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Category Archives: Ethics & Responsibilities

A few years ago, there was a major focus on Internet safety education, as if protecting kids from online predators and pornography were all that was needed for children to safely and effectively surf the Web. Today, much more attention is being paid to other areas of digital citizenship, for example responsible, ethical behavior and digital literacy. That is reflected in the results of two polls Cable in the Classroom released today.

We think of digital citizenship as a positive and proactive approach to helping children use digital tools safely and effectively, bringing together Internet safety and security with digital literacy, responsible, ethical behavior and civic engagement.

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A guest blog for A Platform for Good looks at how young people turned bad situations into resounding victories for themselves and for all of us.

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Although you’d never know it from news stories, multiple surveys have showed marked decreases in children’s exposure to violence and abuse, writes David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at University of New Hampshire on The Huffington Post. A new Bureau of Justice Statistics report is just the latest in a series pointing to favorable trends in child well being.

Dr. Finkelhor coined the term “juvenoia” to describe an exaggerated fear about youth vulnerability to social change and new technologies.

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A recent story from a school bus illustrates the ability of people to use digital communications as a force for incredible good or for evil.

A student used his cell phone to record a video of other students on his bus cruelly taunting and insulting the bus monitor. The video was posted to You Tube and went viral. So far a story of people using technology for bad things.

But the reaction of online communities showed some of the wonderful promise of the digital age.

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“Bully,” a documentary film that’s been in the news a lot lately, is providing some unintentional lessons in media literacy. The film tells the stories of four young people who have been bullied and how that has affected them and their families. Two of the kids had committed suicide. The other two are dealing with bullying in different ways. I reviewed Bully (originally called The Bully Project) here after seeing it in a film festival last year.

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While most kids in most situations are making the right choices, there are subgroups who are at greater risk of bad experiences. New research puts lower numbers on sexting and other dangerous acts. Guest blog post at iKeepSafe.

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Very interesting discussion today at the Kids, Privacy, and Online Drama event, part of @Microsoft: Conversations on Online Safety, cohosted by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), and held at Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, DC.

Researcher danah boyd said something that particularly struck a nerve with me. She and her colleague Alice Marwick found that while adults talk about ‘“bullying,” teens are more likely to refer to the resultant skirmishes and their digital traces as “drama.”’ There’s more to it than that, of course, (and their paper, The Drama!

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That’s one of the take aways from two research projects looking into kids digital lives.

Learn more at our guest blog on iKeepSafe.

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Our Shared Responsibility. As explained by the National Cyber Security Alliance, “no individual, business, or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use. We need to understand that individual actions have a collective impact and when we use the Internet safely we make it more secure for everyone.”

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Tonight, CBS airs an episode of 48 Hours on bullying. I haven’t seen it yet, but it has stimulated a lot of discussion and some concern among many of the top researchers and practitioners in the fields of bullying and suicide prevention. Why? Because media so often gets it wrong.

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