Posts From SafeKids.com

  1. A conversation with Esther Wojcicki on ‘Moonshots in Education’ - Esther Wojcicki is an award winning journalism teacher and the author of a new book on education called Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom. The book explores digital and online learning with models and examples from schools that are already implementing digital learning. Moonshots is an approachable book that’s part Wojcicki philiophy and part tips and advice from her co-author Lance Izumni and contributors Alice Chang and Alex Silverman. Actor James Franco (a former student of Esther’s) wrote the forward. One of my favorite passages is about a culture of trust The first thing to establish in a classroom is a culture of trust. That doesn’t mean the students are given complete freedom to run wild and do what they want; it means the students trust each other to help in the learning process and the teacher trusts the students. A conversation The interview you can hear below, a conversation really, is more than just about the book. It’s about an educational philosophy that stresses doing rather than just studying and is based on something quite radical in education — respect for students. And the reason I call this a conversation rather than just an interview is [...]
  2. ‘Revenge porn’ is about betrayal, not pornography - This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Sharing explicit pictures or videos with an intimate partner is not always a harmful practice, but it can be devastating if those images get into the wrong hands — like those of Kevin Bollaert. In the first criminal prosecution using a new California law targeting “revenge porn,” San Diego-based Bollaert, 28, was convicted Monday on six counts of extortion and 21 counts of identity theft for operating two websites. One of Bollaert’s now defunct sites posted nude and sexually explicit pictures of woman, often taken by a former intimate partner, with names, age and other information about the victims. Another reportedly enabled victims to pay to have their pictures removed from the first site. Cowardly act “Just because you’re sitting behind a computer, committing what is essentially a cowardly and criminal act, you will not be shielded from the law or jail,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said. “The result of this conduct was to make people feel shame and embarrassment in the context of their family, their community, and their workplace,” she added. “Revenge porn” is a term for pictures posted or shared, often by a former intimate partner, [...]
  3. ConnectSafely to host Safer Internet Day with Calif AG Kamala Harris and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg - This post first appeared in the Mercury News In 2004, a project of the European Commission launched “Safer Internet Day,” which became an annual event held on the second Tuesday of February. This year represents the 11th Safer Internet Day, which is now being celebrated in more than 100 countries, including the United States. California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to keynote Safer Internet Day Last year, ConnectSafely.org, the nonprofit Internet safety organization that I help run, was asked to be the U.S. host, and we launched our own inaugural event in Washington, D.C., that featured panels of youth and industry leaders plus an address by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. This year, Safer Internet Day USA (which is free and open to the public) is being held on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park with a keynote address by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris; remarks by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; three panels involving youth, industry and social activists; and a presentation by National PTA President Otha Thornton. The U.S. theme this year is “Actions & Activism Toward a Better Net & World,” which reflects ConnectSafely’s perspective on the real meaning of Internet safety As you’d expect at an [...]
  4. Ford CEO Mark Fields on mobility, connected cars & teen safety - SafeKids.com founder Larry Magid interviews Ford CEO Mark Fields It may seem odd for an Internet safety site like SafeKids.com to be featuring an interview with the CEO of a car company, but cars are no longer just motor vehicles. They’re connected computers on wheels. And Ford is no longer just in the car and truck business. As you walk around the parking lot, garage and labs at the company’s newly opened Silicon Valley Research Center, you do see cars and trucks along with all sorts of electronic gear. But there are also bicycles which, said Ford CEO Mark Fields, are among the many “mobility” technologies the company is looking at. “We’re thinking of ourselves not only as just an auto company,” he said in an interview, “but we’re also thinking ourselves as a mobility company (scroll down to listen),” He said that Ford is “thinking broadly about a lot of these big societal issues such as congestion in large cities,” and added, “we want to help be part of the solution.” He said it’s all about experiments ranging from bicycles and  cars with sensors looking for open parking spaces I didn’t see a Ford logo on any of the bicycles but the company is equipping them [...]
  5. Facebook to issue Amber alerts — exclusive interview with John Walsh - Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) are teaming up to put Amber Alerts about missing children on Facebook News Feeds, but only if they are in the targeted search area for an abducted child. A game changer John Walsh John Walsh, the founder of NCMEC, former host of America’s Most Wanted and host of The Hunt on CNN called this partnership “a game changer” (scroll down to hear an exclusive podcast interview). He said the alerts will have pictures of the child, his or her height and weight, a description of the clothing he or she was last seen wearing, a description of any vehicle that may be involved and links to NCMEC missing child posters with more details. Users have the option to share the alert with friends. Walsh said that the chance of finding a missing child are much higher if people are looking, and that the first 24 hours (really the first few hours, he said) are critical. He also pointed out that people can see their Facebook News Feeds during times when they might not be watching TV,  listening to the radio or driving by a lighted freeway sign with an Amber Alert. Besides, the [...]
