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Our kids’ privacy & a White House report on ‘big data’

Referring to a new report from the White House that she contributed to, social media scholar danah boyd points out how impossibly simplistic it is to view “big data” as either all good or all bad. I’m thankful for the balance it struck in its findings on big data in education between the tremendous opportunities […]

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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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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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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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From connected learning to P2P learning

With kids in your life, certainly you’ve heard of tutorials and instructional videos on YouTube. But of course they’re not just for kids, and it’s exciting to think about all the learning, from guitar lessons to algebra to DIY plumbing, that goes on all over the Web and mobile platform – self-directed, -customized and -paced […]

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Continued downward trend in bullying & other violence for US youth

This is news that we could use more of: US 2-to-17-year-olds have been exposed to decreasing sexual victimization and violence, including bullying. Examining “50 types of violence that kids might witness or experience themselves,” researchers at the University of New Hampshire and University of the South found “significant declines in kids’ exposure to 27 types […]

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Pretty faces in social media vs. mass media

The story about the impact of all those ‘pretty friends’ in social media on self-esteem offers one good explanation for self-presentation fatigue. Researchers in the UK, Iowa and Ohio used Facebook to look at the impact on body image of selfies in social media vs. photos of celebrities and other beautiful people in magazines. They […]

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Risk implications of kids going mobile: Research

Even back in 2010, the EU Kids Online researchers in 25 countries noted that “the ways through and the locations from which children go online are diversifying, and this trend is continuing.” It has indeed continued. Increasingly obvious to parents, the mobile platform enables “ubiquitous internetting,” as Dutch researchers put it way back in 2006). […]

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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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