Should Parents Track Their Kids, Limit Mobile Phone Usage?
In this TIME article, several apps that parents can use to supervise and guide their kids in mobile phone usages. Researchers have noted that mobile phone usage has greatly impacted students' study time and focus. Now, parents can preset their kids phone to shut down during specific times designated for study. Read more > >
September 10, 2012
Voting & Students: Ways to Navigate the Political Season
With SuperPAC and slander and slur campaigns, it can seem a daunting proposition to encourage students in the gearshift of democracy--election season, but Common Sense Media offerssome simple ways to cut through the hype and encourage thoughtful inquiry and fact-checking. Click here.
October 28, 2011 Study Raises Questions About Virtual Schools
Virtual schools have grown in popularity in the past several years, but a new study raises question about their efficacy. Cyber-schools generally operate as charters, outside the traditional system but funded with taxpayer dollars. The Washington Post reports, nationwide, more than 200,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual school programs, in which students have no face-to-face contact with teachers. And virtual schools are the fastest growing alternative to traditional public schools, the study found.Supporters say they allow students to learn at their own pace and provide access to teachers and subjects that may not be available at traditional schools. Critics say they siphon resources and deprive students of socialization. Their spread comes despite a lack of any data about their impact on children from kindergarten through high school, the researchers found. Read the Washington Post article here. Read the U of Colorado study here.
August 26, 2011 Setting Limits on Social Media When It's Back-to-School
I can remember when I was a teen, though it was decades ago. During the summer vacation there were nights when we stayed up past midnight and slept in till 10 o'clock the next morning. But when it was back to school a 10 p.m. bedtime was back in force (11 p.m. if there was a school project due or special movie on TV). That ensured a good eight hours of rest needed to be alert for the next day's learning.
Times have changed but the need for sleep and alertness is still mandatory. The folks at Common Sense Media havesome helpful tips and advice on setting limits when it comes to digital media. Back-to-school time is great time to re-evaluate cell phone and Internet usage.
Set time frames of no social media. That's right, no texts, no tweets, no calls during homework times and bedtimes. Not only will your phones but also your teens will get recharged.
August 25, 2011 Homeland Security Gives Tips on Cyber Safety
The US Department of Homeland Security offers this websiteto inform citizens of Internet safety practices. It presents simple advice in the form of "Stop. Think. Connect."
Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems. Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s. And then, enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
June 15, 2010 Tech May Engage Learners, But Multitasking Is a Bad Study Habit
As we see an increase of technology in our lives and in our classrooms, we can use it effectively to engage student learning. Still multitasking is found to not be an effective use of a student's time. Study requires a one task at a time approach to make the best use of time and brain power. See this researched article by cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham from the Summer 2010 issue of the American Federation of Teachers' American Educator.
May 3, 2010 Million Voice Project Fosters Youths' Aspirations
The Pearson Foundation's Million Voice Project surveys and analyzes aspirations of youth, grades 6 12. Its website declares project's aim to be "to promote academic excellence and, with it, fruitful and enriching lives for all young people." In additon to the survey, it offers eight effective ways to foster your students' aspirations. With each insight comes activity sheets for lessons and reflection.
January 22, 2010 One-Third of Parents Regulate Their Teens' Media Use: A New Study Shows Why This Is A Great Idea
In January 2010 the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new study that reports on teen's media use over the past decade. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds is the third in a series of large-scale, nationally representative surveys by the Foundation about young people's media use. It includes data from all three waves of the study (1999, 2004, and 2009), and is among the largest and most comprehensive publicly available sources of information about media use among American youth.
It notes that heavy users of media in this age group suffer more sadness, lower grades, and higher levels of multitasking (which other studies show can be deabilitating to one's focus, even when a situation requires focus).
Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O'Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here. The ebook includes Tom Peters, Fred Wilson, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber. Click on the cover image to download in PDF.
April 19, 2009
Internet Can Be a Safe Place with Common Sense
Common Sense Media presents some of the most up-to-date information and ideas on Internet safety in a very easy-to-use site. Check out its "Survival Guide for Parents." With a sanity-not-censorship approach to media consumption Common Sense prevails with smart tips that are age-level appropriate. Click on the graphic to see the site.
TMI Sample Profile Demo on Dateline MSNBC
September 8, 2008 TMI on a MySpace Page?
As you might suspect I'm a proponent for technology use. We really don't have a choice but to move with the times. But we do have a choice about doing so smartly and safely. My students tell me that MySpace is passe and Facebook is the place to be. Regardless of tastes in social networking sites, considering what to share and not to share and how to share information on social networking sites is always important. Check out Dateline MSNBC's interactive model of a social networking site personal profile with popups that point out ways to be smart about how you read and write information on the Web. Click on the graphic to see the site.
See the article and this video at NY Times.com (click here)
July 29, 2008 R U Reading? NYTimes Reports on the Literacy Debate
Motoko Rich reports on the Sims, a family in Old Greenwich, CT. Mom and Dad are avid readers. So are the teens Nadia and Zachary. The rub? While Mom and Dad digest books, newspapers, and magazines, their kids opt to online reading. With an aggregator that combs the Web for about a 100 sources daily, young Zach has a point that favors electronic reading in the literacy debate. Click the image for the article and media from New York TImes.
