Review Blog

Sep 24 2014

Sexts, Texts & Selfies: how to keep your children safe in the digital space by Susan McLean

cover image

Penguin Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780670077885.
Highly recommended for both parents and teachers. Digital Citizenship is a particular topic for me at present so this book came along in a very timely space. Easy to read with sensible straightforward advice for parents of children from pre-schoolers to teens, the contents cover all aspects from cyber safety to addiction.
Should parents be not very 'tech' minded there are useful explanations of various programs, apps and digital spaces as well as an extensive glossary. A final chapter of websites for additional information and advice is also a practical and useful extension to the commonsense approach throughout the book. Chapters include: Your Child's Digital Reputation, What are Children Doing Online?, Cyberbullying - the Survival Guide and Sexts & Selfies - What Will They Think of Next?
Recently ACMA (Australian Media and Communications Authority) published its most recent snapshot of young people online, stating that the the numbers of young people online has doubled since 2009 and offers many strategies for managing your children's digital citizenship. Read more here . This book strongly advocates parents to take charge of their children's digital well-being - just as they do with their physical and emotional care. In my opinion, this is a book for you to promote heavily to your parent community and make available in your Parent Resource collection.
Susan McLean began her journey into Digital Citizenship as a member of the Victoria Police Department and an investigation into cyber bullying back in 1994. Since then she has worked diligently to educate both kids and adults in this increasingly more complex cyberspace. 'The perceived anonymity of the internet gives many young people a sense of bravado, allowing them to engage in behaviours that they would not consider in the real world. Most kids think they know it all . . . that they won't make a poor choice and the will be able to sort out the good from the bad. Kids don't always realise that making a poor choice online can be catastrophic, that they can't undo what they did, nor can they erase it. They do not understand that once your press the button to send, enter or upload, it is almost impossible to erase. There is no 'undo' button in cyberspace.
Sue Warren

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