When my school district discussed banning the use of all social networks it, like many other districts, was reacting to fear of “what could happen” if students use social networking sites. Rather than preventing access, the better solution is to educate parents, teachers, and administrators about the potentially good uses of social networking sites. The other part of the solution to the “what could happen” dilemma is to educate students about responsible online behavior.
Facebook for Parents is an online education program for parents to learn about Facebook including tips on making sure their children are practicing responsible online citizenship. The homepage of Facebook for Parents offers five tips for parents just beginning to learn about Facebook. Facebook for Parents has a free email newsletter for parents to keep up to date on the latest research and best practices for keeping kids safe online.
Applications for Education
Facebook for Parents is going to be added to the list of resources that I give to parents concerned about their child’s Internet use. Every year I have parents express concern that their child knows more about the Internet than they do. Facebook for Parents might not make parents more knowledgeable about the Internet than their children, but it will help to close the knowledge gap.