Online social networks and teen safety

While on the point of online social networks and teen safety, Pete Reilly, President of the New York Association of Computers and Technology in Education (NYSCATE), has written an article that uses various and contrasting statistics to help teachers (and parents) evaluate the risks. This quote is interesting:

The question is, “Are we going to take a “zero risk” approach to using technology and the tools of the Web?”

We don’t take a “zero risk” approach with our sports programs where the chance of injury, paralysis, and, in rare cases, death, is always present. We don’t take that approach with field trips where students travel to museums and historical sites in locations where they might be touched by crime. We don’t take that approach with recess on our playgrounds, or transporting our kids to and from school.

I like this. There is no perfectly safe place in the world for young people. Of course there are measures that teachers and parents can take to make the internet experience somewhat safer for learners, but in the end they are the ones who need to be savvy enough to recognise danger signals and respond appropriately.

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