Posted in digital learning, Facebook, family conversations, parents and technology, privacy, social media

Privacy Settings Can’t Always Protect You

All of us — children, parents, and teachers — need to think about the security of our privacy settings. Part of learning to live in the digital world involves understanding and competently using these settings, but we also must recognize their limitations.

Privacy WaveOnce we post or share digital content, the privacy of the information depends on the good judgment of others. No matter how securely the  settings, our friends, who in theory understand our expectations, can err in judgment by copying, taking screen shots, or sharing the content in another digital location. When we post data via social media, we cede control of that information to others who may not abide by our privacy preferences.

In a Wired article, Don’t Make My Mistake: Always Think Before You Tweet, Randi Zuckerman, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerman, describes how she shared a picture with friends, only to have one of those friends share it in a more public way and eventually widely via Twitter. The picture caused a huge media stir, with people laughing that Zuckerman, the sister of the Facebook founder, did not understand the privacy settings. But she understood perfectly — it was her friend who did not get it.

Best Quote

Continue reading “Privacy Settings Can’t Always Protect You”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital parenting, social media, social media friends, social networking, supervising digital kids

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.

Posted in digital kids, parents and technology, privacy, social media, social networking

Teens, Social Media and Privacy — From Pew Internet

Teen Sharing Facebook PewData from a joint Pew Internet and Harvard Berkman Center research report, Teens, Social Media and Privacy, identify a discrepancy between the ways teens and adolescents preserve their privacy and their lack of concern about the invasive collection of personal information by third parties.

The May 21, 2013 report also points out that while teens are increasing the amount of sharing they do on social media, many adolescents are tiring of Facebook because so many adults use the site and because of the excessive sharing that Facebook seems to prod people to do. The researchers gathered much their Facebook data through focus groups. Continue reading “Teens, Social Media and Privacy — From Pew Internet”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, connected learning, digital devices, digital parenting, frightening events, social media, too much media?

When Digital and Social Media Combine With Crisis

Moderation. Even with the best intentions, the decisions we make each day about what to do and how to live become more complex as our digital lives expand. Yet making choices about when and how long to stay connected could not be more important for us, and during times when a tragedy grips the country or the world, our connection choices become even more important.

moderationNow I spend considerable time on my blogs and at my job encouraging parents, kids, and teachers to embrace digital life while also choosing to pursue plenty of offline activities. Making choices about what to do and not to do is especially critical when children live in the house, but all of us should pay attention to the length of time we spend in the digital world.

Choosing does not necessarily mean avoiding long periods of connected time if we are learning or accomplishing something significant (and yes, a game can count). Good choices, however, keep us from wasting time and from missing valuable face-to-face interactions.

I am usually pretty good at moderating my time online — at least I was until the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon. After that tragic event, and for the ensuing six days I’ve not been able to disconnect myself for very long. My husband is a lifelong runner who loves the Marathon, though he’s never run it, but two friends were in this race, so we immediately tried to find more information about them. Moreover, my daughter works at one of the teaching hospitals in Boston.

Digital Mod

So all week-long I could not disconnect from the digital coverage. I checked three newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times, Boston.com) several times a day, added a slew of new Twitter feeds (#BostonMarathon #Marathon #CambridgePolice @Boston_Police, #Boston), and used Public Radio apps on my phone and iPad to listen to Boston radio programs, especially WBUR. (Note: One of my middle school students, a confident 21st Century learner, asked me why I wasn’t using the Public Radio app to listen everywhere I went.) Every day this week I’ve made a final iPhone news check just before going to bed and grabbed my mobile again as soon as I have awakened. I even listened during exercise.

Continue reading “When Digital and Social Media Combine With Crisis”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital kids, digital learning, digital parenting, NAIS Conference Reports, parents and technology, social media, social media friends

Learning Lots More About Topics I Know Lots About: My NAIS 2013 Conference #1

You are in a good workshop when it’s on a topic that you know well, and you end up learning a whole lot more, and when you feel new knowledge pathways opening up, you say “Wow!”  That’s what happened to me on Friday morning at the 2013 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference, this year in Philadelphia.

