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14
Apr

FCC Proposes New Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers

The Federal Communications Commission is officially proposing to begin regulating how Internet service providers (ISPs) handle user privacy. The agency is looking to restrict the companies' ability to share with advertisers and other third parties the information they collect about what their customers do online. Opponents voiced concerns that pursuing a new privacy framework that will impose onerous requirements on broadband providers and will mistakenly leave consumers with the impression that they are receiving meaningful new protections.

13
Apr

iPhone Users Have the Power to Make Their Phones Less Hackable

The most recent development in the story of searching the San Bernardino terrorist’s cell phone is that the FBI has unlocked the iPhone without Apple’s help. This discovery has many users asking how they can make themselves less hackable. Experts say using a complex, alphanumeric passcode as opposed to a simple numeric pin on their phones is the key. Information on how to lock a phone with a passcode longer than six digits is available on Apple's website.

13
Apr

iPhone Users Have the Power to Make Their Phones Less Hackable

The most recent development in the story of searching the San Bernardino terrorist’s cell phone is that the FBI has unlocked the iPhone without Apple’s help. This discovery has many users asking how they can make themselves less hackable. Experts say using a complex, alphanumeric passcode as opposed to a simple numeric pin on their phones is the key. Information on how to lock a phone with a passcode longer than six digits is available on Apple's website.

12
Apr

New ACT and SAT Technology Related Security Measures

Besides now requiring identification photos when students register for the ACT and SAT, Educational Testing Services (the company that administers the SAT) is supplying a wand detector to proctors to see if a test taker is carrying a cell phone. One of the biggest security threats during testing is the use of cell phones that can be used for looking up answers, texting others test information, and taking photos of test pages. The ACT also has a hotline for students to report concerns about breaches, such as copying or test theft. 

12
Apr

New ACT and SAT Technology Related Security Measures

Besides now requiring identification photos when students register for the ACT and SAT, Educational Testing Services (the company that administers the SAT) is supplying a wand detector to proctors to see if a test taker is carrying a cell phone. One of the biggest security threats during testing is the use of cell phones that can be used for looking up answers, texting others test information, and taking photos of test pages. The ACT also has a hotline for students to report concerns about breaches, such as copying or test theft. 

11
Apr

Reconsidering Children and Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics has had a long standing policy on children and media, discouraging any screen time for children under 2 and limiting screen time to two hours a day for older children. New questions about those recommendations are being raised and those guidelines are now under review.  Regardless of what changes might be coming to the recommendations, most experts agree parents need to make sure to create a couple of hours of high-quality offline time each day. As one expert definitively put it “Media violence will never be good for kids; sexual content at a young age will never be good for kids; first-person shooter games will never be good for kids. The research is very clear, and it will never change.”

11
Apr

Reconsidering Children and Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics has had a long standing policy on children and media, discouraging any screen time for children under 2 and limiting screen time to two hours a day for older children. New questions about those recommendations are being raised and those guidelines are now under review.  Regardless of what changes might be coming to the recommendations, most experts agree parents need to make sure to create a couple of hours of high-quality offline time each day. As one expert definitively put it “Media violence will never be good for kids; sexual content at a young age will never be good for kids; first-person shooter games will never be good for kids. The research is very clear, and it will never change.”

8
Apr

Can the Cool Kids Stop Bullying?

A group of researchers from Princeton University, Rutgers University and Yale University has found that when students are the ones to take a stand against bullying – as opposed to teachers or parents – it is significantly more impactful. Schools may have more success curbing incidents of bullying if their most social students take an anti-bullying stance. Over the course of the 2012-2013 school year, 56 New Jersey middle schools armed their most influential students with social media training and various bullying awareness gear, like bright-colored wrist bands, and saw a 30 percent reduction in student conflict reports. Notably, the greatest drop in conflict was observed among the schools with the highest proportion of social influencers, supporting the researchers' hypothesis that these students exert an outsized influence over school climate.

8
Apr

Can the Cool Kids Stop Bullying?

A group of researchers from Princeton University, Rutgers University and Yale University has found that when students are the ones to take a stand against bullying – as opposed to teachers or parents – it is significantly more impactful. Schools may have more success curbing incidents of bullying if their most social students take an anti-bullying stance. Over the course of the 2012-2013 school year, 56 New Jersey middle schools armed their most influential students with social media training and various bullying awareness gear, like bright-colored wrist bands, and saw a 30 percent reduction in student conflict reports. Notably, the greatest drop in conflict was observed among the schools with the highest proportion of social influencers, supporting the researchers' hypothesis that these students exert an outsized influence over school climate.

7
Apr

Schools Using Snapchat to Communicate with Students

Despite having a bad reputation as being a tool for cyberbullies, Snapchat (the messaging app where the pictures and videos you send disappear after they are opened) is starting to find its way into schools with a more positive purpose. Some schools are experimenting with using SnapChat to connect with students and parents because of its popularity with young adults. Teachers can post reminders about assignments and class announcements on a platform that the students use the most.

7
Apr

Schools Using Snapchat to Communicate with Students

Despite having a bad reputation as being a tool for cyberbullies, Snapchat (the messaging app where the pictures and videos you send disappear after they are opened) is starting to find its way into schools with a more positive purpose. Some schools are experimenting with using SnapChat to connect with students and parents because of its popularity with young adults. Teachers can post reminders about assignments and class announcements on a platform that the students use the most.

6
Apr

Best Game Consoles for Kids

Thinking about a game console for your kids these days is complicated. There are the traditional machines like Microsoft's Xbox One or Xbox 360; Sony's PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3; and Nintendo's Wii U. There are also set-top boxes (also called Internet TVs or "media players") such as the Apple TV and the Roku, and gaming-optimized systems such as the Nvidia Shield Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition. If you need help making a decision, take a look at Common Sense Media’s recommendations in an article entitled “What's the Best Game Console for Kids?”

6
Apr

Best Game Consoles for Kids

Thinking about a game console for your kids these days is complicated. There are the traditional machines like Microsoft's Xbox One or Xbox 360; Sony's PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3; and Nintendo's Wii U. There are also set-top boxes (also called Internet TVs or "media players") such as the Apple TV and the Roku, and gaming-optimized systems such as the Nvidia Shield Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition. If you need help making a decision, take a look at Common Sense Media’s recommendations in an article entitled “What's the Best Game Console for Kids?”

5
Apr

Artificial Intelligence and Education

National Public Radio recently posted a fascinating article about Artificial Intelligence, or “AI” as it is commonly known, and the future of education. One prediction is that AI, when used as a one-on-one tutoring system, could eliminate the need for standardized tests because the computer software will always know how knowledgeable the student is in the subject matter. It gives new meaning to the term “life long learning companion” compared to what the encyclopedia’s salesperson meant by it back in the 20th century.

What will this mean for human teachers? Geoff Colvin, an editor for Fortune magazine and the author of a book about human capabilities, wrote in The New York Times: "Advancing technology will profoundly change the nature of high-value human skills and that is threatening, but we aren't doomed. The skills of deep human interaction, the abilities to manage the exchanges that occur only between people, will only become more valuable." So maybe teachers will have a place after all. Want to learn more? See Intelligence Unleashed: An argument for AI in Education, a pamphlet from the world's largest education company, Pearson.

5
Apr

Artificial Intelligence and Education

National Public Radio recently posted a fascinating article about Artificial Intelligence, or “AI” as it is commonly known, and the future of education. One prediction is that AI, when used as a one-on-one tutoring system, could eliminate the need for standardized tests because the computer software will always know how knowledgeable the student is in the subject matter. It gives new meaning to the term “life long learning companion” compared to what the encyclopedia’s salesperson meant by it back in the 20th century.

What will this mean for human teachers? Geoff Colvin, an editor for Fortune magazine and the author of a book about human capabilities, wrote in The New York Times: "Advancing technology will profoundly change the nature of high-value human skills and that is threatening, but we aren't doomed. The skills of deep human interaction, the abilities to manage the exchanges that occur only between people, will only become more valuable." So maybe teachers will have a place after all. Want to learn more? See Intelligence Unleashed: An argument for AI in Education, a pamphlet from the world's largest education company, Pearson.

4
Apr

Taking Stock of Family Media Use

Want to take stock of where you as a parent stand with media use at your house? Take a look at the “Media History” form on the American Academy of Pediatrics site to see if you might have missed something you should be talking to your kids about. It is also a good reminder of things that you should be discouraging, such as consuming snacks while watching television.

4
Apr

Taking Stock of Family Media Use

Want to take stock of where you as a parent stand with media use at your house? Take a look at the “Media History” form on the American Academy of Pediatrics site to see if you might have missed something you should be talking to your kids about. It is also a good reminder of things that you should be discouraging, such as consuming snacks while watching television.

1
Apr

Time Spent Playing Video Games Deemed Positive Within Limits

You might not want to tell your kids there is a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with the conclusion that “Time spent playing video games may have positive effects on young children.” While running counter to many stories in the media, and understanding that the study was about European children aged 6 to 11 who are not playing Grand Theft Auto, it reflects the times in which we live. Video game playing is now almost a rite of passage for young children. Katherine Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia, says “What we’re seeing here is that kids who play a lot of video games are socially integrated, they’re prosocial, they have good school functioning and we don’t see any association with adverse mental health outcomes.” She also added that this does not mean unlimited video game playing is good for anyone’s health, and that she supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation for parents to monitor and limit screen time.

1
Apr

Time Spent Playing Video Games Deemed Positive Within Limits

You might not want to tell your kids there is a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with the conclusion that “Time spent playing video games may have positive effects on young children.” While running counter to many stories in the media, and understanding that the study was about European children aged 6 to 11 who are not playing Grand Theft Auto, it reflects the times in which we live. Video game playing is now almost a rite of passage for young children. Katherine Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia, says “What we’re seeing here is that kids who play a lot of video games are socially integrated, they’re prosocial, they have good school functioning and we don’t see any association with adverse mental health outcomes.” She also added that this does not mean unlimited video game playing is good for anyone’s health, and that she supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation for parents to monitor and limit screen time.

31
Mar

What Tech Usage Rules Would Kids Make for Parents?

Researchers at the University of Washington and University of Michigan recently surveyed parents and their children between the ages of 10 and 17 about their household's most important technology rules and expectations. Interestingly, twice as many children as parents expressed concerns about family members oversharing personal information about them on Facebook and other social media without permission. Children also called out parents on issues like not texting while driving or sitting at a traffic light. According to the children surveyed, parents need to practice what they preach when it comes to rules like staying off the internet while at meals and giving them their full attention when talking to them rather than glancing at their phone. Overall, children found it easier to follow household technology rules when families had developed them collectively and when parents lived by them as well. The research also suggests that when parents found that a particular app or social media site was too difficult for their kids to disengage from, the simplest solution (and most respected by kids) was to just make it off-limits.

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