Public servants who bag employers on social media to suffer severe “consequences”, says government technical office

Back in September, the Canberra Times published an article on the consequences of government employees who criticise their employers on social media.

“If you spend time bagging your organisation online or offline, you should not think that your employment is going to continue unconditionally,” he told the audience.

“You shouldn’t be surprised by the consequences.”

“If you post defamatory material on a pinboard in the office, this behaviour should be treated in the same way as posting that material online.

This article is relevant to all of us who have a job, as it reminds us, whether we are employed part-time at McDonalds or as the CEO of a large corporation, that our posts are going to be read and judged by others, whether we like it or not.

Read the whole article here.

Digital citizens in Minecraft

 5th Graders designed a Digital Citizenship & Cyber Safety Game in Minecraft during an after school technology club. The game was entirely built by the students and this was their first try at gamification for an educational project based learning experience in the school library.

A worthwhile video for any student who loves using Minecraft.

A Letter To Parents Of Digital Age Children

This letter to parents of digital age children has three specific pieces of advice:

1. Teach your children how to cross the digital street

2. Help your children pursue their passions online

3. Help your children manage their digital “brand”

It continues

We need parents to act as important models and supports in their childrens’ explorations online. We need, parents and schools alike, to get past the fear that holds us back from connecting with young people when they need us most. Only then can we help them travel far and learn from the journey once they cross the street to encounter the world.

Read more here.

You can now view (almost) every tweet ever

NBC News (USA) is reporting that Topsy, a social analytics site

has now indexed every public tweet sent – with the exception of those that have been deleted.

This makes searching tweets and the history of specific users much easier and therefore users who want to maintain a positive digital footprint are advised to take extra care what they tweet.

Like, post, share

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has published the final version of the report Like, post, share: young Australians’ experience of social media.

Some of the results include:

  • Two thirds of 12-13 year olds (67 per cent) used a social networking service (SNS) in the last four weeks on a computer, 85 per cent of 14-15 year olds have done this, as have 92 per cent of 16-17 year olds.
  • The younger age group (eight to 11 years) are active social network users – 78 per cent of eight to nine year olds and 92 per cent of 10-11 year olds have used a social network. The most popular social network amongst this younger age group was YouTube—more than half of the eight to nine year olds surveyed (53 per cent) and the majority of 10-11 year olds (69 per cent) had used this site.
  • The majority of 12-17 year olds reported having used a social network,– especially those aged 14-17 years (97 per cent of 14-15 year old and 99 per cent of 16-17 year old internet users).
  • Facebook was the most popular social network service for 12-17 year olds. The majority of Facebook users use the site at least daily and in some cases, more often. For example, the majority of Facebook users aged 14 and over in our study were more likely to use Facebook more than once a day (47 to 50 per cent) than daily (32 per cent). (page 8)
  • Twenty one per cent of 14-15 year olds reported having been cyberbullied, compared with four per cent of eight to nine year olds. Reported experiences of cyberbullying amongst 10-17 year olds appears stable since 2009, but has marginally increased for the youngest age group (eight to nine year olds).
  • The children and young people who reported that they had been cyberbullied were also asked who they told, and the majority did tell someone. All the eight to 11 year olds who had experienced cyberbullying told someone, and the majority of the older children did so as well (89 per cent of 12-13 year olds, 93 per cent of 14-15 year olds and 87 per cent of 16-17 year olds told someone).
  • Thirteen per cent of 16-17 year olds reported that within their group of friends, either they or someone else has sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photos or videos of themselves to someone else. Eighteen per cent of 16-17 year olds reported that they or someone within their group of friends had received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photos or videos of someone else. Parents underestimated the extent to which their children were exposed to sexting.

Read the whole report here.

Fears for generation online taken too far?

This article, published by Essential Kids, will help put parents’ minds at ease when it comes to worrying about the dangers their children may face online.

Fears for generation online taken too far? explains:

Every era has its own moral panic, and there’s no doubt in many minds that the peril stalking today’s children comes cloaked in the garb of social media. It’s not surprising that many parents, teachers and health professionals are worried when headlines regularly implicate online social media as a factor in everything from school bullying to teen suicide…  The truth is that most kids above a certain age use social media and online networking sites, and the vast majority do so without major incident.

If you read the comments on pretty much any article about the internet gone wrong you’d be forgiven for thinking that for most kids it’s a jungle out there and that inattentive parents are to blame, but the actual figures show that only 3% of children using the internet experience some kind of threatening event online and 98% of parents implement safety and security strategies around internet use at home.

Read the whole piece here.

From safety to digital citizenship

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has recently changed its tack with regards to their philosophy. CEO Judith Slocombe explains

We are moving from an emphasis on ‘safety’ towards an emphasis on ‘digital citizenship’;  citizenship as idealised by the ancient Greeks, where obligations to the community were seen as a source of honour and respect. This view of citizenry empowers its participants to be an ever-present, positive force.

For the ACMA, positive engagement is at the heart of digital citizenship, and similarly this is one of the core philosophies underpinning Alannah and Madeline’s, eSmart framework. Without positive engagement in a whole-of-society, behaviour-change approach, we are merely left with rules to follow, lines not to cross, and empty good intentions.

A culture embedded with positive values and high levels of engagement is inspiring. It will naturally foster conscious and informed decision-making (‘Choose Consciously’) and healthy appetites for finding out more about the world (‘Know your online world’).

This is an interesting change that acknowledges the need for our children to know how to navigate and contribute positively to the online world. Read the whole post here.

Parents are over confident about internet safety

US author, educator and consultant Jeff Utecht has written an interesting post on how parents are dealing with the issues social media are bringing to the family home. He quotes the UK newspaper The Guardian:

Andy Phippen, professor of social responsibility at Plymouth University, said sexting – where schoolchildren are encouraged to take explicit photographs of themselves and send to other pupils – was a problem in most schools, despite the study revealing that 89% of parents believe their child has not been touched by cyberbullying or sexting.

“There is a disconnect between how safe parents think they can keep their children online and their actual ability to do that,” Phippen said. “Those conversations are not being had – we have a hell of a long way to go on internet safety. In schools we hear teachers unwilling to talk to teenagers about sexual images because they worry about their jobs, schools unwilling to record instances of cyberbulling because they are worried about their Ofsted reports.”

These statistics are of grave concern and demand us all to delve deeper into the way our children are using the internet. Read the whole blog post here.

Digital citizens’ guide

The Australian Communications and Media Authority‘s website Cybersmart has developed and published new cybersmart material for Australians. Looking at how our online behaviours affect us and our networks, the following video and accompanying resources encourage us to relate positively in all our online communications.