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Category Archives: Digital Citizenship

By Julie Walker

Attending the 2012 Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference was in many ways a surreal experience. In an odd sort of way, it was also a validation for the work of my association and my profession. Fifteen years ago I attended a gathering in Washington, DC designed to bring together major stakeholders around the hottest topic of its time: Internet safety. By far the most vocalized threat was exposure to pornography. By far the favored solution of the day was “protecting” children — and adults — by blocking and/or filtering access to the Internet.

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By Belinha De Abreu

In a recent article, Larry Rosen noted that technology was making kids “driven to distraction.” The buzz of an incoming text or the desire to check Facebook was keeping students from extended concentration and deep thinking. In my own practice, I’ve noticed that it’s getting more difficult to get students to think deeply about an idea. From my perspective students are not routinely asked to do much original thinking. For assignments, they are usually given a topic and then told which technology tool to use, and what the expected result should look like.

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A guest blog for A Platform for Good looks at how young people turned bad situations into resounding victories for themselves and for all of us.

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Tonight (October 3rd) is the first of the presidential debates and the candidates’ performance may influence the final outcome of the election. With millions tuning in to watch Obama and Romney answer questions, what should a viewer look for? What can we expect to learn about each man and what should make us wary?

Lights, Camera, Debate! dives into the impact of debate setting and staging, the techniques candidates use to get their messages heard, and what viewers can do to analyze each candidate’s performance.

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Although you’d never know it from news stories, multiple surveys have showed marked decreases in children’s exposure to violence and abuse, writes David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at University of New Hampshire on The Huffington Post. A new Bureau of Justice Statistics report is just the latest in a series pointing to favorable trends in child well being.

Dr. Finkelhor coined the term “juvenoia” to describe an exaggerated fear about youth vulnerability to social change and new technologies.

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Presidential elections bring civics education to life, and it’s no surprise that creative educators are finding interesting ways to capitalize on all the media attention surrounding the conventions and campaigns. At Edutopia, Suzie Boss writes about several cool projects.

Campaigns offer all kinds of opportunities for teaching media and information literacy when students analyze and evaluate ads from candidates and interest groups or create their own ads.

Where to start? We’ve collected a bevy of election resources here.

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Being a “digital native” doesn’t mean that kids don’t need our help when navigating through torrents of information and multiple devices. In fact, they may need adult guidance more then they realize. That’s some of the interesting thinking in a Scientific American blog (thanks to EdSurge for pointing it out) by Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters, and it’s an claim borne out by research.

Playing games is different from using smart phones is different from searching the Internet.

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A guest blog for iKeepSafe.

Is liking something on Facebook constitutionally protected free speech? Lessons on “liking” and the law on Facebook. Read it here.

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A recent story from a school bus illustrates the ability of people to use digital communications as a force for incredible good or for evil.

A student used his cell phone to record a video of other students on his bus cruelly taunting and insulting the bus monitor. The video was posted to You Tube and went viral. So far a story of people using technology for bad things.

But the reaction of online communities showed some of the wonderful promise of the digital age.

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The community of media literacy educators lost a friend, mentor, leader, scholar, author, and, most of all, a teacher. Barry Duncan passed away June 6th after a long battle with Parkinsons. Coincidentally, the great science fiction writer Ray Bradbury died the day before.

Both were icons and visionaries who had outsized influence on their fields.

Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Farenheit 451 became instant classics that became movies and part of popular culture. Both also made important comments about science, society, and people.

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