Teachers being asked to teach porn literacy

protective behaviours

Image: Protective Behaviours

The porn industry relies on the compulsive attitude of people towards porn. It relies on exposure both literally and metaphorically. I haven’t missed the irony that if you ask teachers to address porn literacy in schools  because it would appear research suggests children are being damaged by exposure to porn, we are then allowing even more exposure. I understand why so many parents now are home schooling and world schooling their children. Both of those areas are growing. I was one of the few teachers who trained for the compulsory and urgent delivery of AIDS education in schools in South Australia. I went on to be one of the teachers delivering a 4 week sexually transmitted diseases prevention course to year 11s (16 year olds). We were required by law to deliver the AIDS education . The school I was in at the time then went on to create a one year life skills course to help teenagers deal with the real world issues and STD teaching was part of that. That was pre SACE. SACE had its own compulsory subjects like Australian Studies. We were all trained to deliver the AIDS and STD materials and curriculum. I had also trained as a trainer of trainers in protective behaviours.  I didn’t find delivering AIDS education difficult. It was something which parents and students at the time found very helpful. We did not just do it, though. For the  AIDS education we had no choice and parents knew that. The life skills course was something we discussed with parents so everyone had their input and say. If children are being exposed to porn we need to remember we have laws against it.  We need a really clear picture of how  young people are accessing it. If they are not doing safe searches then parental controls are not on. If they are by passing the  parental controls we need better ones. If they are accessing porn in someone else’s home or other venue it then comes back to our laws. If nobody cares much what images are on prime time, popular sites then we have a problem. It’s a big issue. Children need trusted adults to talk to about these matters. It should be their parents. If it can’t be their parents then there are counsellors available. If it is determined to be a really serious a problem which requires action then maybe some teachers should be specifically trained in porn literacy as I was in AIDS education and STD prevention.  Putting it in the curriculum only adds to the industry  exposure in the same way talking about food porn does.  We just keep using that word and we are normalising it and helpfully detracting from what appears to be quite a problem. The industry thrives on access. So I’d not be thinking about porn at all. I’d be looking at how to deal with the issues which have arisen . Given our laws, unless they change, we need to go back and look at what they say and start asking sites and individuals to please comply. Saying it’s everywhere and then putting it in schools is not my idea of how to solve it. Like AIDS education , though, it’s something where there can be a dialogue between parents and schools and then suitable courses developed if there is a perceived need for this.

If you want to read some of the discussions  , you can take  a look at  these sites:

Teaching Media Literacy and Combating Pornography – Catholic Education Resource Centre

Schools ‘should teach how to view porn’, sex forum says – BBC News

Should schools teach ‘porn literacy’  – Quibly

New Zealand Health Education 

Facebook Likes Profiling

Facebook likes profile We are being profiled on the internet, you know that. The more you enable Location, the more you forget to check your settings, the more information you are offering. We are profiled in the real world too but to a lesser extent. You are the one who has to take control of your profiling as much as you can and as much as you want to. I’ll let you go over to the post You are what you like   at makeuseof so you can read the details yourself. . I subscribe to their email so I get a great deal of useful information and this is something they have explained very well. I then did the one click personality test. Please do not forget to log out after you have your assessment. Mine is pretty accurate given my Facebook isn’t the whole of me and just what I choose to share on Facebook. Some will laugh at the shy and reserved since they are not qualities I am noted for and yet, they are a part of me. Don’t think there will be any disputes over the emotional given I am Pisces.

Internet addiction- we can help

Internet addiction test Image: netaddiction.com

I found this article which was on the Adelaide Now site at the weekend and found it very touching. A mother was at her wit’s end trying to deal with her son’s internet addiction and seemed to be running into dead ends with respect to gaining any real help. A further article on the Adelaide Now site today came as a great surprise because it looked like Adelaide, at least, was going to do something about this awful problem simply by getting it out into the open and letting that mother know the community was on her side. We do need to get it into the open and we do need to help those parents who are stuck in their private hell with a child addicted to the internet. Were it drugs , alcohol or depression the help would readily be there. Dr. Kimberly Young is a psychologist who specialises in internet addiction. Her site is helpful but she also has an internet addiction test. There is also a helpful article about the addictive personality on the New York Times site in the Science section.Digital Fortress also has a post which discusses internet addiction and how it is affecting us with some interesting graphics. As teachers we are well placed to do something useful with regard to supporting parents with children who are addicted to the internet. Last year, for the first time, I had year 8s who were falling asleep in class just about because they were on their computers too late at night. I have also previously been involved with parents who had older children who spent far too much time on the internet and ,because of the position I held, I was able to provide a useful pathway to re-engaging those students. It is important for intervention to occur so that it does not reach the stage where the child leaves home , as was the case for the mother who was trying to get help. It serves no useful purpose to ignore destructive behaviour in the hope it will go away.

Are you cyber safe? I’m not!

Internet safety I thought I was pretty good at being cyber safe. Then I took the test. I didn’t do very well at all. Feb 7th is Internet Safety Day in Britain and they have organised a number of good initiatives around this day. Some of the questions are related exclusively to Britain but you can make intelligent guesses to do that part and even so, I still didn’t do very well and that came as a surprise to me. Time to fill in my learning gaps and fortunately there is a pdf file you can download at the end of the quiz to help you smarten up. It is a matter of keeping the safety issues at the front of your head as you go around on the Net. It is important to be aware of the pitfalls and potholes you need to negotiate and it’s a matter of getting the good habits into your daily actions and transactions. Every day should be internet safety day. It should just be second nature by now. The quiz is a good way to start you thinking about how to conduct yourself in a better way on the Net.

Amuse yourself with Appstream

appstream

So amusing!

I downloaded the free app Appstream onto my iPad today. From the moment I saw it I was engaged. It is amusing to watch the icons move around so it has an instant calming and cheering effect and could well be used as a stress buster and desktop toy! It’s one of those apps which is really well conceived and thought out but falls short of perfect. I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t think it was worthwhile and I am keeping it on my iPad because I think it will improve with time. Like many things on the internet it is really important for ideas to be shared and see how consumers are using products before anyone can actually tweak what they are offering to meet market needs. It is very easy to use. I was actually looking for French apps. I could easily find Spanish , Italian, Japanese, Chinese and English apps whether I set the app to France or Australia. When I set the app to France I got more Spanish and Italian apps but found no French apps. This was a bit frustrating. I wanted to set the language or be able to do a search for French apps. What I really liked was I could set the app to free apps or paid apps. This is really helpful. I also liked the gentle push notifications to the right of the screen. I do not mind at all if apps send me push notifications in a considerate manner. This is often how I find out about new ideas or new trends. I shall be using this app when I am looking for new apps. It puts me in a good mood and it gives me ideas. I just hope they might be able to sort the language thing out. The other thing I might mention is that apps like this can concern me a bit because you never know what might come up on the screen. As it turned out ,for the whole time I was working with the app , I was in a safe and considerate environment.

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