Digital Citizenship

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Boy's Note About Video Game Class Goes Viral

A mother shared a picture of a note on Reddit online written by her 7-year-old son that has gone viral. The note suggested that his teachers wanted him to “stay up late playing video games.” The note, signed "the school," indicated the boy is performing poorly in "video game class." Both the boy’s mother and teacher appreciated the creativity of the fraudulent note!

Digital Citizenship 101

A recent EdTech article titled 3 Basic Digital Citizenship Standards All Educators Should Know and Teach, is a great read for both educators and parents. The article reminds adults that children look to them for media literacy tips, which is especially important in today’s news climate, with information posing as reliable not always being accurate. Parents and other significant adults also need to remind young people of the consequences of their digital actions and that a key part of digital etiquette is the understanding of copyright laws and plagiarism. In addition, both parents and students need to also understand the regulations that schools must follow to protect student data and privacy.

Digital Citizenship 101

A recent EdTech article titled 3 Basic Digital Citizenship Standards All Educators Should Know and Teach, is a great read for both educators and parents. The article reminds adults that children look to them for media literacy tips, which is especially important in today’s news climate, with information posing as reliable not always being accurate. Parents and other significant adults also need to remind young people of the consequences of their digital actions and that a key part of digital etiquette is the understanding of copyright laws and plagiarism. In addition, both parents and students need to also understand the regulations that schools must follow to protect student data and privacy.

Can An iPhone App Track You Even if You Delete It?

A NY Times article about Uber and its founder has revealed that the Uber app marks iPhones with persistent digital ID tags that remain even after users delete the app and wipe the phone. Although Uber claims the information collected has not been used for anything, there is still the question of whether or not apps can continue collecting information about you after it is deleted from the phone. The answer , according to an article on USA Today is neither yes nor no. The app downloads a “tag”, leaving behind a unique ID on an iPhone so the developer can recall the apps that were on it and the last Wi-Fi network the phone was logged onto. These marks are used to help a company prove that the phone belonged to an individual, says Joseph Jerome, privacy & data policy counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology. Apple plans to take up the issue in developer conferences in May and June and will work on setting new security policies.

If You See a Crime Being Committed on Facebook What Should You Do?

The recent murder video that was streamed on Facebook has brought up once again the scenario of what you should do if you see a crime being committed online. While no two situations are the same, there are some procedures you can follow if you do happen to see something. If you know where the crime is being committed, call 911. If the video appears on a site like Facebook, report the post by flagging it. Facebook and other companies monitor and check flagged content 24/7. Record the video on your phone to make a record of it. Some don’ts  - don’t share the video, and don’t contact the person committing the crime, as that could prompt them to delete the video.

Adding Some Zip to That iMessage

Have you received iMessages on your iPhone or iPad from your kids or other young people in your life and wonder how they add those special effects like confetti or balloons? Plenty of third-party apps are available for the major mobile platforms that allow you to add animations and other special effects to your text messages, but Apple includes some built-in tools in its iMessage app for iOS 10. While most of the special effects do not fully translate to Android or Windows-based phones, iMessages sent between iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users using the same software should be able to take full advantage of the animations, sound effects, stickers and other features included in the iOS 10 version. Need some step-by- step instructions? Try these.

Too Broad a Reach for the “Adpocalypse”?

Facebook, Google, YouTube and other social media sites recently took a lot of heat for running the ads of mainstream companies with videos that promoted hate speech or extreme racist and radical views. Now it appears that the pendulum has drifted to the other extreme, and the change in YouTube's algorithm affecting display ads has been dubbed "the adpocalypse" by small, independent creators of YouTube content who have been swept up unfairly in the changes and are reporting significant revenue losses. The updates are meant to prevent ads from displaying near extremism and hate speech, but have affected shows on topics including video games, progressive and conservative commentary, and the military.

Social Media as a Source for Good in Kids’ Lives

No one says the risks of using social media are not real, but with millions of kids using these kinds of apps every day, only a tiny fraction of them misusing it. Is it okay to stop worrying about your kids and social media just a bit? Common Sense Media takes up the topic in a new article entitled 5 Reasons You Don't Need to Worry About Kids and Social Media, reminding us that social media strengthens friendships, offers a sense of belonging, and offers support to those who feel marginalized. Social media can even help kids do good by providing chances to participate in community service or raising awareness for people in need. Check out this collection of sites that awaken a sense of social responsibility in kids.

Web Needs a Rethink Says Inventor

Tim Berners-Lee, who is largely thought of as the creator of the Internet, thinks the World Wide Web needs a bit of a rethink to cut down on spying, cyberbullying and the general nastiness often associated with life online. "How come nasty, mean ideas, seem to have traveled more prevalently than constructive ideas on Twitter sometimes? Is that the way it has been designed? Could Twitter be tweaked?" he asks. He also questions why even though the web gives school children from India, China and Syria the ability to interact with each other, people are broadly parochial, choosing to communicate only with others like themselves.

Thinking Like a Computer

Are your children interested in computer coding? Is there talk about adding a programming course to the curriculum at your children’s school? A recent article in The New York Times takes up the topic of “Learning to Think Like a Computer” and reveals some of thinking behind what educators see as the advantages of everyone knowing more about how the digital world works.

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