Of student digital privacy & schools demanding passwords

For Data Privacy Day (today, 1/28), let’s take a look at students’ data privacy – as in the data on their cellphones and whether school administrators have the right to search the devices. The ACLU says they don’t. It called out a school board in Tennessee for violating the constitutional rights of students by implementing […]

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Sexting & the plummeting teen pregnancy rate

Don’t believe anything you hear about sexting causing an increase in teen pregnancy. There is no way it can be true. How can I say that? Because teen pregnancy in the US has plummeted since 2007. “For five years now, America’s teen birth rate has plummeted at an unprecedented rate, falling faster and faster. Between […]

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Ford CEO Mark Fields on mobility, connected cars & teen safety

It may seem odd for an Internet safety organization like ConnectSafely to be featuring an interview with the CEO of a car company, but cars are no longer just motor vehicles. They’re connected computers on wheels. And Ford is no longer just in the car and truck business. As you walk around the parking lot, garage […]

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‘State of the Union’ & the student part of student privacy protection

There’s a lot of confusion in the air about student data privacy, and some widely quoted words about it from President Obama in his address Tuesday night didn’t help (but I suspect his speechwriters were just looking for a spot to put a high-priority topic into “a simple, dramatic message about economic fairness,” as the New […]

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Tech and the State of the Union

On Tuesday night, President Obama fulfilled one of his constitutional duties to “give to the Congress information on the State of the Union” (SOTU) before a joint session of Congress. Millions watched the address on TV and followed along on social media. (The increasing role of social media in contemporary SOTUs is a far cry from […]

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ClassDojo app offers students & parents words of encouragement

I wish the ClassDojo app had been around when I was in elementary, middle and high school. Back then, about the only feedback I ever got from my teachers was about my lousy handwriting or that I “wasn’t working up to my potential.” OK, I admit it. Even though I wound up eventually earning a […]

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Tips for Dealing with Teen Sexting

“Sexting” usually refers to the sharing of nude or semi-nude and sexually provocative photos via cellphone, but it can happen on other devices and the Web too. First of all, research shows most teens don’t “sext.” And most of those who do experience no negative consequences. But for teens who do sext, there are both […]

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Social media still growing, with Instagram leading the way

A lot of people scratched their heads when Facebook invested a billion dollars to buy Instagram in 2012. But, based on the results of a recent survey from Pew Research, it now looks like quite a bargain. In retrospect, I wish I had bought it, though I’m afraid my check would have bounced. The Pew […]

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Millennials’ startup: Social change in a social-networking skin

“Our goal is to provide a positive, globally connected platform where both inspirational news and content from Millennials are shared” by both staff and users, says its founder, Ashley Williams. “My team and I want young people to use RIZZARR to uplift, encourage, and empower each other.” So instead of fighting negativity in social media, […]

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Social media literacy in an app

Brilliant concept. A source of quick, digestible social media literacy delivered by an app, not parents (one reason why it’s so digestible). I’m talking about the ThinkUp app. It’s definitely not just for teens, but what a great application for a reputation-curation and media-mindfulness tool. It’s so much more powerful than just googling oneself or […]

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