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Today’s Connected Kids Do you know what they are talking about?
Do you remember… ü …when the only phone was wired and it was in the living room where the family could hear whatever you said? ü …your parents asking if you had money for an emergency pay phone call when you left home? ü …sending actual written notes to your loved one signed with S. W. A. K. and other secret codes?
What about now? ü Over 77 million kids use the Internet and 56% of teens have cell phones. ü They can “talk” in complete privacy. ü They also use their phones for… o "texting“, o videos and video games, o taking pictures, o listening to music, and o even web browsingw/o a computer!
Technology tools are wonderful. . . ü They open up a world of information for students and provide communication with busy parents, BUT… ü We need to teach kids to use them safely the same as we teach them to use stoves or chain saws. ü Students can use texting to bully others and sexual predators use chat rooms to find lonely, naïve kids.
What is “texting”? ü “Texting” is using the number pad of a phone to send messages using an abbreviated language or slang. ü A similar language is used on the computer in Instant Messenger chats. ü Parents and teachers are often completely baffled when they do see these messages. And that’s why kids use them!
Can you translate this? DY knw [email protected] yr kdz r s. Ayn wen thyre on instant msngr or txt. N on their cell ph? f u dnt th. N u nd 2 fnd ot. yr kdz c. Ud B tlk. N 2 ppl hu r tryi. N 2 fnd ot their real names, whr dey liv, n oder p. Rs. NL info dat shd nt B giv. N ot 2 strangers. n worse th. N dat, dey c. Ud B tryi. N 2 set ^ a frndly mtg @ d mal or @ d local convenience sto. R. Courtesy of Lingo 2 Word. com translator
How did you do? Do you know what your kids are saying when they are on instant messenger or texting on their cell phones? If you don't then you need to find out. Your kids could be talking to people who are trying to find out their real names, where they live, and other personal information that should not be given out to strangers. And worse than that, they could be trying to set up a friendly meeting at the mall or at the local convenience store.
How can we protect the kids? ü Watch for signs of secrecy and have a serious talk with the kids, but be ready to go further. ü Be aware – check up on cell phone numbers, call times and minutes used because they might not just be talking to their BFF. ü Look at the computer screen and check the history to see what they are doing online and ask to see their “homework”. ü Talk to the kids’ friends and know who is on the other end of the call or chat.
Other steps you might take… ü Move the computer to a family area. ü Consider getting software to filter and/or record computer use. ü Buy a phone with only limited minutes. ü Talk to the school guidance counselors. ü Contact law enforcement with questions: o Cpl. Jamie Carter, school DARE officer, teaches students and parents about Internet safety. o Deputy Sheriff Wes Frame investigates Internet predators and chats on the Internet disguised as a 14 year old girl.
Learn the lingo (RUUP 4 IT)… ü There are several Internet sites where you can find out what terms like P 911, KPC and #-) mean… o Net. Lingo – http: //www. netlingo. com/ o Lingo 2 Word – http: //lingo 2 word. com/ o Parents, the Anti. Drug e-monitoring http: //www. theantidrug. com/EMonitoring/internet-lingo. asp ü And don’t forget - f we dnt wrk 2 gtha 2 teach d kdz safe uz of deez teknolo. G 2 lz, hu wl? We O it 2 em. Your kids will have to warn friends pcrs!