A Tale of Two Online Newspaper Searches

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The newspaper article in the morning paper

It’s Monday morning and over breakfast I’ve found two articles that I want to read more closely, perhaps to share on my blogs — one in the New York Times and the other in the Washington Post. When I decide to share, I usually print out the article, mark it up a bit, and copy the all-important link. My digital life features online newspapers, but in the mornings I still love to look over the paper version,

The 21st Century searching experience for the two newspapers could not be more different.

On the Times website I search for the headline that I”ve just read and up pops my article. Within moments it’s printed and ready for me to study. Interestingly, even if the Times’ online version leads with a different headline, my article will pop up with a search for either headline.     Continue reading

More Apps, More Experimenting, More Tween-Teen Public Mistakes

Image snapped on my mobile device.

Image snapped on my mobile device.

Read Washington Post reporter Cecilia Kang’s April 6, 2013 article, Instagram Beauty Contests Worry Parents, Privacy Advocates, a piece that brings teachers and parents up to date on the current Instagram beauty contest craze among tweens and younger teens.

It’s all so simple. Combine normal growing up with unsupervised digital device apps and add in kids’ occasionally poorly thought-out decisions — and you have a recipe for problems. Many educators, who are aware on a daily basis of the increasing difficulties created by kids’ freewheeling app use, will tell you that it’s predictable. Also, it’s destructive to 21st Century learning communities.

An April 4, 2013 post, Beauty Is Only Skin Deep but Instagram Is to the Bone, by Huffington Post blogger Holly Actman Becker, offers a chatty but detailed romp through the current beauty contest experience from a mom’s perspective and with an interesting result. (Note: I enjoyed reading this post, but if you prefer your prose formal and straight-laced, this isn’t for you. I also wonder just how the author did not know that the minimum age is 13?)

Make no mistake –I love my digital devices. I enjoy using them, talking about them, and sharing information about how they work with my students. Moreover, I do not believe that children and adolescents should have their mobile devices taken away. (OK, a few of these children do need to have an old-fashioned time out from their new-fangled gadgets.)  Continue reading

Kids’ Cell Phones? Who’s in Charge Here?

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Read You Make the Call on Kids’ Phones in the Sunday, November 27, 2011 Washington Post. Written by columnist Michelle Singletary and aimed at the parents of digital kids, the article examines the practice of giving children cell phones at younger and younger ages. The author believes that, in reality, cell phones are simply playful gadgets that easily confuse children about the difference between needing things and wanting things.

Most Compelling Thoughts from the Article

  • If you give your children cell phones, each one should sign a contract that specifies your expectations about appropriate use. Check out the cell phone contract posted here on the MediaTechParenting.net blog. Continue reading

In a Digital World: Always Attribute Sources! Back-to-School 2011

Old card catalog drawers at the Library of Congress

When I was in what we used to call junior high, working on my first bona-fide school research projects, mired down with things to read, and wishing to be finished, my father reminded me over and over again, “… you cannot attribute too much, only too little.” Even now, years later, with only a few words written on a page, I start thinking about Dad’s attribution credo.

Every parent of digital kids needs to share Dad’s strategy whenever children are working on school projects and papers. It is way too easy, in this age of Google, Wikipedia, and easy instant access to digitized scholarly articles, to write about another person’s ideas without giving credit.

I was reminded of my dad when I read the September 11, 2011 Washington Post Ombudsman column. In Plagiarism or Poor Attribution? Patrick B. Pexton writes about an op-ed piece on women and computer programming that appeared two weeks earlier, one that described how many woman used to be programmers. Pexton wonders if the author credited enough of her sources. Continue reading

Parents and Electronic Devices: Taking Time Out?

We’ve all seen them. Perhaps people have seen one of us. The temptation to use a phone or smart device,  no matter where we are or what we are doing — even when we are with our kids — is way, way too strong.

I keep seeing children being pushed around by people (parents?) on telephones.  Sometimes children are playing along in yards or parks, not watched over because the parents are tapping or merely talking on their smart phones. The trouble is, this used to be quality time – enjoyable and relaxed interaction — pointing out dogs, discovering leaves, and learning new words for all sorts of things.

Read Anybody: Parents are Ignoring their Children for their Blackberry in the February 1. 2011 Washington Post. Here’s a short quote, but check out the whole article. Continue reading