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A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying

In the preface to her new book, Positive Relations @School (& Elsewhere), author and risk-prevention educator Nancy Willard tells of a conversation with a very smart 5th grader in a dance class waiting room. She was explaining to another parent why a “rules and punishment approach” to dealing with bullying wasn’t working for schools, when […]

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Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class

If your child is seriously into videogames – and Pew Internet research has found that 97% of US 12-to-17-year-olds are – it may help to read about New York teacher Peggy Sheehy’s heroes, also known as students. The middle school humanities teachers calls them heroes because she co-created the WoW in School curriculum “A Hero’s […]

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In the face of school violence, what do we default to?

Certainly what all the coverage of the Murrysville, Pennsylvania, school stabbings indicates is a society trying to make sense of a so far inexplicable tragedy, but there is no – zero – sense or accuracy in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s “report” that this is “the latest face of the national epidemic of school violence.” There is […]

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Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability

A study cited in “When Popularity Backfires” at Time.com found that socially ambitious kids can be just as likely to experience bullying and harassment as “social outcasts” at school. Interested in the “hotspots” of social aggression in students’ social experiences at school, sociology professors Robert Faris at University of California Davis and Diane Felmlee at […]

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FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform

For years we’ve heard about the potential of virtual reality, but even when the virtual world Second Life was a hot tech-news story, it hardly felt like a second life to most people. I wrote about it a number of times because of the amazing work some very cutting-edge educators and their students were doing […]

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What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat

It’s not what you might think – or what you might’ve read in the news. What makes Snapchat stand out in the crowd of social media apps, in fact what makes it “matter,” as social media researcher danah boyd put it, “has to do with how it treats attention.” Snapchat users don’t just swipe through […]

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We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study

That we like faces in our photos – or simply that we like faces – was reconfirmed by a new study at Georgia Tech. “Instagram photos that include faces are far more likely to get likes from followers than those without,” Mashable cites the study as finding. “Of 1.1 million randomly-selected Instagram photos analyzed with […]

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Yik Yak update: How the app came to geo-fence off US schools

After Yik Yak “fenced out” her daughter’s entire high school in southern California, Diana Graber of CyberWise.org did some investigating to find out how the app was blocking use in schools. What she found out is an example of digital citizenship on the part of an app developer (see this for an example from the […]

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Smart safety: YouTube’s ‘neighborhood watch program’

In every neighborhood, there are neighbors and then there are visitors, and it’s mostly the neighbors who make it what it really is – great to hang out in or maybe not so much. That’s true in social media too, only digital neighborhoods can be geographically based or interest based. They’re interest communities. Some sites […]

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The app ecosystem & very public secrets

These are crazy times in the mediascape, and not just because of crazy valuations of startup apps. How do all these socially risky apps get out into the digital ecosphere? They don’t take a lot of people, time or other resources to build anymore – not like digital media products and services of lore, anyway, […]

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