Tuesday, November 14, 2006

2005 NetDay Speak Up Survey Results

Now in its fourth year, NetDay Speak Up is an annual national research project that collects the voices and views of key stakeholders in education on topics such as educational technology, science, math, and 21st workforce skills. Over the past three years the project has collected the viewpoints of over 562,000 K-12 students from all 50 states, as well as 26,000 teachers.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Xanga fined for letting kids under 13 get accounts

FTC fines Xanga for violating kids' privacy
$1 million penalty against social networking site is largest under 1998 law

MSNBC, Posted Sept 7, 2006, :
By Bob Sullivan, Technology correspondent

Excerpt: "In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Xanga, a rival to the popular MySpace.com, allegedly permitted creation of 1.7 million accounts by users who submitted birthdays indicating they were under 13. Collecting personal information from anyone under 13 without parental consent is a violation of the children's protection act, or COPPA, which was passed by Congress in 1998."

Facebook faces complaints about profile tracking feature

From The Chronicle Of Higher Education
Wired Campus Blog, September 6, 2006
New Facebook Feature Prompts Complaints
Excerpt: "Whether Megan changes her relationship status from “single” to “it’s complicated,” or Ike removes Must Love Dogs from his list of favorite movies, Facebook users can now find out on the “News Feed,” which compiles a list of profile updates on the Facebook home page. Complementing the News Feed is the “Mini-Feed,” which tracks a personal profile and documents the Facebook activity of that person.
Complaining that the features represent an invasion of privacy, upset users have created dozens of Facebook groups protesting the new features, which were introduced Tuesday morning. One of the largest groups has more than 225,000 members, a number that seems to grow by the second, who pledge not to update their profile until the new features are removed or significantly modified."


Follow up:
Facebook's Creator Admits That New Features Flopped, but College Officials Sense a Teachable Moment
By SAMANTHA HENIG, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept 11 2006
Excerpt:The creator of Facebook, the popular social-networking Web site, responded on Friday to criticism of two new features that many users have attacked as a violation of their privacy.
Since a September 5 redesign that introduced the new features, users have been greeted by a "News Feed" when they log on to the site. Functioning like an RSS feed, the News Feed compiles a list of everything that everyone tagged as a friend has done on Facebook. Whether a friend changes his relationship status, updates his favorite books, comments on a photograph, or posts a message, that action is relayed through the News Feed.


Follow up:
Facebook and Other Social-Networking Sites Raise Questions for Administrators
Roundtable in: The Chronicle of Higher Education Sept 11 2006, By BROCK READ AND JEFFREY R. YOUNG
Excerpt: The attention that Facebook has generated has given college administrators plenty of incentive to consider whether their institutions should issue warnings about the site. The Chronicle recently discussed Facebook with a panel of officials who have wrestled with the issue.
Section: Information Technology
Volume 52, Issue 48, Page A29

Pop culture - Abbrev's in our speech?

OMG! LOL That was so awk!
Internet abbreviations find their way into common speech

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
(From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel), Posted: Sept. 4, 2006

Excerpt: "Not only is the Internet changing how we work and play, it's changing how we talk.
Most def, agrees Archna Eniasivam, 20, of Coral Springs, Fla.
That's "most definitely" for everyone still speaking in whole words.
Now that the Internet has fueled an explosion of written shorthand, verbal shorthand couldn't be far behind."


Friday, September 01, 2006

Academic - Using social sites to preview roommates

Judging Roommates by Their Facebook Cover
Freshmen go online to check out the students they will live with — and reach some early conclusions
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, dated September 1, 2006

Excerpt: "Some college officials say they are receiving more complaints than ever before, as students go online to collect personal information about their peers. This year many incoming freshmen used Facebook and MySpace, two social-networking Web sites, to do research on their future roommates.

Facebook was available only to college students until last September, when it was expanded to include high-school students. The site now has 7.5 million registered users, at 2,200 colleges and 22,000 high schools.

