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A YouTube for the littlest video viewers

Think of YouTube Kids as digital training wheels for the little video viewers at your house – something a lot of parents have been wanting for a very long time. We all know how popular but not always appropriate YouTube is for kids. Problem solved. Designed for kids through age 8, YouTube Kids carefully screens […]

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From public shaming to public compassion

The public discussion about “online reputation” has gotten darker, as “public shaming” appears in more and more headlines. We may think it’s tough to be a celebrity, having everything one does – good, bad or anything in between – go viral. But it’s even tougher not to be, if you post something negative online. Because […]

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Of student digital privacy & schools demanding passwords

For Data Privacy Day (today, 1/28), let’s take a look at students’ data privacy – as in the data on their cellphones and whether school administrators have the right to search the devices. The ACLU says they don’t. It called out a school board in Tennessee for violating the constitutional rights of students by implementing […]

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Kids’ top social media picks: Great new resource for parents

Here’s a super starting point for a conversation with your children about social media: NetAware, a brand-new set of reviews of kids’ top social media services. It’s not the first such resource for parents, but two things set it apart: These are kids’ own top social media picks. This isn’t adult guesswork. Because part of […]

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Of parenting & a class called ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’

One of the central stereotypes of (or maybe urban legends about) us, our tech and our time is people filling every free or empty moment doing something on a screen – texting, playing a game, posting a photo, listening to a tune, checking email, reading a book, etc., etc. It makes us feel guilty or […]

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Do surveys about parents’ concerns increase digital-parenting confidence?

Predictably, the media coverage of a new survey of parents on digital-age parenting focused mainly on their concerns about tech and the Net. We need to question that – question the value of repeatedly reporting about concerns if, as a society, we want parents to feel confident in helping their children navigate today’s media. Here are […]

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Perfect digital parenting doesn’t exist

I’m stating the obvious – that perfect digital-age parenting doesn’t exist – but let me explain why it doesn’t. Writer Heather Havrilesky got me thinking about this with her commentary “The ‘Mommy’ Problem” in the New York Times this weekend. She focuses on mothers (since our culture does so much) and on offline parenting. I’ll […]

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Less parental control, more support of kids’ self-regulation: Study

It isn’t the first time research has found that “parental control” is not the best way to keep children safe online and on phones. “Rather than restricting or monitoring internet use, parents should let their children discover the net, both good and bad, themselves,” the BBC cites a new survey as saying. It’s encouraging to […]

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Zooming in on ‘screentime’ (this time with more precision)

Don’t believe everything you read about “screentime.” It’s rarely helpful – especially if presented as an undifferentiated mass of digital activity that just needs to be limited. That blunt-instrument approach is not helpful to parents. This very visual commentary from graphic designer and blogger Heather Hopp-Bruce in the Boston Globe is a refreshing departure from […]

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Protecting student privacy calls for student participation

This era of big data and big exposure – of all aspects of life to peers, the public and even perpetrators – calls for big participation. Because every day people are exposing, sharing, uploading, creating and inputting things about themselves and others, whether in social situations or part of their jobs, as friends, relatives, students […]

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