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  • Presentation on safe social networking practices at school and at home by Cindy Watson, May 2010.
  • MySpace, Face book, Bebo are some of the more popular social networking sites users can create a profile page and share information about themselves, upload photos, communicate with friends facility to have a private one on one chat or to post a public message to a friend’s wall
  • 9-15 years age group, using social networking sites is more common than not (Lenhart & Madden, 2007) online socialising is a sign of social acceptance, related to self esteem (McLoughlin & Burgess 2009) more than 40 % of Autralian children / young people put some of their own material on the net ; 1/3 have own page on a SNS (Murray 2008) • researchers Downie and Glazebrook (2007) found mobile phone makers targeting ‘tween’ market — children aged 6 – 13 yrs (Government News 2009) according to Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Australian t eenagers aged 14 yrs and older – more than 70% engage in web authoring in some form: SNS pages, blogs, uploading content to YouTube (Murray 2008) 2009 survey ACT and regional NSW: 24% Yr 7 – 10 students surveyed had experienced cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is most likely to occur using mobile phones, email and social networking site. ( McLoughlin, Burgess and Meyricke 2009) Interesting to note that whilst minimum user age for most SNS is 13, there is no way to police this. UK study found in spite of minimum user age of 13 for most SNS, 27% 11 year olds who were aware of SNS said they had their own page
  • powerful form of harassment: spreading rumours, uploading embarrassing photos, uploading videos of the person being bullied, excluding a person from ‘friends’ list (McLoughlin & Burgess 2009) setting up inappropriate quizzes: ‘What do you hate about Jen?’ choices of response may include a) her ugly teeth b) she’s a slut c) she’s a retard d) all of the above important to note that technology is not the fundamental cause of cyberbullying research suggests possible causes underlying cyberbullying, including biological and environmental factors “ students who feel cared for, respected and safe at their schools are far less likely to engage in or cyberbullying behaviours” (McLoughlin & Burgess 2009) international study (Olweus 2002) concluded that bullying begins early and continues to adulthood, both girls and boys prone to display more assertive and aggressive behaviours from ages 9 to 15 years – from puberty • Youth Advisory Council of New South Wales forum (2008) investigated cyberbullying - most common way young people bullied was via popular SNS, chat and email – all accessible from mobile phones (Government News 2009) sexting – common behaviour that involves taking photographs in a ‘sexy pose’, exposing a body part or engaging in intimate behaviour alone or with others; photos uploaded by oneself or others onto SNS (McLoughlin & Burgess 2009) exposure to online predators because of unsafe practices: giving too much information, not using privacy settings to exclude public access US based research found 40% students would chat online to someone they didn’t know (Ford & Stockley 2009)
  • in 2010, no common approach exists to student internet access in Australian schools (Lee & Mitchell 2009) the majority of Australian schools have a ‘prohibitionist’ approach: response to SNS was to block or ban them “ Safe and responsible use” will allow young people to appreciate the benefits of SNS by understanding how to minimise the risks (Murray 2008)
  • Key Queensland Policy Documents Information and Knowledge Strategic Plan 2007–2011 - policy and planning implemented to achieve goals and targets “ State schools and TAFE institutes will: • nurture coherent and cohesive learning experiences that improve learner engagement and achievement • spark innovation in learning through collaboration and partnering • enhance the flexible (available anywhere, at any time) and blended (classroom and virtual) delivery of education and training.” Research and Development Plan 2008–2010 “ How can collaborative networking spaces be used and shared for teaching and learning purposes by students and staff?” The Queensland Government Managed Internet Service (MIS) uses a web filtering system which blocks student access to “high-risk filtering categories” including “social”. Queensland teachers can access SNS
  • knee jerk reaction to SNS in schools has been to ban them yet students do use SNS in their world outside of school and are often online in unprotected environments. children and teenagers must learn strategies to interact safely and responsibly and often parents are in no position to do this Selective use of social networking technology can reap great rewards Schools can teach what is appropriate to post in an open forum assist students to distinguish between fact and fiction, teach how to evaluate information and possible dangers, help students learn to identify and remove themselves from inappropriate interaction (Murray 2008) Australian studies have also looked at the issue of social exclusion and the role online social networking can play in combating this with disadvantaged youth. SN technology is another avenue for schools to promote equity of access and social inclusion for students with limited or no home access. (Notley 2009)
