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.
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Zooming in on social norms (sidebar)
- Beginning of the end of #purge, revenge porn or social cruelty?
- For our kids & ourselves: Presence in a digital age
- Manage Net risk but focus more on opportunities: Researchers
- Proposed ‘rightful’ framework for Internet safety
- Social media in Saudi schools … sort of
- Textbook case of what NOT to do in teen sexting cases
- Breadth of videogames’ benefits to kids may surprise
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Safety, security and privacy risks of fitness tracking and ‘quantified self’
- Don’t let stalkers or abusers and creeps track your phone’s location
- Let’s stop persecuting ‘Auschwitz selfie girl’ for smiling at a camera
- EFF launches free Privacy Badger for Firefox and Chrome to block hidden trackers
- Privacy and security tips for newly-minted college students
- Google to stop labeling apps with in-app purchases as ‘free’
- Home automation and ‘Internet of things’ is great — but think about privacy and security
- Time for public to weigh in on ‘net neutrality’