to cogitate • to ponder • to think

In a world filled with social media, and an influx of information at our fingertips at all times of the day, it is important to understand the ways we can use critical analysis skills to decipher the true information from the not true. Use these skills to decide for yourself the honestly, worth and significance of information you read. Create a digital persona that is honest and true to who you are, and something that reflects respectfully and professionally. Teach these skills to your students, as they are already beginning to create their digital persona.

This insta was created in the hopes to spread awareness and information to those on the platform, using the platform, and teaching social media, to allow for the development of educated perspectives and view points.

USA Policies - COPPA

Keeping Kids Safe Online - American Policies

The United States of America, is doing their part in protecting children online. Since 1998, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act has been implemented to place parental control over the information being collected from young people online. This Act is to protect children under 13 years of age from the “dynamic nature of the internet”. As of 2013, the policy has been amended to keep up with the changing ways of technology and their interaction with children (specifically due to the influx of mobil devices and social networking). This amendment covers persistent identifiers (or “cookies”), geolocation information, photos, videos and audio recordings, protecting users under 13 years old from being tracked. As of 2019, the Federal Trade Commission is questioning a new amendment to the Act, as the developing and access to technology since 2013 has changed dramatically, the 10 year amendment policy is no longer reasonable. It is important to consider this Act as a benefit for cyber security and the enhancement of digital personas and footprints online, and should be used as an example when looking into the Canadian governments policies, or lack there of, when it comes to youth in Canada online. This Act is also a sign of the rise in digital platforms, and their increasing use with people of all ages, and the ability to transform policies to best suit and protect the people affected.

New Amendment Information

Canadian Policies - PIPEDA

There is a lack of policies in place in Canada protecting students and young people and their privacy online.

Unlike the USA, Canada does not have a policy in place to specifically protect Canadian youth from being tracked online. The only policy in place is Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (2001-2004), or PIPEDA, which polices how private sector organizations handle personal information in commercial business activity. This does not in any way include children’s privacy rights and protection online. No amendments are being implemented or considered to protect children’s rights and privacy online either, allowing youth in Canada to be put n harms way with the potential of being tracked online.

Lack of Canadian Policies

YouTube Policies

Understand the policies in place on specific platforms and what they are doing for you!

YouTube has created a platform dedicated for children’s use, call YouTube Kids. Through this platform, parents are able to feel confident in knowing that their children under 13 years old are exposed to and watching content that is marked as “kid friendly” by YouTube. This “kid friendly content” emphasized kids characters, themes, toys and games, and is frequently being redesigned and recalibrated by raising standards and reducing channels that no longer fit into the specific parameters set out by the platform. YouTube has also send a $100 Million USD fund for the next three years, dedicated to creating thoughtful, original content globally, that is to be used for kids, families and educationally. YouTube Kids is also available on an App, and allows parents create their own collections of videos they want their children to watch, to organize videos within levels by age, to manage the amount of time allocated to the App, and to block specific videos and channels. With these precautions set in place, YouTube is doing its fair share as a platform to create a safe and children based area. On the more technical side, anyone watching children content will have limited data collection and use on their videos, which also means that personalized ads will be removed from the side bar and video, despite the previous history of that laptop. This will again reinsure parents that this space is positive and child friendly.

Instagram Policies

Understand the policies in place on specific platforms and what they are doing for you!

Instagram is made primarily for children over the age of 13 years old, but definitely has a younger audience actively using the platform. With this, it is important to reinforce the different types of privacy settings that are available through the platform. On Instagram’s Parent Guide, the different ways to create and maintain privacy are outlined. Accounts can be private, where followers must request access to a profile, or they can be public where anyone can see the photos posted. There is also the ability to manage interactions, and filter out comments by author or word. Time spent on the app is also manageable, but all of these privacy additions must be made, and won’t happen automatically. Instagram still is a great platform to show photos, and to follow relevant accounts! There is also the application for creating accounts for historical figures or favourite characters, as a way to incorporate technology into the classroom. Having a private classroom account with parents as followers could also be used as a online scrapbook of the events that happen throughout the year! It is important to remember that although there are age guidelines for instagram, it is still one of the most prevalent social networking platforms for young people, and with that it is important to teach students how to safely and respectfully use the platforms they are already using.

Parent’s Guide


‘You thought this had nothing to do with you?’

While thinking of design and it’s significance, I find myself remembering the iconic scene in The Devil Wears Prada, where Anne Hathaway’s character scoffs at Meryl Streep as she is choosing the right belt for an outfit. Meryl goes on a wonderful monologue about the fashion industry and really tears Anne Hathaway down. That’s not the great part. The great part is what she is saying. Design. Is. In. Everything. We talk about casually posting online and casually creating a digital footprint, when in reality we are carefully curating a museum to represent everything we are. It is so important to remember that how we present ourselves is how we will be know, and with that, we must present ourselves in a way that is cohesive to us, truthful to us and - as always - aesthetically pleasing. While teaching the ramifications of a digital footprint it is importance to also explain the creation of a digital persona, a following, a look, that is unique and identifiably yours. With this comes not only a choice of colours and visuals, but a creation and representation of who you are, what you do and what you stand for. Like The Devil Wears Prada says - be aware of your lumpy blue sweater, and be better.

The Devil Wears Prada