Stephen Balkam, FOSI:
Platform for Good Helps Parents and Teens Connect, Share and Do Good
New Online Platform Highlights the Positive Power of the Internet
September 17, 2012
The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI),
an international nonprofit organization dedicated to online safety,
A Platform for Good (PfG) – an
interactive website designed to help parents, teachers and teens
connect, share and do good online.
A Platform for Good equips parents and teachers to help teens
responsibly navigate our digital world. The site emphasizes
communication and collaborative learning and features the following:
Poll for parents:
The "Teach Parents Tech" feature will enable teens to educate their
parents about technology and offer incentives for teens to engage their
parents in discussions about digital technologies. Polls are now open
for parents to vote for the topics they want to learn about and the
interactive feature will be unveiled in November.
Videos for teachers:
The "Teach Teachers Tech" feature showcases teens in free, short videos
that can be used in the classroom to foster discussion about the online
world and supplement standard curriculum.
Sweepstakes for teens:
The "What I Wish My Parents Knew" sweepstakes invites teens to submit
videos or written explanations describing what they wish their parents
knew about technology.
Blog: The PfG
blog features voices from every facet of the online world – from safety
and security experts to youth activists. Bloggers will discuss ways to
use technology for personal and social good and highlight examples of
those already using social media for good.
robust resource page identifies volunteer opportunities and highlights
useful online materials, from educational videos to tutorials.
highlighting the positive uses of the Internet, A Platform for Good
works to allay parents' and educators' anxieties about teens' online
activities. A Platform for Good is unique in that it focuses on
identifying and promoting the social good that can happen – and is
already happening – online. "Research shows that the majority of online
interactions are positive," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "By giving
parents, teens and teachers opportunities to engage with one another
both online and offline, we can help change the current conversation
about digital technologies – moving the needle from fear to
To support A Platform for Good, FOSI has convened a coalition of tech
industry giants and others that crosses a variety of areas: social
media, search, telecom, cable and online security. A Platform for Good
sponsors include: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, NCTA, Sprint,
Symantec, Yahoo!, Verizon and Disney, with additional philanthropic
support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. FOSI
also plans to work with educational associations, policymakers,
community organizations and other influencers to shape the path forward
for A Platform for Good.
"Kids are growing up in an increasingly digital world, which has had a
profoundly positive impact on the way they connect with the world around
them and learn new skills," said Marne Levine, Vice President for Global
Public Policy for Facebook. "FOSI's approach to digital citizenship is
unique and innovative: it is leveraging technology to help parents and
educators teach teens how to make safe, smart choices online. We're
thrilled to join A Platform for Good."