Netiquette for Kids and Adults

Netiquette Guidelines for Online Learning and Communicating

First, let us look at the definition of netiquette.  Netiquette is the correct or acceptable way of communicating on the Internet. The core rules are to remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Your written words are read by real people who all are deserving of respectful communication.  Before you press send, ask yourself, “Would I be okay with this if someone else had written it?” or “Do I care if a room full of strangers hears these words?”

It’s important to remember netiquette varies from domain to domain.  Depending on where you are in the virtual world, the same written communication can be acceptable on one domain, where it might be inappropriate on another.  KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE is something that will help you with communication just like if you are in the real world.

Respect Others

You should respect others and make yourself look “good” online.  One of the BEST and WORST things about the virtual world is you will be judged on the quality of your writing. Always check for spelling and grammar errors, know what you are talking about, state it clearly and most importantly be polite. Some sites have their own type of language due to limiting text or site terms.  Before you participate in a discussion on a new site, take time to research that site’s slang or acronyms.

Don’t abuse your power or feed the flames.  If you see a lot of angry posts being exchanged, don’t jump in and be hateful with others even it they reflect your same feelings.  Think about how you can respond in a way to make the conversation more productive and extinguish future angry postings. In addition, angry postings usually don’t change people’s minds.  As a result, negative posts can close off a conversation that could have ended with a deeper understanding of both sides.

Forgiveness

Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes.  Not everyone has the same experience in the virtual world.  Some people don’t know netiquette.  You will see stupid questions, misspelled words, cyber bullying and hate filled comments.  If it’s a minor “offense,” you might want to just let it go.  If you feel compelled to respond to a mistake, do it in PRIVATE, not on a public forum to avoid cyber bullying.  I know I have posted spelling errors in the past and really appreciate a kind private message.  I have seen memories pop up about how I felt years ago and don’t feel the same way today. People change all the time.

CONTROL YOUR ZONE

Don’t be afraid to block people.  Each domain has different ways for you to snooze, block, hide, report or delete comments.  USE THEM.  You do NOT have to attend every argument you are invited to. Especially when we know there are trolls who are there just to instigate cyber fights. Think before you respond.

Here is a list of my TOP 5 Netiquette topics I share with kids and adults who are on the internet:

  • Cyberbullying is saying something to purposefully scare, injure, or hurt another person or ruining someone else’s reputation.
  • RUDE LANGUAGE  – Using curse words, or calling names is not using good manners.  Dirty jokes are not acceptable.  Use kind words.
  • CAPITAL LETTERS – USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IS YELLING!
  • Laws – If it is illegal to do it outside the internet, it’s illegal on the internet. Think before you type.
  • Sarcasm is a source of plenty of misguided arguments online.  What seems like a joke to you is not to others. Be polite, respectful and direct when communicating. Of course, if you are in a private area with someone who knows your personality you can get by with more.  Remember to know your audience.

What do you do if you are a victim of cyber attacks or negative comments?

  • If it’s a crime, call 911 or if you are a child tell an adult.
  • If someone is hopeless or suicidal contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • A child is being bullied in school, contact the teacher, counselor, principal or parent.
  • If the school doesn’t respond, contact the superintendent, State Department of Education or Department of Justice.
  • If it is offensive, don’t respond.  Do report it to the site admin. Block the person and delete comments.  You are in control of your zone.

 

Prevent Bullying in School #StandWithKeaton

So, I’m sipping my coffee watching GMA, when a story comes on called “Celebrities ‘Stand with Keaton’ to Support Bullied Boy with words of Encouragement.”  It is about a young boy’s emotional viral video with him telling his mom about being bullied at school.  His mother had to pick him up early due to him being bullied.  His emotional outpouring on camera just made me feel so heartbroken, but not helpless.  He said kids pour milk on him and put ham down his clothes.  They call him names and make fun of his nose.  This is so disappointing. I know as teachers, we are in the forefront of preventing children from bullying.  We can make a difference and protect these children while teaching others about kindness.  Keaton is amazing!  The end of the video, where he tells people to “stay strong” and thinks it will get better is absolutely inspiring! I stand with Keaton, and I hope you will too. Yesterday, I posted about bully principals.  Today we are talking about strategies you can use to prevent bully behavior in school.

  1. Practice What You Preach Some of the same bully principals I wrote about yesterday, preach about how teachers should have a zero tolerance for bullying. Stopping bullying begins at the top! Principals should have a zero tolerance and lead by example.  Some teachers are guilty of this also.  I know of children who were bullied by a teacher.  The teacher humiliated them in front of their peers, held their work up and called it “ugly” to the rest of the class. They even made fun of a student who stuttered while encouraging others to join in on the bullying. The students,  along with a group of other children who felt bad for the students being bullied by the teacher, did the right thing by telling a teacher who told an administrator.  That administrator did nothing to protect the children.  The School Board was informed.  They did NOTHING to prevent this situation from happening again.  So, don’t just define your beliefs.  Live them!
  2. Increase Adult Supervision  Most of the time bullying happens when kids are alone and without supervision.  If bullying is happening at lunch, as a teacher, make a point to walk around a couple times or actually eat lunch with some of the students.  If you are aware of issues in the hallways, ask teachers to volunteer to monitor the hallways.  Most teachers, when aware of a bully issue, are happy to assist. If it is on a bus, talk to the bus driver.
  3. Have School Wide Bully Prevention Workshops A lot of schools just put up an Anti-Bullying poster and never really talk about it with the students.  Teachers, you should role-play bullying scenes with students.  Give them strategies like when they SEE something, SAY something.  Make sure as a teacher, you follow through with telling the proper people about any bully situations you discover.  We want every child to feel safe at school.  Even if you have a poor administration or district, you can talk to your staff and have them supervise areas.
  4. Teach KINDNESS  Teach acts of kindness as part of your social studies curriculum.  Reward students for kindness with hugs, stickers, a shout out on the announcements, etc.
  5. Work with parents who have children who are being bullied.  Some teachers don’t want to get involved because sometimes it is a fine line between bullying and innocent teasing.  The bottom line is if a child is feeling like they are not safe in school, there is a problem.  Talk to the parents to come up with how students can know the difference. Tell the student you are there to keep them safe.  Work with the students who are bullying or “teasing” to know the difference.  Some kids don’t even know they are bullying until you bring it to their attention.  This is why it is important to role-play.
  6. Talk About It Have regular conversations with a purpose.  The goal can be each week to take 5 min. to discuss with your class about if they feel safe at school or on the bus.  These discussions can lead to your ability to gain knowledge about bully situations before they get out of hand.
  7. Share Keaton’s story with your students.  Show support by sharing his story with the hashtag #StandWithKeaton!

I hope some of these tips will help you help your students.  Our number one priority is to provide a safe learning environment for our children. Watch the video here.

Celebrities stand in support of bullied boy after heartbreaking video