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‘The gold’ of connected learning, innovation worldwide: The learners

You know that maxim that “necessity is the mother invention” (it goes back at least to 16th-century England, according to Phrases.co.uk). Well, South African journalist Tony Shapshak recently showed in a TED Talk in Edinburgh how necessity is the mother of (tech) innovation, and that innovation is certainly not just happening in Silicon Valley, Bangalore, or the Zhongguancun […]

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Significant safety changes at Ask.fm

Though Americans represent the 2nd-biggest population on Latvia-based social media site Ask.fm, they also represent only 10% of the activity on the site. But all 105+ million users will benefit from new safety measures the service has put in place, one of them being a new Safety Center, which includes a page with a clear […]

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Factors in good policymaking about youth & digital media

Informed citizens sometimes forget that the reason why negative, tragic or just plain-old bad news is news is because it’s the exception to the rule. That’s why it’s newsworthy. And this is true whether we’re hearing about airplane crashes or online bullying. Sometimes the news is unspeakably tragic, but it’s still the exception, not the […]

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Youth Voices, Outer Voices: 2 fine participatory media projects

Two youth-serving, youth-participating projects were the highlights of last week’s Digital Media & Learning Conference (#DML2014) for me: Youth Voices, by educators, for students and educators, and the Outer Voices Podcast, a student-guided digital radio program. There are never enough young people participating in conferences about media and education, youth risk and wellness or safety, […]

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Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media

A recent study by Nielsen (as reported by Mashable) found that American adults spend about 11 hours a day consuming electronic media.  This comes four years after a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation got a lot of national attention when it reported that kids “8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 […]

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Smartphones that promise user privacy

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Thanks in part to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the former contractor with the National Security Agency, there’s increased interest in a new crop of services, apps and phones designed to protect our personal data from prying eyes, including those of government agencies. FreedomPop’s new Privacy Phone […]

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New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items

In the wake of vocal demands that it take action against users promoting gun sales, Facebook just announced new policies around content about firearms and other regulated products. One of the activist groups Facebook worked with, Moms Demand Action, applauded the social media service and its app Instagram for taking “significant steps to block potentially […]

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Google’s new learning tool that learns

This may be the next step beyond tutorials on YouTube, MOOCs (massively open online courses), Google Play for Education and YouTube EDU. It may even be signaling the next step for education. It’s called “Oppia,” and it’s a learning teaching tool. It helps teachers customize what they’re teaching, student by student – by asking the […]

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The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app

If you’re a parent, you know how little kids often want to be like their older sibs and other “big kids” they look up to. And that goes for technology too, of course. Enter Talking Angela, an iPhone and Android app designed for teens (and the teenager in all of us) but not for little […]

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About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon

A nice switch from that other Guardian piece I blogged about was one about the Selfiecity Project. Have you heard of it? It was a project about a global phenomenon reinforced by Oxford Dictionaries declaring “selfie” the Word of the Year late last year (not to mention President Obama’s selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service). […]

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