‘Sext ed’: US- and Canada-based resources

Citing new US figures showing that two-thirds of 8-to-18-year-olds own cellphones, Canada’s CBC points to a new Web site designed to educate people about texting – textED.ca – “set up by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, in partnership with Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.” The CBC says it includes “sext ed,” but I don’t see much in the site specifically about photo-sharing, and there – slightly frustratingly – isn’t a search box in the site that allowed me to search for “sext ed.” But for parents there’s an “acronictionary” with abbreviations and acronyms often used in text messages, and for kids there’s a “Need help now” form, which they can fill out and which promises to get back to senders within 24 hours. From here in the US, PC Magazine’s John Dvorak offers 7 reputation-protection tips that “can save your kids – and you – from a lifetime of online embarrassment” (offline too!). They cover everything from Twitter and Facebook to blogging and vlogging to video chat on Stickam (take special note of that last genre, parents – not a good place for kids in online stealth mode). See also ConnectSafely’s own “sext ed” and “Sexting: New study & the ‘Truth or Dare’ scenario.” As for anti-sexting legislation, here’s a commentary from Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe & Responsible Internet Use offering ways to adjust laws so as to help rather than harm youth.

[The new US data the CBC refers to is from the just-released Kaiser Family Foundation study I blogged about and linked to in “Major study on youth & media: Let’s take a closer look.”]

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