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‘Being Ginger’: A film for anyone addressing bullying

Being Ginger is really about being human. In a fundamentally kind, sometimes humorous, amazingly un-moralistic way, director Scott Harris shows what it both feels and looks like to be dehumanized and what healing from that looks like, even as the casual cruelty he documents continues. Sometimes he asked for it while doing his filming but […]

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An 18-year-old’s exploration of Net addiction in video

In a series of man-on-the-street interviews, one young woman’s answer to the question, “Do you think you’re addicted to the Internet?” was: “Yes…. Twitter. I can’t get off of it.” Another responded, “I love creeping on Facebook. I never post; I’m just always creeping, creeping, creeping [also called "lurking," looking at people's comments, likes, photos, […]

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Snapchat settles FTC charges about disappearing posts that don’t disappear

As I reported nearly a year ago, Snapchat’s so-called disappearing messages don’t necessarily disappear. It has always been possible for people receiving a Snapchat message to capture the screen either directly from the device or by taking a picture of it with another device. There was also a report about a forensics firm that had successfully restored supposedly deleted […]

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PBS Kids app lets parents control and monitor screen-time

Calling it a way to give parents a “super power,” PBS Kids is now offering a free app that lets parents monitor and control what their kids are “watching, playing and learning” on PBSKids.org. The app, called PBS KIDS Super Vision, now available on iPhone and iPod touch,  enables parents to remotely see what apps their […]

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The videogame discourse: Default to open-mindedness!

My heart sinks when I see uncritical thinking in commentaries from Internet safety advocates about the media young people love – thinking that defaults (and contributes to a society-level default) to fear that new media’s harmful and young users are either potential victims or up to no good. Take videogames, for example. We know that… […]

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Google Classroom offers assignment center for students and teachers

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Google is launching Classroom, a new offering in its Google Apps for Education to provide students and teachers with a central place to create, store, organize and provide feedback for classroom assignments. The service, which is in beta and available only in some schools, allows teachers to: Create and collect assignments: The […]

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Your smartphone camera can be a practical tool

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Everywhere I go I see people using their cellphones to take pictures of themselves, people around them or interesting things that they encounter. But your phone’s camera can also be a practical tool. I use my smartphone camera for all sorts of things that no one would […]

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Cross-cultural in so many ways: Insights from ‘Digitally Connected’

It was a small but mighty gathering at Harvard’s Berkman Center this week – mighty in diversity of geographical, personal and professional perspective (40% of the participants were from the global South). It was called “Digitally Connected,” but it was about a more inclusive and, I think, more lasting, holistic sense of what “connected” means. […]

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Do kids need special protections or do we all need them?

We have always taken child safety more seriously than adult safety, even where children are not necessarily at greater risk than adults. It’s probably instinctual. As every parent knows, protecting one’s offspring is not something we even have to think about. We just do it. Children not always a special case But when it comes to risk, children […]

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Google pulls scanning and ads from education apps

In addition to its consumer and business services, Google is also in the business of providing apps for education with apps such as Gmail, Drive, Docs, spreadsheets and YouTube for Schools. These apps, according  to the company, serve more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators. Disclosure: I’m co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a non-profit Internet safety organization that receives financial support […]

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