Cloud Computing | Feature

Kids and Social Media: Cloud Resources to Consider

Many schools ban the use of social networking sites during the school day for students of any age. Schools that do encourage social media use usually do so with strict guidelines (See Student Safety in the Age of Facebook). But that doesn’t mean kids stay offline when home, nor does it mean that educators won’t have to address the use of social media with their students. A teachable moment might come up around cyberbullying (See Confronting Cyberbullying) or other concerns, so having access to resources before those moments occur is important.

The mission of Social Media for Kids is “to create and raise awareness amongst youth and their families about the positive and potential negative impact of internet-based Social Media.” The organization is a partnership between educators and social media professionals. Its website has a blog, links, and other resources. Among these resources is a blog post with information about top sites for kids.

Safety Tips and Advice, News and Views, Forum, and Great Resources are the main sections of the site connectsafely.org, which “is for parents, teens, educators, advocates—everyone engaged in and interested in the impact of the social Web.” Some of their suggestions include:

A Comprehensive Directory of Online Safety Resources: This frequently updated directory provides easy access to hundreds of resources that have been developed worldwide.

SafeKids.com: One of the Net's oldest and most comprehensive Internet safety sites, operated by ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid

NetFamilyNews.org: As a public service for parents, educators, and everyone interested in young people's use of technology, NetFamilyNews is the "community newspaper" of a vital interest community. The site was founded in 1999 by ConnectSafely.org co-director Anne Collier.

KQED has a reputation as a media outlet willing to give thoughtful consideration to difficult and complicated topics, and it doesn’t get more complicated than social networking for kids. In one article, How Well Are Schools Teaching Cyber Safety and Ethics? the Radio/TV station’s blog Mind Shift looked at the issue of cyberbullying. Other posts look at kid-focused social media sites and parental involvement in a child’s online activities. While some of the articles are dated, the content is a good place to start.

About the Author

Margo Pierce is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer.

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