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Keeping Youth Safe Virtually: Best Practices


June 18, 2020 -

When engaging youth in virtual learning experiences, it is important to consider youth safety. The following best practices should be considered by youth as they engage in online experiences, as well as parents, guardians, volunteers and other adults.

Limit identifiable details. 

Consider how much and what types of personal information are being shared. If at all possible, don’t share a youth’s hometown, age, school, or parent’s name(s). Best practice indicates only the youth’s first name and
4-H club should be shared online. However, at times it might be necessary to share a last name, such as when creating videos that will be used for virtual auctions.  

Online photos and videos have permanency.

Remember that photos and videos shared online always have the potential for becoming a permanent part of history. Even if deleted, they can easily be recovered and shared. Consider who else might see the information once the virtual learning experience is complete, such as potential employers, college admission officers, scholarship selection committees, etc.

Photos and Videos create a legacy.

While photos and videos are developed to share about learning experiences, projects, shows and auctions, they will be viewed by judges and receive a rating. Consider distractions such as articles of clothing, backgrounds items the viewer can see, and noises that occur in videos that can detract from the project.

Communication should be clear and effective.

Be sure photos and videos are of good quality. Double check for proper grammar and misspellings. Have another person review materials to ensure what is submitted is high quality and free of mistakes.


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