My Life Online - Teaching Kids to Be Better People, Online and Off

"Is it true? Is it kind? Is it you?" Do you think to ask yourself these three key questions before posting anything online?

Dave Anderson and Blake Fleischacker, the co-founders of My Life Online, think you should. They would like to help kids around the world to be safe, smart, and kind online. This is a huge challenge with the flurry of advancements in technology and younger and younger kids getting access to powerful communication tools without any clear guidance on how to use them.

Having worked is schools, Dave and Blake saw the need to develop a way to get everyone thinking about how they talk to each other online. Their program, My Life Online, is a worldwide education platform that includes in-school workshops, Media Literacy curriculum, and programs for parents in an effort to bring students, educators, and parents together on the topic of Social Media.

Joanne Strzemecki, a Certified Presenter, is seeing encouraging results where the kids are taking what they heard in sessions held at school and talking about it with their friends and at home with their parents. "I have seen behaviors change in terms of what students may or may not do, what they may or may not post, and the way they treat each other online."

Ultimately, the goal is to educate kids so that they won't regret something they did on a screen, or online, that doesn't match up with who they are as a person. Dave feels that the key is having the awareness to bring the empathy from their face to face communications to the online world. "When they are posting", he suggests, "they are in their mind imagining the potential emotional response of the other human being who is receiving those words."

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it you? - My Life Online gives them a good place to start.

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