Just how risky is the Net for kids?

That's the question dad and tech writer David Pogue looks at in a recent column of his at the New York Times. He writes about a past writing assignment on the subject, but now he looks at the kid-danger question in a new light: "As my own children approach middle school, my own fears align with the [PBS "Growing Up Online"] documentary’s findings in another way: that cyberbullying is a far more realistic threat. Kids online experiment with different personas, and can be a lot nastier in the anonymous atmosphere of the Internet than they would ever be in person (just like grown-ups). And their mockery can be far more painful when it’s public, permanent and written than if they were just muttered in passing in the hallway." Hear, hear! More helpful perspective can be found at the blog of author Nancy Willard here. [See also "Growing Up Online: Discussion Needed," linking to the PBS show, which can be viewed in full online.]

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