Secondary Resources


Use technology wisely and well. Parents have little control over the flow of information to their kids, who see too much, too soon. Teach them how to behave responsibly in the digital world.

Keep an open mind. It’s important for us to understand that our kids will spend much of their lives in a connected world, where everyone creates and communicates.

Share wisdom. Extend our basic parenting wisdom to the digital world. We teach kids to choose their words carefully, play nicely with others, and respect their teachers. Now we have to extend those lessons to a vast, invisible world.

Pass along values. We have to be able to translate our values into the digital world and help kids understand the implications of their actions.

Seek balance.  If students are going to thrive with digital media, we must balance the negative with the positive, privacy with protection. Students need to see both the possibilities and the perils of digital life, so they can act responsibly and seize all that is wondrous about digital media to enrich their lives. 



Think long term. Everything leaves a digital footprint with information that can be searched and passed along to thousands of people. Others can pass on that information too, so if you don’t want to see something public tomorrow, you’d better not post it today.

Keep personal information private. Do not share addresses, phone numbers, or birth dates. Make sure you use privacy settings on social network pages.  

Protect your friends’ privacy. Passing along a rumor or tagging someone in a picture affects other people’s privacy. It’s better to check with friends first before posting something about them.

The Golden Rule applies online. What goes around comes around. If teens spread a rumor or talk badly about a teacher, they can’t assume that what they post will stay private. Whatever negative things they say can and probably will come back to haunt them, in more ways than they can imagine. For example, if you post something negative on your social media account that isn't private, that can be used to take legal action towards that student.



DID YOU KNOW: One in four teens has been cyberbullied, but only one in 10 tells an adult, meaning that many suffer without support. Speak up! Adults can help. 

Recognize context. Cyberbullying is often not thought of as “cyberbullying” to the teens involved. Even though an incident has a history, a story, and nuance, rather than referring to it as “cyberbullying,” try the words “digital cruelty,” “abuse,” or “being mean” online.

Understanding when behavior crosses the line.  If  a teen feels emotionally or physically scared, it’s time to get help.  Every action has a consequence. 

Encourage empathy. There is a detrimental impact of cyberbullying on people who are targeted, now and later in life. Listen to targets and become their allies.

Be an upstander, not a bystander. If you witness cyberbullying, you can help by supporting the target and letting the bullies know their behavior is not acceptable.

Disengage. Ignore and block the bully, and even log off the computer for a while. Cyberbullies are often just looking for attention and status, so don’t let them know that their efforts have worked.



Legal downloading and sharing. Teens should use legitimate online retailers for music and movie downloads. They can also listen to music or watch movies and TV for free on certain streaming sites.

Illegal downloading and sharing sites pose risks. Discourage teens from using peer-to-peer (PTP) sharing sites, which not only raise legal risks, but can make computers vulnerable to viruses, identity theft, and spyware. PTP sites also might negatively affect the content creators who may not get credit or payment for their work.

Teen should give credit to the work they use. If you create something that incorporates others’ work, give credit to the work you’ve used. For schoolwork, students are taught to include citations. It’s just as important to give credit for a video mash-up created for fun as it is for a research paper for school.

Is it fair use? Fair use allows creators to use a small amount of copyrighted material without permission, in certain situations.

Take ownership of your work. Teens should think about how they want others to use their creations. Have you thought about how you’d like others to be able to use your photos, writing, artwork, or videos? If so, do you clearly state this to others when you upload your work online?


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