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Monday, September 26, 2016

5 Tech Tools for Kids in Crisis | Common Sense Media

Many parents wonder how they would fare as a teenager in a world filled with social media drama, texting troubles, and cyber bullying. Whether they're the cause or symptomatic of deeper issues, the same tools kids use to connect can also trigger anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. For today's struggling kids, there's some hope. Popular apps, sites, and services offer guidance and help when, where, and how kids need it. Let kids know where they can find support:

Learn more:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Abbreviations and Terms to Know

Get it here.

What you need to know about, an increasingly popular app with tweens and teens, allows individuals to create and share short videos that are lip-synced to songs of their choice. Remarkably, there are 80 million registered users, with around 10 million of those active on a daily basis.  These “Musers” – as they are called – upload an average of 10 million fifteen-second videos of themselves each day.  What makes up these videos, you ask?  Well, it’s typically a kid dancing around or passionately lip-syncing to a top hit that everyone knows and loves, or otherwise dramatically spouting off epic movie lines or bit comedy punchlines (similar to Dubsmash).  Perhaps mirroring the popularity of certain features from Snapchat, Musers can also fancify their videos with effects like color filters, or speed them up or slow them down to add a novel and fun element to what they share.

Read more:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Associations Between Antibullying Policies and Bullying in 25 States

JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(10):e152411. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2411.


Three individual components of antibullying legislation were consistently associated with decreased odds of exposure to both bullying and cyberbullying: statement of scope, description of prohibited behaviors, and requirements for school districts to develop and implement local policies.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stop Bullying on Instagram

Stop Bullying on Instagram: Follow @StopBullyingGov on Instagram for bullying prevention tips, inspirational quotes and photos. They're sharing tips for bullying prevention at camp and inspiring followers to play their part in preventing bullying and promoting positive summer memories. Learn more.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Revenge Porn Research, Laws, and Help for Victims

With presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently pledging at a town hall meeting that she would do whatever she could to end revenge porn (and cyberbullying [call us, Hillary, we can help! Donald, you too!]), I thought it was time to take a closer look at the phenomenon. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the latest research on sextortion – which is closely related – and discussed revenge porn two years ago when it started to ping our radars. Revenge porn – sometimes known as nonconsensual porn – has been defined as the act of distributing intimate photography through different means without the individual’s consent. While revenge is not always the motivating factor, this act seems to be increasingly utilized by the perpetrator as retaliation for romantic relationships going south, and is becoming more and more prominent with thegrowing popularity of sexting. Indeed, there are now an estimated 2,000 revenge porn web sites worldwide, and countless individuals have been repeatedly victimized through the availability of their intimate images in these venues.

Read more:

Revenge Porn Research, Laws, and Help for Victims - Cyberbullying Research Center

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Heart of Digital Citizenship | Anne Collier | TEDxGeneva

Published on Jun 16, 2016
Digital citizenship is an intriguing but still very abstract idea with a dark past and great potential. A journalist who has followed youth Internet safety and citizenship for nearly 20 years, Anne Collier looks at what digital citizenship is, the struggle it emerged from, and five ways adult society can make it engaging and useful to young citizens, the heart of any digital citizenship discussion about youth.


Pokémon GO App Review

Pokémon GO App Review

Friday, July 1, 2016

YouTube Kids App

The official YouTube Kids app is designed for curious little minds. This is a delightfully simple (and free!) app, where kids can discover videos, channels and playlists they love. 

FOSI Launches How to Be a Good Digital Parent Program

For Immediate Release:

July 1, 2016

Contact: Emily Mulder
(202) 775-0158


FOSI Launches How to Be a Good Digital Parent Program
Digital toolkit provided free to state and local PTAs
Orlando, FL – The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) today announced a new training program to help parents improve their Internet safety knowledge and skills.  Launched at the National Parent Teacher Association convention in Orlando, the "How to Be a Good Digital Parent" program, sponsored by Facebook and Google, will give parents and PTA leaders the tools and resources they need to successfully host an online safety learning event. The program will address parents’ concerns about their children’s Internet use, while also providing tips and tools for a safer and more productive time online.

Included in the program toolkit is a detailed PowerPoint presentation, presenter's guide, instructional video and audience handouts. Parents will receive a copy of the 7 Steps to Good Digital Parenting, a Family Safety Contract, and guides for the Three Teachable Moments, maintaining digital reputation, and safe gaming.

“Our hope is that attendees of the program will leave the presentation with a stronger understanding of today’s technology and how young people are using it,” said Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO of FOSI. “Parents will gain a better grasp on how on how to speak to their child about their use of technology and help them to avoid a negative experience online.”

