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Students in social media: There’s monitoring & then there’s monitoring

There’s an upside and a serious downside to monitoring students in social media, and the upside doesn’t involve outsourcing (that was an understatement). You’ll see what I’m talking about when you get to the downside down there, but let’s start with where and how it would actually help.… In her thoughtful commentary, “What inner city […]

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Challenging ‘Internet safety’ as a subject to be taught

“Way back” in 2008 – at least a decade after “online safety” was starting to be seen as a subject that needed to be taught to children – I suggested that it was becoming obsolete. Now what I’m seeing is that it never really was a single stand-alone subject that could become obsolete. We’ll look […]

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Addendum: What about CIPA?

US educators may wonder if schools can adopt the model I’m proposing above and still be compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Here’s my answer: If you’re asking “What about CIPA?”, you’re probably a school administrator or district official in the US, and it’s a good question. In order for US schools (and […]

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Guarding against hacker attacks

This post is adapted from one that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News The recent hacker attacks against The New York Times and Twitter are a reminder that the Internet has become a battleground for global conflict with businesses and consumers as collateral damage. It doesn’t matter whether the “Syrian Electronic Army,” which took credit for the […]

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‘The Kids Are (mostly) All Right’ when it comes to privacy and bullying

This post is adapted from one that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News The question of “what’s the matter with kids today?” has  probably been with us for millenniums, but it was certainly the top of mind in 1963 when the lyrics for the song “Kids” from the movie “Bye Bye Birdie” asked that question […]

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Product that lets parents/employers remotely install spy software is bad idea

You don’t have to work for the NSA to spy on people.  All you need is $79 to buy a piece of software called SniperSpy that you can remotely install on other people’s computers. “No physical access is needed to the computer for installation.” The software, according to a company press release, “is completely hidden […]

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A much-needed national debate about privacy is now underway

This post is adapted from one that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News It’s been quite a couple of weeks for the national debate on privacy.  At a press conference earlier this month, President Barack Obama implied that he’ll back the development of technologies to help people protect themselves from the very government he […]

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Two factor authentication is a trade-off between security and convenience

  There is often a trade-off between security and convenience. For example, many houses have two locks — a regular door lock and a bolt lock. If you use both of them you have a bit of extra security but it will take you slightly longer to enter your house. The same is true with […]

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Parents more protectionist than empowering: Study

This post (like a few others, recently) is inspired by my participation on the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet that got started last month. The task force would love to have you join us in what we hope will become a nationwide conversation about safe, successful and connected learning. Pls sign […]

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Less bullying & fear at school: Fresh federal data

Do people ever consider the possibility that, if they’re exposed to increased reports about a social problem, it’s the reporting that has increased rather than the problem? It’s increasingly clear that this is the case with school bullying: Only news reports about it have increased, not the behavior itself. In fact, both bullying and fear […]

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