Advice in Motion Update I

Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas to my “advice in motion” posting last week. The goal was to create a set of parent recommendations about their kids and online use, as well as student recommendations. The overall goal was to emphasize that online safety is the same as “real life” safety, and parents play a central role in enabling their kids to be street smart in both environments.

So far, we’ve completed our set of recommendations for middle school parents. They were sent out in our monthly technology newsletter. This newsletter (and the recommendations) is available at http://www.oes.edu/technology/TechWise_12_9_05.pdf. As a follow up, we will be meeting with parent groups about the recommendations, and creating special presentations by grade level for students.

We’re now revising and changing this list for the upper school parents. There are several recommendations that change for older students, but the primary premises are similar. It’s interesting, for example, that MySpace.com recognizes that it enables certain online dating features, and that is one reason it has an age limit of 14 (often abused). However, does that mean that online dating features are fine for kids ages 14 and above?

This exercise was labeled “advice in motion” since this is a developing issue that is in progress and has been active for some time. I’ll post a link to our upper school recommendations when they are incomplete, and they will include some data we received from a recent survey of upper school students about these issues.

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