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
- Risk implications of kids going mobile: Research
- A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
- We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous
- Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years