The toolkit will coach PTA leaders through every step of the program, from the initial planning stages to delivering the presentation. The goal of the program is to allow PTAs to host a successful learning event which will help other parents and caregivers in their communities to have a better understanding of how to address online risks and minimize harms as well as to embrace the benefits of technology.

“Facebook is proud to support the Family Online Safety Institute’s unprecedented effort to deliver online safety tips, tools and resources directly to parents nationwide through state and local PTAs. Making it easy for parents to get the information and tools they need to help their children stay safe online is part of our ongoing commitment to the safety of the Facebook community,” said Facebook’s Head of Global Safety, Antigone Davis.

Complete information about the program, including how to request a presenter’s packet is available here.

About FOSI- The Family Online Safety Institute is an international, non-profit organization that works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all. FOSI's membership includes 30 of the leading Internet and telecommunications companies around the world.


Click here to learn more about FOSI and our activities.
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UK Registered Charity no. 1095258 | © 2016 "FOSI" and the FOSI logo are registered as trademarks in the UK and USA. 400 7th Street, NW Suite 506 Washington, D.C. 20004

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Practitioner's Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children

Offers information and resources to help practitioners throughout health and social service systems implement best practices in engaging and helping families and caregivers to support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sextortion has Painful Aftermath and Limited Resources for Support

A survey of more than 1,600 victims of sextortion highlights how threats to expose sexual images can spark life-altering crises in the lives of young people, according to new research by the Crimes against Children Research Center in partnership with Thorn. 

Read the report here:

Dumping your ex from your social media timeline

Just how easy is it to get over a relationship in the era of social media? When Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift broke up, he unfollowed her from Twitter and she removed posts of herself with him from Instagram.

Social media etiquette after a break-up can be a minefield, especially if you're one of those people who has documented every intricate moment of your time together.

From status updates and check-ins to photos and videos, erasing every trace of your relationship history can be a painful but necessary way of dealing with the heartache.

And if you do but they don't do the same, does this mean you have accepted it's over but they haven't?

Read more:

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A disturbing look inside the world of online sextortion

"He was choking a cat [on a video chat site] and told me if I didn't do as he said, he would kill the cat," a 17-year-old victim recalls.

His demand: show him her breast. She did it.

Then he showed her the video he had taken of her breast and said if she left the site, he'd post it to her Facebook page.

Read more:

Here's an idea: Kindness meters

Do we make it easy for kids to be kind in schools? The internationally growing trend of kindness meters might have the power to promote the spread of kindness in schools. What would that be like?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

One Thing Snapchat Desperately Needs To Copy From Facebook And Twitter

Facebook unveiled expanded suicide prevention tools Tuesday — and Snapchat has some catching up to do.
Snapchat, despite its popularity with young people, is lagging behind rivals when it comes to suicide prevention tools.
Facebook on Tuesday debuted expanded self-harm reporting tools on every version of its service. Anyone who sees a post that signals a friend may be having trouble can now go through a series of steps to report that content as “suicidal.” The social network will suggest you reach out to the person. And the individual who posted that content will then receive resources from the Facebook team to help them get help. Twitter has similar features.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Webinar: Are we "addicted" to our devices?

Are we "addicted" to our devices? Common Sense Media reviews its latest research and a new poll of over 1,200 parents and teens to find out how cell phones and other mobile devices affect our families and relationships. Watch director of research Michael Robb, Ph.D., and senior parenting editor Caroline Knorr discuss the findings, give recommendations, and answer parents' questions about how to find a healthy digital lifestyle so you can maximize the benefits of technology for your family while minimizing the risks.

Watch it now at:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Consent: It's Simple as Tea

Published on May 12, 2015
Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios
Non-commercial use: Video must have copyright information displayed below video, with a live link to original. No alteration to the video may be made, other than translation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Father outraged after his daughter is allegedly targeted online by 35-year-old man

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge father is sounding the alarm after he says his 8-year-old daughter was allegedly targeted online by a 35-year-old man.

They are troubling to hear, just some of the inappropriate messages Robert Smith said he discovered on his daughter’s iPod this week.

"It was like ‘how are you, sweetie… oh, you’re so sweet… thank you sweet girl’," Smith said. "Very inappropriate stuff... If he could come hang out, if he could do this and that and ‘I love watching your dances so much and do you like me and do you think I'm cute’."

