Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The trick to knowing what social networking sites are right for students

Parents often come to innovative educators for advice about the online spaces their children are or should be using. Is Snapchat ok? What about Instagram? Should my child be using Facebook and Twitter? What is a safe site for my pre-teen to engage socially?

If you consider yourself an innovative educator you may be wondering how you can be expected to keep up with all the different options out there.
Don't despair.  You can!
Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org) allows you to look up any digital product and find out just about anything a parent or teacher would want to know.  

Wonder about GAIA? Type it in the search and in addition to getting a description, age appropriateness, and hundreds of reviews from kids and parents, discover What parents need to know, Learning potential, User reviews, and Website details.

What about Ask.fm? You'll be taken to http://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-reviews/askfm where you'll learn the site has been linked to bullying and suicides. You'll also get advice for talking to children about what happens on such sites. 

But innovative educators know that social media is essential for student success, so how do they know what sites to recommend?  Well just search "Social Networking for Kids" on the site.  You'll come up with this article that outlines plenty of appropriate places for your child with lots of information and advice about using sites like Kazaana, Yoursphere, Kidzworld and more.  

Now going forward, when a parent asks you about a site for their child, not only will you be able to respond intelligently, but you'll be to empower them to answer these questions on their own.  

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