to effectively parent your children!
I have said this before, and I say this often; You do not need to know more about technology than your child, period. However, you do need to control the stream of information available to your child. In an effort to help you with this I have posted some information about sites gaining in popularity
I had the opportunity to meet with several parents this summer who all have the same basic concern. "How do I parent my child in this technological era?" The basic premise is that because our children are such avid users of technology then we as parents are left behind, hoping that our kids stay safe. Years ago it was just concern over computer . Internet enabled devices are no different. Do you really know what your child is up to online? If not, maybe investing in some monitoring software like Besecure would help, or collect all devices at night.
There has been a recent surge in sites or games that are seemingly harmless but can later put your child at risk for inappropriate contact or bullying. Social Meeps, Roblox and Minecraft are all sites that are fun and are seemingly innocent. I believe that they have been created with the best of intentions. Furthermore, a couple of them are highly educational. However, they these sites do allow for the very young to interact with unknown others, that is where we as parents lose some control.
Social Meeps is a fun site that basically is one big virtual chat area. The "meeps" (avatars) are highly customizable, customization is where Social Meeps makes money. One can pay to upgrade his/her meep with a variety of skins and accessories. This site drew my attention when I was working with a couple eleven year-olds who were talking about it.
Social Meeps does have a Terms of Service that must be accepted that states:"Most content on the message boards come straight from other Social Meeps users, not from administrative staff. If you see anything mean or nasty on the site, or anyone sends you anything that makes you uncomfortable or asks for your password or personal information (such as your name, address or phone number), please let us know immediately by using the 'Report Abuse' button next to any user-generated content, so that we can handle it right away!"
What Social Meeps and many other social sites neglect to state is that the most dangerous users do not outright ask for personal information when scoping out a victim. The process of grooming can go for months to years.
One of my students said it best, “My parents don’t know anything about technology, but I know what they expect from me”. Such a classic statement, and I was so proud of her. Be involved, be nosey. You’re a parent, it is our God-given right to be in our kid’s business. It is better to be overly cautious, then regret not being cautious enough.
Look out for my next posts on Roblox and Minecraft.
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I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.