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‘State of the Union’ & the student part of student privacy protection

There’s a lot of confusion in the air about student data privacy, and some widely quoted words about it from President Obama in his address Tuesday night didn’t help (but I suspect his speechwriters were just looking for a spot to put a high-priority topic into “a simple, dramatic message about economic fairness,” as the New […]

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ClassDojo app offers students & parents words of encouragement

I wish the ClassDojo app had been around when I was in elementary, middle and high school. Back then, about the only feedback I ever got from my teachers was about my lousy handwriting or that I “wasn’t working up to my potential.” OK, I admit it. Even though I wound up eventually earning a […]

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Social media still growing, with Instagram leading the way

A lot of people scratched their heads when Facebook invested a billion dollars to buy Instagram in 2012. But, based on the results of a recent survey from Pew Research, it now looks like quite a bargain. In retrospect, I wish I had bought it, though I’m afraid my check would have bounced. The Pew […]

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Millennials’ startup: Social change in a social-networking skin

“Our goal is to provide a positive, globally connected platform where both inspirational news and content from Millennials are shared” by both staff and users, says its founder, Ashley Williams. “My team and I want young people to use RIZZARR to uplift, encourage, and empower each other.” So instead of fighting negativity in social media, […]

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Facebook to carry Amber Alerts — exclusive interview with John Walsh

Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) are teaming up to put Amber Alerts about missing children on Facebook News Feeds, but only for Facebook members in the targeted search area for an abducted child. A game changer John Walsh, the founder of NCMEC, former host of America’s Most Wanted and host […]

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Kids’ top social media picks: Great new resource for parents

Here’s a super starting point for a conversation with your children about social media: NetAware, a brand-new set of reviews of kids’ top social media services. It’s not the first such resource for parents, but two things set it apart: These are kids’ own top social media picks. This isn’t adult guesswork. Because part of […]

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Connected devices at CES raise security, privacy and safety questions

It seems as if almost every exhibitor at CES was showing things that connect to other things. LG showed off washing machines and kitchen appliances that send messages to smartphones. Schlage announced a Bluetooth-enabled smart lock that enables iPhone users to use Siri voice commands to enter their house. Kolibree and Oral-B both showed off […]

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Two 2014 anniversaries that say reams about our kids’ futures

We don’t want to let 2014 slip away without marking two anniversaries that are very important to our children: those of an invention and a convention. This year was the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s release of his computer code creating the World Wide Web, now with some 3 billion users worldwide, and the 25th […]

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Empowering youth to combat bullying & cyberbullying

Youth Bullying (and adult bullying too) has been around for a very long time, but over the past couple of decades it’s evolved — hence the term “cyberbullying.” At the end of the day, bullying — whether in school or online — is still bullying so strategies to combat cyberbullying have to be integrated into […]

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An app for teens that promotes (& gets) positivity

Last spring I asked, “Will safety ever be baked in to social apps?” Well, it’s actually starting to be. Let is a perfect example. A social app (mostly on Apple’s iOS phones) with an overwhelmingly teen-aged user base that launched last March, its L.A.- and Marseilles-based creators seem to have grown a digital community in […]

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