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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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Why I don’t want to hear about any new parental control products

It’s hard to get through a week without hearing about a new product designed to protect children online or on mobile devices. Some of these products block content, others give parents some control over who their kids can communicate with but most offer some sort of monitoring, giving parents a glimpse into what their kids […]

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Social media major factor in teens’ social & sex lives: Australia study

With its 5th national study of Australian teens’ sexual attitudes, behaviors and health since 1992, La Trobe University for the first time took a careful look at social media’s role in their social and sexual lives, finding that it plays a significant one. “Our survey clearly shows the major role social media has in the […]

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Parents have a lot to learn about mobile safety, privacy and security: From their kids

After spending a lot of time writing and editing our new free booklet, A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones, my ConnectSafely.org colleagues and I came to the realization that parents do have a lot to learn — from their own kids. Sure, our guide has all sorts of tips and suggestions, but our most important point is that […]

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Youth sexuality, romance & digital media in Canada: Study

When MediaSmarts conducted its focus groups with young Canadians, it heard quite a bit about the important role the Internet plays in their “exploring and learning about sexuality and relationships,” the Canadian digital literacy organization says. But the authors write that the survey itself – of 5,000+ students in grades 4-11 – suggests that that […]

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Zooming in on social norms: Youth sexting study

The research on teen and young adult sexting is getting more granular. One of the more interesting findings in a new study at Drexel University indicated that social norms are clearly developing around the practice. Looking at frequency of youth sexting, the study – published in the academic journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy – […]

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Aspen task force would take learning ‘back to the future’

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News The Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet released an outstanding report whose title, “Learner at the Center of a Networked World,” suggests a radical rethinking of how we approach education. The report was the product of about 20 leaders with expertise in technology, […]

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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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