Thanks to Bob Perkins on our EHHP faculty, here are some safety measures for young people engaged in social networks, particularly Facebook.
If you have not checked out the blogs and news stories on Common Sense lately, here is a good piece on the continual change of privacy settings on Facebook and at least two important concerns with youth and their settings:
What Parents Need to Know
This review of Facebook was written by Carla Thornton <http://www.commonsensemedia.org/user/carla-thornton>
Parents need to know that teens must be diligent about setting their privacy controls on Facebook. When Facebook unveils a new feature, users must pay attention to their privacy and account settings to make sure they understand what information they are releasing to others or keeping private. The privacy settings can be confusing. There are settings in applications and other places that also need to be selected. The new applications dashboard allows users to view and change what information applications access, and to remove applications. With Groups, users’ friends can add
them without asking first (users can remove themselves after they’ve been added, but cannot prevent themselves from being added). Anyone who is friends of their friends could be added to a group (in other words, possibly strangers), and wouldhave access to anything anyone—including your kid—has posted in the group. Places is a location-based service that lets kids tell others where they are and find out who else is there. This function is easy to use and teens will want to use it, but we recommend teens do not use location-based services <http://www.commonsensemedia.org/managing-location-sharing-apps-keep-teens-safe> because of safety and privacy concerns as well as the potential to be targeted by advertisers. Parents need to set ground rules about what is and isn’t appropriate to share before letting kids have an account. They also need to go over the privacy settings one by one with teens — not just once, but regularly.
Here’s a video you will really like; it’s the song we all know, Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire, but with images from the past. Social studies teachers have been using the song lyrics in their classes for years. You will enjoy the images, especially if you remember the originals! This video is thanks to Billy Joel and Ye Li from the University of Chicago.
Another wonderful idea from one of my faves, MakeUseOf: six free online programs to create your own personal chat room. These are options for those of us who want to chat with a group but everyone in the group doesn’t use the same chat program and doesn’t want to sign up for several. Here are several very brief previews to show you what is out there to explore:
TinyChat supports voice, webcam, whiteboard, and desktop sharing.
Chatterous is password protected and you can even chat via SMS on your cell phone, too.
Anologue is a simple, clean chat program without lots of bells and whistles.
BabelWithMe allows you to chat with others who don’t speak your language; chats are converted to your language of choice.
BoostCam is a simple one-on-one video chat room with no sign up requirement.
And, finally, ChatRide is similar to BoostCam with the added feature of chat.
By John Orlando, PhD
Most academics consider Wikipedia the enemy and so forbid their students from using Wikipedia for research. But here’s a secret that they don’t want you to know—we all use Wikipedia, including those academics.
There’s a reason that the Wikipedia entry normally comes in at the top of a Google search. Google relies heavily on inbound links to rank a site, and Wikipedia is one of the most commonly linked sites on the Internet. Here’s another secret—Wikipedia is vetted by volunteer academics. Wikipedia’s motto is “no original thought,” meaning that everything must be cited, and uncited material is quickly removed. In fact, studies have shown the Wikipedia is about as accurate as Britannica.
Here are two ways to use Wikipedia to improve learning outcomes in your classes:
Have Students Build ArticlesIn the Spring of 2008, Professor Jon Beasley-Murray at University of British Columbia had the students in his class “Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation” create articles for Wikipedia on the books that they read. He transformed his students from learners to teachers, which improves outcomes. Plus, creating public work improves motivation as well as performance.
Importantly, the students were instructed to make contact with the Wikipedia editors—called the “FA Team”—to receive feedback on their work for revisions. The instructor had effectively enlisted outside academics as reviewers for his class. Wikipedia also has a quality ranking system that assigns “Good Article” or “Featured Article” status to exceptionally good works. About 1 in 800 articles reach Good Article status, while 1 in 1,200 reach Featured Article status. The instructor guaranteed his students an “A” for Good Articles, and an A+ for Featured Articles.
The results? The students, who worked in groups of two or three, produced three Featured Articles and eight Good Articles, an exceptional result given how few articles achieve these levels. These articles receive thousands of hits per month, demonstrating to students the value of their work. Now more than 20 universities have projects in Wikipedia.
http://www.kennesaw.edu/cetl/resources/na_conf_list.html: list of educational conferences
Here’s a great site that lists educational conferences: plan your fall travel early.