In the profiles that they create on Facebook and MySpace, students post photos, quotes, inside jokes, and lists of their favorite bands and TV shows.

While such informal online profiles can help strangers to break the ice before move-in day, they can also cause alarm. Now a student's fondness for cartoons or penchant for punk rock can annoy a roommate before the two ever meet. As a result, administrators are spending more time dealing with Facebook fretting before students even matriculate."


Thursday, August 31, 2006

YouTube launches colleges feature

YouTube Launches YouTube Colleges, Follows Facebook
Mashable, August 31, 2006, By Pete Cashmore

Excerpt: YouTube has just launched a new feature, Colleges on YouTube, which provides closed communities for students, staff, and alumni of US colleges and universities. Just like Facebook, users must have a valid .edu address to participate, although existing users can change their email address. The service currently serves 30 major US colleges and universities, with many more coming soon. Members have access to private video “pools”, which could include party videos and clips from college sports games.

Academic (?) - iPod tops beer on campus

iPods knock over beer mugs
By Mike Snider, USA TODAY - Updated 6/7/2006 11:20 PM ET
Excerpt: That iPods are "in" on college campuses might not surprise you. That Apple's portable music players are more popular than beer? Now that's surprising.
Beer traditionally has had the biggest buzz with college students: Seventy-five percent consider drinking beer "in" on their campuses, according to Student Monitor's Lifestyle & Media Study.
Only once in the past decade of the biannual survey, in 1997, was beer bumped from the top spot — by the Internet, says Student Monitor's Eric Weil. The Ridgewood, N.J., research firm surveyed a representative group of 600 students.
Among the findings:
• iPods were the No. 1 "in" thing on campuses; 73% of students mentioned it. iPods were even more popular with Hispanic students (77%) and women (76%).
• Drinking beer tied with the college networking site Facebook.com (71%).
• Nos. 4 to 10 were drinking other alcohol (67%), text messaging (66%), downloading music (66%), going to clubs (65%), instant messaging (63%), working out (62%) and coffee (60%).


Mashable: Facebook - The Complete Biography

From The Chronicle's WiredCampus Blog, August 30, 2006
A Brief History of Facebook
For those few college officials who have managed, somehow, to stay in the dark about Facebook, Mashable! has put together a useful primer on the popular social-networking site.

Peer to Peer and the RIAA education effort

The New Jailhouse Rock
From The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Blog, August 31, 2006
Excerpt: This year, lucky students at a number of colleges are getting one more piece of guidance, courtesy of the Recording Industry Association of America: Don’t download music—or you might end up rotting in jail.
That’s the ominous message that runs through Campus Downloading, a nearly eight-minute video produced for campus-orientation sessions by the RIAA.


Related story:
RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say
Advocacy groups say video offered to universities contains inaccuracies about the legality of copying music.
By Greg Sandoval Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: August 30, 2006, 3:36 PM PDT

Excerpt: The music industry's educational video about copyright law is full of baloney, according to several trade and public interest groups.

The Consumer Electronics Association and Public Knowledge are among the groups to issue a joint statement condemning some statements on the Recording Industry Association of America's video, which the RIAA has plans to distribute to the nation's universities.


Monday, August 21, 2006

New Child Safety Links

Parents shaky about kids' safety online
By Stefanie Olsen, Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: August 10, 2006 9:00 AM PDT
The majority of parents say they've taken some action to ensure their child's safety online, but at least some will admit they're clueless about how to protect kids.

Packet Level's Internet Safety for Kids
This project is focused on supporting leaders who will present courses on the topic of Internet safety to parents, teachers and anyone else who may be able to help education kids/youths regionally.
Info, Links, Resources

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Chat Rooms and Kids

Chat rooms pose growing threat to Irish kids
Monday, July 31 2006, by Maxim Kelly

"A shocking 11 percent of Irish children who have met adults posing as children online report they have been subject to attempted physical harm.
While a new survey on internet usage amongst nine- to 16-year-olds in Ireland shows most young people use the internet to meet their peers and reported a positive experience, the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, said the findings were very worrying.
'This survey contains a wealth of information about how our young people are using all forms of modern technology to access the internet and communicate through it. Worryingly though, it seems very often that parents are not fully aware of the hidden dangers that are part the emergence of these new technologies,' she said.

