Did you know?
- Teens are diversifying their social network site use. A majority of teens — 71% — report using more than one social network site out of the seven platform options they were asked about. Among the 22% of teens who only use one site, 66% use Facebook, 13% use Google+, 13% use Instagram and 3% use Snapchat.
- Some 88% of teens have or have access to cell phones or smartphones and 90% of those teens with phones exchange texts. A typical teen sends and receives 30 texts per day.
- Some 73% of teens have access to smartphones, and among them, messaging apps like Kik or WhatsApp have caught on. Fully 33% of teens with phones have such apps.
- Fully 87% of American teens ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a desktop or laptop computer, and 58% of teens have or have access to a tablet computer.
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project (www.pewinternet.org)
The main hazard associated with social networks is that children/teens occasionally reveal personal information that should not be publicized. For example, users of social networks should never reveal such information as first or last names, hometowns, school names, or information regarding the specifics of their daily routines.
Many social sites allow users the ability to restrict viewing to certain visitors via a secure login/password. Students can be casual about such security, and passwords are shared with anyone who asks them. These logins are especially important if a student posts pictures of themselves. It is important to remember that the very personal nature of social networks that makes them so appealing to students is also what makes them appealing to online predators.
Texas Education's Internet Safety
In accordance with HB 3171, Section 38.023, the Texas Education Agency has developed and made available to school districts a list of resources concerning Internet Safety. In the navigation bar above are links to pages for students, educators and parents. Within each of the pages are links that categorize different aspects of Internet safety and digital citizenship.
- 4th grade Digital Citizenship Course (implemented 2015/2016)
- 5th grade Digital Citizenship Course (implementation 2016/2017)
- 7th grade Digital Citizenship Course (implementation 2016/2017)