Here are some basic ideas for keeping mobile phone use safe and constructive:

Smart socializing. Use the same good sense about what you post from your phone as from a computer. Once they’re posted, text, photos, and video are tough to take back, can be copied and pasted elsewhere, and are up there pretty much forever. Think about the people in them (including you!). Reputations are at stake – even more so if racy photos are involved. Just best not to go there.

Phones are personal. Letting other people use your phone when you’re not around is like letting them have the password to your social network profile. They can impersonate you. Which means they can play tricks on you that could really become a problem. It’s a very good idea to lock your phone when you’re not using it.

Bullying by phone. Because people socialize on cellphones as much as online, cyberbullying can be mobile too. Treat people on phones and the Web the way you would in person, and the risk of being bullied goes down. Be aware, too, of people randomly taking pictures at parties, in locker rooms, etc. – you may not want to be tagged in their social-network photo albums!

Sexting: The vast majority of kids – 99% – are smart and don’t take, send, or post or even store nude photos of themselves or peers on their phones. People who do so can be charged with production, distribution, or possession of child pornography, a serious crime. They can also be subjected to jokes, bullying, blackmail, expulsion from school, loss of a job, etc. and the images can circulate forever. Just don’t go there.

The value of “presence.” If you do a lot of texting, consider the impact that being “elsewhere” might be having on the people around you. Your presence during meals, at parties, in the car, etc. is not only polite, it’s a sign of respect and appreciated.

Down time is good. Constant texting and talking can affect sleep, concentration, school, and other things that deserve your thought and focus. You need your sleep and real friends understand there are times you just need to turn off the phone – harassment can happen between midnight and morning too.

Social mapping. Most cellphones now have GPS technology and there are a growing number of services that allow friends to pinpoint each other’s physical location. If you use such a service, do so only with friends you know in person, and get to know the service’s privacy features!

No texting while driving! Research shows that texting while driving can significantly increase the risk of a crash or near-crash situation. Silence your phone in the car, pull over if you need to use it, and of course follow your state’s hands-free laws for mobile phones in cars.

Teenager Creates A Family Holiday Video

Just when you think that teens can be rude and disconnected from their families – check out how this teenager made his family feel special this holiday season.

Take A Stand Against Bullying

It is National Bullying Prevention Month.  uWillstand is bring the world together to make a difference!  Pin your location!

The music video for Stand the Anthem united youth across 17 states & 6 countries. Performed by Charleigh and Justin Gere “Standhttp://www.willustand.com Help us share the message of Stand with schools all across the nation and worldwide during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month. Use hashtags #willUstand and #StandtheAnthem, please share generously.

Sticks and Stones: New Program Designed to Bring Parents and Teenagers Closer

bookSticksStonesThe Sticks & Stones Seven-Week Program bridges the communication gap between parents and teenagers. The Program helps parents and teens learn how to work together to communicate more effectively and build a stronger bond.
Parents are always looking for new and creative ways to get their teens to communicate with them. Author Meaghan Roberts has just released her new program designed specifically to help parents create an environment where teenagers feel comfortable opening up. The Program consists of two eBooks, Sticks & Stones and My Rock. Sticks & Stones is a self-help guide for teens concerning daily issues they deal with such as bullying, self-esteem and peer pressure. The guide is also an e-journal where teens can privately write their thoughts, feelings and questions. The purpose is to create a safe outlet for teens to express themselves. They will read one chapter a week and spend the remainder of the week reflecting and writing about what they learned. My Rock is a supplemental guide that gives parents insight on what their teens are reading each week as well as communicative skills to help facilitate a conversation with their teens. Each week, a day prior to reading a new chapter, parents and teens will meet to discuss what their teens have learned and any questions they have.

The Program is safe, secure and private.
Meaghan developed the Sticks & Stones Seven-Week Program because traditional parenting books offer advice to parents but none to teens. When parents apply the advice, their teens have no idea where the change is coming from. Teenagers are no longer children and can no longer be treated like children. The only way a parent-teen relationship can develop is if both parties are involved. The Sticks & Stones program encourages parents and teens to work together to build trust as well as prepare teens for conversations they will have with their parents.
The Sticks & Stones Program is available only at www.mysticksandstones.com
Contact Information
Meaghan@mysticksandstones.com
www.mysticksandstones.com