Archive | Commentaries – Staff RSS feed for this section

Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous

I’ve heard a lot of consternation about apps and sites that let users post anonymously and, indeed it is possible to use services like Whisper, Ask.FM, Secret, and Yik Yak to be annoying, mean, or downright cruel. But the same can be said for any tool that enables social interaction, whether it’s a social network, […]

Read full story Comments are closed

The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years

When I wrote the original version of Child Safety on the Information Highway (click here for 20th anniversary updated version), in 1994, “online safety” was largely defined as keeping kids away from porn and predators and the solution was pretty much focused on parental controls. But, over the past two decades, there have been a lot […]

Read full story Comments are closed

Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?

A column in The Guardian’s Web site called “Comment is Free” (I guess you get what you pay for) starts off with an anecdote that reads like the heart-stopping opening scene of a new Netflix crime drama. Nothing wrong with that; grab a few more readers, sell a few more newspapers. What’s fatiguing is the […]

Read full story Comments are closed

Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!

Why is the title of social media researcher danah boyd’s new book “It’s Complicated“? Not just because “the social lives of networked teens” are complicated (the book’s subtitle), but growing up in a networked world is too. And I’d add that it’s further complicated when the adults in a teen’s life don’t have any idea […]

Read full story Comments are closed

In defense of Internet safety education

There has been some discussion lately over whether there is still a need for Internet safety education. I say yes. It’s true, as some argue, that safety messages from the 90′s are way out-of-date. We no longer need to dwell over the highly exaggerated risk of child predators or the panic over Internet pornography. While […]

Read full story Comments are closed

Confessions of a binge viewer

I don’t mind admitting that, for the past few days, I’ve been a binge TV viewer. That’s because Netflix released the second season of its hit show “House of Cards” and, unlike traditional TV networks, the company released the entire 13-episode season all at once. In theory, it would be possible to turn on the […]

Read full story Comments are closed

Timely for Safer Internet Day: Game-changing insight into Internet risk

One of the milestones of Internet safety was the distinction between risk and harm made by the pan-European researchers of EU Kids Online back in 2011. “Risk must be distinguished from harm,” they wrote in a report based on surveys of more than 25,000 9-to-16-year-olds in 25 countries. “As with riding a bike or crossing […]

Read full story Comments are closed

The benefits of agency, choice, and student-centered learning

“More and more of society at large, and consequently many students, are demanding an educational system that works for and with them,” wrote high school math teacher Paul Bogdan in Edutopia (emphasis mine). “A student-centered learning environment encourages students to become independent learners and ultimately to be in charge of their own education.” Student-centered learning just […]

Read full story Comments are closed

Balancing external with internal Internet safety ‘tools’

As we welcome in a new year, some thoughts on the promise and protective properties of compassion and resilience for our children (and all of us)… In the US and probably many other countries, the Internet safety discussion has focused largely on external safeguards: filtering, monitoring and other parental control tools, household and school rules, […]

Read full story Comments are closed

‘Bullying Experiment’ video: What’s wrong with this picture?

You may have seen “The Bullying Experiment” video that has gone viral (as of this writing, 3.1 million views on YouTube). Two actors stage a bullying incident (the bigger one threatening and pushing around the other) a bunch of times in various locations on a university campus. The “experiment” is apparently about seeing whether unsuspecting […]

Read full story Comments are closed