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The Snapchat New Year’s hack: Fuel for discussion

The hack against Snapchat at the turn of the year appears to have done more awareness-raising than harm, but awareness – on the part of users and their parents as well as startups and young digital media companies – is crucial. The publishing of the screennames and partial phone numbers of 4.6 million users was […]

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Protecting your privacy from corporations, government and yourself

Thanks in part to Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA snooping, privacy was a dominant theme in 2013 and will continue to be in 2014. To me, there are three major sources of risk when it comes to privacy: corporations, government and yourself. Corporations – including Internet and social networking companies – thrive on data. For some […]

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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, […]

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‘Fabulousness’ & self-presentation in social media

Here’s a conversation about social media that would be good to have with our kids. You could headline it “Instagram envy”; the New York Times dramatically headlined it “The Agony of Instagram” (oh, brother). That the article appeared in this week’s Sunday Styles section I guess confirms that it’s fashionable, at least for newspapers, to […]

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Giving students ‘skin in the game,’ another anti-distraction tool [sidebar]

Chris Lehmann, founding principal at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy, really sums it up: giving students “skin in the game,” as he put it to Education Week. That means, as the educators I mention in the main article show, using education technology not as another platform or delivery tool for traditional tutorial-style teaching but for the […]

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Dealing with distraction with the HELP of digital environments

Learning how to be present, attend to others, know what’s important in a given moment and stay focused on it has always been a vital part of growing up. “The ability to focus is a secret element to success that often gets ignored,” according to an article in Mind/Shift that cites the work of psychologist […]

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Famous game developer Trip Hawkins launches social emotional learning game for kids (Podcast)

  This post first appeared on CNET News.com When Trip Hawkins left Apple to start Electronic Arts in 1982, he wanted to make the type of games that he and other young adult males liked to play. Thirty-one years and four children later, Hawkins interests have changed. He still wants to build games, but he’s […]

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‘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 […]

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Instragram adds private messaging – ConnectSafely updates Parents’ Guide to Instagram

At a press event in New York on Thursday,  Instagram (owned by Facebook) announced a major new feature called Instagram Direct that enables users to send private messages to  another user, or up to 15 other users. Prior to this, all Instagram messages sent by users would be seen by everyone following them. Until now Instagram […]

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Coding is cool (& crucial to businesses, economies)

You’ve heard about it, right? Code.org‘s “Hour of Code” that’s going on right now (Dec. 9-13)? People may not have to know how to write it to create an app, but learning how to write code benefits economies as well as learners. Code.org, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to get computer science into […]

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