The Digital Frontier… Are we just playing cowboys and bandits – Or is this smoke and mirrors?

Do parents care? Currently, I am sitting in a presentation on Internet Safety and what parents (and students) should be aware of when using social networking sites. However, it is a bit disappointing as the number of organizers and presenters equal the numbers of audience members…

The first presenter made a tremendous observation…

 "It always happens this way… the seats are empty. However, when something happens then the finger pointing occurs… where were the police? where were the schools? How come no one made me aware?"

So, why are there only six parents here? what is it about Internet safety that does not interest parents? Is it apathy? Is it an uncomfortableness with technology? Is it the topic? It couldn't possibly have been they wanted to stay home to listen or watch the President's State of the Union Address… so what is it?

Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to this question. I'd appreciate any thoughts and comments on this idea.

While this is extremely valuable information, I am interested in how the presenters will utilize the information to answer the question the audience may have at the end. Using material from the program the presenters main focus was on on-line predators.

The iSafe program is one of the most robust and respected Internet safety programs Covering topics like:

  • Online Predators
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Cyber-Security
  • Bridging divide between parents and students

Overall, the meat and potato's of the presentation was on Internet predators and parents and students truly do need to know the signs of the grooming process:

  • Appear familiar
  • Develop trust
  • Establish secrecy
  • Erode barriers
  • Direct intimidation
  • Face to face meeting

Another great quote:

You're the parent, figure it out. Don't let your child become a victim. Educate yourself!

Do we want to be educated?  Should the Internet just be legislated ala D.O.P.A. (Deleting Online Predators Act)?  Is this an educational issue, a parenting issue or a societal issue?  With all of the time and energy that police and educators are putting into this arena, where is the audience?

Amazingly this presentation came about two weeks before a new study was released by researchers at the University of New Hampshire about .  I wonder if the audience would have been larger if the presentation was held this week?


One thought on “The Digital Frontier… Are we just playing cowboys and bandits – Or is this smoke and mirrors?

  1. You look like a relatively new voice in the blogosphere. I am too. I would be interested in knowing who you are and where you come from. I have played with how much I say about myself online but it is very difficult to judge the authority of complete anonymity. I’m working on my masters in eduction with a focus on technologically mediated literacies. The topic of internet safety is important to me. Thanks for your take on it.

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