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learning.now: at the crossroads of Internet culture & education with host Andy Carvin

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Social Networking archive

January092009

What Role Should Teachers Play in Policing the Net?

A drama unfolded on the messaging service Twitter last week after a bipolar woman posted a note that she intended as a joke, but was perceived by some people as a threat against her child. Soon, police were at her...

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September052008

Collaboration in a Crucible

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about the ways various social media tools can be used for student collaboration and knowledge production, most of the time as a neutral observer. This week, though, I found myself thrown into the...

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July012008

PBS Teachers Embraces Social Networking and Bookmarking Tools

Visitors to the PBS Teachers website will see something new today. It’s called PBS Teachers Connect, and it’s the first step in bringing social networking to the website....

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May152008

Indictments Handed Down in the Megan Meier Case

This afternoon, a federal grand jury indicted Lori Drew, the woman at the heart of the Megan Meier tragedy. The indictment is a major turning point in the cyberbullying suicide case that shocked the nation....

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March192008

Student Dodges Expulsion Over Facebook Study Group

A Canadian student learned yesterday that he won’t be expelled after all. What egregious crime did he commit on campus? He coordinated an online study group using Facebook....

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March012008

MediaWiki Embraces Social Networking

MediaWiki, the wiki tool used by Wikipedia and thousands of other wiki sites around the world, just got a lot more powerful. The for-profit companion project to Wikipedia announced this week that they were releasing free tools that will allow...

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February052008

Going On Your Permanent Record: Just About Everything

A New Jersey lawsuit between an HMO and a family whose daughter was denied insurance coverage for her anorexia may not sound like the kind of thing you’d read about on this here blog. But the legal tactics being used...

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January222008

A Compelling Look at Online Adolescent Behavior, Warts and All

Tonight on PBS, the investigative documentary series Frontline will take a close look at the behavior of young people online. If you’re expecting yet another sensationalized news piece about the dangers of online predators, you won’t find it here. What...

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December122007

More than Just Blogging: the 2007 EduBlog Awards

It’s that time of year again - the winners of the annual Edublog Awards have been announced. And despite the name having the word “blog” in it, the awards cover a whole range of educational projects, including wikis, social networks...

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October222007

When a Stranger Calls

A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project examines the percentage of teens that have received unwanted contacts from strangers over the Internet. And I can’t say I’m surprised by their finding that certain behaviors - such...

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September212007
August142007

New NSBA Report on Social Networking

The National School Boards Association has released a new report on student use of social media tools. The report contains a multitude of findings that have already started an online debate about the role of social networking in the classroom....

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July302007

Senate Hearing on Online Safety: More Emphasis on Educating Kids

Last week, the U.S. Senate held a committee hearing regarding children’s online safety and what steps need to be taken to prevent predatory behavior. Interestingly, much of the testimony emphasized the importance of online safety education over the use of...

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July202007

Do Internet Filters Undermine the Teaching of 21st Century Citizenship?

We all know that Internet filtering policies have the best interest of students in mind. But what are we sacrificing when we don’t allow educators to override filters at their own professional discretion? It’s something I’ve asked myself over the...

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June252007

Supreme Court Rules Against Student in “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” Case

In the first major Supreme Court decision on student free speech in almost a generation, the Court ruled against a student who was suspended for displaying a banner with drug-related messaging just off the school campus. What does the ruling...

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June222007

New Study Analyzes Parental Practices Regarding Children’s Internet Use

A new report on parents’ attitudes towards their children’s media consumption suggests that parents are doing more than ever to promote online safety. Is that actually the case, or do we just feel like we’re doing a better job?...

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June122007

How Not to Use MySpace in the Classroom

Just when you thought you could avoid yet another educational controversy breaking out on MySpace, a teacher in suburban Washington DC is finding herself in hot water for comments she wrote on her MySpace blog, and the online discussion with...

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May292007

When Students Become Accidental Celebrities, What Next?

Every teacher and parent should read the article in today’s Washington Post about the California high school student who’s become an online celebrity, from MySpace to YouTube. Who she is and how she got in this predicament, however, probably isn’t...

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May092007

Avast Ye Knee-Jerk Reactions, Matey!

A pre-service teacher has been denied obtaining her teaching degree because her MySpace profile featured a photo of her with an alcoholic beverage in hand, including the caption “Drunken Pirate.” Pirate or not, she’s suing the university, and generating a...

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March272007

March 30: Participate in Stop Cyberbullying Day

This Friday - March 30th - has been declared Stop Cyberbullying Day - by me. I’m hoping to get as many people, bloggers and nonbloggers alike, talking about cyberbullying, because it’s spinning out of control. Just ask blogger Kathy Sierra....

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March022007

Has MySpace Contributed to Generation Me?

A new study out this week suggests that today’s college students are more self-centered than ever before. The question I keep asking myself, though, is why so many people are blaming MySpace and other social media tools for this apparent...

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January262007

Lifting the Hood on DOPA Jr.

The official text of the bill to replace the Deleting Online Predators Act has been published, and it goes beyond the scope of the original legislation, addressing child pornography, cyberbullying and children’s privacy. Let’s take a look under the hood...

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January082007

Are Kids More Responsible Than We Thought?

A recent study suggests that many young people who use MySpace are more responsible online than conventional wisdom might suggest. Let’s take a peak at what teens are doing - or aren’t doing - with their MySpace pages....

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December292006

DOPA Dies on the Vine

The end of 2006 also marks the end of the current congressional session in the House and Senate, closing the door on the Deleting Online Predators Act. Let’s take a look at why this legislation, which passed overwhelmingly in the...

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December152006
December012006

Understanding the Impact of Online Communities on Civic Engagement

This week, the USC Annenberg School published a major study on the impact of the Internet on American society. Their research suggests that the online world is becoming equally important to people as the offline world - and it’s affecting...

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October102006

Is MySpace Your Space As Well?

Even though MySpace seems to be on every politician and parent’s hit-list, a growing number of educators are staking their own claim on the online social network. We already know how those politicians and parents would react, but what about...

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August142006

Back to School: Five Predictions and a Waffle

It’s that time of year, kids - we’re going back to school. (Okay, I’m not going back to school, but millions of educators and students are, so there’s a good chance this applies to you.) In honor of the start...

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July272006

Panic! at the Capitol: The House Passes DOPA

Yesterday, the US House of Representatives unexpectedly moved forward in voting on the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA. This legislation, proposed on May 9 of this year, would require all schools and libraries receiving federal Internet subsidies known as...

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July142006
June162006
May152006

Online Social Networks Join the Fray Over Online Social Networks

It’s been just four days since word got out about the Digital Online Predators Act of 2006 (DOPA), the legislation that would require all schools and libraries receiving federal Internet subsidies to filter online social networks and other interactive websites....

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May112006

New Federal Legislation Would Ban Online Social Networks in Schools & Libraries

Just when you thought the media circus around MySpace had peaked comes this whopper of a story: members of Congress have proposed new legislation that would require schools and libraries to block access to online social networks. As reported by...

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May082006

MySpace Is Just So Last Year

For those of you who have just started hearing a lot of press about MySpace, it turns out there’s more catching up to do, according to the Wichita Eagle newspaper: [T]he biggest social-networking spot may not stay on top for...

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