Seton Hall Law's Institute for Privacy Protection Featured on CBS This Morning
For most kids, receiving their first cellphone doesn't come with a set of instructions on how to protect their privacy. Some experts say the riskiest time to give a child a cellphone is in middle school, but new data from Common Sense Media released early to CBS News says 84 percent of kids have smartphones by 13 or 14 years old.
Now, an experimental new curriculum offered at a handful of schools in the New York area aims to teach kids how to use them safely. Teachers are hoping students walk away with an important lesson: overusing devices can lead to oversharing, and oversharing can lead to trouble.
Beyond the fun of Snapchat streaks and Minecraft marathons, a group of fifth grade students at St. Michael's School in Union, New Jersey, are benefiting from a curriculum rarely taught, reports CBS News' Meg Oliver.
Seton Hall Law professor Gaia Bernstein designed the class for this pivotal moment in modern life. A study shows 50 percent of teens feel they are addicted to their mobile devices.
"I think family life was changing, relationships were changing, and parents were getting worried," Bernstein said.
Although some of the kids this curriculum targets don't even have phones yet, she believes there is value in the moment when kids are getting their first phone – or are just about to.
"It's much harder to influence people who already made choices, who are completely embroiled in social networks. We thought there's this moment, when you get your first cellphone, where the kids are more likely to listen," she explained.