  • QLD Education Dep’t has developed The Learning Place for schools A safe environment in which to explore social networking Teachers can create an online space that holds forums, chats, blogs The teacher is the moderator: responsible for postings in forum, chat and blog must approve postings / can delete postings decides who is invited to participate in the project can elect to use password protection Students participate in project rooms set up by their teacher can only access the chat room if the moderator is online Teacher Support Online courses available for teachers on how to create project rooms Learning Place Mentors available to talk online or in person to assist
  • “ We must develop policies that strike a balance between safety and freedom while still allowing teachers to use the tools that are a part of everyday life for today's students. ” Murray 2008
  • Partnership with parents / caregivers is crucial to minimising risks of social networking sites as most access occurs at home: information afternoons or evenings to familiarise parents with SNS cybersafety issues to be highlighted in newsletters links to cybersafety websites on the school website Developing students as digital citizens is a priority children engage in digital literacies outside of school Educating students as critical users of information is crucial teaching of critical literacies need to be extended to engage with new technologies
  • References Fredrick, K. Teaching the Rules of the Road Online. School Library Monthly , 26 (8), 2010: 35-36. Griffith, S., & Liyanage, L. An introduction to the potential of social networking sites in education. Paper Presented at Emerging Technologies Conference, University of Wollongong, 18-21 June 2008. accessed April 2010 at http://ro.uow.edu.au/etc08/9 IT and Comms: Guarding against Cyber-bullies. Government News , Vol. 29, No. 6, July 2009: 38 Lee M and Mitchell P. Rollercoaster : education and online access. Professional Educator ; v.8 n.2 p.32-35; June 2009. Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2010). Social networking websites and teens: an overview. Washington, DC. Pew Internet and American life. accessed April 2010, from: http://pewinternet.org Lenhart, A, Purcell, K., Smith, A. & Zickuhr, K. (2010). Social media & mobile internet use among teens and young adults. accessed April 2010, from http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2010/PIP_Social_Media_and_Young_Adults_Report.pdf McLoughlin, C. and Burgess, J. (2009) Texting, sexting and social networking among Australian youth and the need for cyber safety education, AARE International Education Research Conference - 2009 accessed online April 2010, http://www.aare.edu.au/09pap/mcl091427.pdf Miller, W. Non Sequitur , October 28 2009, accessed online April 2010 http://mightyredpen.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/ill-facebook-you/ Murray C. Schools and social networking : fear or education. Synergy ; v.6 n.1 p.8-12; 2008. Notley T. Restricted access : young people, online networks and school. Teacher ; n.199 p.6-8, 10-11; March 2009. Pelletier, Robert. Cyberbullying : a real and present danger. Teacher ; n.203 p.12-15; August 2009. Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, Information Strategic Plan 2007-2001 . accessed online April 2010, http://education.qld.gov.au/strategic/planning/pdfs/infostratplanto2011.pdf Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, Research and Development Plan 2008–2010, accessed online April 2010, http://education.qld.gov.au/corporate/research/strategy/docs/researchdevelopmentplan.pdf Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, Strategic Plan 2009-2013, accessed online April 2010, http://education.qld.gov.au/strategic/planning/pdfs/strategic-plan-09-13.pdf

Transcript

  • 1. To network or not to network? Promoting Safe Social Networking Practices at School and at Home
  • 2. What are social networking sites (SNS)?
    • MySpace, Facebook, Bebo …
    • places to share information about yourself, upload photos, music
    • communicating with friends
      • update status
      • blog diary entries
      • live private chat
      • post public messages to the wall of a friend
    mightyredpen.wordpress.com
  • 3. Are our students using SNS? Is this issue relevant to primary schools?
    • SNS used frequently by many Australian 9 -15 year olds
    • > 40 % Australian children / young people post on the internet
    • 1 out of 3 have their own page on a SNS
    • 14 yrs and older > 70% engage in web authoring in some form
    • 2009 survey ACT and regional NSW: 24% of Yr 7 – 10 students surveyed had experienced cyberbullying
    • UK study found in spite of minimum user age of 13 for most SNS, 27% of 11 yr olds who were aware of SNS said they had their own page
  • 4. What risks are involved in using SNS?
