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Schools’ disappearing walls: Explore the benefits!

School walls are disappearing. Probably anybody who’s raising or teaching young digital media users has noticed this. For more than a decade and a half (in developed countries, anyway), schools have been opening up to the world just as more and more of the planet has joined the wired and wireless global network. Less and […]

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Family Online Safety Institute tackles ID theft and the ‘Internet of things’

Washington, DC: Every fall around this time, people from the tech industry, government, non-profit groups and academia gather in Washington for the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) annual conference. Over the last few years, the conference has dealt with a wide variety of issues including cyberbullying, reputation management, security and keeping kids away from inappropriate content. Although […]

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ConnectSafely.org named US host for Safer Internet Day

Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013–Safer Internet Day, which has been celebrated throughout the world for the last 10 years, is about to get a big boost in the United States. ConnectSafely.org has been appointed by INSAFE and the European Commission as the US host for the annual celebration, which happens on the second Tuesday of each […]

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Teens on what’s trending in teens’ digital media

Here’s some data and some anecdotal evidence. First the data: A recent survey of teens found that “the world’s largest social network has been replaced by Twitter as US teenagers’ favorite social platform,” Internet research firm Statista.com reported, citing research by investment bank Piper Jaffray. When asked what their favorite social media service was, 26% […]

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Perspectives, data on little kids’ media use

Research findings characterized negatively in the US as “the digitization of young childhood” could be seen as a sign of growth and prosperity in countries where the Internet is mostly mobile. Even in the US, the growth of young children’s use of cellphones and tablets could be saying as much about American families’ shift away […]

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We need to neutralize ‘negativity bias’ against kids’ Net use

This post is not about technology. It’s about how we (humankind) have been wiring our brains to think about technology. We have quite a hole to climb out of. Not only are our brains already “wired to scout for the bad stuff,” the Huffington Post reports, referring to what neuropsychologist and author Rick Hanson calls […]

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NSA snooping and youth rights at Internet UN’s Internet Governance Forum

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News BALI, Indonesia — For the past eight years, Internet “stakeholders” from governments, nonprofit and activist organizations and the technology industry have gathered at the United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum to talk about Internet policy issues such as child protection, free speech, privacy and freedom of […]

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New parental controls for Chromebooks

Just in time for parents’ holiday shopping, Google announced its new “Supervised Users” tool for Chromebooks. You know about Chromebooks, right? They’re a very viable alternative to tablets that are just as (in some cases more) low-cost and offer a more laptop-like experience, and this tool makes them an even more viable option for families. […]

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To grasp social media’s effects, we need a grasp on social media!

Because more than two-thirds (67%) of the US’s adult Net users now use Facebook,* you’d think that it’s common knowledge that Facebook really can’t be described as a single activity for one person, much less a single activity for everybody who uses it. You’d think that we’d take headlines that make generalizations about people’s Facebook […]

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Internet Governance Forum tackles child protection vs. child rights

Bali, Indonesia — I’m at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF #IGF2013) in Bali where I’m participating in a workshop on child protection vs. child rights. As a child safety advocate, I’ve long argued that young people need “digital literacy” to understand how to safely navigate the online world. That can be protecting their emotional well-being by […]

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