And further...
"Over half of the 850 children surveyed said that their parents spoke with them very rarely or not at all about what they did on the internet, Twenty-seven percent said they had met someone new on the internet who asked for information like their photo, phone number, street address, or which school they attend: this is up from 19 percent in 2003."

Social Networks with Spyware

Beware of malware on social sites: report
Wednesday, August 09 2006, by Maxim Kelly

"Social networking sites are behind a surge in viruses, spyware and other 'nasty stuff', according to web security firm ScanSafe's monthly report.
According to an analysis of more than 5 billion web requests in July, ScanSafe found that on average, up to one in 600 profile pages on social networking sites hosted some form of malware.
The company also reported that the use of social networking sites, often assumed to be popular only amongst teens, accounted for approximately 1 percent of all internet use in the workplace."


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pew/Internet: Teens and Content Creation

From the Pew Internet and American Life Project:
Teen Content Creators and Consumers
"More than half of online teens have created content for the internet; and most teen downloaders think that getting free music is easy to do.

American teenagers today are utilizing the interactive capabilities of the internet as they create and share their own media creations. Fully half of all teens and 57% of teens who use the internet could be considered Content Creators. They have created a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations."


GenTech - CBS News Stories, resources

Worth checking out - a number of stories, statistics, interviews, etc.
GenTech: The Wiring of Teen America

About DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act)

Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006

From Wikipedia:
Includes some links and references, but possibly not up to date.

Discussion: MySpace and Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)
The following interview with Henry Jenkins (co-director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT) and danah boyd (PhD student at the School of Information, University of California-Berkeley) was conducted via email by Sarah Wright of the MIT News Office.

Cyberbullying on the rise

Cyberbullying the newest threat to kids
From MSNBC RedTape
Wednesday, August 9 at 10:00 am CT by Bob Sullivan

"There's good news and bad news out this morning about the dangers facing children when they go online. It appears all the news reports and educational efforts to warn parents and kids about online dangers may be having an impact.
In a study released today by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, fewer kids report being solicited by strangers online for sex. On the other hand, there is an uptick in kids who report being exposed to unwanted sexual material such as pornographic spam; and there's a sharp rise in something experts call cyberbullying. If you're not familiar with that term, you will be soon."


See also:
Links include: what is it? :: how it works :: why cyberbully? :: prevention :: take action :: what's the law?

Update: Aug 10 2006
Stephen Downes, on his OLDaily newsletter said:
"Cyberbullying isn't that new, though it is a recent arrival in the newly DOPA-aware political environment. All the statistics I have ever seen indicate that cyber-bullying is a bigger problem than on line predation. So will shutting down access to MySpace help? No, because then the bullies will just go back to good old-fashioned schoolyard bullying."

I think this misses the point to a certain extent. I commented:
I'm guessing that while MySpace certainly contributes to the problem, it isn't necessarily at the nexus of the whole issue.
The link I posted (http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/ - one of Parry Aftab's WiredSafety projects) describes the many forms that cyberbullying takes on, whether it is chats, blogs, IM, and so on - these are all network-based venues for bullying to take place.
One of the things that is different here is opposed to "classical" schoolyard bullying is that the published word has much greater latency and distribution, for better and worse. Better because it can be retrieved and the bully exposed, worse because it can be dwelt on, added to, and propogated far beyond the schoolyard.

My second point is that from what I've seen, the bullies never left the good old-fashioned schoolyard - they just have an additional and at times far more psychologically effective method of bullying at their disposal.

Will DOPA stop this sort of stuff? I seriously doubt it - I have mixed feelings about DOPA in general, but it is interesting to ponder how much it might mitigate the effects if this sort of stuff can't easily take place at schools.