You would be hard pressed to find a teen or adult for that matter that doesn't have a webpresence. This becomes problematic when dealing with teenagers and preteens. The very anonymity that many enjoy on the internet, lends itself to cyber crime. Myspace recently deleted and turned over the profiles of several thousand sexual predators/pedophiles. As a parent and a teacher this information is disheartnening and it could lead to indescriminate censorship of you child or students activities.
The internet if a wonderful place, however, it is a dangerous place. So how can we get our children to recognize that they need to be more conscientious of their behaviors on the internet? NetSmartz.org has offered some solutions. NSTeens.org offers a valuable service. It addresses the issues of cybersafety in an interactive non threatening way. The site is not overly academic, and it allows for some real life scenarios that your teen can relate to. It also addresses the issue of how your online presence can influence scholarship committees and prospective employers. The site is interactive and it contains videos and comic strips that address these issues. In addition NetSmartz.org also provides an online curriculum and links for elementary school aged children, teachers and parents.
As an educator, I can honestly say that this is a useful tool. It helps students to look at their webpresence and their reputation as a very serious thing. I believe that this is an excellent tool for parents.