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REVIEW: "Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens", Nancy Willard

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    (Rather disturbingly, when I went to post this on Usenet News, I found as many lists dedicated to child pornography as I did to child protection ...)
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2007
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      (Rather disturbingly, when I went to post this on Usenet News, I found as many
      lists dedicated to child pornography as I did to child protection ...)

      BKCSKCST.RVW 20070615

      "Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens", Nancy Willard, 2007,
      978-0-7879-9417-4, US$14.95/C$17.99/UK#9.99
      %A Nancy Willard cskcst.com
      %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
      %D 2007
      %G 978-0-7879-9417-4
      %I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
      %O US$14.95/C$17.99/UK#9.99 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0787994170/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0787994170/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0787994170/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n+ Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 324 p.
      %T "Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens"

      There are thirty-five short chapters in the book, grouped into five
      parts. The work seems to proceed from an assumed position that
      children need parental guidance, but addresses only in limited fashion
      the frequently held perception that children know more about the
      Internet and computers, although they lack judgment. (This perception
      may cause children to disregard advice from those who aren't current
      with the technology, and may make parents hesitant about taking charge
      in unfamiliar territory.)

      Part one is an overview of approaches to the online world and it's
      dangers, a mix of general background information and strategies that
      parents can use in regard to the use of the Internet by their
      children. The material starts with an analogy to the development of
      safe activities at play, and touches on risks and concerns, guidelines
      at different ages, parenting styles (a trifle dismissively),
      filtering, supervision, the benefits of collaborating with other
      parents, warning indications, non-home venues, and the importance of a
      formal parent-teen agreement. The content includes a list of online
      dangers, ranging from pornography to plagiarism. While the risk of
      the former is fairly obvious, there is little discussion of the perils
      of the latter activity, and this glossing over of the less common
      topics is unfortunately characteristic of the book as a whole,
      although it is understandable given the vast range of content that
      could be covered. Part two notes broad categories of hazards, looking
      into aspects of social networking, e-commerce, privacy, addictive
      behaviour, the credibility of online information, and the
      trustworthiness (or not) of strangers.

      Part three again examines liberal classifications, this time on
      limitations of young judgment. Whereas the earlier material on
      technology was limited in detail, this section moves into deep
      conceptual areas such as developmental requirements and sequences.
      Unfortunately, for those who do not have Willard's extraordinary grasp
      of those issues, little background is provided. Thus, parents are
      advised to use arguments that they may not be able to support (or even
      understand). (Interestingly, one chapter has a list of indicators to
      determine whether your child is "at risk," but does not overtly deal
      with the possibility that the child may be "at risk" due to parents
      that are uninvolved, over-controlling, or over-permissive.)

      Part four is probably the section that will feel closer in tone to
      other works on the topic of children and the Internet, as well as
      being of the greatest direct use to parents. Specific concerns of
      sex, online aggression, self-destructive activity communities, hate
      groups, threats of suicide or killing, addictive or violent gaming,
      gambling, and computer scams are addressed. The quality is uneven:
      sex is handled fully and well, but malware, while decent guidelines
      are provided, has little in the way of rationale or background
      material.

      Part five is a one chapter, three page list of seven brief suggestions
      for safer and useful online activities for kids.

      The information provided in the book is useful and extensive, but is
      not always structured as a reference guide. However, Willard has gone
      beyond the volumes that are simple lists of dos and don'ts, by
      examining the inherent reasons that kids, specifically, are at greater
      risk on the net. The material in the work is not a simple panacea,
      but will reward diligent application.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2007 BKCSKCST.RVW 20070615


      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      This is a very good sign, [that someone] is a humanist,
      a universal spirit, too interested in too many things to become
      a monomaniac. Only a monomaniac gets what we commonly refer to
      as `results'. - Albert Einstein
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm
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