Parents have a lot to learn about mobile safety, privacy and security: From their kids

After spending a lot of time writing and editing our new free booklet, A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones, my ConnectSafely.org colleagues and I came to the realization that parents do have a lot to learn — from their own kids. Sure, our guide has all sorts of tips and suggestions, but our most important point is that […]

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Youth sexuality, romance & digital media in Canada: Study

When MediaSmarts conducted its focus groups with young Canadians, it heard quite a bit about the important role the Internet plays in their “exploring and learning about sexuality and relationships,” the Canadian digital literacy organization says. But the authors write that the survey itself – of 5,000+ students in grades 4-11 – suggests that that […]

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Zooming in on social norms: Youth sexting study

The research on teen and young adult sexting is getting more granular. One of the more interesting findings in a new study at Drexel University indicated that social norms are clearly developing around the practice. Looking at frequency of youth sexting, the study – published in the academic journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy – […]

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Aspen task force would take learning ‘back to the future’

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News The Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet released an outstanding report whose title, “Learner at the Center of a Networked World,” suggests a radical rethinking of how we approach education. The report was the product of about 20 leaders with expertise in technology, […]

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Facebook’s new Slingshot aimed at Snapchat

There are no lurkers in the Slingshot app. It’s Facebook’s latest answer to users’ interest in disappearing (often called “ephemeral”) media and messages. What I mean by “no lurkers” is, as my ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid explains, unlike Snapchat and Facebook’s now defunct Poke, “in order to view someone’s photo or video, you have to […]

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Amazon’s Fire Phone could be a hot holiday item

Now there’s a phone that puts the Amazon store and all that accompanying “retail therapy” right in people’s pockets. It’s a pretty slick looking little device, so here’s fair warning to parents worried about kids getting caught up in consumer culture that you may see this on some wish lists. [Of course, this is not […]

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ConnectSafely releases A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones

Palo Alto, CA, (June 19, 2014)–ConnectSafely.org, a leading non-profit Internet safety organization, today released A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones, in partnership with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and CTIA, to help families navigate today’s very mobile digital media and tech. A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones provides advice and insight surrounding: What’s the best […]

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A task force report & a student bill of rights

One of the most remarkable things about the report of the Aspen Task Force on Learning & the Internet, I believe, is how in sync it is with students’ own view of what needs to happen in US education. Clearly, if a constitutional convention on students’ rights were held today, the various parties – students, […]

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Facebook’s new Slingshot app forces users to reciprocate

Facebook is taking another poke at the disappearing photo market with a new app for iOS and Android called Slingshot. Like Snapchat and Facebook’s Poke, an ill-fated Snapchat clone, Slingshot photos don’t stick around forever but disappear after they’re viewed unless they are unlocked in which case they stick around for 30 days.  Shots that […]

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Toward student-centered learning: Delete fear, add agency

“School,” said University of Maryland student and game designer Erik Martin in a TEDx talk last fall, “operates counter to the interests of children. In school, we’re not really taught to overcome a challenge; we’re taught to fear the prospect of failure…. How on earth can you innovate in a system that fears failure so […]

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