2011 Research Data Shows Social Media Sites Can Improve Students’ Education

Spending time on social media sites, such as Facebook, can help students do better in school, according to new research by an education professor at University of Maryland. In a survey of 600 low-income high school students, Christine Greenhow found that students build bonds when they connect with school friends on social networking sites.

Social Networking Teens More Likely to Drink or Use Drugs, Study Finds

Teens who spend time on social networking sites such as Facebook are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, says a new survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). The report says:
Compared to teens who do not spend time on a social networking site in a typical day, teens who do are:

Five times likelier to have used tobacco (10 percent vs. 2 percent);
Three times likelier to have used alcohol (26 percent vs. 9 percent);
Twice as likely to have used marijuana (13 percent vs. 7 percent).

Missouri Won’t Let Teachers Friend Students on Facebook

Teachers in Missouri may want to spend the last few days before school begins removing their students from their friends list on Facebook. Missouri Senate Bill 54, just signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, prohibits contact between teachers and students on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The measure is supposed to clearly define student-teacher boundaries. But, according to some educators, the bill isn’t clear enough. “It says current and former students, that’s what the bill reads,” a Nixa, Mo., School District spokesperson told Missouri’s KSPR. “Does that mean students you’ve had in the classroom, the school district?  What if you’ve changed school districts?”

Facebook is Banning 20,000 Underage Kids Every Day

It’s no secret that kids love social networking sites like Facebook.  But a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that many of those kids aren’t supposed to be there at all. It turns out that tens of thousands of them are too young to be lingering in this cyber-hangout.  The report says that 46 percent of 12-year-olds in the United States are on Facebook despite the fact the social media site expressly prohibits anyone under the age of 13. The problem with that, of course, is that all a young person has to do is lie about his or her age. And, apparently that’s what a lot of them do. In fact, the Daily Telegraph in Australia reports that Facebook is kicking some 20,000 youngsters off the site a day.

Many Kids Don’t Understand the Legal Risks of Facebook

A recent Australian study suggests that many kids don’t understand the legal risks of social networking sites such as Facebook.  Thirty percent of Victoria, Australia middle-grade children surveyed did not believe there was any legal liability associated with social media sites.  Legal risks include potential defamation and harassment, among others. With more than 93 percent of kids regularly using Facebook, and 73 percent of students surveyed reporting “unwelcome” contact by strangers through social networking sites, researchers recommend integrating social media education into school curricula. “Little attention has been given to the potential legal risks that children and young people may face when using social networking sites,” said Dr. Michael Henderson, a co-author of the study. You can read the full report here.

Summit warns teens of texting and online dangers

Teens who are involved in sexting and posting lewd comments on social networks risk getting arrested.  That warning came from John Walsh, television host of America’s Most Wanted, and James Andrews of Everywhere, at the National Teen Summit on Internet Safety.  The Summit, sponsored by Cox Communications, enlisted teens from around the nation on Tuesday morning.  Walsh reminded teens of the dangers of social networking sites and cell phones and how to avoid legal issues.  Andrews is a social media expert who recommends that teens use privacy settings on Facebook, just like their favorite celebrities do. Watch the Summit below: