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.
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.
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?
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”→
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).
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.
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”→
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.