Sexting is one topic a parent can not learn enough about. The digital avenues that teens use to compromise themselves continue to pop up with new apps. Parents need to understand how to monitor and stop their children from possibly ruining their online reputations or worse-themselves.
Words to know:
Sexting- the transmission of sexually provocative, nude or partially nude photos. This often happens via cell phone or other mobile device.
SnapChat- an app that allows the sender to transmit an image that will disappear on the recipients phone after a prescribed amount of time.
Thanks to SnapChat, some teens think it's safe to take risque pictures and transmit them because they believe the pictures will be destroyed before being circulated. The fatal error is that anyone can take a screenshot within the time it takes for SnapChat to destroy an image (For example, on an iPhone just holding down the home button and sleep buttons at the same time will take a screenshot). The image can expire via SnapChat but the copy will remain on the receiver's phone.
Major legal issues arise with sexting that need to be taken seriously. In short, any time a teen (under 18 years old) takes a nude or semi nude picture of him/herself that teen is now in possession of "child pornography". Once that image is sent to another's phone that same teen has now engaged in trafficking child pornography as dictated by the law. It is important to reiterate that a teen can be arrested for even transmitting a picture of him or herself. There are many instances now where teens who have engaged in this behavior have been labeled as a "Sex Offenders" and must be registered as such for the remainder of their lives.
What steps can parents take?
1. Know the unlock code for your child's phone and check pictures and texts regularly. If this does not seem feasible then I strongly recommend investing in monitoring service like BSecure.
2. Password protect the App Store Downloads, so your child must go through your approval to install an app on their device. You do this by tethering the device to your email and not the child's. (This and a monitoring service is best investment of time and parents will not have to manually check their teen's phone repetitively)
3. Google "Controversial, Apps, teens" or a keywords similar to this and check child's phone to see if they are currently using a problematic app.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in my 'Comments'
(Disclaimer- this is a cross-post from my work blog)
Image Source: Technorati.com
Over the past couple of days, there has been much chatter from ed tech bloggers about the newest Norton report about cyber baiting. Cyber baiting is when students instigate or taunt their teachers, capture the teacher "losing it" with the class, (usually on a smartphone) and post the teacher's outburst to the Web.
Countries where this becoming more prevalent are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, according to the Norton Online Family Report, one in five teachers reported to have experienced or have known a colleague who has experienced cyber baiting.
Doing my own extensive research (aka asking my own students) I found many, many disturbing videos. In some cases, students are clearly setting the teacher up for a fall. Others, I believe, are teachers who I believe are totally overwhelmed or who have no business teaching.
The above teacher is clearly trying to teach and is obviously frustrated. In the comment section of the above video, students are actually speaking out against the trouble-makers. As a fellow teacher, I can sympathize with this teacher's frustrations. I feel bad for the teacher because he is unaware that he is being recorded and because he obviously has some chatter going on while he is trying to give directions.
One suggestion I have for any teacher in this situation is to read the book The First Days of School, by Harry Wong. There are amazing techniques offered for removing undesirable behavior that is a personal attack against the teacher. As a teacher, if I can keep the behavior separate from the child, and not allow it to affect me personally, then half the battle is won. Harry Wong is a great resource for any teacher looking to hone his/her management skills.
Now this video on the other hand, is over the top. The teacher is obviously upset that the student has destroyed a calculator. But there are several things wrong with this display of frustration. Acting this way does no good for either party. Was he cyber baited into acting this way? I am unsure, but nevertheless it was caught by camera phone and uploaded to YouTube. Now his bad day will always be available for any future students or parents to see. Yes, he could jump through a few hoops and have the content removed from YouTube and pulled from a Google search. I think this is a lesson for all teachers; we no longer have to worry only about what we publish online, but what may be published about us as well.
What to do?
1. Make sure your school and your colleagues are aware that cyber baiting is a growing trend among teens.
2. Instruct colleagues to create a "Google Alert" whenever new content tagged with their name is published to the Web.
3. Find out if your school has any rules against recording devices in the class.
4. Remember, a teacher who loses it is lost. Bad behavior is not a personal attack usually. Have procedures and
consequences in place and consistently follow them.
Let's just hope technology does not advance to allow students to read our minds! :)
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.