NECC 2008 from eSchool News (Video: 9 mins)
July 17, 2008 NECC Dispells Myths of Online Safety
e-School News is reporting, at the National Education Computing Conference 2008, a panel of Internet safety experts agreed: Education is the best tool to keep kids safe online. See and hear what they had to say by clicking on the video link (left). Surveys found that media hype oftern overplays the incidence and severity of Internet dangers. The results show these to be key factors in inviting harm online:
Posting a photo
Posting a profile
Further, studies show physical harm is not as likely as damage to one's personal reputation, which can be stressful. Advice to parents, try social networking sites yourself to find out how they work. Schools are urged to make Internet safety strategies part of their curriculum and to teach kids how to be safe.
Click image to view video on Edutopia
June 25, 2008 Creativity: not eccentric, but essential skill schools should teach
Edutopia hosts a 16-minute video of Sir Ken Robinson speaking of the importance of creativity in addressing the needs of today's students. Imagining the world to which today's children will see in the year 2070 is beyond the pale, yet preparing students to succeed and live meaningful lives in the 21st 's remarks are today's challenges of today's learning communities. Robinson contends that creativity is as elemental to living successful and economically independent lives are skills in literacy and numeracy. His remarks were recorded on April 10, 2008, at the Apple Education Leadership Summit, a gathering in San Francisco of more than one hundred school superintendents from around the world. Robinson is the author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative. Click the image to view this video.
See more at www.sirkenrobinson.com which features other videos and writings by Sir Ken. Also a short feature on the main points from CNN's Principal Voices on YouTube here.
Click image to go to article
June 20, 2008 Online Grades Engage Parents, But Can Add Stress, Too
Online grade reporting systems, like Edline, give parents a peek into the teacher's gradebook. This knowledge can be helpful if parents, and students, put this new view into perspective. A gradebook is a fluid space except for four times during the year, when a marking period ends and grades earned are tallied. Having a look into the process can be helpful by watching trends in their son or daughter's progress and participation in school. That is, so long as they realize that grades during a quarter are not finalized, written in stone data. Panic ensues when a glimpse at a 50% average in the second week of the quarter that comes from two small homework assignments, one of which the student was absent for and the makeup work has not yet been recorded. The stress on parent, student, and teacher can be lessened when the difference of what scores mean between traditional report cards and gradebooks-in-process is realized. Here is a recent New York Times article on the topic.
"Growing Up Online" by PBS Frontline
February 28, 2008 Frontline Report: Growing Up Online
Just how radically is the Internet changing childhood? That's the question this PBS Frontline documentary tries to answer in this video available online. Whereas you might have had a diary, or a secret stash of mementos hidden in your treehouse or under your bed, youths today have MySpace and Facebook and thousands of "friends" with whom they are sharing all sorts of information about their lives, their loves, their fears, and well, their experiences of just growing up. This report takes the digital immigrants (old folks) closer to the world of the digital natives (kids who grew up with the Web)--today's high school seniors don't remember a day without it!--and looks at the world they themselves are creating one link at a time. Watch the full program and join the discussion at Frontline.
Sir Ken Robinson featured on TED Talks
February 17, 2008 Do Schools Kill Creativity?
It's been since 2006 since this TED Talks video has been circulated, but as my school begins to consider curriclum of the future and building a new school for the 21st Century, I've been paying more attention to literacy, creativity, and the future. Sir Ken Robinson contends, "creativity now is as important in education as literacy. And we should treat it with the same status." In this brief talk, Sir Ken makes "an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it."
As our community considers the future, what schools are for, and what will be best to equip students for their futures, it's worth a re-view. Click on the image to watch this lively and thought-provoking 19-minute talk.
December 13, 2007
"Shift Happens": NCTE's Theme for 2008 Click here and you'll be privy to a letter from the president of the National Coucil of Teachers of English that describes the theme of the 2008 Annual Convention to be held in November. More than that you'll get a sense of the 21st teaching and learning challenges as she touches on some of the shifts that are happening in our schools and society.
December 13, 2007 NCTE Tips for Parent on Helping Your Teen to Write
From the National Council of Teachers of English, here are ten ways parents can encourage the writer in their teenager. Click on the NCTE logo.
Karl Fisch's Did You Know? 2.0 Version Video
June 22, 2007 Did You Know? 2.0
When is viral a good thing? When it means an slideshow-made video--chockful of thought-provoking, conversation-starting information about our kids, the world they are going to live in, and how we might start to get them headed in the right direction in the global village--is seen by more than 2 million people. That's viral and good. If you aren't one of the 2 million who have seen it, I invite you to take 5 minutes and be part of the more. And then think about how you can help our school become one that best equips our students for the future.
