Super Social Safety: Digiteens Share the Best (and Worst) in Social Sites for Kids

My ninth graders set out to evaluate the best social sites for kids 12 and under and present their recommendations and sometimes shocking findings in a presentation recorded as part of the K12 Online Conference 2009 and Digiteen: A Flat Classroom Project.

When they asked to evaluate sites that were available for kids 12 and under, we thought that was a safe range – these are 14 and 15 year old students!  Little did we know that there would be some sites that we had to immediately pull access to and block (of course after taking screenshots.)

While I DO NOT recommend having your students do this quite this way (talk about a wake up call) – it does bring up the point:

Who is verifying the age appropriateness of the sites that claim to be age appropriate?

I applaud my students for their maturity for bringing these items to light that needed attention and the supportive parents who believed in what they were doing enough to let us continue! They worked hard and while they didn't cover everything, these 14 and 15 year olds did an excellent job with the time they had in presenting a very professional video.

Many thanks to Anne Collier for participating and sharing her views and research at the end of this video and for interacting with the students.  I appreciate her advice as we “dug up” some things we didn't quite intend to find.

Update on 1/31/2010: I've posted a copy of the script for your review. Some have had challenges with the video.

I rated this film TV-14 and of all the movies I've worked with in the past several years, I would have to put this in the top 3.  These are the things we should be talking about! Watch and let me know what you think. (Again, remember, this is an action project that they proposed and we approved – this wasn't some unstructured, unsupervised assignment – if an issue arose, I was right there with them and time was very limited.)

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