My wife has started a blog and put up a really good post about privacy and social media. Then, my wife invited her students to comment on the issues in the post. There were many good comments and thoughts but the ones that struck me were about the role of parents in educating young people about issues of privacy and protection while using social media.
Student thoughts included the idea that this material should NOT be the subject of a new, compulsory course, that workshops and presentations in school could inform students about the dangers and solutions, and that parents could teach their children how to be safe on the Internet. One particularly good point was that, while schools could try and teach Internet safety, young students might not understand the importance and so would not follow the advice they had been given. This puts the onus back on the parents to be monitoring their children's Internet and social media use. However, I think it is safe to say that only a small percentage of parents are truly savvy about the Internet and social media. For example, I consider myself pretty tech-savvy, but I don't have a Facebook account so my understanding of the dangers and the solutions is only second-hand at best.
So perhaps the solution is to teach the parents, as one student suggested. The question is, how do we teach the parents? Maybe one way is to have Town Hall type meetings like the one at my wife's school that prompted her post. But Town Hall meetings will not reach every parent, so what else can be done? At the moment, I am not sure. Any thoughts, suggestions, or comments would be appreciated.