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A task force report & a student bill of rights

One of the most remarkable things about the report of the Aspen Task Force on Learning & the Internet, I believe, is how in sync it is with students’ own view of what needs to happen in US education. Clearly, if a constitutional convention on students’ rights were held today, the various parties – students, […]

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Facebook’s new Slingshot app forces users to reciprocate

Facebook is taking another poke at the disappearing photo market with a new app for iOS and Android called Slingshot. Like Snapchat and Facebook’s Poke, an ill-fated Snapchat clone, Slingshot photos don’t stick around forever but disappear after they’re viewed unless they are unlocked in which case they stick around for 30 days.  Shots that […]

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For solving social problems: The social media jujitsu remix

The other day I blogged about the collective conscious that social media users could become – are becoming, actually. Then I wrote about how users themselves – and not just ethical venture capitalists – could demand that startups bake safety and other pro-social basics into their apps and other services and that anti-social policies in […]

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Facebook gives users more control over what ads they see while adopting behavioral ads

Facebook will soon show users ads based in part on “information from some of the websites and apps you use.” Facebook has long displayed ads based on your user profile (age, gender, location) and on pages you visit on Facebook, but the company will now be using information from other sites and apps that embed […]

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Hmm. Secret to open anonymous ‘Secret Dens’

It’s unusual to see a tech reporter anticipating Net safety problems with a new social app feature. So I was impressed with a post by TechCrunch.com’s Sarah Perez about Secret’s forthcoming addition of “Secret Dens” for anonymous sharing in specific locations (like schools, companies and other organizations). Launched early this year, Secret is an app […]

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Cybersecurity in social studies class

Cybersecurity is in the news more and more. It’s a growing concern for law enforcement, and US companies are “increasing both the size and budget of their security teams,” CNBC reports. “By the end of 2014, JPMorgan’s annual cybersecurity budget will rise to $250 million from $200 million in 2012 … and the largest U.S. […]

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Fresh data on US kids’ social media use

Young people’s social media interests are changing right along with the media, according to the latest Speak Up study, which surveyed more than 325,000 students, along with parents, teachers and administrators. “Only 30% of middle school students and 39% of high school students now say they’re maintaining a social networking site,” says Project Tomorrow, which […]

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Apple adds Family Sharing as part of its iOS 8 update for iPhone and iPad

At its World Wide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple unveiled the latest versions of its operating systems for its Macintosh computers and its iPhone and iPad mobile devices. The newest mobile operating system iOS 8, will include a health dashboard that consolidates data from different health and fitness apps with the ability to contact your […]

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Texting options multiplying like rabbits (even more now)

Everybody’s, including kids’, texting and talking options continue to multiply like rabbits. First there was texting from your mobile carrier, then phone-based texting like Apple’s iMessage and voice via computers (later adding in phones) as with Google Voice and Skype. Along came texting apps too, such as the simple and spare WhatsApp now owned by […]

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Apple’s newest smartphone ‘parental control’

Apple unveiled a whole slew of features coming in the next iterations of its operating systems for the iPhone (iOS 8) and Macs (OS X Yosemite), coming to a device near you in the fall. Among them was an iOS 8 feature called “Family Sharing,” a little bundle of convenience and control. The feature will […]

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