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  1. How to disable location on your mobile device - California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office has published an information sheet titled Location, Location, Location: Tips on Controlling Mobile Tracking. The key advice in that sheet, how to disable mobile tracking on Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices, is reposted below.  The tip sheet also includes location sharing advice for mobile versions of Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook email. Also see ConnectSafely’s A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones. Android Phones and Devices: Go to Settings, then Permissions, then Location and turn it off. When an app asks for access to your location, you can choose to grant it or not. To disable geo-tagging of photos, open the camera and then click on the gear icon and set location to “No.” You may have to click the gear icon on several screen layers. You can also choose how accurate you want your location reporting to be (with Location services On). High accuracy mode uses GPS, WiFi, and cellular networks and provides the highest location accuracy and speed, and uses more battery. Battery saving mode uses WiFi and cellular networks to estimate your location, which require less battery. You give up some accuracy and some speed when you select this mode. Device only mode uses [...]
  2. Media Literacy Week and the U.S. election process - — Click above to listen to Larry Magid’s conversation with Michelle Ciulla Lipkin of the National Association for Media Literacy Education by Larry Magid The United States is about to celebrate its first Media Literacy Week (@MediaLiteracyEd) as Canadians have done for the past decade. While the week is not directly related to the U.S. elections, it does coincide with the early stages of both parties’ primary campaigns, which strikes me as a great time to think about media literacy. Very few of us will have a chance to meet any of the candidates face-to-face so what we know about their records, their platforms and their promises comes from the debates, the sound bites we see, hear and read and the analysis of pundits, spin doctors, commentators and reporters. The United States inaugural Media Literacy Week takes place as both the Democrats and Republicans start the process of figuring out who will represent them in the general election in November, 2016. But next year’s Media Literacy Week will take place the week before every U.S. citizen aged 18 or older can go to the polls and exercise that precious right to help make that important decision. Sadly, not everything we hear from the candidates or their supporters and detractors [...]
  3. “3 Rs” of Internet safety: Rights, responsibilities and risk management - by Larry Magid Below is a slightly edited version of a talk I gave at a combined middle and high school assembly on October 22, 2015 and below that is the video of the talk itself. My goal was to demystify some of the tired old Internet safety myths and help students understand how to distinguish what are more and less likely risks and manage the risks that do exist. The lecture was also designed to emphasize students rights as well as responsibilities and to explore the importance of media literacy. [slideshare id=54280556&doc=3rsofinternetsafety-151022203729-lva1-app6891] Watch the video
  4. Identity theft can hit children too - Identify theft can be a serious problem for victims. It can destroy your credit, get you in trouble with the IRS and sometimes even result in your arrest if someone commits a crime in your name. Other consequences, wrote Katie Morell in the book, “Stolen Identity,” include counterfeiting and forgery of documents, stealing medical services in your name and filing tax returns as you so that they can get your refund. A 2008 study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 11.7 million people, five percent of all persons age 16 or older in the United States, were victims of identity theft during the two years prior to the survey. That represented a financial loss of more than $17 billion. As Morell points out in her book, identity theft is nothing new. It’s actually referenced in the book of Genesis in the Bible with the story of Jacob who posed as his brother Esau. Jacob and Esau didn’t have Internet access (the only tablets around at the time were made of stone), which means Esau didn’t have to worry about Jacob using his identity to apply for credit online as has happened to millions of Americans. One thing [...]
  5. North Carolina teens charged under child porn laws: What you need to know about teen sexting - The Washington Post and ABC News (video) are reporting that two North Carolina teens have been charged with manufacturing and possession of child pornography because they have naked pictures of each other on their phones. The teens are now 17 (they were 16 at the time) and they are old enough to be charged as adults. Had they been 18 it would not have been considered child porn and no charges would have been filed. Sixteen is also the age at which kids can have sex in North Carolina. As Dan Abrams said on ABC’s Good Morning America, they could look at each other naked but they can’t share pictures of each other in that state. Because they are being charged as adults, some media outlets are disclosing their names. I’m not. Laws designed to protect, not prosecute, children Child pornography laws were designed to protect children from predatory adults. They were never intended to prosecute teens for sharing images of themselves. This is a disgraceful use of prosecutorial powers. There are situations when it is appropriate to prosecute around sexting images but these are cases where they are distributed without the subject’s consent or cases where an adult has solicited images of children. So-called sextortion is [...]
