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New lesson for students: Watch what you post online


Many children are unaware of how the internet can turn typical adolescent behavior into something not only public, but also permanent—and educators are now trying to impart this lesson, reports the New York Times. The first wave of parental anxiety about the internet focused on security and adult predators. But that has since given way to concerns about how their children are acting online toward their friends and rivals, and what impression their online profiles might create in the minds of college admissions officers or future employers. When Kevin Jenkins wanted to teach his fourth-grade students at Spangler Elementary how to use the internet, he created a site where they could post photographs, drawings, and surveys. And they did. But to his dismay, some of his students posted surveys like “Who’s the most popular classmate?” and “Who’s the best-liked?” Jenkins’s students “liked being able to express themselves in a place where they’re basically by themselves at a computer,” he said. “They’re not thinking that everyone’s going to see it.” This year, Jenkins began using lessons from Common Sense Media, which tries to teach students to consider their online behavior before they get into trouble. Financed largely by foundation money, Common Sense will offer a free curriculum to schools this fall that teaches students how to behave online. New York City and Omaha have decided to offer it to their public schools; Denver, the District of Columbia, Florida, Los Angeles, Maine, and Virginia also are considering it…

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