September 22, 2017

Mashable on the new anonymous app that’s going viral with teens

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Can anonymous apps, those that don’t require users to ID themselves, ever be used for good? Because, TBH (to be honest), it’s pretty easy to be a jerk when no one knows who you are. A new app aims to prove that people can also be kind when posting anonymously. Teens already ❤️  it. Mashable breaks it down.

September 15, 2017

Why we call our digital parent portal the Social Locker Room

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“Suit up!” “Game on!” We use lots of sports metaphors and lingo on this website. Why? Because thinking about social media as a game that can be won or lost is a simple but powerful way to convey just how important it is that students use social media for good. When they don’t win this game, they can lose — their self-esteem, their friends, their reputation, even their life. And where do players and coaches get the most work done off the field? The locker room. 👊

September 11, 2017

Time reports on why the teenage brain is so hard to understand

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Advances in brain imaging allow us to know more than ever about why teenagers act so reckless and emotional. Read this article in Time to learn, for example, why it matters that the prefrontal cortex matures last (hint: decision-making, planning, and self-control). Add virtual interaction via social media, and things can get complicated, quickly. It has never been more important to be a role model — online and off — and “help young people navigate difficult situations that are increasingly common among teens and adolescents.” #SocialLockerRoom

September 8, 2017

Google’s new Digital Citizenship and Safety course

Google for Education logo

Made for teachers but an excellent resource for parents as well, Google’s new free online course is called Digital Citizenship and Safety. It has six units divided into just two lessons each that will take you less than 15 minutes to complete. Our favorite unit is called “Manage Your Online Reputation,” which defines a digital footprint as, “everything on the internet that is about you.” It’s a great place to learn the basics. Check it out!

August 31, 2017

Q&A: The positive impact of “What if” parental coaching

Gail Marie at home

The best reason to run through “What if” scenarios with your child? Not only does she feel empowered, but she also knows that her parents know what to do when something bad happens. It builds tremendous trust. Laura Tierney talks to Gail Marie about growing up with parents who still use “What ifs” to prepare her for what’s ahead (even though she’s in her 40’s now…not that she’ll ever have it all figured out).

August 30, 2017

The Wall Street Journal on internet monitoring tools

Wall Street Journal logo

Most children use internet browsers to do school work, and many social media apps are also available online (like Facebook). But should you use monitoring tools to keep tabs on your kids there? This Wall Street Journal article says sure, but ask their permission first. Though we are not fans of spying🕵🚫, we support any approach that requires ongoing conversations. Huddle up!

August 30, 2017

The New York Times on how to help kids disrupt “bro culture”

New York Times T logo vertical

Don’t know what bro culture is? It’s “the dangerous normalization of sexual objectification, harassment, assault, and homophobia.” So: Not good. This New York Times article blames social media for its pervasiveness AND recommends following positive role models to combat it…which can also be done on social. Head to our Wall of Fame for suggestions.

August 28, 2017

iGen is going to be OK

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Did you see the article in The Atlantic about how smartphones are destroying a generation of students? Social media was full of posts from concerned parents and teachers, and rightly so: Alongside it were other articles about the alarmingly high teen suicide rate and the latest examples of cyberbullying. But not all teens are losing the game of social media. Some are making their (and our!) world a better place. 

August 16, 2017

WRAL on 6 ways to help tweens, teens who are engaging in dangerous activities online and off

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From the potentially deadly Hot Water Challenge to the newest anonymous app Sarahah, teens and tweens are (still) engaging in very dangerous activities. The latest article in WRAL’s Go Ask Mom column gives parents excellent advice on how to respond, including having open conversations — not lectures! — with your kids. It’s time to huddle.

August 15, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: The Social Institute launches the Social Locker Room

The Social Institute logo

The subscription-based digital educational platform is built for parents struggling to help their kids navigate social media as digital citizens. As a team member, you’ll lock arms with us and other parents around the country to help kids win the game of social media. 

August 5, 2017

Student Insider Abby Straub on socially networking

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A recent high school graduate and member of our first Student League, Abby Straub writes about the importance of networking — even as a college freshman — and how social media makes it easier than ever (once you get past the 🦋 butterflies 🦋 in your stomach, that is). 

August 1, 2017

The Washington Post on Terrelle Pryor’s use of social media to inspire kids to work as hard as he does

WP Washington Post

Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor on why he uses Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat: “…kids are always on social media and hopefully when they are looking at me, they are like, ‘I want to go work hard. That inspires me to go do some great things.’” We couldn’t say it any better. Read the full story in The Washington Post.

July 29, 2017

Wired reports on the Blue Whale Challenge

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The online game supposedly encourages players to hurt themselves over 50 days, culminating in suicide. It was increasingly mentioned in the news this summer when teen deaths were blamed on it. All coverage we saw encourage parents to monitor their children more closely; we encouraged them to talk to their kids more often. We choose Huddling over helicoptering every single day. In this article, Jessi Hempel dives in and aims to “Kill the Blue Whale Challenge.”

July 11, 2017

Q&A: How Duke Football’s Derek Jones wins the game of social media

Derek Jones

We huddled with Duke Football assistant coach Derek Jones. With over 29,000 followers on Twitter, @DukeCoachDJ shares his 140-character advice with student-athletes and coaches around the globe. Learn how he uses social media to inspire his followers and to decide which new players to recruit. Here’s a taste: “The way you present yourself [on social media] speaks volumes.”

July 6, 2017

The Independent reports on 11-year-old who shows how vulnerable your devices are

Reuben Paul may be only 11 years old, but his tech prowess is stunning parents and cyber experts. This summer, he began spreading the word about how smart cars, fridges, lights and even teddy bears can be used to spy on or harm people. Upworthy covered the story.