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Why You Shouldn't Applaud the New NYC Social Media Guidelines

January 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

new social media guidelines

In case you missed it, the New York City Department of Education released some guidelines for social media use. Here is an article from Rebecca Levey, co-founder of KidzVuz.com about why parents shouldn't be so quick to embrace these guidelines. It was originally published on the Huffington Post.

In my Facebook feed today there are a lot of moms sharing the link to the new NYC Department of Education Guidelines for Social Media Use. The local NYC media are also excitedly promoting the new social media guide put out this week. At first glance it sounds great that an administration is stepping in to help kids navigate social media, provide tips and guidance and empower kids to make smarter choices online -- or so you'd think.

But in fact if you read the document you quickly realize that it is not a guide -- it is a set of cliché ridden guidelines, complete with links to multiple Chancellor's Regulations, because there is nothing kids won't enjoy more than reading the A-831 regulation to understand peer sexual harassment.

This guide contains such gems as this advice if you are cyber-bullied and would like to report it to the adult in charge at your school,"If you are not sure who your school's Respect for All Liaison is, please look for their name on the RFA posters."

And this warning about crossing the personal-school life boundary, "Sometimes, personal social media use, including off-hours use, may result in disruption at school and the school may need to get involved. This could include disciplinary action such as a parent conference or suspension."

In other words, this is NOT a social media guide, it is a set of regulatory guidelines, and we shouldn't be giving the NYC Department of Ed a big hurrah for publishing them. They are not curriculum or actual teaching tools.

The good news is that there is a media literacy bill right now in the New York Legislature that would mandates the Department of Ed will develop standards and provide resources for incorporating media and social media literacy in K-12 curriculum. And, it will make teacher training available for media literacy as well.

THIS is worth your time in sharing and talking about so we can actually create media savvy kids.

Need some actual social media rules that will change your digital family's life for the better? Check out our SlideShare on 10 Digital Safety Resolutions for your Family or our eBook entitled "15 Digital Safety Rules Every Household Should Follow."Get Started With uKnowKids! Risk-free 1 Week Free Trial

Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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