What a service University of Westminster in London provides! Even watching a little bit of this video tutorial can answer a lot of questions about what virtual worlds are like – whether you’re curious about what (non-cartoony) avatars look like, want to set up an account and get started with professional development, or want to learn how to build a virtual chair or house. It’s narrated in a lovely calm voice at a nice slow-ish pace, jettisoning any mystery or intimidation factor (which war against good parenting, classroom adoption of social-media tools, and harm the adult-youth communication that fosters constructive use). This site has a fund of other social-media training videos too, including for Twitter, Blogger (how to create a blog), what and how great RSS is, social bookmarking (Delicious), creating surveys, etc. – and all that just in the “Student Tools Videos” category; there are also training videos for working with digital media: scripting, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash Quizzes, etc. But before we leave the subject of social media tools, don’t miss three educators’ favorites for both teaching and professional development.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems