Digital Smarts Blog

You are here

9
May

Top Ten Privacy Tips for Educators (and Parents Who Want Stay in the Know)

How your child’s teachers handle student data is an important topic to discuss with them, as PII (Personally Identifiable Information) is often shared with groups outside the school. A resource called Top 10 Student Privacy Tips for Educators can help you figure out the right questions to ask and is available for download from iKeepSafe and BrightBytes after a free registration. This guide is also a great resource for schools or districts who might be reevaluating their privacy policies or who may need help communicating a policy overview to parents.

6
May

Snapchat 2.0

A recent update to SnapChat means that besides sending pictures (that disappear once seen), you now have the option to video chat other users within the app. The update also allows you to use stickers and send GIFs of your face in chat, make voice calls, and send audio messages. All of this is likely to keep it at the top of the most used teenage app list, meaning the changes are definitely something parents should check out.

6
May

Snapchat 2.0

A recent update to SnapChat means that besides sending pictures (that disappear once seen), you now have the option to video chat other users within the app. The update also allows you to use stickers and send GIFs of your face in chat, make voice calls, and send audio messages. All of this is likely to keep it at the top of the most used teenage app list, meaning the changes are definitely something parents should check out.

5
May

Family Phone-Free Zones Urged

A new article on the Common Sense Media site urges parents to set up Phone-Free zones to encourage more family time. The article points a finger at parents, not kids, for being disengaged due to cell phones. Keeping devices off at the dinner table and in the bedroom and car are the examples they suggest, reminding parents that kids are affected by the amount of time their parents spend on the phone.

5
May

Family Phone-Free Zones Urged

A new article on the Common Sense Media site urges parents to set up Phone-Free zones to encourage more family time. The article points a finger at parents, not kids, for being disengaged due to cell phones. Keeping devices off at the dinner table and in the bedroom and car are the examples they suggest, reminding parents that kids are affected by the amount of time their parents spend on the phone.

4
May

Creating “Badges” To Help Youngest Users with Passwords

No matter how old you are, remembering the multiple passwords you use can be a chore, but imagine how difficult it would be if you didn’t even know how to read or write yet. A company called Clever is offering schools a new product called Clever Badges that will allow the youngest students to log in to hundreds of education apps without having to type a word. Kids will be able to flash their personalized “badge” at the built-in camera on their computers - a method Clever CEO Tyler Bosmeny says will not only ensure student data is protected online but will also help teachers keep student passwords private.

4
May

Creating “Badges” To Help Youngest Users with Passwords

No matter how old you are, remembering the multiple passwords you use can be a chore, but imagine how difficult it would be if you didn’t even know how to read or write yet. A company called Clever is offering schools a new product called Clever Badges that will allow the youngest students to log in to hundreds of education apps without having to type a word. Kids will be able to flash their personalized “badge” at the built-in camera on their computers - a method Clever CEO Tyler Bosmeny says will not only ensure student data is protected online but will also help teachers keep student passwords private.

3
May

Teens Perhaps Willing to Sell PersonalIy Identifiable Info Online for Money

United Kingdom IT solutions company Logicalis recently conducted a study of kids ages 13 to 17 and found that this age group is “instinctively digital”, fully comprehending the value of their personal information. Even more revealing was that not only is this age group completely comfortable with how much their personally identifiable information (PII) was worth, but 42% would be quite happy to sell it.

3
May

Teens Perhaps Willing to Sell PersonalIy Identifiable Info Online for Money

United Kingdom IT solutions company Logicalis recently conducted a study of kids ages 13 to 17 and found that this age group is “instinctively digital”, fully comprehending the value of their personal information. Even more revealing was that not only is this age group completely comfortable with how much their personally identifiable information (PII) was worth, but 42% would be quite happy to sell it.

2
May

Snapchat Is Preferred Teen Social Network

Research firm Piper Jaffray has polled 6,500 teens in the U.S. about social networks and has found the messaging app Snapchat to be the preferred social network for teens. 28% of those queried claimed SnapChat is the most important social network, followed closed by photo sharing app Instagram at 27%. Twitter was third on the list at 18%, followed by Facebook at 17%. Tumblr was a distant fifth at 2%. Apple also remains a hot tech brand among teens. The survey found 69% of teens already own an iPhone, while 75% say the iPhone will be their next smartphone purchase. Interest in the Apple Watch is far lower, with 10% of teens saying they plan to buy one.

2
May

Snapchat Is Preferred Teen Social Network

Research firm Piper Jaffray has polled 6,500 teens in the U.S. about social networks and has found the messaging app Snapchat to be the preferred social network for teens. 28% of those queried claimed SnapChat is the most important social network, followed closed by photo sharing app Instagram at 27%. Twitter was third on the list at 18%, followed by Facebook at 17%. Tumblr was a distant fifth at 2%. Apple also remains a hot tech brand among teens. The survey found 69% of teens already own an iPhone, while 75% say the iPhone will be their next smartphone purchase. Interest in the Apple Watch is far lower, with 10% of teens saying they plan to buy one.

29
Apr

Developing a School Culture to Help Curb Bullying

While bullying should never be acceptable, some schools are replacing their zero tolerance policies with a restorative justice approach. Research has shown that zero tolerance policies can worsen school climates, provoke more student misbehavior, and lead to higher expulsion and suspension rates for minorities. The underlying concept to the restorative justice approach is to treat bullying like a hurtful act that violates shared values, rather than as a character defect, and to encourage kids to understand why their behavior was wrong, and to apologize and make amends. If your school or district is struggling with bullying and trying to form or reform their bullying or cyberbullying policy, the article How to Develop a School Culture That Helps Curb Bullying on the Mindshift site could be helpful.

29
Apr

Developing a School Culture to Help Curb Bullying

While bullying should never be acceptable, some schools are replacing their zero tolerance policies with a restorative justice approach. Research has shown that zero tolerance policies can worsen school climates, provoke more student misbehavior, and lead to higher expulsion and suspension rates for minorities. The underlying concept to the restorative justice approach is to treat bullying like a hurtful act that violates shared values, rather than as a character defect, and to encourage kids to understand why their behavior was wrong, and to apologize and make amends. If your school or district is struggling with bullying and trying to form or reform their bullying or cyberbullying policy, the article How to Develop a School Culture That Helps Curb Bullying on the Mindshift site could be helpful.

28
Apr

Getting to the Bottom of Educational Technology Jargon

Confused by education jargon such as “hybrid education,” “data driven,” and “personalization,” especially when it comes to technology? Take a look at A Simple Cure For Education's Jargonitis on the National Public Radio site.

28
Apr

Getting to the Bottom of Educational Technology Jargon

Confused by education jargon such as “hybrid education,” “data driven,” and “personalization,” especially when it comes to technology? Take a look at A Simple Cure For Education's Jargonitis on the National Public Radio site.

27
Apr

Guidelines for Helping Special Needs Teens Enjoy a Life Online

NPR’s All Tech Considered recently featured a set of guidelines for helping special needs teens stay safe online. Most of the ideas are the same for any family who has teens, but Kortney Peagramm, a psychologist working to reduce cyberbullying in Chicago, stresses a few points that are particularly important. These include discussion, monitoring and educating parents about the apps and sites their teens are using, and watching the teens’ circle of friends for warning signs of bullies.

27
Apr

Guidelines for Helping Special Needs Teens Enjoy a Life Online

NPR’s All Tech Considered recently featured a set of guidelines for helping special needs teens stay safe online. Most of the ideas are the same for any family who has teens, but Kortney Peagramm, a psychologist working to reduce cyberbullying in Chicago, stresses a few points that are particularly important. These include discussion, monitoring and educating parents about the apps and sites their teens are using, and watching the teens’ circle of friends for warning signs of bullies.

26
Apr

Amazon Echo and the Concept of Courtesy

Have you seen the ads with Alec Baldwin for the new Amazon Echo? The Amazon Echo is a wireless speaker and device that responds to voice commands to deliver weather and news, play music, access Wikipedia articles and even turn on lights. The device is an underground hit with people of all ages, but some parents have complained that the device is teaching children poor manners. The Echo is activated by the prompt command “Alexa,” without requiring the use of niceties such as “please” and ‘thank you.” Some feel that could interfere when teaching young children basic etiquette!  

26
Apr

Amazon Echo and the Concept of Courtesy

Have you seen the ads with Alec Baldwin for the new Amazon Echo? The Amazon Echo is a wireless speaker and device that responds to voice commands to deliver weather and news, play music, access Wikipedia articles and even turn on lights. The device is an underground hit with people of all ages, but some parents have complained that the device is teaching children poor manners. The Echo is activated by the prompt command “Alexa,” without requiring the use of niceties such as “please” and ‘thank you.” Some feel that could interfere when teaching young children basic etiquette!  

25
Apr

Chrome Extension “Rewords” Hateful Online Messages

"Once an insult is read, the damage is done" is the tagline of Reword, a new Google Chrome extension designed to combat cyberbullying. The tool identifies insulting words in online posts and messages, and then crosses them out with a red line. Developed in Australia by Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, and ad agency Leo Burnett Melbourne, Reword aims to address online abuse by preventing hateful messages before they're even posted. The tools will also be available soon on Firefox and Safari.

 

While certainly well intentioned, the most obvious impediment to the success of Reword is that internet users must choose to install the extension on their computer. While the installation process itself is relatively easy, it might not be as easy to get people who are writing hurtful things online to download the tool. Another tech-based effort to fight cyberbullying is the social-awareness emoji that's supposed to "get the invisible bystanders to speak up against mean things on the Web." Called the "I Am A Witness" campaign, the emoji is meant as a way to "give teens a way to say something when they don't know what to say." Unfortunately, neither of these campaigns seems to be catching on so far.

 

Pages