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Student ‘tech sherpas’

Senior Jayson in a Freeport, Me., school district "says he wants teachers to see that technology isn't as hard as they might think." He's a "tech sherpa" for his high school, a group of students that support the district IT department, help teachers with classroom tech, and earn credit in the process, the Christian Science […]

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Teen ‘cybercrime kingpin’ arrested

The 18-year-old New Zealander's screenname is "AKILL," and he is the alleged head "of an international cyber crime network accused of infiltrating 1.3 million computers" and stealing $20+ million from victims' bank accounts, the Associated Press reports. "Working with the FBI and police in the Netherlands, New Zealand police raided" his house in Hamilton and […]

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Toddler tech, er, ‘toys’

The toy business is getting out of toys, the New York Times reports. Toy manufacturers and retailers think toddlers want tech devices, not toys, because they want to emulate Mom and Dad with the real thing, not "fake" phones, music players, and computers – of concern to some educators and pediatricians. We can see for […]

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Facebook changes ad system

Amid growing flak that its new advertising system reduces users' privacy, Facebook made some changes this week. Now users can "opt in" to having their online shopping broadcast to friends; before they had to "opt out" – a problem if they didn't know their purchasing decisions were being broadcast and they were, for example, buying […]

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Uninformed game givers

Sixty percent of kids 8-17 expect to 1) get a game they didn't want or a game for a console they don't have, or 2) not get any or all of the games they asked for, according to a study by Weekly Reader Research cited by USATODAY. It also found that 80% of kids said […]

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Real music, fake guitars

The two hottest videogame (console, not computer) titles of the season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle – Rock Band and Guitar Hero III – are also among the most social. "The fun ramps up considerably with more players." On the other hand, "there's something mildly distressing about living in a society where cash-strapped public […]

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Socializing + gaming: Trend

For once, 30- and 40-somethings may be leading a trend: the blending of social networking and online games. Some analysts call MySpace and Facebook "massively multiplayer games in disguise," the Daily Globe reports. The article's about sites like Kaneva.com that are "less about skill levels and escapism and more about joining friends and strangers in […]

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PCs for the world’s children

I've pointed before to stories on the "Give 1, Get 1" program for Americans to help get laptops to kids in third-world countries, but this one in the Washington Post goes in-depth and shows the scope of the challenges. One challenge for the MIT people behind Give 1, Get 1 is competition at home. What […]

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Parental controls improving

We – parents – are the winners in the "showdown of new parental controls in Apple's Leopard versus Microsoft's year-old Vista," CNET's Stefanie Olsen reports. The reason is, filtering, monitoring, and time-control features are increasingly built in right at the operating-system level on both PCs and Macs now. That means it's all easier for parents […]

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Social networking benefits for youth

The benefits of social networking "can far outweigh the potential dangers," wrote Dr. Brendesha Tynes in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Research. The assistant professor of African American Studies and Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign further argued that "banning adolescents from social networking sites – if this were […]

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