Posted in 21st Century Learning, copyright, creative commons, digital learning, parents and technology

Teaching Digital Kids to Respect Intellectual Property: Copyright Resources

The other day I chatted with a parent about the concept of copyright. Both of us are concerned that digital kids understand very little about intellectual property. The free-for-all digital information climate ensures that children have considerable ease accessing information and considerable difficulty comprehending what belongs to whom. Given this easy access parents and educators need to spend time helping children understand the basics.

Copyright laws are arcane, and even a bit crazy, but it’s critical to teach kids that protecting the intellectual property of others is a necessary 21st Century skill. With your child take the Copyright Challenge quiz at Copyright for Kids to see how much you know. When you finish the quiz check out these frequently asked questions about copyright.

Younger children might enjoy taking the Cyberbee Copyright Quiz by moving the mouse over pictures of students.  When the mouse hovers over an image, a question flashes. To get the answer, click on the picture.

Three Other Resources and a Good Video                                Continue reading “Teaching Digital Kids to Respect Intellectual Property: Copyright Resources”

Posted in digital footprints, digital parenting, Do Not Track Kids Act, online security, online tracking, privacy

Stop Tracking Kids: Protect Their Privacy on the Web

Image made with WordFoto with a picture taken at the Library of Congress.

While people worry a lot about kids and their digital access, the most critical aspect to me — and the most likely to cause an eventual problem for a child — is the degree to which information can be tracked and collected while children work and play in the web.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

For more information, read Tell the FTC to Stand Up for Children’s Privacy at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood website.

Posted in digital change, parents and technology

Phone Books: Are They Useful Anymore?

My newest phone book.

Yesterday in my town the new phone books arrived on our porches. I brought mine in and put it in the cabinet where I keep them, pulling out the oldest one and depositing it in the recycling bin.

My neighbor used a different strategy. She took the new phone book off of her porch and put it immediately into the recycling bin.

I began thinking about the last time I used the phone book. I haven’t opened that cabinet for at least six months, perhaps longer — definitely a long time ago.

Are phone books at all useful anymore?

On the other hand, Northern Virginia, where I live, just experienced an epic storm, and many people were without power for four or five days. Even streetlights were dark. Landlines worked, but the Internet did not. Cell phones ran out of power. I wonder if anyone used the phone book?

Posted in cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital parenting, family conversations, online safety, parent child conversations, parent education, parents and technology, teens and technology

Teens, Parent Anxiety, and the Internet

Made with Wordle!

Day after day frightening stories bombard us with warnings about what might happen to children and teens when they use the Internet and World Wide Web, so it’s useful to remind ourselves that these digital resources can provide our children with unparalleled opportunities to learn, socialize, and become active citizens. An article, Our Overblown Paranoia About the Internet and Teens, recently published in the online publication, Salon, provides just such a reminder.

Pediatrician Rahul Parikh, who practices in the San Francisco Bay area, points out that, despite all of our anxiety about teens and Internet risks, no statistics really exist to offer a full picture of the incidence of exposure to risk. Those few that do are often biased because of a common problem for research, posing questions to get the desired answer. Situations that do occur are often covered by a hysterical media, making us feel like a problem happens over and over, just around the corner. Continue reading “Teens, Parent Anxiety, and the Internet”

Posted in digital devices and gadgets, parent education, parents and technology, tech free time

4 Lessons for Parents in a Constantly Connected World

Every digital-age parent with a Blackberry or smartphone needs to read Four Lessons for Parents in a Constantly Connected World. This short article, by Mashable writer Soren Gordhamer, offers a few pointers for parents of digital kids. I’ve summarized each of the recommendations for below.

  • Learn about the games your child plays.
  • Put down digital gadgets and spend time with children (and not letting the gadgets interrupt the time).
  • Keep the gadgets our of the bedroom (for everyone).
  • Start sharing and collaborating on technology searches and projects (and resolve to learn more).

Two recent MediaTechParenting posts relate to this Mashable article.

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, parent education, parents and technology

Collaboration and Technology on the Maryland Eastern Shore

I have just read a colleague’s post, Lessons of a Broken Window, over at The Learning Curve blog. The author, Chris Shriver, describes her son’s persistence as he practices throwing a baseball, even though a few of those pitches have broken windows. He has not let the occasional problem or temporary roadblock keep him from learning and fine-tuning his throwing skill as he seeks to become more expert at pitching.

Picture from NOAA.gov website.

I am spending three days with technology colleagues from a wide range of schools, and all of us are learning more about the ever-increasing technology tools in our lives. At a conference, held on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the goal is to discover, share, and learn as much as we can. We are continuously modeling appropriate behavior, discovering and exploring new technology devices and websites, mastering new skills, and figuring out how to manage our online social media personas rather than letting those personas manage us. All of this information will return to school with us, helping students learn and supporting parents as they confront complex and confusing digital parenting issues. Continue reading “Collaboration and Technology on the Maryland Eastern Shore”

Posted in digital parenting, Evaluating Web Resources, parents and technology, research on the web

Kids and Web Credibility

Click for PDF of the book.

If you worry about the digital research activities of children, especially older students who complete significant amounts of their research using the unlimited resources available on the World Wide Web, you are not alone. Over the past 10 years I have wondered — more than once and sometimes with great angst — if my child and the many children I’ve known over the years really understand the need to evaluate the resources that they find on the web.

Recently I discovered a small book, published by the MacArthur Foundation, describing research that explored how children perceive the quality and reliability of digital media. It’s a book that concerned parents may want to read. In Kids and Credibility: An Empirical Examination of Youth, Digital Media Use, and Information Credibility, authors Andrew J. Flanagin and Miriam J. Metzger, summarize their study as a “…comprehensive investigation into youth’s Internet use and their assessment of the credibility of online information.” The authors wondered whether young digital media users, while sophisticated and fearless about using technology, could evaluate information and determine its quality. Continue reading “Kids and Web Credibility”