As more and more children are accessing the Internet on mobile devices like tablets and smart phones, social media use among our youth continues to increase. According to Pew Research, in 2012, nearly 40% of teenagers owned a smart phone, 25% a tablet device, and over 80% were active on social media. Although social media can be a positive way for children to connect with others, social media is also a source of concern for parents, guardians and teachers.
Today???s social media doesn???t just include the common networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media is defined as any place online where a person interacts with others by posting, commenting or sharing media. Therefore, social media includes personal blogs, websites, wikis, forums and chat rooms. It also includes YouTube, podcasts and other videos posted online. Social media even includes comments posted in reaction to articles, blogs or websites.
???Many children using the Internet don???t realize how far-reaching the umbrella of social media is,??? says Technology Teacher Michael Babler. ???They don???t realize that social media includes almost everything they do online. More importantly, students don???t always understand the future effects of their social media use today.???
In response to the need for social media education, middle and high school students at Divine Savior Academy attend a social media seminar on the very first day of school. This seminar not only informs students of the rules of social media, but also of the responsibilities associated with using these platforms. Just as children are taught how to interact appropriately with their peers in the classroom and at home, parents and teachers must also teach children how to interact appropriately online.
The following is a short list of guidelines that is presented to DSA students to encourage positive and valuable experiences when using social media.
It is important to note that most social media sites have an age restriction of 13 years old, due to the Children???s Online Privacy Protection Act (also known as COPPA). According to COPPA, it is illegal for companies to collect personal information from children under the age of 13 without the consent of a parent or guardian.
???More and more, I am stressing the importance of online education at school and at home. It is crucial to teach our children not only the dangers of social media, but also the responsible use of these platforms. I encourage parents and guardians to begin conversations with their children at home and to seek support from their educational institutions,??? comments DSA Principal Ben Troge.
Divine Savior Academy is a Christian academy dedicated to excellence. Located in Miami proper, DSA is the only private Christian school in Doral and serves the community with early childhood, elementary school, middle school, and high school programs. Accredited by AISF, SACS, AI, and NCPSA, Divine Savior Academy provides a college-prep curriculum that prepares students academically, athletically, socially, artistically, and spiritually in a safe and moral environment.
For more information about Divine Savior Academy, visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com or call 305-597-4545.