Facebook & National PTA team up

By Anne Collier

It really makes sense the National PTA will be promoting Internet safety with Facebook’s help. “The world’s largest online social network and the National PTA will work together to build a program to provide information and support about such issues as cyberbullying, good online citizenship and Internet security,” Yahoo News reports. It makes sense for a lot of reasons: 1) The PTA is all about local, face-to-face, school-community-based child advocacy, and most of kids’ social networking is all about what’s going on in school; 2) the research shows that dealing with cyberbullying, the most common online risk, requires a whole-school-community approach (see this); and 3) the partnership is symbolic of what we said in the OSTWG report last week, that children’s online experiences are embedded in “real life”: online meets offline now more than ever (here’s my post about the report). Online-safety solutions going forward need to factor this in and work from the kid out – training the adults closest to young people in digital media, fostering child-adult communication, and teaching and modeling good citizenship and new media literacy from the moment kids pick up connected devices. Here’s CNN’s coverage of the Facebook/NPTA announcement, but it mistakenly refers to the Online Safety & Technology Group’s report as a PTA. [See also: “Students on bullying.“]

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