Social Media – Chilling Effects

Online communication has become commonplace in our society, and in some cases, essential. Everything from news, the latest aspects of someone’s social life and the latest celebrity gossip is online now. It’s very likely everyone reading this will have at least one other internet compatible device. The last blog post I wrote concerned how social media changes you, inferring social media as an independent entity. This blog post will concern etiquette, and how people behave online.

I’m sure you will have all by now heard of the 4th, and hopefully last, suicide caused by anonymous social networks, and people “trolling”, bullying and otherwise creating misery. In fact, there has been some speculation as to the origin of the messages in this case, but that is another story.While thinking about those events, I researched some social media site’s child protection policies, and various other information. I was rather shocked to discover the amount of social media sites with flawed policies, or in some cases, no policy at all! It was also apparent that some sites employ moderators at a rate of 250,000 visitors : 1 moderator. Obviously this ratio of staffing is ineffective at stopping any level of cyber bullying online.

There have been a number of reasons why I have been disgusted at the online world lately, most of which I will detail in another blog post, but the fact that no action was taken to fully prevent this after 3 other children have committed suicide, leading to yet another one disgusted me most. This is not only 4 lost lives, but 4 distraught families, 4 shattered communities and 4 more reasons for people to say no to bullying.

It was called for the site to be shutdown, but I don’t think they will stop the problem. Another site will just open in its place. While any two children, or adults, can have an unmoderated private chat between each other, it is possible for bullying to continue. In many cases, the child will report the problem, or be unaffected by the words of those people. It is too much to hope that everyone will be that way.

I think that the ideals of a social networking site need to change. In the case of Ask.FM, millions of pounds are being made from people’s misery. In the case of twitter, Facebook and others, millions more are being made from people who do not use those sites in a kind way. There is a serious issue with the mindset of many people online, one that can, and should be changed, by peer pressure. In fact, it’s become apparent that 1 IN 3 children are effected by cyber bullying! Social media should be about being friendly. Not criticising people.

As digital leaders, I think we not only have a task, in helping people realise their own ability to report abuse, but a duty, to be those who stand up against cyber bullying. The only way to protect privacy while stopping it will be getting children to know when to “Report Abuse”. Our school has about 400 computers installed, and a good 600-900 iPads, as well as numerous other tablets, phones, and internet capable devices. I would hazard a guess that the 1200 pupils probably are surrounded by at least 2000-3000 internet access points. That isn’t counting any owned by family, friends or publicly available ones. Although most online communication is run through some kind of filter at school, SMS, iMessage, 3/4G, Emails and Twitter are all still viable channels for people to send and receive bullying messages.

For everyone that will listen, Digital Leaders should teach, tell or instruct them about online safety. Digital Leaders at Clevedon school are some of the most important allies you can have online. They know, or can find out, your internet rights, they will fight to protect not online your privacy, but to help you deal with any problems you may have online.

– Cody Isaac

Our Views – Social Networking

What’s wrong with social networking?
In theory, nothing. In practise, a lot.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr dominate the online networking world, but with the rise of everything from Kik, Snapchat and other app based networks, social networks have become far too complex to see from one perspective. There is the narrow-minded view that either social networking is brilliant, or terrible – but that is, at least recently, a rather “Old-School” mindset. Social networking isn’t a cave dwelling form of socialising anymore, it’s not just the “geek” who talks online now, it’s everyone. From children, who, in many cases are underage to hold accounts, to businessmen and entrepreneurs, the world is becoming a much smaller place.

It used to be that you need a rather large phone book or few well placed contacts to get a good deal, but now all it takes is a few clicks and you have the cheapest deals anywhere. The search engine has brought about a new era or savings, but have you even tried searching yourself? How many social network accounts show up of yours?

How many different pictures of you can you see?

If it was in the real world, would you “Like” their comment on sensitive subjects if it was offensive or crude? If someone “Commented” a bullying remark, would you ignore it?
Like it or not, but you are becoming a different person than before you used a social network. Do you “Follow”, “Friend” or “+1” people you don’t know in real life? Would you go up and talk to a random stranger in the street?

Social networks desensitise you to real life. Just like playing violent games desensitises you to violence in real life, social networks (In their relatively “safe” environment) teach you to ignore instinctive warnings, like avoiding strangers and people who might harm you.

Lets do a quick case-study here.

Ask.FM
– Known to have caused at least one suicide.
– Run by a Latvian company, who don’t have to follow UK child protection laws.
– Commonly known as a place to “anonymously bully” other children.

Why, would you use that? It’s stupid. Think about it again, two years ago, would you have used a site like that? Probably not. So why are you using it now? Because people have become so sure of their safety online just because they have their privacy settings on, or their friends list is ONLY their real friends?

So, in conclusion, we know that any number of blog posts like this won’t stop social networks, nor should it. They are a great tool for promoting business, making friends and chatting while away from friends.

Where else can you find the digital leaders?

Did you know that Clevedon Digital Leaders also have a YouTube channel on http://www.youtube.com/clevedondl ?

We are also on Twitter as @ClevedonDL!  On the twitter feed you’ll find updates about what we’ve done recently, recommended apps and general I.T. help.

Our YouTube is where we host all our awesome screencasts, so don’t forget to check them both out!

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

@ClevedonDL | Clevedon Digital Leaders

Digital Leader Assemblys and Meeting

In the Digital Leader Meeting today 20 of us attended, We discussed plans for the next Teachmeet. We also discussed the Feedback that we have had from the assembles this week.

We are also taking Screencast requests and have been given some great feedback about the Clevedon School Handbook Application and have some plans for future updates. We have also been discussing the possibilities of adding some cool things to the Genius bar!

If you have any ideas which could possibly benefit the Digital Leaders about anything to do with Genuis Bars, Teachmeets or Even feedback from assemblies feel free to contact us!

Digital Citizenship Assemblies

This week sees Clevedon Digital Leaders taking to the stage to run four assemblies; one for each of the four houses at our school.

The assemblies are focussing on responsible use of technology in the classroom and how we, as digital leaders support both staff and students in their use of technology. We will also be giving feedback and advice on how all students can be responsible in their use of technology.

We run daily genius bars for students and staff to attend which we organise ourselves. The genius bar is organised by one of the senior digital leaders. We have a number of different managers who organise different roles for our digital leaders. We have a bar manager, social media manager, blog manager, events manager, screencast manager and each manager has a team of DLs working with them. We run the meetings we have each week too although Mr Anderson is there too to lend a helping hand.

We can be recognised around the school by the badges we wear:

Ten of our Digital Leaders will be speaking in the assemblies this week ranging from  Year 7 to Year 12 with six boys and four girls.

Wish us luck!

Follow us @ClevedonDL

App’y days!

This week Mr Anderson and a Clevedon Digital Leader were in school, we took on a small challenge of uploading the School’s first iPad application. The ‘Clevedon School Handbook’!

The process involved pressing many buttons, uploading many files, as well as a small Keyboard Shortcut competition but finally we made it to this screen…

image

The Clevedon School Handbook is now under Apple’s Review and we hope to see it in the App Store over the coming weeks!!