The PowerPoint Discussion Guide

1. Slide 1 Cover
2. Screenshots of MySpace, Facebook, Xanga (define social networking)
3. (pictures of kids)
Social Networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Xanga and others are
enormously popular w/ teens
Studies show that nearly 60 percent of students consider themselves
Internet "content" producers -- and that content, much of it personal, is
often displayed in blogs and other social networking spaces.
MySpace alone has more than 60 million users.
And although MySpace might currently be the most popular social
networking site, it is by no means the only one.
4. (Kids jumping)
Friends are probably just that.
The social networking culture of teens is unfamiliar to most adults and is
easily misinterpreted.
MySpace serves as an introduction, a diary, and a "brag" space for many
Links on an individual's MySpace site to dozens of "friends" of the opposite
sex can be misinterpreted as promiscuity by culturally unaware adults.
But as Danah Boyd, UC Berkley researcher, writes, "A MySpace friend link
isn't exactly a long-term commitment. In the spirit of inclusiveness, many
teens make a point of accepting nearly anyone who submits a 'friend
request'"�." (Poulson, Kevin. A MySpace Cheat Sheet for Parents. Wired
News. February 27, 2006.)
5. The block-filter message / Cartoon about blocks
Blocking sites at school won't keep kids away from MySpace.
Schools are reacting to social networking sites by simply blocking them -often at the price of blocking useful resources as well.
By working around the filter or simply using unblocked filters at home or in
public libraries, kids will get access and will consider schools increasingly
irrelevant in their lives. Parents need to teach them how to use such sites
6. (Danger)
Some degree of danger does exist for MySpace users.
Reports from Maine to California indicate that predators do indeed use sites
like MySpace to converse with teens and possibly lure them into physical
Teaching students to not divulge too much personal information and to treat
online strangers with caution should be part of every school's safety
7. Who Might See Your Online Profile (poster from college campus)
Young people need to understand that material posted on the Internet is
public and might have unintended implications.
Although most students have their peers in mind when they post, they need
to be aware that adults can and do visit social networking sites as well.
And information on them can remain available for a very long time.
A poster (Good Signs) produced by Minnesota State University, Mankato,
asks students "Who might see your online profile?" and goes on to list: Your
friends, Random students, Professors, Employers, Your coach, Campus
Security, Law enforcement, Sex offenders, Residential Life Staff, University
Judicial Board, Parents, and Grandma.
8. Be Careful (MySpace encourages careful use, but expects parents to
supervise kids)
The MySpace organization is working toward a safer online experience for
Online safety expert Nancy Willard reports on the efforts MySpace is taking to
create a safe online environment for teens. "But," she says, "parents should
not expect MySpace or any other Web site to do their job for them!!! These
sites are not babysitting operations." (Willard, Nancy. My Visit to MySpace.
WWWedu. March 22, 2006)
9. (Lego man Teacher)
Teachers might want to check to see if they have had a MySpace account
created for them.
You might Google yourself to see if your students already have created a
MySpace or similar account for you.
Just guessing here, but it might not contain the same information you would
have chosen for yourself.
10. (kids slide again—same as 3)
MySpace and social networking have value. Technology Director, Jason
Johnson reminds us: "Teen blogs are not about the technology -- they are
about feelings of belonging and being loved. They are about trying on
different personalities. They are about someone who feels isolated
connecting with others who share their interests or insecurities. They are
about all the same things that have existed for hundreds of years, hidden in
notebooks and scribbled on bathroom walls and whispered over telephones.
The content of bears discussion, not obstruction. It is where
some schools and parents are looking to better understand and aid their
children and students. Our dialogue should teach them to use the site
effectively and about what they can hope to accomplish with it." (The Case for
Social Networks)
11. Slide showing more kids/Heading: Tips for Parents
12. Tip 1. Talk to your kids about why they use MySpace, how they communicate
with others and how they represent themselves on MySpace.
13. Tip 2. Kids shouldn't lie about how old they are. MySpace members must be
14 years of age or older.
Quote from MySPace: “We take extra precautions to protect our younger
members and we are not able to do so if they do not identify themselves as
such. MySpace will delete users whom we find to be younger than 14, or
those misrepresenting their age.”
14. Tip 3. MySpace is a public space.
Members shouldn't post anything they wouldn't want the world to know (e.g.,
phone number, address, IM screen name, or specific whereabouts). Tell your
children they should avoid posting anything that would make it easy for a
stranger to find them, such as their local hangouts.
15. Tip 4. Remind them not to post anything that could embarrass them later or
expose them to danger.
Although MySpace is public, teens sometimes think that adults can't see what
they post. Tell them that they shouldn't post photos or info they wouldn't want
adults to see.
16. Tip 5. People aren't always who they say they are. Ask your children to be
careful about adding strangers to their friends list.
It's fun to connect with new MySpace friends from all over the world, but
members should be cautious when communicating with people they don't
know. They should talk to you if they want to meet an online friend in person,
and if you think it's safe, any meeting should take place in public and with
friends or a trusted adult present.
17. Tip 6. Harassment, hate speech and inappropriate content should be
If your kids encounter inappropriate behavior, let them know that they can let
you know, or they should report it to MySpace or the authorities.
Video 1 – Talent Show
Video 2 – Kitchen w/ Friends
18. Do you want to remove your child’s profile?
19. (Depressed looking girl) Watch for signs of bullying
20. (2 teens on a computer) Like or not—many of our kids are there.
The kids, even the young ones, are creating online presence somewhere. As
a parent, have pointed conversations about their online presence.
21. (Boy in circle of bullies w/ laptops and cell phones) Don’t let it escalate to