Second Life at school?

Some high school teachers see virtual worlds more as virtual classrooms. "Second Life pioneer Peggy Sheehy, a New York teacher whose school district owns six islands on a private estate in Second Life, said virtual worlds should be seen as part of the repertoire of tools that can be used to engage this new generation […]

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Do you Twitter?

Given that lots of kids are converting parents from talking to texting, Twitter may be around the corner for you. If you've heard people at your house use the word "twitter" in association with technology and think it's yet another frivolous temptation for chronic multitaskers (as I did when a friend said she was swamped […]

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French legislation against pro-thin promo

A bill that has passed the French legislature's lower house and goes to the Senate soon is going after all media promoting eating disorders, including pro-anorexia Web sites, the Los Angeles Times reports. Forbes reports that "France has several laws in place to regulate modeling agencies, including requiring underage models to have regular health check-ups." […]

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Number of child porn sites down

For the first time since it has been keeping count, the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation reports that "the number of Web sites hosting child pornography has fallen," Australian IT reports. The number has gone from 3,052 in 2006 to 2,755 last year, according to the latest figures available from IWF. Most of these child-abuse sites […]

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New guide to videogame parental controls

The videogame ratings board and Parent Teacher Association have teamed up to help parents get a better handle on videogame safety. They've published a free parents' guide to both the ratings system and the parental controls on game consoles, including step-by-step instructions for the controls' settings on PLAYSTATION 3, the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and […]

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Kids posing online as pedophiles

This is an important heads-up if parents are worried about predators contacting their children online. The "predators" could be other kids playing pranks or being cyberbullies, because anybody can pose as just about anybody else online. Apparently that's happening in southwestern England, where police are saying "children as young as 10 may be posing as […]

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‘Running l8, luv, mom’

Kids are seeing texts like that from their parents more and more, the Washington Post reports. "Parental text messaging is outstripping the growth rate among younger generations. In the past two years, use of texting among people 45-54 increased 130%, the Post added, citing M:Metrics research – compared to a mere 41% increase among people […]

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UK government’s guidelines for social sites

The Home Office's guidance is a significant step of progress in online-child-safety consensus-building.

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UK government’s guidelines for social sites

As I mentioned last week, two milestone documents out of the UK have just been released, one a 200-page report requested by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and called "The Byron Review," and the other a set of guidelines for social-networking-service best practices issued by the Home Office itself . Both have worldwide relevance not just […]

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Mother-son digital divide bridged

A recent discussion in ConnectSafely.org that illustrates what's still missing in best-practice guidance: dealing with the third-party code and hacks that, increasingly, are jeopardizing users' computers (and maybe sometimes their relationships with their parents!). This exchange also illustrates how parents' tech illiteracy can widen the parent-child digital divide referred to in the Byron report (see […]

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