Common Sense Media — Research for Kids

Common Sense Media recently published a solid piece aimed at helping parents and kids refine and strengthen digital research skills.

Teach Your Kids the Secrets of Smart Web Searching focuses on good research practices, with tips on how to search effectively and and explanations about why it matters. This piece can help parents stay front and center, guiding their kids (and themselves) on the road to becoming stronger digital information consumers.

Also included are a few Google tips  — ideas that can help Google work for the learner rather than the other way around.

Also check out two posts from this blog, Digital Research Tips and Online Databases as well as How Much Does Your Child Search Links?

Young Social Media Users Support the First Amendment

Click to view this image, by Column Five Media, depicting survey results.

Via Milwaukee Journal Online, an interesting article, As Social Media Grow, So Does First Amendment Appreciationdescribes research conducted by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The foundation has taken four surveys, beginning in 2001, to learn more about what high school students know and understand about the First Amendment of the Constitution. (Read the First Amendment here.) The Knight Foundation website explains that group got started with this work

… after surveys of American adults conducted by The Freedom Forum showed that even modern-day support for the First Amendment is neither universal nor stable. In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, support for the First Amendment plummeted. Suddenly,  the nation was almost evenly split on the question of whether or not the First Amendment “goes too far in the rights it guarantees.’’ Continue reading

Digital Kids to Parents: Please Learn More…

With more than 30 years as a teacher including over 20 in the educational technology field, I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills.

Here are the seven most common “I Wish” statements that I’ve heard expressed by children over the last 16 or 17 years. Two of them my daughter told me.

Kids wish their parents and other adult would:

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Social Media, bin Laden and Student Reactions

Read this Spotlight Blog post.

Are you looking for an interesting overview of the surreal celebrations on Sunday night, May 1, 2011 after the announcement about the death of Osama bin Laden?  Check out this post on the MacArthur Foundations’s Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning blog.

The Rise of Social Media and the Death of Osama bin Laden: Students Debate the Meaning of it All includes quotes, links to various media coverage, social media communication and helpful resources that shed some light on the spontaneous and unusually celebratory events that occurred around the United States.

A link to the NPR story on the celebrations takes readers to one of the most interesting comments, for me anyway. Part of one comment is below.

Mr. ADAM EVAN ANGLE (Student, Boston University): So I grew up under the specter of Osama bin Laden as the boogeyman. He was our Lord Vuldemort, if you will, like in Harry Potter, you know. He was pretty much the face of evil.

As a teacher and parent who lived through years with the Harry Potter phenomenon I can completely understand this comment.

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Presentations Without the Power Point Hassle — Bookmark It!

Just about every parent knows the experience. A child prepares a great PowerPoint presentation, takes it to school, and then it doesn’t work — for some reason. Maybe it was huge with way too many graphics and did not transfer correctly to a CD or flash drive. Or perhaps your kid made a presentation on a Mac, but glitches occur when the presentation is on a PC?

Click to visit Discovery Ed!

Solve this problem and explore several ways to refine the whole process — writing, developing, and presenting — on a quality website, and live life without the file transfer hassles. At any number of Web 2.0 presentation sites a user, signs in, creates, works steadily on a project, saves, and can access it again to continue working or presenting as long as a computer is connected to the web.

Discovery Education features a page with four of these presentation tools, including one that allows a user to upload a Powerpoint file to the web and then present it. Discovery provides thumbnail descriptions of  Prezi, SlideShare, Picsviewr, and 280Slides along with links to each of the websites. Continue reading