Teens, Millennials, and Technology; How Well Do You Know What They’re Doing? [Infographic]

June 2, 2012

This infographic, from OnlineSchools.com titled “The Millennial Teenager” has some great stats to help you understand the devices teens and millennials (18-34-year-olds) use, what they’re doing about their privacy, and how they split their time between multiple devices and technologies. It’s a fun, and informative read.

The Millennial Teenager




Bill of Rights for Social Networkers [Infographic]

May 23, 2012

A new infographic by BackgroundCheck does an excellent job of highlighting the issues surrounding requests for access to personal social networking sites by employers, would-be employers, government agencies, law enforcement, colleges and other groups.   Check it out:

Social Networking Bill of Rights


New Online Safety Lesson: Online Hate Crimes: Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

March 21, 2012

The 14th installment in the lesson series I’m writing on behalf of iKeepSafe, looks at taking a stand against hate crimes and content groups on the internet.

The vast majority of people in every country oppose hate, hate groups, and hate crimes. Unfortunately however, the number of hate groups around the world is increasing. In the U.S. hate groups have surged by 54% since 2000 when there were 602 hate groups, to 1,018 official hate groups in 2011.

The rise in hate groups isn’t just an American problem; Germany, South Africa, France, Britain, and other countries also struggle with rapidly expanding numbers of hate groups.

To see and use this lesson, the companion presentation, professional development materials, and parent tips click here: Online Hate Crimes: Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?


New Online Safety Lesson: Connecting Technology Across Generations

February 17, 2012

The 11th installment in the lesson series I’m writing on behalf of iKeepSafe, focuses on leveraging the internet to connect generations.

Who says technology is hurting interpersonal relationships? New research shows that the “computer generation” no longer encompasses just the teens who grew up with technology. Seniors are migrating online like never before, which offers new channels for communication between the generations.

Whether texting, Skyping, Facebooking or emailing, seniors and youth have much to gain from each other. Read further for some surprising statistics on how seniors are increasingly embracing current technologies and finding new ways to communicate with their grandchildren and other youth. And, don’t miss out on tips to help deepen interaction between younger and older generations.

To see and use this lesson, the companion presentation, professional development materials, and parent tips click here: Connecting Technology Across Generations 


New Weekly Headlines Inspired Online Safety Lesson: This Year’s Social Networking Trend: Private – It’s the New Public!

December 28, 2011

As promised, I’ll be posting the weekly internet safety lessons that I’m writing in collaboration with the internet safety group iKeepSafe that will introduce digital literacy, safety, security and privacy topics to students and families through current news articles.

The latest lesson is This Year’s Social Networking Trend: Private – It’s the New Public!

Here’s a quick overview: News reports about the repercussions of sharing thoughts, attitudes, actions photos, videos, and more through online services have increasingly been making headlines this year. Whether personal information and private comments are exposed through leaks, hacks, changes in privacy settings, new features, or general indiscretion, the fallout is beginning to catch up with consumers of all ages. This lesson will help students and families develop an understanding of the very real likelihood that any content they post online will be seen by far more people than they intended to share with, and how understanding this reality can help them make smarter choices about what and what not to share. Take a look and start the conversation in your home…..


Facebook Dominates Social Networking, Garnering 95% of Consumers Social Networking Time

December 26, 2011

Social networking is all but synonymous with Facebook according to new an analysis of comScore data and charted by web publisher Ben Elowitz of Wetpaint.

The service commands 95% of all social networking time, a remarkable feat essentially accomplished in just 4 ½ years.

Facebook’s fortunes took off when the disastrous mismanagement of MySpace, horrific lapses in privacy and safety features (think of the news stories of early 2009 when MySpace had to acknowledge removing 90,000 convicted sex offenders) and tawdry ads placed on user’s pages disgusted their user base and marketers alike.

How much has Facebook learned from MySpace’s foibles?

While Facebook has largely avoided the label of being a haven for sexual predators, they have been slow to provide consumer with customer support or assistance, and they have trampled consumer privacy so many times that last month’s FTC charges against the company for deceiving consumers by failing to keep their privacy policies is but one incident in a long line of penalties and fines Facebook has faced for their practices. Of note is the $9 million dollar fine levied by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner’s office in 2009, the Facebook Buzz debacle, and the current demand by European countries for changes, see Europeans calls on Facebook to adapt data-privacy changes to comply with local laws.

It is tempting to believe that Facebook is an unstoppable juggernaut, but that may change if another, more respectful alternative comes along.


One in Three Teachers Cyberbullied – 25% Comes From Parents

September 3, 2011

We hear a lot about kids bullying and cyberbullying kids, we hear plenty of stories about adults harassing and stalking others online, but what we hear less about is the cyberbullying teachers are subjected to at the hands of their students – and the student’s parents.

More than a third of teachers in the U.K. have been abused online. Most of the abuse (72%) came from students, but over a quarter (26%) came from parents according to a new study from Plymouth University in England conducted by professor Andy Pippen.

“Everyone acknowledges this is a problem and something needs to be done about it, but schools lack support. It is a sticky area as some of the things posted may not be considered illegal,” Pippen told the Huffington Post UK.

While teachers have always been targets of abuse – cars damaged, homes trashed, graffiti slurs, and threats – the internet’s anonymity appears to have given bullies – particularly parent bullies – the opportunity to scale to a new level of viciousness.

Showing typical gender role bias, 60% of the teachers who reported being bullied are women.  The abuse is manifest through several online mediums like chat and social networks, but cyberbullies are also creating Facebook groups specifically targeting certain teachers, posting videos on YouTube, and leveraging the ever nasty ratemyteacher.com site.

“It seems to a subset of the [parent] population the teacher is no longer viewed as someone who should be supported in developing their child’s education, but a person whom it is acceptable to abuse if they dislike what is happening in the classroom,” said Phippen.

While this report is out of the U.K. and not the U.S., it would be naïve to assume that teachers here and around the world aren’t facing the same issues.

Perhaps as schools put together the final pieces of their back-to-school materials for this school year they should add a section to their student cyberbullying policy that specifically outlines expectations for parents.  If the parents are cyberbullies, it will be awfully hard to get their kids to behave better.