Smith said the messages were all sent through an app called ""

Read more:

12 Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship - Best of 2015-16 School Year

As we head into the new school year and think about all of the new apps and sites we want to use with students, it's a good time to think about teaching digital citizenship. Whether our students are in Kindergarten or high school before we send them out on the web we should be teaching them digital citizenship.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Growing Up in the Age of Likes and LOLs

Without a doubt, technology has changed what it's like to come of age in America. Washington Post reporter Jessica Contrera goes inside the life of a Virginia 13-year-old to try to pin down some of what has changed. Snapchat. Instagram. Facebook. Sociologists, advertisers, and educators want to understand what it's like to grow up in a generation that's glued to their screens. One insight from the teen subject: "I don't feel like a child anymore. I'm not doing anything childish. At the end of sixth grade, I just stopped doing everything I normally did. Playing games at recess, playing with toys, all of it, done." 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Who Will You Be?

Stephen Ko of East Hanover, NJ, who's video Who You Will Be demonstrates the endless possibilities of what you can do and who you can be online. As Ko points out, "we make the Internet" and what you can find online is as good, or as bad, as what people are posting.

This video is the 2016 Trend Micro’s What’s Your Story video contest Grand prize winner!

What Does Getting Bullied Feel Like?


Operation Respect was founded in 1999 by Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary. The mission of Operation Respect is to create respectful, safe, and compassionate climates of learning, free of bullying, ridicule, and violence. The lyrics of “Don’t Laugh at Me” inspired Operation Respect's curriculum and lessons and set in motion an effort and movement that truly speaks to the remarkable way music has the power to energize, reach people’s hearts, and catalyze change. Learn more at

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Children And Media - Tips For Parents

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

In a world where children are "growing up digital," it's important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills. Here are a few tips from the AAP to help parents manage the digital landscape they're exploring with their children:

Also see:

Citizenship in the digital age

Source; ISTE | Infographic: Citizenship in the digital age

And yet, we don’t have to start from scratch. The elements of digital citizenship, it turns out, are not so different from the basic tenets of traditional citizenship: Be kind, respectful and responsible, and just do the right thing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Multitasking Is a Myth, and to Attempt It Comes at a Neurobiological Cost

This is also true when trying to do homework, listen to music, and monitoring social networks.

Published on May 9, 2016
Multitasking is a myth, says McGill University Psychology Professor Daniel Levitin. Switching focus across tasks comes at a neurological cost, depleting chemicals we need to concentrate. Levitin's latest book is "The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload" (

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Your Bullied Child or Teen: A Parent Empowerment Guide

This video accompanies a booklet with the same title. This Booklet and additional resources are available at

Raise a bully, pay a fine. What do you think? WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

What do you think, vote below:

Do you think it's okay for parents to be fined if it is determined that their child is bullying?

Yes, good idea.
No, bad idea.
I have a different idea (write in the comment section after you submit)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Teens love Snapchat.

For the first time, messaging app Snapchat is the preferred social network for teens, according to a survey from research firm Piper Jaffray. The survey, which polled 6,500 teens in the U.S., found Snapchat used surged this spring, with 28% of them claiming it's the most important social network. Closely behind is photo sharing app Instagram at 27%.

Read the full story from USAToday here

Read Parent's Guide to Snapchat from ConnectSafely (PDF)

Watch video from the Snapchat Safety Center:


Snapchat 101: A Guide For Educators | Burlington High School Help Desk

Lots of valuable info here including the following video:

From Common Sense Media:

  • Read about Snapchat here
  • Snapchat is a popular social media app, especially among teens. Find out why and what to watch out for. Watch this video about Snapchat:


The Snapchat Revolution: Background, Basics, Pros, and Cons - Cyberbullying Research Center

Part II:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Snapchat 2.0

The company just released an update they’re calling Snapchat 2.0, which turns the app into, among other things, a multimodal chat platform.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

School Bullying: Are We Taking the Wrong Approach?

Yes. School culture, especially focusing on connecting kids with adults, is one of the best anti-bullying strategies available.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Is it Rude, is it Mean or is it Bullying?

From Jeannie Maddox  ...

I don't know about you but I grow weary of the constant reports of students being "bullied."  Now I know there are children who are truly being bullied, who are afraid to come to school, find it difficult to concentrate on their work, have no friends, and are withdrawn and depressed because of the constant abuse of a school bully.  When real bullying occurs, I am the first to advocate for any student in that situation.  I investigate each claim and I do everything I can as a School Counselor to empower and support the student targeted, involve parents and administration who address the situation from a  legal and disciplinary angle, and get help for the bully.

Read more: 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Think Before you Share

To help create the best version of your online story, remember to think before you share. Anything you post online can be forwarded, copied, and found, and travel farther than you intended it to. What you share, and who you share it with, can end up saying a lot about you. So remember to be thoughtful!