I attended a workshop, “It’s Just Facebook: Ethical Questions in Social Media Use,” and discovered first-hand how much I can still learn about educating children, their parents, and educators when it comes to 21st Century digital citizenship and media literacy problem-solving. What’s  especially interesting to me since, just the day before, I presented a workshop with three of my NAIS colleagues on a similar topic.

Ethics institute
Check out the Ethics Institute teacher workshops.

In their “Ethical Questions” workshop, Kent Place School presenters Kimberly Coelho and Karen Rezach helped us compare moral with ethical dilemmas sharing case studies that are designed to help students examine and address the life challenges that pop up in their 21st Century learning and digital lives.

The two leaders, part of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place, walked us through the discussion process, emphasizing how they  include a range of different perspectives. Often right and wrong answers are not so clear because the dilemmas usually present competing values, so the problems are not examined or solved easily.

Continue reading “Learning Lots More About Topics I Know Lots About: My NAIS 2013 Conference #1”

Posted in communicating with grandparents, digital learning, digital literacy, parents and technology, social media, social networking, technology changes

Senior Family Members Expand Social Media Access – With Kids’ Help

Those of us with seniors and elders in our families know how important it is, in this digital age, to ensure that children communicate with grandparents, older relatives, and even elder family friends.

In many families, grandparents and other senior relatives benefit and gain more technology skill with the help of their digital-age grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Once a family senior gets immersed in intergenerational digital communication, he or she often wants even more connections — at first more contact with younger family members and then with … the world.

pew-internet-aging-social-networkingInterestingly, only a few years ago most seniors were satisfied with e-mail communication or the occasional video to watch. Not anymore. Today a growing number of people over 65 are enthusiastically latching on to social networking sites and using them on a fairly regular basis, and these numbers are growing.

This amazing graph depicts the percentage of adults at various ages who used social media sites over seven years, and it demonstrates how fast the use of these sites is increasing for all age groups, but especially for seniors.

Published in the Pew Internet’s July 2012 report on Older Adults and Internet Use, the information in the image comes from a Pew survey that collected data between March 2005 and February 2012.

Note the growth for the 50-64 age group and the over 65 age group (data that could hardly be detected back in 2005) over the years of the survey. Moreover, the social networking adoption percentage numbers for people 50 and older picked up a lot of steam, between July and November 2008.

Bottom line? Many more older adults are signing up and using social media sites, and their numbers are continuing to increase. One way that young family members can be especially helpful is to be on the lookout for seniors relatives who can use extra support as they learn more about living lives in the digital world.

The French essayist Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) wrote, “To teach is to learn twice.” Children relearn and review their own digital world lessons when they teach senior family members about learning and communicating in today’s always connected world. It doesn’t matter whether they are helping with privacy issues, teaching a senior to understand a cell phone, or demonstrating the many other virtual world tasks that a grandparent or elder relative might need to know. In helping that older family member learn something new, the child refocuses on the lesson.

That’s pretty cool for everyone involved.

Posted in digital learning, digital parenting, digital world conversations, interesting research, parents and technology, research on the web, social media, social networking

Parents Use More Social Media – Often to Ensure Children’s Security

pew parents teen social media responses
Graph from Pew Internet Teens and Privacy report

In November the Pew Center on Internet and American Life together with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society published a new survey, Parents, Teens, and Online Privacy. This 2012 Teens and Privacy Management Survey gathered data from 802 teens and their parents. Everyone who participated in the survey lived in the United States; however, participants could take the survey in either English or Spanish.

Interesting Results

  • Parents report they are using a lot more social media — 66% of parents with children who use social media now use it themselves (compared with 58% in the 2011 survey).
  • One reason that parents are increasing their use of social media sites is to be able to facilitate ongoing family conversations about content.
  • Parents appear to worry more about advertisers who gather information about a child’s online activities than about a child’s possible contact with unfamiliar people.
  • Some teens whose parents are friends have learned how to restrict the information that parents see, but in general, they are positive about friending a parent.
  • Parents are increasingly aware of privacy policies — 44% have read a policy for a social media that one of their children uses and 39% told the survey that they are helping their children set up social media privacy settings.
  • Parents are concerned about a child’s online reputation, but the concerns are the highest as children get closer to applying to college.
  • Reputation management, when juxtaposed with the adolescent years, is tricky for teens.