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Online Communitites: What Parents Need to Know Types of Online Communities

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Online Communitites:

What Parents Need to Know


Types of Online Communities

  • Myspace: a networking website offering a community network of blogs, sign-in user profiles, groups, photos, and an internal e-mail system. According to Alexa Internet, as of May 2006 it is the world’s 4th most popular English-language website and the 8th most popular in the world.

  • FaceBook:a networking service for high school, college and university communities.

  • Friendster:is based on the Circle of Friends technique for networking individuals in virtual communities and demonstrates the small world phenomenon.

  • LiveJournal:is a virtual community where Internet users can keep a blog, journal, or diary.

  • Xanga:is both a blog service and a networking service. It is also a weblog community; on-line diaries and journals.


Why use online communities?

  • Networking

  • Diary entries

  • Chat with friends

  • Advertise events/Promotions

  • Post photos and videos

  • Hobby

  • Meet people with common interest

  • Have Fun!!!


Who’s Watching Your Student?

  • Friends and Family

    -You can keep in touch with old and new friends, as well as family members.

  • Employers

    -Employers have access to information that would be illegal for them to factor, such as race, gender, sexuality, group affiliations.

    -It can be seen as a letter of reference

  • Institutions and Schools

    -Reed College, school denied admission to an applicant in part due to his disparaging comments on Live Journal regarding the school.

    -CSUF Judicial Affairs can access your student’s online community if they have been accused of a policy violation and they are investigating the accusation. If a violation is found, your student’s status as a student could be at risk.


Who’s Watching Your Student?

Continued…

  • Police

    -Police departments are increasingly using on-line communities to identify possible suspects.

    -Use postings to see where residence hall parties are scheduled to occur, etc.

  • On-line Predators

    -Numerous students have been stalked online.

    -Lehigh University, male student continued to request a meeting with a female student after she gave him her AOL screen name.


Dangers of Online Communities

  • Online communities provide a false sense of security.

  • Students put private information in a public venue.

  • Information that is posted can lead to some negative repercussions.

  • Can become time consuming.

  • Hard to tell what people’s intentions are because they are not face to face encounters.


Tips to Keep Your Students Safe

  • The default setting is set on “All Public.” Consider talking to your students about setting their profiles to private.

  • Students can make certain parts of their profile available to an exclusive list of friends.

  • Remember that when listed, addresses and private information can be seen by the public.

  • Encourage safety over popularity.

  • Encourage your students to think twice before posting anything on their profile that they would regret later.


What can I do as a Parent?

  • Be aware of issues related to online communities.

  • Talk with your student.

    -Open the lines of communication.


Questions?


References/Resources

  • “Quick Clicks: You, Your Safety & Cyber Communities” – PaperClip Communications (Student Brochure)

  • www.wikipedia.org – “Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia”

  • http://www.mediafamily.org/online/index.shtml - “Mediawise: watch what your kids watch”


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