Greg Gebhart talk about Cyber-Safety

Here area my notes from Greg Gebhart’s presentation at the Teacher Only Day at Marlborough Girl’s College. Greg Gebhart is a former teacher who now works as a consultant from Australia on the use and implementation of new and emerging technologies. Greg’s specialist areas include the use of Web 2.0 technologies and internet safety for children. ( My thoughts are in italics ).

A profile is being built of how children use the net- for homework, for Google and for games. Primary children generally have at least three email account-  school, home that you get with your internet account, two hotmails which has MSM as well, one as a website email log in, and another to send spam to, personal, private emails, google gmail, yahoo email for chat and (for me Flickr).

It takes time from the send and receive, texts are instant so that is why they are preferred by kids. With email you have compose and wait for a reply- texting is so much more now.

Our task it ensure children understand that when people have a thousand friends on Facebook not everyone is good just because people have a happy photo in their profile. Moshi Monsters which is very popular with the littlies encourages five year olds to go collecting friends- discuss at that age that you need to know who your friends are. Moshi Monsters is a safe game but can teach bad habits about friend collecting for later on.

On line team gaming- RuneScape for younger kids and WOW for the older. Team games last about three hours and there is no pause or save- that’s why kids don’t want to stop ‘cos they let their friends down or leave the game early which leads to other players being mean to the member who has had to leave early to go eat. (Hadn’t thought about that aspect before). Some kids get up early and play at 3am NZ time cos that’s when Europe gamers get up- they go back to sleep and pretend to have slept through the night!

Texting at all hours- interrupted sleep- one kid wakes and texts another, leads to another and leads to MSM as its easier to chat in on line chat than to text repeatedly. It might be an idea to make a rule of keeping the cell phone out of the bedroom but then some kids carry two cell phones- one as a dummy to hand over if called to task, the other is the ‘real one’.

What parents can do to ensure their children are safer on the internet. If the computer has to be in the bedroom tell children they have to have it facing the door and keep the door open. This doesn’t stop risky behaviour but stops high end risky behaviour.

Facebook Terms Of Service says you have to be 13 years old but many younger children have accounts, sometimes set up by older siblings. If parents say no to kids joining up to things like Facebook they are likely to go out and do it anyway so parents may be better to say yes and keep an eye on things in the open.

Mobile phones -younger are getting cellphones as hand-me-downs from older siblings and parents as they trade up. (Still can’t get my iPhone4 here in Nelson). 20% of secondary students own two mobile phones with two carriers- one to hand over to teachers or parents if they’re confiscated. They are selling phones now with two SIM card slots so they can cope with two carriers. (Ask kids in your class what it is that they do with the internet at home and what devices they use- would be interesting for my Appleby kids).

What some young people are doing that can be damaging.

  • Kids take their phones to parties- put up not so good images, someone else takes a photo and puts it on Facebook but not tag it so the victim doesn’t know there are compromising photos of them on the net. They get mean things said about them.
  • Sexting- taking inappropriate photos and sharing them- imagine what happens when friendships turn sour with incriminating photos on the injured party’s phone.
  • People’s email address when applying for a job can exclude them for being followed up eg is unlikely to elicit a job interview.
  • Prospective employers are Google searching + Facebook finding to cull the ones with compromising digital footprint.
  • Formspring is a questions and answers website. The site allows its users to set up a profile page, from which anyone can ask them questions and also post comments. The questions and their given answers are then published on the user’s profile page. It can open the door for harassment and bullying, due to the anonymity of the entries.
  • Chatroulette is a website that pairs random strangers from around the world together for webcam-based conversations. Visitors to the website randomly begin an online chat (video, audio and text) with another visitor. You can imagine some of the inappropriate randoms that connect this way.
  • Moshi monsters for the very young is very popular but you have to feed your animal every day- it is addictive. (A bit like Twitter).
  • Call of Duty has an R18 rating but primary school children are playing it.
  • Facebook- people need to check their Facebook settings to..

Set your site to private
Remove flirty photos
Remove flirty nicknames
Remove surnames
Don’t friend randoms
Remove mobile numbers
Keep the people who can see all your stuff to friends- not friends of friends.

  • Cyber bullying- generally the people being bullied are being bullied in reality as well- bullies are known to them. 10% of kids are bullied- 90% aren’t- so we have a chance to be proactive and stop it rather than be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff before the percentage grows and it becomes the norm. The people being bullied don’t do anything because they think the school can’t stop people being unkind, or they are worried it might escalate, or worried that parents will take away their technology so rather be bullied than take their cellphones (friends) away.

I have a few cyber safety resources and videos to add via Delicious that I hope are worth sharing.

What do you think of the message in this video? I think I need to explore more about the things the children in my class do apart from use our blog and Google Docs!

4 thoughts on “Greg Gebhart talk about Cyber-Safety

  1. Thanks for this Allanah. We are working through KOS and internet safety is part of that unit so will show this to my class (Y6/7)

  2. Thanks Allanah via Teressa for the interesting and informative article – very appropriate to my students who are all getting into facebook and don’t realise the dangers to it if they are not using it in a safe manner. Will be interested in their response to the video!

  3. I was pretty amazed when I surveyed our Year 5,6 & 7s and found that 75% of them had a Facebook page, even though none of them were 13 at the time.

    We have Greg coming to our school next month to run some student, staff & parent sessions. I’ve run some cybersafety lessons for our Year 6/7s but I definitely think the parents need the sessions as much as the kids as many of them are completely unaware of how sites like facebook work.I’m hoping that we get a good turn out.

    BTW I think this is a really effective video for cybersafety.

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