Diane Graber of Cyberwise: No Grownup Left Behind
There’s some fear of the unknown for parents, because their kids are growing up in a world so different from the one they grew up in. Although that was true for an earlier generation or more, dangers seem to have multiplied. Principles of human behavior, though, Diane emphasizes, haven’t changed although the tools available have. Focus on the behaviors, and you won’t have to keep up with every new tool.
Consideration for others, ethical behavior, good manners, need to be modeled by parents even while children are too young to use the tools the parents are using, because little ones are taking it all in. Research shows adults are prone to share personal information online than kids are!
Three things our guest recommends
1. Remember it’s not about the tools, it’s about using them wisely.
2. Be curious about the world kids are living in, especially when they first start using social media, before the door closes in teen years when they are not so eager to have you enter their world.
3. Try the apps out yourself to see what the buzz all about. Your kids can help you learn how.
The 3-year middle school Cyber Civics™ curriculum includes in year one, Digital Citizenship, in year two, Information Literacy (how to retrieve, analyze, and use information), and in year three, Media Literacy (how to analyze media messages).
If you’d like to introduce your child’s middle school to the program, contact Diane at cyberwise.org or go to cybercivics.com for a leaflet or free downloads of the actual lessons for one-hour per week of the school year. Her school found that the students’ school scores have risen because so many subject areas are touched upon in the classes and critical thinking skills are being taught. Success depends upon the three communities (teachers, children, and parents) working together, so workshops for teachers and presentations to parents are available.
Front-running apps at present include Instagram and Snapchat. It is important to remind kids that there are a number of ways that Snapchat’s “disappearing” shots can be recorded by others, contrary to the belief that they cannot form part of their digital footprint that stays online. On the plus side, kids can save their ‘snaps’ throughout the day and combine them to form Snapchat stories to tell others about their day. News bits from CNN and National Geographic are distributed to Snapchat users, increasing its value.
It is very important for parents to support and abide by the age requirements of various tools. If you must be 13 to sign up, stick with that and do not let peer pressure or kid pressure coerce you into allowing your children to use the app if they are underage. They will not be protected by the Children’s Online Protection Act (COPA) if they have lied about their age. Furthermore, developmentally children do not typically have the cognitive ability to think ethically before the age of 13.
Diana Graber has long been a producer and marketer of media — including film, video, television, print, and live sports events. Together with her husband, she co-owns Graber Productions, an Emmy-award winning (8 times!) film and video production company.
In addition to producing the content for CyberWise, No Grownup Left Behind!, Diana is recognized as an expert in “digital literacy.” As Adjunct Faculty of the Media Psychology M.A. program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP), she taught “Media Psychology for the 21st Century.” She also developed and teaches a middle-school media literacy program called Cyber Civics™. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post and many other publications, she is tapped often by the media (TV/radio) to comment on tech topics.
She has a B.A. in Communications Studies from UCLA, an M.A. in Media Psychology & Social Change from Fielding Graduate University/UCLA and was a finalist for the NAMLE Research Emerging Scholar Award for her paper, New Media Literacy Education. Her Cyber Civics program was recognized as an “Innovation in Education” finalist by Project Tomorrow and the O.C. Tech Alliance. She serves on the boards of the Journey Foundation and Wheels4Life and resides with her husband and two “digital native” daughters in Capistrano Beach, CA.