Monday, October 25, 2010

Massachusetts Districts Considering Teacher Facebook Policies

Two very interesting, thought provoking articles this weekend in the Boston Globe and Herald about what some school districts are considering as social networking policy for their teachers. Recently, some teachers in New York have been terminated or face disciplinary measures for inappropriate relationships with students that included contact on social networking websites.

This is a great opportunity to ask your students what they think about this. Do they think that it is appropriate to be friends on Facebook with their teachers? Why or why not? Please comment!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bullying Story on 20/20 and other Resources

This past Friday, ABC news magazine program 20/20 aired a story about bullying. While the title of the story was "Bullied to Death", they did mention that bullying (and cyberbullying) effect victims in non-lethal ways. One of the most staggering statistics that the segment mentions is that 160,000 children stay home from school each day out of fear from being bullied. Needless to say students who fear being bullied in school can easily fall behind in their studies. Another interesting part of the story was the interview they had with two students who identified themselves as former bullies. They talk to the students about the different reasons they bullied others. You can view the video online here.

Tech & Learning has released a free e-book entitled "Keeping Students Safe Online: What Works". The book covers some research on internet safety as well as tips for when students go online. Microsoft has also released a free internet safety e-book online. It is called "Own Your Space, Keep Your Stuff and Yourself Safe Online". It is actually a print book that was published a few years ago. This is a great resource to give to students and parents or to have as a part of your internet safety curriculum.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Safe Driving Law Takes Effect in Massachusetts

The new Safe Driving Law has taken effect and it is now illegal for anyone to read, write or send text messages while driving. State and local police are already handing out citations to drivers who are caught violating the new ban. Drivers can be expected to pay a $100 fine for their first offense. Fines can reach up to $500 for repeat offenders. 16 and 17 year-old drivers may also face a 60-day loss of license and mandatory driver training. All cellphone use while driving is illegal for 16 and 17 year-old drivers (except for emergency 911 calls). While older drivers are permitted to make calls on their cellphones while driving, police can give out $35 fines for improperly using a cellphone. These offenses include anything that might interfere with driving, such as not having at least one hand on the wheel. For more information on the Safe Driving legislation, please click on the link below.

Massachusetts Safe Driving Legislation