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  • pschaeffer
    replied
    Originally posted by Girlnumber20 View Post

    Lastly, the main issue in this case of my child, was that despite the email being private now, a highly unsupervised classmate that years ago used to be a study buddy, I am not sure who but I suspect, shared my child's email address with strangers online who asked for it, then did what they did. They also closed my child out of all chats, (good for my child, but not so good for the other kids, since now there is no aware parent involved) If it is traffickers, (which I doubt, I suspect they are stranger teen boys who are not nice, but as Paul says, no way of knowing) that is very scary. I am very concerned for this other child's safety, but have no way of reaching the parents or helping, since there is no connection beyond some group chats my child is no longer a part of. What to do? That was part of my thinking in having a forum where parents could connect and warn eachother. But it is too big.

    Thank you if you read this far. I won't be able to check back for quite awhile. God bless everyone.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. If you need to reach another parent, you can send us an email and we can forward it along as we have parent email addresses on file. We will always send something if concerned for student safety.

    We are making progress on an online safety course; we will be emailing all the parents with a date hopefully this week.

    Peace,
    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Girlnumber20
    replied
    I second that. Thank you Paul Schaeffer for being willing to become directly involved. I know it's a lot. Responding to this issue to protect our kids and do whatever you can. That is hugely importtant, more important than anything else. My child's email was shown at the beginning when signed up for classes. That was years and years ago. Maybe my child put it public, we no longer remember because it didn't seem so important at the time. Now it is my husband's email, which is inconvenient, since I think it meant my child doesn't get the notifications, he does. Not sure about that. But it's worth it, and he can just forward them to my child.

    At that time, I remember being comfortable, even happy that classmates would be able to connect with each other. I loved it. I was delighted that my lonely child would have some camaraderie with Memoria kids, at last. And my child did make at least one terrific friend by being asked to study over email by a classmate. But the more connections are made, the more the hangouts and skype connections intensify. It's just the way it works. It is truly, "the web." Kid can add your child to any groups online, once they have their email address.

    The web started to form, and get bigger and bigger. and then strangers became involved.I have changed my mind after what has happened. I no longer think it is worth it. And it takes away from my child's initiative to make real friends in real life. Sadly. I think now with the online friends already formed- the good ones- it should be phone connections, meeting by video call only, with at least one parent present and around- before any private chats are allowed. Also do not allow kids to take the phone or laptop into their bedroom alone. It's like inviting the whole outside world into their bedroom, unsupervised. Truly.

    My child is only auditing one class this year. My child made a few wonderful friends. This has been very good. So with the bad, came some good. My stipulation is that they have to video chat as often as possible so that I can quickly, see the kids, say hi, let them know I'm around- just as I would in real life meetings. If the kids aren't comforatble with that, which I can understand, it is unnerving to have a stranger who is an adult show up in your conversation- than that is a relationship my child has to let go.

    Also I allow letter writing. (real letters) I have found that it is very counter-intuitive, but the more real-live connections they can make, where faces are seen and handwriting is seen- the safer and more real and normal the friendship will be. Interestingly, most of the skype and hangouts kids are very reluctant to video chat. They like to hide from eachother. A bad sign.

    Keep open, totally calm, and engaged, non-judgementally, so that they will not hide their goings-on from you, but will feel safe to tell you, knowing you won't "freak out." But that you are on their side, wanting them to have healthy freindships.

    After that I am (somewhat) comfortable with them chatting with kids ifI know who they are- preferably by video chat- during time frames I've allowed.

    I am so glad Mr. Schaeffer is looking into having an online safety class. I hope it will be mandatory for all students and especially for all parents to attend, just as parents have other requirements in MPOA.. Thank you Mr. Schaeffer for doing this.

    Lastly, the main issue in this case of my child, was that despite the email being private now, a highly unsupervised classmate that years ago used to be a study buddy, I am not sure who but I suspect, shared my child's email address with strangers online who asked for it, then did what they did. They also closed my child out of all chats, (good for my child, but not so good for the other kids, since now there is no aware parent involved) If it is traffickers, (which I doubt, I suspect they are stranger teen boys who are not nice, but as Paul says, no way of knowing) that is very scary. I am very concerned for this other child's safety, but have no way of reaching the parents or helping, since there is no connection beyond some group chats my child is no longer a part of. What to do? That was part of my thinking in having a forum where parents could connect and warn eachother. But it is too big.

    Thank you if you read this far. I won't be able to check back for quite awhile. God bless everyone.







    Leave a comment:


  • Beorn
    replied
    I have no affiliation yet with MPOA as I only have younger children, but I want to chime in to commend you, pschaeffer. Thank you for making yourself available on this forum and for your willingness to hear comments and implement changes that benefit not only those who currently use MPOA but for those of us who are most likely up and comers. Thank you for continuing to build MPOA.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    Originally posted by pschaeffer View Post
    I can say for sure that the default is for those emails to be hidden. I did make some settings changes when I came on board, so that might have been one of them that was updated.

