There are still a lot of unknowns about COVID-19, but for now at least, our province has started to open up a bit. Parks and beaches are open, most stores and malls are opening, and we’re even able to get haircuts again.
I remember when the iPad was first released back in 2010. Shortly after it came out, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were spotted at a restaurant letting their daughter Suri, who was four years old at the time, play on their iPad while they waited for their food.
As a parent, you may find some relief in learning that fewer youth take and send sexts (nude or semi-nude photos) than you may think. However, almost half of youth who have taken and sent a sext say that the recipient then forwarded that image to other people without their consent. This culture of sharing among youth is a major concern and can have devastating consequences for the person in the picture and the person who forwards it.
In this lesson, students learn about the “sneaky excuses” that can convince us to do things that we know are wrong. After learning about the different types of these excuses, students watch and discuss a series of videos in which the excuses are used to justify forwarding sexts without the original sender’s consent. Finally, students create their own videos in which the excuses used to justify sharing sexts with other people are illustrated and most importantly, countered.
Our youngest daughter, who is in Grade Seven this year, is moving up the social media ladder.
She has her own tablet to use on the Wi-Fi at home and recently got her own Instagram account. She’s really loving the ability to share pics with her friends and chat with them online – especially because her two older siblings have been Instagramming and texting for at least three years now.
MediaSmarts’ research has shown that kids with rules in the home about tech use are less likely to do things like post their contact information, visit gambling or pornography sites and talk to strangers online. Having a family agreement or set of rules for using devices is also a great way for parents and kids to work together on how to be safe, wise and responsible online.
Digital literacy is a vital tool for education, employment and economic participation, civic engagement, and even health and wellness. It reinforces existing inequalities based on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, education, immigration status and gender. Given the importance of digital literacy skills to under-represented populations, MediaSmarts and YWCA Canada have partnered to develop and deliver DigitalSmarts, a digital literacy skills program.
My two oldest kids started grades 10 and 11 in September. As usual, they took their smartphones with them the first day.
When they arrived home, I asked them how their classes had went, and they said that every single class had talked about the Ontario government’s new policy about cell phones in school – that is, that cell phones are to be used only for educational purposes, or health or special needs, during class time.