Monday, June 1, 2009

The Harmful Effects of Texting and the CyberSafety Campaign is on Facebook

Usually when we teach about internet safety, we don't talk so much about physical injury when using technology, but a recent New York Times article reported that some physicians are worried about repetitive stress injuries in teenagers that send a lot of text messages. Teenagers send and receive an average of 80 text messages per day according to the Nielsen Company. The article also explores how obsessive texting may lead to sleep deprivation, anxiety and distraction in school. There is even a psychologist from MIT who has studied texting among Boston area teenagers for the last three years. She found that texting may even cause a shift in how adolescents are developing. It is definitely a very interesting article, one worth reading. I guess the lesson would be to text in moderation!

I caught the CBS Sunday Morning show this weekend and they aired a story about sexting and the ongoing debate on how severely teens should be punished for sending nude or provocative photos via their cell phone or computer. The video of the story isn't up on the website, but the print story is there. This might be a helpful resource for teachers of older students to use if they want to integrate internet safety with a lesson on debating or persuasive writing. What should the punishment be for underage students who willingly send inappropriate pictures of themselves or others online?

The BPS Cybersafety Campaign is on Facebook!

Eric Esteves of Tech Boston created a page of Facebook for the BPS Cybersafety campaign. Still in its infancy, the page contains links, information, pictures and video of internet safety efforts in Boston. Search for it on Facebook and become a fan! Facebook is still blocked by the BPS network, so don't become a fan while you are on the school's network, become a fan outside of school and join the campaign!

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