For more information about Tip 1: Think Before You Share, the Online Safety Roadshow, and other great tips to help keep you and your family smart and safe online, check out:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Helping Young People Embrace Civility in a Society Gone Nasty!

March 16, 2016
Contact: Nancy Willard
Cell: 541-556-1145
Helping Young People Embrace Civility in a Society Gone Nasty!
New free program to help young people embrace civility and foster positive relations is now available for schools and youth organizations.
Young people have been witnessing a horrifying display of lack of civility by some who seek the highest position in the U.S. Government. Too often, reporters refer to the displays of coarse and prejudiced behavior as “childish.” This reference is demeaning. The overwhelming majority of young people do not engage in similar behavior--further they do not admire those who do.
Educators are expressing increasing concerns about the harmful impact of such lack of civility on our young people. How can we help to empower young people can embrace civility and foster positive relations, especially in the current climate?
Embrace Civility in the Digital Age is releasing a Be a Leader!, a powerfully positive, thoroughly research-based instructional program for students. Be a Leader! has activities for both elementary students and secondary students. Program materials include an instructional guide, slideshows for both secondary and elementary grade levels--the slides of which can be used for posters--and a student activity guide for the secondary level. Educators and others can also review the research basis for the program.

Be a Leader! promotes the actual norms of young people. Research by Embrace Civility in the Digital Age documents that young people do not admire those who are hurtful or those who support those being hurtful. Young people admire those who are consistently kind and respectful and who step in to help if they witness someone being treated badly or left out. Further, young people admire those who, if treated badly, respond in a powerful, positive manner, as well as those who, if hurtful, stop themselves and make amends.
Be a Leader! focuses on five action areas for young people to embrace civility and foster positive relations. 
   Reach Out. Young people can assist those who have been treated badly or left out by reaching out to be kind ,including them. 
   Say Stop. Working with a group of individuals who are concerned about such hurtful behavior to communicate the importance of civility can be very effective. Further, sometimes the friends or allies of those being hurtful can privately advise them of the need to stop.
   Report Concerns. Young people play an important role in recognizing when a situation present serious concerns for the well-being of others and should be reported to those in higher positions of authority.
   Stop, Own it, and Fix It. Young people who have been hurtful can learn to stop themselves, acknowledge personal responsibility, and take steps to remedy the harm that was caused.
   Be Positively Powerful. Those who are treated badly can become more powerful and respond in positive ways. They can also gain greater personal power and resiliency. 
Educators and others who work with young people can use the current nasty “teachable moments” as an opportunity to help young people decide to forge a more kind and respectful path for themselves and their communities. 

About Embrace Civility in the Digital Age

Embrace Civility in the Digital Age promotes a 21st Century approach to address hurtful youth behavior.  This approach promotes the positive values held by young people, empowers young people with effective skills and resiliency, and encourages young people to be helpful allies who positively intervene when they witness peers being hurt or at risk. This approach also focuses on increasing the effectiveness of adults in supporting young people and effectively responding to the hurtful incidents that occur.

Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D., Director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, brings a background of working with emotionally challenged students, law, and digital technologies to the challenge of fostering positive relations in the digital age. Nancy is the author of the first book ever published on cyberbullying,
Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats (2007). She is the author of several other books and frequently contributed articles to publications for educators, such as District Administration. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Kiddle - visual search engine for kids

Kiddle - visual search engine for kids

Kiddle is powered by Google Custom Search but is not affiliated with Google Inc.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Did you know that Twitter gives anyone access to pornography?

Parents ... Did you know that the popular social network, Twitter, gives anyone access to pornography?

One of many examples:

Friday, March 4, 2016

Is your Snapchat being spied on?

"Snapchat has always been vulnerable. There is no technology that can afford anyone a hundred percent of privacy or security," said Dr. Sabella.
Read more:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fifth Harmony Worth It Carpool Karaoke | @SummerBreak 3

No text, post, search, glance, or email is worth a life. Keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone. You can help make the road a safer place. #ItCanWait

Monday, February 22, 2016

Trillion-Dollar Footprint (6-8)

What is a digital footprint, and what does yours convey?
Students learn that they have a digital footprint, which can be searched, shared, and seen by a large, invisible audience. Students then learn that they can take some control over their digital footprint based on what they post online. Students watch the video “The Digital Footprint” to learn how information online can easily get out of one’s control. They then examine the blog posts, photos, and profiles of two fictional host applicants for a TV show called “Trillion Dollar Footprint” and decide which would make a more honest host who works well with others. A key message of the lesson is that although online information provides an incomplete picture of a person, it can still affect how others view that person.

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