  6. Guide helps educators navigate social media for class and professional use - by Larry Magid You’ve heard the stories — teachers who got themselves into trouble over what they posted in social media or were, perhaps, cyberbullied by students. And then there are tales of students wasting their time using social media in class. These are risks to be sure, but when used properly, social media can be a great learning tool and a way to enhance — not risk — educators’ professional reputations. These are the conclusions of a new free publication, The Educator’s Guide to Social Media from Written by Kerry Gallagher and myself, the guide answers the basic questions of how you can safely use social media in class and for professional development and how to maintain both student and personal privacy. Kerry Gallagher Co-author Kerry Gallagher (@KerryHawk02) is a Technology Integration Specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. For 13 years she taught middle school and high-school history where her classes collaborated, created and published their ideas in a paperless environment. Of course, many students are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but so can teachers to share learning tidbits with students and show off excellent student work with the student’s, and in some cases, parent’s permission. YouTube is a [...]
  7. Bluetooth headphones protect children’s hearing - Puro Kids headphones If you have kids, chances are very high that they are listening to music through earbuds or earphones. No problem with that, but if the volume is too high, it can affect your child’s hearing. That’s why it makes sense to equip them with headphones or earbuds that limit the volume to about 85 db or less. At that level, children can listen for about eight hours without damage, according to Higher levels are OK for much shorter times. For example: At 91 decibels, your ears can tolerate up to two hours of exposure. At 100 decibels, damage can occur with 15 minutes of exposure. At 112 decibels, damage can occur with only one minute of exposure. At 140 decibels, immediate nerve damage can occur. (source: The noise levels (in decibels) on the thermometer are approximate as measured at a typical listener’s distance. Use this sound thermometer to judge your or your child’s noise exposure. Noise levels at 85 dB or above can be harmful to your hearing and require protection. Most headphones will pump out as much sound as you put into them which means that if you turn up the volume on your device [...]
  8. Teen social media & mobile use helps maintain friendships - New report shows how teens make and maintain friendships online by Larry Magid It comes as no surprise that teens are heavy users of social media and mobile phones. But, based on a new survey from Pew Research, we now know that a majority (57 percent) of teens have met at least one new friend online while 29 percent say they have met at least five friends that way. The survey also found that most of these friendships remain online. Only 20 percent of teens have met an online friend in person. More than three quarters (76 percent) of teens use social media and 71 percent of all teens say they spend time interacting with friends on social media while 23 percent say they do so every day. The study, Teens, Technology and Friendships involved interviews with just over 1,000 teens between 13 and 17 between September 2014 and February 2015. Boys are game social I was surprised to learn that boys are more likely to meet friends online than girls (61 percent vs. 52 percent) until I realized that video games were part of the equation. Boys are more likely to play video games (84 percent compared to 59 [...]
  9. Students: The one group missing from student data privacy laws & bills - The one group missing in the conversation about student privacy rights is the very group existing and proposed laws are designed to protect. If you read the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) or the proposed bills including the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 proposed by Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO), they are all about parental rights but only empower students once they turn 18. I was pleased to see danah boyd weigh-in (all links below) on this subject, which I’ve been speaking about for several months but hadn’t yet gotten around to writing about. Student intellectual property rights As I said at a recent White House meeting with staff from the  Office of Science and Technology Policy and at a recent Berkman Center student privacy event, we need to craft legislation that also protects students’ rights to their own data. That not only means that students should have the right to protect their privacy but also the right to retain their data and intellectual property to use as they wish at any time in their lives. Most of the existing and proposed legislation gives parents the right to control student data until the [...]
  10. Moral panics amidst French media reports of kids disappearing for three days in “Game of 72” - The French English-language news site, The Local, is reporting about a supposed game where “teenagers have come up with a new Facebook challenge that dares them disappear without a trace for up to three days without contacting their family.” The site reports that a 13-year old girl named Emma from northern France went missing for three days but turned up safe. The site says that the girl reported told authority that she had taken on a dare to play the “Game of 72” (as in disappearing for 72 hours). The site said that French authorities have been unable to find actual Facebook postings about the game. Fears are spreading even if the game isn’t While the extent to which the game actually exist remains in doubt, that hasn’t stopped police authorities and media outlets from raising alarms.  The Canadian Global News site reports that police in Vancouver, BC are warning parents about the game, which, according to the site, requires that kids not “tell anyone where they are and the more mayhem and panic that is caused, the more points that teen is awarded.” Vancouver police are not aware of any actual cases of the game. British tabloid, Mirror, speculates [...]

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