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All kids deserve the safety & other benefits of social-emotional learning

Think how digital spaces, homes, schools, workplaces and everywhere else we human beings congregate would change were every child to be kindly, respectfully taught the following skills: Self-awareness: The ability to 1) recognize emotions and thoughts and how they affect behavior and 2) assess one’s strengths and limitations Self-management: The ability to regulate emotions, thoughts, […]

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Facebook lets teens post publicly: Why that’s a good thing

Facebook announced today that it’s changing its policy to allow teens to post publicly. Prior to today, Facebook members aged 13 through 17 were only allowed to post to a limited audience that maxed out with friends of friends. In a blog post, Facebook said that teens will also “be able to turn on Follow so […]

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Parents can help prevent cyberbullying

While bullying has been around forever, there was no such thing as cyberbullying until about 20 years ago when people discovered the ability to use technology to display their mean, cruel, annoying and generally negative side. And since the late 1990s we’ve seen lots of stories about the “epidemic” of cyberbullying among young people. But as […]

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Beware of the Internet Safety Industrial Complex

By Larry Magid I got a call recently from a woman who works for a company that makes an app designed to “keep kids safe” by enabling parents to monitor their texts and social media activities. The pitch included some dire statistics such as “70% of kids are cyberbullied” and — like other companies that […]

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Will Maryland AG’s project with Facebook teach him about social media?

Schools and parents may be interested to hear about a pilot program Facebook has put in place with Maryland’s Attorney General Douglas Gansler, because – if successful – it may roll out nationwide. The “Educator Escalation Channel” offers school staff dealing with cyberbullying (one point person per school system) a “direct channel” to Facebook staff […]

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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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