Teenage Life Online PowerPoint by Lee Rainie, Pew Internet & American Life Project
July 16, 2007 Teenage Online Life
Teenage Life Online: The Rise of the Networked Generation is a PowerPoint® presentation by Lee Rainie on August 14, 2003 to the Singapore Youth.Net Conference and sponsored by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
This is a speech Lee gave in Singapore . This presentation to an audience of government officials, academics and industry executives covera Pew's basic findings about how American teenagers use the Internet and the implications of that Internet use on their social worlds and the world they would create in the future. For the presentation click the image and for the launch page which has other materials related to the topic click here http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/8/presentation_display.asp.
Wonder how the statistics will have progressed since 2003?
Source: NSBA as reported by T.H.E. Journal
August 16, 2007 Students Research Online
According to a recent study by released by the National School Boards Association, students are using the Internet for educational purposes. Although the majority of the up-to-9 hours-per-week of online use by students is visiting other websites and social networking, this shows a promising trend for parents and educators. Read an article on this from T.H.E Journal.
August 25, 2007 McLeod Stresses Leadership To Shape School Change In this Comcast Newsmakers segment, Scott McLeod from University of Minnesota argues that school administrators, parents, and other stake holders in education need to "get it" with regard to school restructuring in order for necessary changes to occur. Dr.McLeod notes that students are skilled technologically, but need adults' lessons of wisdom and judgment to use the technology in the most effective ways. NCLB standards and data-driven testing prepare students for a world and economy gone by. Rather, schools need a paradigm shift that provides new ways and opportunties for teachers and students to work with technology to solve real world problems that would prepare students for the future.
Blogging: In Their Own Words by Karl Fisch & Associates
June 24, 2007 Blogging: In Their Own Words
In my blog, If Bees Are Few, I commented on the end-of-the-year survey I give my students asking for their impressions and suggestions for the classroom blog. Then I saw this video and thought that frame for frame these students and teachers from Arapahoe Schools in Littleton, Colorado could just as easily be from Bethel Park. Almost verbatim their on camera comments echo those of BPHS students. So, since I didn't produce a video version, sit back and pretend. The ideas and reactions given in Colorado are largely the reasons we blog in class here in Pennsylvania. (The video takes a moment to load and worth the wait.)
You'll find out why you don't want your child to be a kangaroo when you watch a beautiful and informing slideshow from Ellen C. Braun at RaisingSmallSouls.com. The site is chock-full of good words of advice on education and parenting from a mother of three and her husband who is a principal of a vocational school for at-risk teens.
This slideshow video reminds us of the diversity of learning styles and encourages us all to create ways of teaching and assessing children and students that best call forth the talents and abilities from our classrooms.
SafeTeens Topics on this site include "Safe Blogging Tips for Teens" and "Guidelines for Parents of Teens."
NetFamilyNews Run by journalist and child advocateAnne Collins, NetFamilyNews, is a public service for parents, educators, and everyone interested in young people's use of technology. NetFamilyNews is the virtual "community newspaper" of a vital interest community. Founded in 1999, it has become the journal-of-record on all aspects of youth and technology and is the only high-frequency news service of its kind in the English-speaking world, serving readers in more than 50 countries. The site is based on the premise that informed, engaged parenting is essential to kids' constructive use of technology. With the advent of Web 2.0, or the social Web, that has never been more true.
MySafeSurf This is educational technology expert Kevin Honeycutt's index to Internet safety resources for students of various ages and their parents.
Raising Digital Kids Robin Raskin is an outspoken advocate for parental involvement in raising digital kids. She frequently addresses parents and educators, policy makers, the high tech industry on topics like Internet safety and raising digital kids.
Media Awareness Network This excellent site from Canada is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of media education and Internet literacy resources. The Media Awareness Network promotes critical thinking in young people about the media and provides practical teaching units and classroom activities for media education
National Institute on Media and the Family's MediaFamily.org The National Institute on Media and the Family is the world's leading and most respected research-based organization on the positive and harmful effects of media on children and youth. The National Institute on Media and the Family is an independent, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and nonprofit organization that is based on research, education, and advocacy. This site offers print and video information.
Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (formerly Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children) is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. This site offers print and video information.
Pew Internet & American Life Project The Pew Internet & American Life Project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center, produces reports that explore the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source on the evolution of the internet through collection of data and analysis of real-world developments as they affect the virtual world.
Habits of Mind Developed by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind are qualities that facilitate success for students and adults in school and "everyday life as they are challenged by problems, dilemmas, paradoxes, and enigmas for which the solutions are not immediately apparent. Drawing on the Habits of Mind means knowing how to behave intelligently when you don't know the answers. It means not only having information, but also knowing how to act on it." The Habits of Mind consist of Persisting,Managing Impulsivity, Listening with Understanding and Empathy, Thinking Flexibly, Thinking About Thinking, Striving for Accuracy, Questioning and Posing Problems, Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations, Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision, Gathering Data Through All the Senses, Creating, Imagining, Innovating, Responding with Wonderment and Awe, Taking Reasonable Risks, Finding Humor, Thinking Independently, and Remaining Open to Continuous Learning.
Habits of Mind -- List of traits from habitsofmind.org, and Austrailian educational group.
Know of a resource that would be great for other parents to know about, too? Send the information and/or link to Mr. Youngs at firstname.lastname@example.org .