Posted in collaboration, digital learning, libraries, online research, parents and technology

Collaboration, Learning, and Libraries!!

Libraries have always been amazing places, but today, look no further than a college, university, or public library to observe an institution that has figured out how to support access to information and 21st Century learning.  Libraries are especially adept at encouraging patrons to collaborate.

I am sitting in the James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Officially I am here to search through the archives on the fourth floor, learning more about Virginia’s Massive Resistance era, but now it’s lunchtime and I am taking a break, walking around, and exploring a bit.

Libraries are very different from the time when I went to college or even a 10 years ago when I took  my last graduate course. Today every library that I visit is collaborative — welcoming interaction among patrons, connecting information from everywhere, and inviting people inside, even first time visitors like me.

If we are not willing to collaborate today, we are not learning especially well.

A Few Observations

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Posted in digital devices and gadgets, electronic communication, land lines, parents and technology

Keeping a Land Line?

Our Oldest Telephone

We are trying to decide whether to give up our land telephone line.

In early February our telephone stopped working. This happens to our phone service from time to time, usually for a few days, always after several days of heavy rain. Each time we call the phone company and each time, a person comes out, tweaks the outside wires, and our phones work again.

Unless it rains a lot, the phones are just fine.

In December when the telephones went down, a repair person from phone company came out, tweaked the line, and once again it started working, but this time they said the problem was in the wiring inside our house. We ignored this since the phones were working

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Posted in digital parenting, online databases, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social media, supervising kids

Effectively Guide Your Digital Kids-10 Tips for Grades 4-6 and Beyond

My design with images from the Apple website.

1.    Save Facebook, Google+, and other big-time social networking experiences for high school.

2.    Know your child’s passwords.

3.    Keep online computer activities out of the bedroom. Also, plan on no-screen wind-down time during the last half hour before bed. (Yes, even those bedtime friendly Kindles – why not use bedtime-friendly books?)

4.    Set up an overnight charging area for cell phones and other gadgets outside of the bedroom, preferably on another floor or part of your home.

5.    Consider writing up digital device contracts and using these agreements with your child. Feel free to take away privileges, or even the device, if your expectations are not met.

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Posted in cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, gadgets and sleep, parents and technology, teens and technology

Is the Price of Privilege too Little Sleep?

I’ve just finished re-reading The Price of Privilege, a 2008 book by Madeline Levine. Last week at a professional development event at my school, I heard Dr. Levine speak, while taking nearly three pages of notes and recalling some of the parenting strategies my husband and I  used when our daughter, now out of graduate school, was in middle and high school.

Almost every concern that Dr. Levine raised — perfectionism, discontent, and insecurity — is familiar after years of parenting and teaching. I especially like her descriptions of effective parenting. Most importantly, when I read her book four years ago and reread it again last week, I thought about sleep and how much of a priority it needs to be for parents and children.

After the lecture my husband and I thought back to our daughter’s middle and high school years, considering all of the things we did well or could have done better. In the process, we remembered the emphasis our family placed on getting enough sleep and eliminating computer screens each evening — sometimes to our daughter’s chagrin. Continue reading “Is the Price of Privilege too Little Sleep?”

Posted in cell phones, fraud, parents and technology, scams and fraud

Fraudulent Text Adds Service to My Cell Phone! Don’t be Scammed!

This text message arrived out of the blue on my iPhone the other day.

This text message arrived on my mobile phone.

I had not ordered LoveGenie Tips, nor did I want to receive these messages. Moreover, I did not want to reply either to ask for help or to tell them to stop, because I worried that a reply might allow them to harvest more information about me.

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Posted in 21st Century Learning, commenting, conversations on commenting, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital parenting, family conversations, parent education, parents and technology

Removing Racist and Hateful Comments: A Simple Relevancy Test

Click to hear Tyler’s dad reading a statement after the jury returned its verdict.

After the jury announced its verdict in New Jersey I watched Associated Press video statement read by Tyler Clementi’s father. Sad and clearly with a heavy heart, he nevertheless looked to the future in a way that most of us could not have done had we lost a child the way he lost Tyler. Then I glanced down at the YouTube comments — just about every one included a gay slur or offensive language, and I was disgusted. The comments were not relevant.

Racist and hateful online comments demean writers, video-makers, and people who thoughtfully share digital content. It’s becoming tiresome. Masquerading as run-of-the-mill responses at the end of articles and videos – they are actually cyber-bullies’ remarks left here and there with the goal of offending and hurting others. The time has long past for comment and blog editors everywhere  — but especially at Google’s YouTube — to set up and enforce guidelines.

I know that the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech; however, it’s not freedom of speech we are observing but the freedom to run off at the mouth and bully others in ways that are not relevant to the content. As a result we are teaching all sorts of silent lessons — the kind we don’t really intend to teach to young people as they grow up.

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Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital learning, digital parenting, electronic reading, i-Books and e-Books, iPhones and iPads, resources to read

My Roundup of e-Books and e-Self-Publishing

KQED MediaShift posted a March 15, 2012 list of recently published articles on e-books and self-publishing. On this page you can also sign up for a regular self-publishing e-newsletter from MediaShift.

A Few More Self-publishing Resources From that I’ve Read Over the Past Few Months