    • Cyberbullying
      • sending mean messages to a person
      • spreading rumours
      • uploading embarrassing photos
      • uploading videos of the person being bullied
      • excluding a person from ‘friends’ list
      • setting up inappropriate quizzes: ‘Why do you hate Jen?’
    • Sexting
      • pictures in a ‘sexy pose’ or engaging in sexual behaviour
    • Exposure to online predators
      • unsafe practices allow public access to private information
      • US based research found 40% students would chat online to someone they didn’t know
  • 5. Can social networking in schools be regulated to promote learning and student safety?
    • No common approach to student internet access in Aust schools
    • Majority of Australian states and schools have a ‘prohibitionist’ approach that blocks SNS
    • The Queensland Government Managed Internet Service (MIS) uses a web filtering system which blocks all student access to “high-risk filtering categories” including “social”.
    • Education Departments can create safe virtual learning places
    • “ Safe and responsible use” will allow young people to appreciate the benefits of SNS by understanding how to minimise risk
  • 6. Social Networking Policy at QDET Level
    • Key Queensland Policy Documents:
      • Information and Knowledge Strategic Plan 2007–2011
      • “ Central to the Smart State vision is learning in a digital world.”
      • Research and Development Plan 2008–2010
      • “ How can collaborative networking spaces be used and shared for teaching and learning purposes by students and staff?”
      • Department of Education and Training Strategic Plan 2009 -2013
      • “ Provide rich digital learning environments across all modes of delivery.”
  • 7. An alternate approach to banning SNS in schools
    • Students
    • do use SNS in their world outside of school
    • are often online in unprotected environments
    • must learn strategies to interact safely and responsibly
    • Through careful use of social networking technology:
    • Schools can
    • teach what is appropriate to post in an open forum
    • assist students to distinguish between fact and fiction
    • teach how to evaluate information and possible dangers
    • help students learn to identify and remove themselves from inappropriate interaction
    • promote equity of access and social inclusion for students with limited or no home access
  • 8. Case Study: The Learning Place
    • Queensland DET has developed The Learning Place for schools
    • A safe environment in which to explore social networking
    • Teachers can create an online space that holds forums, chats, blogs
    • The teacher is the moderator:
        • responsible for postings in forum, chat and blog
        • must approve postings / can delete postings
        • decides who is invited to participate in the project
        • can elect to use password protection
    • Students:
        • participate in project rooms set up by their teacher
        • can only access the chat room if the moderator is online
  • 9. Developing appropriate use guidelines for our school  
    • Guidelines must aim for a balance between safety and freedom
    • Suggestions for action required to develop guidelines:
      • revisit existing acceptable Internet use policy
      • confirm that all students and parents/guardians sign acceptable use agreement
      • review anti-bullying policies / codes of conduct to manage the use of school computers and student mobile phones
      • review anti-bullying programs to ensure cyberbullying is addressed
      • review expectations for supervising student Internet use at school
      • encourage teachers to use social networking technologies in The Learning Place
      • support teachers, where necessary, through professional development
    As the internet continues to evolve, educators must keep pace with the latest tools and understand both the opportunities and threats these present. Many schools look for options to control technologies by blocking sites and tools that could help teach these lessons. Murray 2008
  • 10. Promoting safe social networking practices at school and at home
    • Partnership with parents / caregivers is crucial to minimising risks of social networking sites as most access occurs at home:
      • information afternoons or evenings to familiarise parents with SNS
      • cybersafety issues to be highlighted in newsletters
      • links to cybersafety websites on the school website
    • Developing students as digital citizens is a priority
      • children engage in digital literacies outside of school
    • Educating students as critical users of information is crucial
      • teaching of critical literacies need to be extended to engage with new technologies
  • 11. Three Discussion Questions
    • What strategies and skills can we help children develop to safely navigate social networking sites?
    • What measures need to be put in place to support teachers to use social networking tools in Learning Place project rooms?
    • How can our school work with parents to tackle cyberbullying?
  • 12. Recommended Reading
    • Texting, sexting and social networking among Australian youth and the need for cyber safety education. McLoughlin & Burgess 2009
    • Schools and social networking : fear or education. Murray 2008
    • Teaching the Rules of the Road Online. Frederick 2010
    • An introduction to the potential of social networking sites in education. Griffith & Liyanage 2008
    • Cyberbullying: A clear and present danger. Pelletier 2009