Thoughts About Plagiarism in the Digital World

Designed with Wordfoto!

Designed with Wordfoto!

Originality matters when digital children write and learn, but many 21st Century students have considerable difficulty understanding what the idea of original content really means.

Check out How the Internet Affects Plagiarism at KQED Mindshift, a blog post that describes how plagiarism is evolving in today’s digital world. According to the article, students today do less looking for “unoriginal content” at sites that sell papers or other pre-written documents (compared to the past), and they use lots more content from the almost unlimited digital resources that are available on the Internet.

Mindshift’s post is based on a recently published white paper published by TurnItIn, one of the most well-known plagiarism detection software tools. The paper points out how today’s students tend to discover and share work via social media, use Wikipedia regularly, and continue to copy content from encyclopedias. Read the article for a more thorough summary.       Continue reading

Google+ vs. Facebook

Google Facebook privacy

This clip is from the info graphic.

Please check out my post comparing Facebook and Google+  over at Discover Your Child’s Digital World another blog that I maintain.

My content addresses issues of interest for parents whose kids use either or both of the sites and focuses on interesting facts, some of the differences between Google+ and Facebook, and privacy issues.

I  illustrate with a terrific infographic from Veracode Application Security.

A Thoughtful Teen Describes His Healthcare Journey

I’ve been following a well-written blog by a young man named Josh, in his teens, who describes his experiences during the discovery of a brain tumor, the surgery to remove it, and his subsequent chemotherapy treatments (still going on). Believe me, these posts, on his blog called Josh’s Journey, are compelling and riveting to read, largely because he is a careful observer and a good writer.

Visit Josh's blog.

Visit Josh’s blog.

Josh assumes the role of a journalist, focusing on details, experiences, and his reactions as his medical team goes about providing his care. Readers learn what it’s actually like to proceed, step-by-step first with surgery and then with subsequent medical treatments at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Writing must be helpful, perhaps even therapeutic, as Josh confronts uncomfortable medical procedures, but it’s extraordinary that he sustains his writer’s voice, objectively sharing observations and perspectives about the challenging process of fighting a tumor.

Continue reading

Embedding a YouTube Video – Getting Started

The other day a parent asked me to review the steps for embedding a YouTube video on a blog or in PowerPoint. It’s easy to do. It’s also useful for parents to know a bit about using videos because, in the coming years, your child will likely be using YouTube videos as a part of reports and presentations.

As an example I am using the Mayo Clinic’s video guide to social media. Mayo produced this in-house movie to serve as a teaching tool for members of the medical community, informing staff about social media user responsibilities. The video is a model for any organization that wants to help employees learn more about using social media as well as other digital issues in professional life.

Once you discover a YouTube video that you want to share or embed and know where you want to put it (blogs, PowerPoint, etc.), scroll down so you can see the words just below the video. Click on the word share.

embed video 2

Continue reading

Digital Parenting: Recently Released Research from Northwestern University

Media & Family Conflicts

One of many charts and graphs in the report.

A new study, Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology, was recently released by Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development. The 52-page report is easy to read and chock full of interesting graphics and charts.

Data were gathered through a survey of 2,326 parents whose children were eight years old and younger. The surveys were conducted in English and Spanish. Check out page nine of the report for more information on the methodology of the research project.

Most Interesting Report Findings (more are available in the report)

  • A large number of the parents in the survey do not believe that increased use of media has made parenting easier.
  • Most parents in the survey did not report many or significant family conflicts around media use.
  • There continues to be a big gap between those who can afford new digital devices and those who cannot afford them.
  • The study identified three types of parenting styles when it comes to family media use.
    1. Media-centric family life centers around various types of screens, and parents as well as children enjoy using media a lot of the time.
    2. Media moderate family life includes less media access, and the television is turned off a lot more of the time. Video games are not as important to daily life as in a media-centric family.
    3. Media lite family life includes screen time but less than the other two parenting styles. They tend to do to less television watching as a family, and they do not use television to distract children so that parents can accomplish other tasks.

The blog at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop also describes the study in detail.

Getting Your Child a Cell Phone This Summer? Read This First!

It’s summer 2013…

…and lots of families will soon purchase a new mobile phone for a fifth, sixth, or seventh grade child.

cell phoneRemember, however, you are not just handing over a telephone. A child is getting a mini-computer — a digital device  that takes pictures, shares locations, communicates via text, e-mail, and phone calls, and easily installs apps that connect in all sorts of other ways. A new cell phone networks your child in nearly unlimited ways to the entire world, and most of what he or she sends on the web via cell phone will never be deleted.

Before handing over the new mobile device, 21st Century parents need to think about how they want digital kids to use their new prized possessions and also about what they don’t want children to do.

Adults can be specific and clear about what is acceptable by setting up a cell phone user contract. Use an agreement word-for-word from the list of links on this blog. Or copy one of the contracts as a template and write a more personalized version that is appropriate for your family. Today’s kids are 21st Century learners, eager to use and explore the digital world — a great way to be — but parents need to set clear expectations that help to ensure that a child explores and experiments as much as possible without humiliation and  embarrassment.            Continue reading

40 Really Cool Tips for iPhone Users

emojis

The emoji keyboard has several icon screens.

iPhones seem to have unlimited features to tweak. Since I have owned iPhones for more than four years, I tend to believe I am pretty expert about using them.

Then I read this Christian Science Monitor article, 40 iPhone Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know, and discovered that I still have quite a few cool new things to learn. The February 2012 report, by Megan Riesz, Eoin O’Carroll, and Chris Gaylord, includes a few far-fetched suggestions that I will never do — in my case some the ideas for tweaking Siri — but it also includes several iPhone tweaks that I’ve already added as I was making my way through the 40 tips.

A Few of My Favorites

  1.   Create an “app “out of a website that you visit a lot.
  2.   Take better pics with HDR photography.
  3.  Install the “emojis” keyboard with lots of little pics and icons — especially nice for texting.
  4.  Take a screen shot on the iPhone.