years ago when I began talking with adults about keeping
children safe online, the primary focus of Internet Safety
was online predators. Although sexual predators access to
children is still a critical concern, the issues we are
facing today have become much more complex.
connected technology includes laptops with wireless connections;
cell phones with text messaging; video games with chat capability;
photo and music sharing; Wi-Fi hotspots; MP3 players and
music/movie downloads; and so much more.
are living in a world where social networking, text messaging,
gaming and downloading music are part of their everyday
activities. It is fun, exciting, and “normal”
for them. They are also living in a world where this technology
brings cyber-bullying, access to inappropriate photos and
information, obsession about their online lives and confusion
over what is ethical, safe, and secure behavior.
those parents and educators who believe that they are “tech-savvy”
can be left feeling ill-equipped to deal with the issues
that surround children’s connected activities. School
administrators, teachers, church, synagogue, and community
group leaders have witnessed the impact of children’s
online activities on their “offline” lives.
Through educating parents both in the workplace and in school
PTA/PTO groups, educators, church & synagogue communities,
youth leaders and community service groups, we can empower
adults to understand and guide our children as they explore
our online world.