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Cyber Security Awareness Month’s Michael Kaiser: ‘We’re all connected’ (podcast)

(This post first appeared on CNET News.com) October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month — a time when the tech industry, government, businesses, and consumers focus on staying safe online. I admit that there are lots of of days, weeks, and months on the calendar to recognize just about anything laudable, but October is as […]

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AG’s office apologizes for a school Net safety preso

There was good news and bad news in a story coming out of Pennsylvania last week, and the good news is a clear sign of progress. The bad news happened first: As part of Pennsylvania’s attorney general’s “Operation Safe Surf” program, 4th and 5th graders at Merion Elementary School, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, […]

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The smart smartphone social backlash

It was inevitable. The backlash is in full swing. There were the headlines and talk-show chats about digital detoxing and then the how-to books about digital sabbaths and shabbats. Some of it was fashionable, some of it fearful – all of it good if it got us to thinking about managing and not being managed […]

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Can Google kill the tracking cookie?

I usually don’t write about rumors, but reports that Google may be working on a replacement for tracking cookies is worth speculating about because it can have enormous implications when it comes to our online privacy. There are reports that Google is working on something called AdID which would transmit anonymous user data to advertisers who agree […]

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Making the future: Why we need to help kids make stuff

Remember when we thought desktop publishing and then blogging were revolutionary (you may be too young!)? Well, now there’s desktop “manufacturing,” and your children may soon be printing out their own shoes – of their own design or someone else’s, depending solely on their own esthetics (pun intended). Or they could be printing out their […]

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Why Louis C.K. doesn’t let his kids have phones

The video has gone pretty viral over the past few days. On Conan O’Brien’s show last week, Emmy-award-winning comedian Louis C.K. explained why he didn’t want to give his daughters (aged 7 and 10) smartphones. [You can watch it at Slate.com.] What he says was – as my friend and fellow parent Anastasia Goodstein commented […]

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Why kids need more, not less, play

A lightbulb went on when I read “Learning for a World of Constant Change” by authors John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas. I think I understand now why there’s so much cognitive dissonance at the intersection of new media and learning, not to mention “online safety.” It has a lot to do with how media […]

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Most online adults know they’re not anonymous but take steps to protect privacy

A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found at the more than a fifth (21%) of adults have had an email or social media account hijacked and more than a tenth (11%) have had information important information stolen, such as a social security number, credit card or bank account numbers. The report, Anonymity, Privacy, and […]

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With this teen texting study, only methodology was news

The methodology for a just-released study about teens and texting was new, but the findings don’t seem to break much new ground – unless the news media had picked up on what the researchers didn’t highlight. More on the reporting in a minute; first the study, published by researchers at University of Texas, Dallas, in […]

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Digital media’s power for all kinds of good: One student’s story

Rarely do we hear stories about how playing in digital environments in school – much less playing a popular videogame not originally designed for school – can be life-changing in a good way. So here’s one (names in the story have been changed to protect everybody’s privacy): For four years, starting in 2008, when he […]

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