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Saturday, September 04, 2010

New: 'A Student's Guide to Personal Publishing'


Photo credit: mediamolecule via Flickr. See CC license.

Help Kids Understand Consequences of Online Actions


It can be a challenge to talk with your kids about the content they post online — especially if you don't feel like a computer-savvy parent or teacher. However, a new document from Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja can help.

Patchin and Hinduja — directors of the Cyberbullying Research Center — recently released a powerful and concise two-page document titled, "A Student's Guide to Personal Publishing." The document recommends students consider five things before posting online:

1.    Audience: Who will read or see the information?

2.    Anonymity: Nothing they post online is truly anonymous.

3.    Permanence: Like it or not, information posted online can stay around for a very long time.

4.    Copyright: It's illegal to copy others' work and pass it off as their own.

5.    Free speech: This doesn't mean they can publish threats or try to ruin another person's reputation without legal consequences.

"Do not send or share any content that may call into question your integrity or may be misinterpreted as offensive or inappropriate," Patchin and Hinduja write. "You could damage your reputation with your friends or be punished by your parents, and you may also get into trouble with the law."

We encourage you to download this document and then read and discuss it with your children or students. Help them understand the consequences —both immediate and in the future — of their online actions.

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