    Mrs Bee, thank you for the suggestion. I have turned off those useless fields.

    Katie, I've put on my to-do list to add a section to the Parent Handbook about protecting your student profile. I should have that posted in there for the spring semester.

    I am working on having a live session with a professional where we can highlight online safety practices. Hopefully that can happen soon.

    Thank you for all your feedback!

    Peace,
    Paul
    Thanks! The online session sounds very interesting. There is so much to keep up with these days.

    Leave a comment:


  • pschaeffer
    replied
    I can say for sure that the default is for those emails to be hidden. I did make some settings changes when I came on board, so that might have been one of them that was updated.

    Mrs Bee, thank you for the suggestion. I have turned off those useless fields.

    Katie, I've put on my to-do list to add a section to the Parent Handbook about protecting your student profile. I should have that posted in there for the spring semester.

    I am working on having a live session with a professional where we can highlight online safety practices. Hopefully that can happen soon.

    Thank you for all your feedback!

    Peace,
    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs Bee
    replied
    Mom2mthj and 3Blessings I think I understand what's going on. When you are logged in as one of your children, no matter how you access the profile of that child you will see their Moodle general profile, with all the family details you entered at registration. But if you have another child in a class, and you go to the participant list of that class - while still logged in as the other child - and click on the name of your child in that class, then you should see a lot less information, and what you see is what other classmates see about your kids, as determined by the profile settings.

    Now I'm sorry that I assumed that the default was a hidden email for all students - it looks like it may not be the case after all.

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Originally posted by Katie View Post
    This discussion did prompt me to go in a re-check their bio's, which resulted in my son being asked to delete most of his bio for good measure
    LOL!!

    #tencharactersneeded

    Leave a comment:


  • Katie
    replied
    Although it isn't the default, it is simple to change the setting to "hide my email address from non-privileged users". I wonder if just a quick mention in the MPOA handbook of how to change the setting, or what is shown as default, would be helpful? Or, maybe the instructors mention it in the open houses? Or an email blast at the beginning of the year? It should be the parent's job to monitor their student's permissions/settings regarding the bio's and what their kids are sharing etc. It's not MPOA's responsibility to police that. I don't think doing away with everything is appropriate either. Although I'm not a fan of my kid's sharing a bunch of personal info, that should be up to each family. This discussion did prompt me to go in a re-check their bio's, which resulted in my son being asked to delete most of his bio for good measure

    Leave a comment:


  • 3Blessings
    replied
    pschaeffer , I am not sure if this helps. However; just so you're aware I just logged in to my son's account to check the status of his email address. It appears the default is to show the email address to other members of the same class, he said he hasn't been on the setting page to change anything. Every student in his class also has their email address showing. It's not a big deal to us, he rarely checks his email, and hasn't gotten any other students emailing him, but thought I would let you know that was how we found the default settings.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    Originally posted by pschaeffer View Post
    Parent emails on student accounts are always hidden from students. Only teachers and administrators can see that data.

    Mom2mthj, FYI your son's profile is set to show his email to other students in his course. It is possible that either all those students manually set them to visible to classmates or something else was going on.

    Mrs Bee, thanks for the suggestion. I'm working on ways to better equip our parents and students in this regard.

    Peace,
    Paul
    Paul,
    Thanks for the reply. I was looking at my daughter’s account as she said she hadn’t changed anything - whatever hers shows should be the default or at least the default when she started 5 years ago. I know my son had entered a profile when he was in class last year. I would love an instruction sheet on what to check to be able to disable the visible email. Not sure what to do about being able to enter so much in the profile text as that is where I saw lots of over sharing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs Bee
    replied
    Just to be 100% explicit, so everyone can decide what to do, in the Moodle profile of a student there is a "User details" box - things can be edited by clicking on "Edit profile", and in the "General" section of that page there is the "Email display" setting that decides whether the student's email will be shared, and with whom. It's interesting that it is not a required field, and I have to wonder what the default setting is.

    But that "Edit profile" page has a LOT more besides the "General" section, and I would urge MPOA to consider limiting what is available. The "Optional" section is basically what I am talking about, where a student could add a ton of ways to be contacted (ICQ number, Skype ID, Mobile phone just to name a few) - of course all of this is stuff a kid could add in the profile description as well, so the problem somewhat remains.

    Thank you pschaeffer for working on this.

    Leave a comment:


  • pschaeffer
    replied
    Parent emails on student accounts are always hidden from students. Only teachers and administrators can see that data.

    Mom2mthj, FYI your son's profile is set to show his email to other students in his course. It is possible that either all those students manually set them to visible to classmates or something else was going on.

