I was reading a blog post tonight about what is the best age to teach Social Networking. Royan makes many good points. The main one I agree with is
Everywhere I turn I see a lot of time and money being consumed warning parents, children, and teachers about the dangers on the Internet. It’s getting to the point of absurdity. The problem with most of these initiatives and campaigns is they usually implicitly suggest that proverbial abstinence is the best policy. –The Spicy Learning Blog
I think that cybersafety has finally gone too far. Blocking kids from the Internet, chat, social networking and web 2.0 does not help them later in life from the big bad world. We need to teach kids to be smart from the start. Teach them how to protect their privacy. Teach them to talk to you as a parent or teacher. Teach them to make their own mind up about right and wrong. Encourage kids to use technology in open areas.
We used to teach kids (when I was a kid!) about stranger danger, we offered safe houses for kids walking home from school. Perhaps we should transfer this to the Internet.
Lets stop wrapping our children up in bubble wrap and teach them to be safe.