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For solving social problems: The social media jujitsu remix

The other day I blogged about the collective conscious that social media users could become – are becoming, actually. Then I wrote about how users themselves – and not just ethical venture capitalists – could demand that startups bake safety and other pro-social basics into their apps and other services and that anti-social policies in […]

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Hmm. Secret to open anonymous ‘Secret Dens’

It’s unusual to see a tech reporter anticipating Net safety problems with a new social app feature. So I was impressed with a post by TechCrunch.com’s Sarah Perez about Secret’s forthcoming addition of “Secret Dens” for anonymous sharing in specific locations (like schools, companies and other organizations). Launched early this year, Secret is an app […]

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Cybersecurity in social studies class

Cybersecurity is in the news more and more. It’s a growing concern for law enforcement, and US companies are “increasing both the size and budget of their security teams,” CNBC reports. “By the end of 2014, JPMorgan’s annual cybersecurity budget will rise to $250 million from $200 million in 2012 … and the largest U.S. […]

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Fresh data on US kids’ social media use

Young people’s social media interests are changing right along with the media, according to the latest Speak Up study, which surveyed more than 325,000 students, along with parents, teachers and administrators. “Only 30% of middle school students and 39% of high school students now say they’re maintaining a social networking site,” says Project Tomorrow, which […]

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Texting options multiplying like rabbits (even more now)

Everybody’s, including kids’, texting and talking options continue to multiply like rabbits. First there was texting from your mobile carrier, then phone-based texting like Apple’s iMessage and voice via computers (later adding in phones) as with Google Voice and Skype. Along came texting apps too, such as the simple and spare WhatsApp now owned by […]

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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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