    Mrs Bee, thanks for the suggestion. I'm working on ways to better equip our parents and students in this regard.

    Peace,
    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs Bee
    replied
    Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
    My daughter is in class right now. I did check her profile up in the corner and checked on her name on the participant list and both show all of our information(including address fields) so I don’t think that is an accurate way unless I am missing something.
    I'd like pschaeffer to comment on this, because when I do the same thing with my kids' names, I see very different things in the two situations - barely anything from the list of participants, and everything I have entered when I registered them in their general Moodle profile.

    I do agree that Moodle is too much of a hands-off platform, considering how young some students are: a parent only registers the kids, and then the kids's profiles are in the hands of the kids, and either the parent monitors closely, and constantly, or there's nothing preventing a child from sharing inappropriate or imprudent content. When I log in with my own account, I can literally do nothing at all, I don't even see my kids listed with their classes. I don't know if MPOA can do anything about this, or if it's up to Moodle to come up with a more sophisticated system.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    My daughter is in class right now. I did check her profile up in the corner and checked on her name on the participant list and both show all of our information(including address fields) so I don’t think that is an accurate way unless I am missing something. I think it would be a good idea for some sort of communication with parents and students to give some beginning of the year reminders on internet safety and sharing too much information online. Yes, it is a password protected site, but that by no means ensures that it will remain private when so many total strangers have access. The one class I saw of my daughter’s had 48 people on the list. That list also included a non-recording teacher (Or some such tag) from a different school with students taking the online class - I don’t know anything about him or how their school shares information. I don’t mind some basic introductions, but I don’t like the fact that there is no way to have control over what the child can go in and edit in their profile without physically logging into the student account. I am not as concerned about my almost 18yo as I am about potentially allowing my younger children to take classes. Honestly, I have been much more wary about all the other stupid stuff they might do online than the contacts directly through MPOA. I don’t mind a way for the system to contact me as the parent if someone wants to contact my child and approve it on a case by case basis, but I honestly don’t like the fact that the system provides first and last name, email, and biographies and there has never been anything from MPOA in the way of guidance on how to check what others see, gentle reminders on what is appropriate information to share, or notifications when a profile changes. Seriously, one profile listed the girls full name (system provided) and she added to her profile the town and state where she just moved, her fathers new rank in the military, the make and model of every car they drove, an accident they had on the expressway, and her email for good measure. I think MPOA either needs to shut down the profile section or sent out some sort of communication about it. The only thing I can find is a couple of lines in the student handbook about making sure you have accurate parent and student information in the profile which I assumed was for MPOA and the teachers.

    yes - MPOA has changed a lot over the years - this year especially- and as a parent it is difficult to keep up with the different software changes. I don’t have a way to go back in time and see what was shared 5 years ago. Her current class had fewer kids without the box showing the email so maybe assuming private is newer, but some of the older classes had everyone’s email visible. Just to be clear, we haven’t had issues personally as our computers and the kid phone are shared resources and I have access to their email accounts because they are my accounts, but there are some doozy profiles out there that share everything short of the kitchen sink. If someone hacks the system or simply takes a screenshot they can get a lot of information VERY quickly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs Bee
    replied
    Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
    I logged in just now and checked a different class. Of 48 students all but 5 had email listed under user info when accessed from the class participant list. Obviously, my daughter’s shows more info so I don’t know what other students see, but the majority show the email and some kids have named their hometown and one gave email, Facebook, Twitter, phone number, and something else. I feel like the privacy settings aren’t what they think they are at least at some points in time - maybe newer students have different settings, but I personally did not know that info was being shared to everyone in her classes. I also don’t feel that the system should be set up to show emails or to allow kids to edit profiles and share all sorts of personal information. There is no need that I can think of that kids in an online class need to know that stuff.
    Is your daughter in an class right now? If she is, you can see what others see about her if you click on her name in the participant list. And yes, jenniferjb , only the other classmates see that. The Moodle profile (that you see by clicking on the child's name on the top right corner of the screen) is the page showing all the info parents have to give MPOA to register. However, that profile, too, presented a potential danger until some time ago: it had messaging settings - though I don't think that things were like that before this summer, MPOA's website has changed quite a bit, and not always for the better. I'm glad to see that now MPOA seems to have disabled messaging totally: if you were not careful, your student could have received messages from anyone, even students outside their classes.

    I don't disagree with you at all that it's heedless for kids to put out so much personal information: MPOA has classes from 3rd grade to 12th, and things should be thought through when it comes to online interactions. I do think that MPOA can't do it alone, without the cooperation of parents who don't neglect their duties. You will always have people with different preferences - jenniferjb has a higher tolerance level, for instance, and I think it's ok for MPOA to provide reasonable opportunities that some will use, and others, like you and me, will decline. What's not ok is for parents to totally ignore what kids are doing online - that's truly irresponsible.

    Leave a comment:

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