What do you know about Digital Friendship?
What does your child know about digital friendship? Does he or she know how to foster digital friendships that are not only safe and healthy but expressive and fulfilling? What does your child know about cyberbullying? Online predators? Other cyber threats? Do you know what to do if your child encounters one of those threats? Does your family have a plan to follow in the case of an internet emergency?
Wired Youth, Inc. is proud to offer the Digital Friendship program. In this program, we will work with both kids (kids aged 8-10 will receive the greatest benefit) and their families to foster safe and healthy social networking habits, encourage conversations within families about kids’ online activities, and allow those families to actively practice these skills through KidGab, a social network custom built by the Directors of Wired Youth, Inc.
To register for an upcoming Digital Friendship Program cosponsored by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, click here!
This program consists of three parts: a 4-hour kick-off workshop (consisting of similar topics as our Online Safety Seminars); eight weeks of access to our novel social network, KidGab; and a closing workshop to celebrate the new and polished digital citizenship skills and to discuss ways to share this knowledge with their communities.
KidGab is “a social network with training wheels.” Kids are invited to communicate with each other on the site either through words or through interactive sketches. Most concepts found in modern-day social networks (hashtags, friendships, groups, ‘walls’, etc.) are enabled in KidGab except the posting of photographs, since that practice is inappropriate for kids of the target age groups.
In order for our Digital Friendship Program to be effective, it must be executed within an organized group of children – that is, a group of children with dedicated leaders or mentors (scout troop, youth group, school club, classroom, etc.). The program is intended to foster a safe digital community around that organization and to teach the members of that community how to express themselves online in a safe yet expressive way. For safety reasons, as well as the integrity of the program, the instance of KidGab created by Wired Youth, Inc. for a cooperating organization can only contain members, leaders, and guardians of the child members involved in that organization, as well as members of the Wired Youth, Inc. board of directors. Therefore, those not affiliated with the cooperating organization cannot join our social networks.
Currently, Wired Youth has only the means to serve the communities surrounding Central Texas, but may be able to travel farther with your support. If you are interested in Wired Youth presenting a Digital Friendship Program to your organization or group, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!