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New school: Bill requires kids take social media class

  • Readin', writin' and retweetin'
  • Just one more tech-related thing that kids will be better at than their parents
New school: Bill requires kids take social media class

Grown-ups can scarcely be trusted with their social media accounts, so how in the world can we expect their kids to fare any better?

That's right: We can't. So how about teaching it in school to flatten out their learning curve?

That's the plan in New Jersey, where the state Senate has approved a bill that would require Garden State middle schools to "provide instruction on responsible use of social media."

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With networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook swarmed by the tween-and-below crowd -- minimum age rules be damned! -- whose understanding of the consequences is far exceeded by their enthusiasm to share everything, this actually just might be the most immediately useful thing we can be teaching kids right now.

The big payoff on all those algebra and biology classes that don't seem all that handy right now will come eventually, kids. Really! Promise. But arming a seventh-grader with information on oversharing, privacy and why you should ignore the trolls in the comments section provides instantly applicable lessons for a generation of kids growing up online.

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According to the bill, lessons would focus on "social media behavior that ensures cyber safety, cyber security, and cyber ethics; and potential negative consequences, including cyber bullying, of failing to use various social media platforms responsibly."

The bill now heads to the state assembly, where -- if passed -- it would need only the signature of the governor before immediately taking effect.

Then perhaps we can start to teach adults how to behave online, too.

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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