  6. Connected devices at CES raise security, privacy and safety questions - It seems as if almost every exhibitor at CES was showing things that connect to other things. LG showed off washing machines and kitchen appliances that send messages to smartphones. Schlage announced a Bluetooth-enabled smart lock that enables iPhone users to use Siri voice commands to enter their house. Kolibree and Oral-B both showed off connected toothbrushes, and there was even a baby pacifier called Pacif-i, billed as the “worlds first Bluetooth smart pacifier.” Basis Peak is one of many connected gadgets shown at CES Fitness bands like the Basis Peak that send your activity and pulse to your phone, and to the cloud, were all around. Vital Connect showed off a Band-Aid size patch that can send your heart rate, body temperature, posture and EKG to health providers via smartphones. Automakers showed off cars that can “phone home” to transmit data that monitors systems in real time. And, of course, drones were everywhere. These flying machines have wireless controllers and the ability not just to fly through real clouds, but to transmit data to virtual ones. Together, these and thousands of other connected gadgets are referred to as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT. Eventually, the Internet of Things [...]
  7. Researcher sets the record straight on teen sexting - I rarely blog about other people’s blog posts, but the post, “Chances are, Your Teen has NOT Sexted” by Dr. Justin Patchin is worthy of amplification and further comment. Patchin, who is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, himself blogged about yet another blog post from CNN that distorts the prevalence of teen sexting with the headline, “Chances are, your teen has sexted.” Common trap The CNN article itself was relatively balanced and, as a journalist who often writes for publications whose editors write the headlines, I know that it’s possible that the click-worthy headline was written by someone other than the author, CNN’s Kelly Wallace. And, in her defense, Wallace’s article and headline were not all that different from a post from Drexel University’s PR department, drawing attention to research from that university. While it’s hard to blame a journalist for basing a story on what appears to be a reliable source, it’s yet another example of falling into the traps that I wrote about in a Poynter blog post last year titled, “Beware sloppiness when reporting on surveys.” Bad sampling Although this number wasn’t in the [...]
  8. Empowering youth to combat bullying & cyberbullying - Youth Bullying (and adult bullying too) has been around for a very long time, but over the past couple of decades it’s evolved — hence the term “cyberbullying.” At the end of the day, bullying — whether in school or online — is still bullying so strategies to combat cyberbullying have to be integrated into the entire school climate. There are a lot of programs that seek to accomplish this and what the good ones have in common is the understanding that young people themselves are an essential part of the solution.  One such program, Community Matters, has been around since 1996.  The Northern-California based non-profit reports that it has worked with more than 1,000 schools, agencies and organizations across 30 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada. Community Matters’ CEO Rick Phillips And, as its CEO and founder Rick Phillips said in an interview (scroll down to listen to 14 minute podcast) the organization’s strategy is to “see the young people in our schools (including those who may have engaged in bullying) not just as the perpetrator but to see them as the solution.” He added that “young people are in the best position to intervene because they see, hear and know [...]
  9. Apps that encourage positive comments - A pair of relatively new apps are designed specifically to encourage positive comments. To learn more, CBS News Tech Analyst Larry Magid (who is also co-director of ConnectSafely.org and founder of SafeKids.com)  spoke with Pascal Lorne of Let and Calvin Liu, creator of Outpour.
  10. Safety & civility advice for anonymous apps - After School’s iTunes page promises to let you post anonymously A growing number of apps allow people to post anonymously. Some of the better known ones include Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak but there are new ones all the time, including After School, that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times including by students from more than 14,000 U.S. high schools, according to Recode.net. As Recode pointed out, After School’s seven-person staff can’t possibly police all of the posts on this growing service, though the company says it does employ software to look for particularly alarming words like “kill,” “cut” and “bomb.” As TechCrunch reported, the app has been associated with numerous bullying incidents. There are also reports of gun threats, which prompted the Superintendent of Flushing (Michigan) Community Schools to write, “The purpose of the app continues to be in question and very concerning. Not only does it allow for individuals to post anonymous, and often times inappropriate statements and pictures, it also allows the app company access to personal information from an individual’s Facebook account.” The app was temporarily removed from the Apple app store and later reinstated with a 17+ rating. Yik Yak has also had its [...]

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