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lol...OMG!: What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying Paperback – September 27, 2011
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The author has 2 versions of this book, one for college age folk and 1 for the younger crowd. Ivester doesn't lecture. He gives real life examples that ring true with real people. He has the statistics, but more than most books I have read he appeals to the common sense that many of us forget to exercise, and which parents often do not believe exists. I have used examples in conversations with younger adults to get them to stop and think before they act, (they can, you know) and with parents to help them understand how quickly something small can become dangerous once it is out there where millions can see it. And it is an easy and interesting read to boot.
Ivester isn't preachy or dogmatic - instead, in "Becoming a Conscious Creator of Content," he gives students a series of questions to consider: "Why are you doing this [sharing info online]? Is now the right time? Where is your line between public and private? And How controversial do you want to be?" - and he encourages them to answer those questions while considering the importance and power of a first impression, the very broad audience for social networking profiles, and the permanence of our digital footprints.
There are an increasing number of resources and materials out there for parents regarding digital citizenship and privacy, but there are far fewer resources specifically written for a student audience. Here, the tone is right and the presentation engaging for young adults. Ultimately, Ivester is informing students and giving them the tools to think carefully about the ways they interact and act online, and to exercise good judgment.
I would also recommend this book for parents and educators. It is a quick read and hits the high points - and it is important for parents to understand the challenges and privacy risks their kids are facing in the digital world. For high schools that have not yet been able to incorporate this material into their curricula, this book would be a great addition to orientation and technology programs - it will provoke excellent discussion among students and raise awareness about privacy, reputation, and digital citizenship issues.
The main drawback for me was its brevity... It is only a little more than 100 pages and is written in bigger-than-average font at about 1.5 spacing. So it's really more like a large pamphlet than a regular-sized book. But while that was disappointing to me because I would have been eager to read even more on the topic, it might be a plus to others (e.g., teens who are reluctant to read something given to them by a parent).
I developed a simple study guide, created a set of discussion boards, and gave students points for posting and doing the study guide. A much higher percentage of my students read this book, liked it, talked about it, and many used it as a resource for one of the assigned papers. I was so pleased with their responses; my high school students (enrolled in an online class) told me, "Our whole high school needs to read this book!"
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