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Social media in Saudi schools … sort of

In the US, social media is banned in most schools but ubiquitous in the rest of students’ lives. In Saudi Arabia, social media is banned but will be taught in school. Maybe we could learn something from each other. “The textbook for [Saudi Arabia's] first year secondary students, entitled Computers and Information Technology, would contain […]

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Textbook case of what NOT to do in teen sexting cases

The Washington Post has done some important reporting on a teen sexting case in Virginia, spotlighting what could (should) go down in history as a textbook example of how police can abuse rather than enforce child pornography law in the digital age. A 17-year-old boy “is facing felony counts of manufacturing and distributing child pornography,” […]

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Time for public to weigh in on ‘net neutrality’

In May, the Federal Communications Commission issued a proposed new rule on network neutrality that critics say would open the door to fast and slow lanes on the Internet. The reason I’m writing about it now is because Tuesday is the deadline for posting comments on the proposal. You can comment on other people’s comments […]

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Breadth of videogames’ benefits to kids may surprise

It being summertime here in the global North, there may be a little extra videogame play going on in households with kids. So it may be helpful for parents to know about a mother lode of the latest wisdom on videogames’ effects on kids’ learning, social development and futures. It’s MindShift’s “Guide to Games & […]

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The ‘real world’ is a lot more dangerous than cyberspace

This post first appeared on Forbes.com The media is full of horror stories about online dangers, but — in all but a few categories — offline risk dwarfs its online equivalent. Stranger danger vs. trusted adults Let’s start with children. Every parent worries about their kids being harmed by strangers, but – whether offline or on — children are at far […]

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The anti-EDIs social norm: A counterargument

They’re more like DEDIs (digitally enabled displays of insensitivity) than EDIs (electronic displays of insensitivity), because the behavior on display is human not electronic. But that’s beside the point. This NPR commentary suggests that EDIs are becoming a social norm. It cites an unscientific survey of 2,000 newsletter subscribers as finding that this insensitive behavior – […]

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LG’s new tracking device for young children

There are lots of apps that can allow a parent to track their child’s phone. Assuming the phone and kid are together and the phone is turned on and in range, you can also use those apps to track your kid. But now there’s a wearable device from LG just for that purpose. The KizON wristband, […]

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From ‘Big Data’ to ‘Big Parent’: Student privacy developments

Have you been watching the Big Parent response to Big Data? Great lede from Politico.com’s Stephanie Simon: “You’ve heard of Big Oil and Big Tobacco. Now get ready for Big Parent.” She’s talking about an unpredicted mobilization in recent months that has “catapulted student privacy … to prominence in statehouses from New York to Florida […]

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Advice for reducing risk when using mobile phones

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News I recently helped write a free online booklet called “A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones,” available at connectsafely.org/mobile, but much of the advice applies to all cellphone users. Were it not for some parenting tips such as the section on buying a child’s first phone, it could just […]

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The why of the Facebook research fracas & what it calls for

Wondering about the “Facebook Emotional Manipulation Study” so much in the news these past few days? If so, you’re not alone. What’s causing this firestorm? Consumer research is nothing new, and we all know academic research certainly isn’t. There are some aspects of this that are very different, however, and so cause a great deal […]

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