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Apple’s newest smartphone ‘parental control’

Apple unveiled a whole slew of features coming in the next iterations of its operating systems for the iPhone (iOS 8) and Macs (OS X Yosemite), coming to a device near you in the fall. Among them was an iOS 8 feature called “Family Sharing,” a little bundle of convenience and control. The feature will […]

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Digital summer camp Part 2: Of managing a child’s Minecraft time

“I’m sad that my son is so busy with homework and other stuff lately that he hasn’t had time to even play Minecraft! I think it’s a better use of his time than homework.” That’s a comment from a mom and educator in San Jose, Calif., posted under an article by educator Kevin Jarrett in […]

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For digital summer camp, kid-source a game (or play this one!)

One year ago this month, its 3rd-through-6th grader designers launched the fifth and final iteration of Escape to Morrow, an open source digital game they designed in Minecraft for Minecraft players. The five iterations – including writing and rewriting backstories, creating maps, finding mods (Minecraft modifications out on the Web) and producing the trailer – […]

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The real goal of unplugging

I love the parenthetical in the headline of “Five Ways to Break Your Kids’ Screen Addiction (and Yours, Too),” by Yahoo family tech columnist Dan Tynan. Because – if there’s such a thing as screen addiction and it’s not just something fashionable to (anxiously) joke about – what we model for our kids in our […]

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FB privacy & the social media ‘collective unconscious’ (so far)

Some people read Facebook’s near 180-degree change in how new users experience privacy as a response to pressure from privacy advocates and policymakers. I don’t think so. It’s largely a response to something even more powerful: changes in how users are using social media – all kinds of social media, not just Facebook. We’re seeing […]

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Net safety’s ’3 alarmist assumptions’: Researcher

This is news, and not just for the Internet safety field. It’s important for policymakers, parents, educators, researchers, healthcare providers and journalists to know about: In the Journal of Child Psychology, sociologist David Finkelhor, one of the US’s most prominent experts on child victimization, challenges the “alarmism reflected by so much of the scholarly and […]

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Remember: The ‘right to be forgotten’ is shared

A lot has been published and broadcast about Internet users’ “right to be forgotten,” long before and since last week’s ruling by a high court in Europe (see the BBC), including the important points that… Scratching the surface. Suing a search engine to take down links to offending content doesn’t mean the content itself gets […]

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Kik Messenger’s smart new safety features

Kik Messenger, which claims to be the US’s 7th most popular social app and ranks even higher in some other countries, today released a new version that gives its 120 million+ users more control over who can text them. Over the past year, its creators at Waterloo, Ontario-based Kik Interactive noticed the app has become […]

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A media mentor for every child

Author and journalist Lisa Guernsey has a great idea – one that clearly grows out of her research for the recent book, Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos to Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child, and her work in early childhood education for public policy think tank the New America Foundation. […]

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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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