Summer Internet Safety for parents


(updated June 2012)

You just know the kids will spend way too much time on-line over the summer, but do you know some of the things you should be aware of to help keep them safe?

I have found a few places to help you think about what you and your family’s needs really are and perhaps help you to start a conversation with your child about how they use the internet.

Internet Safety Advice from another parent:

Geek Dad on The Geek Dad blog is "raising the geek generation 2.0".  You will find reviews of filtering software and security products as well as the common-sense advice parents can really use.  The guys also really like cool toys and new apps so there is lots to have fun with here too.  See the post:  5 Steps to a Family-Safe Internet

Internet safety advice from an organization specializing in the family and parenting:

Common Sense International: you will find basic information about all the various types of communication on the internet from on-line gaming to email to social networking sites.  What are they, and how do they work, as well as some safety tips for families. 

What parents need to know about Cyberbullying:

Define the Line:   Clarifying the Blurred Lines between Cyber-bullying and Socially Responsible Digital Citizenship. This thought-provoking Canadian site explains the issue in plain language and includes some video vignettes for both adults and youth.  This is not a “how to deal with cyber-bullying” website because there are no
quick fixes but this website can help you make informed choices.

Where to find Apps!


Need to find a few good sites to help you find the appropriate applications to use with your child with special needs? 

Here are a few highly recommended sites that review and comment on both the best apps and the new apps:

I Education Apps Review: A community effort to grade educational apps.

SpeechTechie: Simple and interactive technologies you can use in language lessons and intervention.

Speech/Language Pathology Sharing:  How to use modern technologies to facilitate learning of speech-language skills and prepare students with the skills and technologies for their futures.

Moms with Apps:   A group of individual, independent, family-friendly developers who share best practices on making and marketing mobile apps.

iPodsibilities:  One teacher’s thoughts on using iPods and iPads in the classroom.  

See in particular special ed apps:

Geek SLP:  A good source for apps and speech therapy technology.


General Education Links and Resources:

CAYA:  Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults. Provincial
government agency that provides augmentative communication assistance in
BC.  Also check out the SetBC resource list:

FreeTech4Teachers:  Free Resources and Lesson Plans for
Teaching with Technology.  This is a generic education site with great
FREE ideas and downloads to help you use technology better.

Be UNTAPE’s Friend on Facebook


Please show your support and join UNTAPE’s Facebook Group. We’d love to see your face. We’ll post updates and highlights of the latest tips as well as have a conversation. See you there!

E-Advocacy: Using Twitter for Advocacy


The truth is I haven’t really figured out how to use Twitter for advocacy and at the same time I would like to. Anybody else out there wondering too? I have done a little searching and below is some information that we all might find helpful.

Here are some tips of how to use Twitter for advocacy and some more advice on how to use Twitter.

Also, check out Kevin Grandia’s blog on how to use Twitter generally and how to enhance the look of your Twitter page.

You might also find Deanna Zandt’s essential twitter tips useful as well. Deanna also gave more good advice on Twitter during a session  at STT training.

So, what is your advice on how to use Twitter as an advocacy tool?  

E-Advocacy: YouTube


Another social networking tool that is available for advocacy is YouTube. It is powerfull because your message is fuller and has more meaning for the viewer. It is easier to evoke emotion and foster action when someone sees a video that moves them.

One example is the End Waitlists Now campaign that used a video made by a volunteer. During the weekend campaign it recieved a 1000 hits which is a pretty big deal for a home-made video.  You can edit the movie using Windows Moviemaker or Roxio.

E-Advocacy: Blogging


Using a blog is another method of e-advocacy. Blogs are easy to set up and they are free (for the most part).It takes a bit or work to write content to get started but the more people you have involved the better your site will be.

I like WordPress because it is easy to use and very flexible in terms of the look that you want. There are other blogs that you can use like Blogger or a whole host of free blogging sites.

When setting up your blog choose a good title that captures the keywords.

Also, style your url so that it has some keywords in it. For instance, if your campaign is directed towards Gordon Campbell your url could look like this…

People often google themselves and when they do a url like the one above may get their attention. 

Your first paragraph is important in terms of ensuring that relevant keywords are present. There are many considerations for good search engine optimization.


E-Advocacy: Use Facebook


One other way to use the internet is to create a facebook group that is focused on your advocacy effort. Facebook is good for online advocacy because it is a system that people are already using, it allows you to message your group when required. You can also put up links, video, and pictures.

When using facebook as a campaign tool the first task is to build the size of the group by using your contacts and the contacts of other supporters to make the groups as big as possible.

Once you have a base of support you can use facebook to mobilize whatever action you are going to take. 

Having a moderator is a good idea to follow the postings, to make comments on postings, lead the discussion, and ensure that content on the group site is relevant.

The title of the group is important and should contain important keywords so that potential supporters and search engines can find your group.

E-Advocacy: Email Campaigns


When thinking about conducting an email campaign it helps to figure out first… who is the "strategic who" ? Who can do what we want them to do?Who has the power or discretion? Then once the strategic who is identified… It is better to try and get the personal email address of the "strategic who" rather then the general departmental email box.

Ensure that your particpants understand the "message" and have the proper e-mail address. What helps in getting people organized for an e-mail campaign is a facebook group dedicated to your purpose. 

Using the Web for Advocacy


The web of old (Web 1.0) consisted of content from someone else that you access online (one-way flow of information). Web 2.0, however, allows for two way communication and for you to easily put your own content on the web letting you to become a roving reporter of sorts.

And on the horizon is Web 3.0, the "semantic web," where the sharing of data brings information together. So rather than linking pages to a page… instead information is linked to every idea and every noun, that is in turn linked to other idea’s and so on. If you click on the link above it is explained more fully. Clearly, the web has become a powerful and ubiquitous tool that gives us access to a massive amount of information. In the future it will become even more so. When you effectively and skillfully tap into the web it increases your personal power.

So, with personal power in mind, email and social networking sites are excellent tools for advocacy because they allow for a sustainable campaign that does not require standing in the rain with a picket sign (although you may decide to use a physical presence alongside a web campaign). Moreover, you don’t have to depend as much on the traditional means of media: radio, tv and print, to get your message out in order to put public pressure on those you are trying to influence.

The list of options you might consider using are:






Making comments on other people’s blogs.

And once you have something on the web you want make sure that the search engines (Yahoo, Google, etc) can find it. Hence, search engine optimization (SEO) is something to be mindful of.

Need Information? Check out the Red Book Online


The Red Book online is a compendium of human services available in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Check it out, it is chock full of information.