Social Media Comic-Secrets Nov.29

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment


Many U.S. School will require Internet safety

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

The Federal Communications Commission (U.S.) recently announced that it will require schools receiving funds for Internet access from the E-rate program, to address issues related to student cyber bullying. Schools will have to create policies that ensure appropriate use of social media applications such as:

-Preventing improper use of networking sites like Facebook and MySpace

-Maintaining Internet safety policies and filters to prevent access to inappropriate content

-Provide online safety education

The FCC will release a resource package, Stop Cyberbullying Toolkit for Schools, on November 22, 2010.

Individuals studying the effects of social media on youth are happy to see this development. The increasing use of social media and easy access to both the Internet and palm held devices, means that information spreads quickly and unchecked through all schools levels, leading to conflicts, depression, and in extreme cases, physical harm.

According to a Canadian study funded by Bell Canada, many children and youth experienced computer based bullying including:

-27% described incidents which made them “fell bad”
-22% had rumours spread about them
-18% had someone pretend to be them online
-11% were threatened

In Canada charges can be laid for cyber bullying using the Human Rights Act which protects people from hate or discrimination based on matters including an individual’s physical size, age, ethnic, national or racial origins, colour, disability, and sexual preference. The punishment for computer crimes and cyber bullying is a fine up to $50,000. However, as the U.S. is doing, Canadians should seek to prevent bullying rather than just lay charges after the damage is done.

FCC Requires schools to address Cyber bullying

Canadian Youth and Cyberbullying Study 2008

Guidelines for Child (and Youth) Online Protection

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

This excellent guide put together in 2009 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and contributing authors from institutions in information and communications technologies and child safety contains comprehensive information. I will eventually summarize the relevant guidelines for teens online in this 78 page document, however interesting information includes:

-Profiles of online teens determined through research such as Achievers, Rebels, Traditionals, Creatives, and Loners

-The great benefit  for students with learning disabilities

-SMART rules 4 online: Set your limits, Meeting online friends offline, Accepting invitations/friendships,Reacting, Tell someone about concerns

Guidelines for Children’s [and Youth’s] Safe Online Activity

Our rushing, racing, ways

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Stop! Stop the rushing, racing, elbowing to compete in a hyper-wired world whose mantra is to move fast, whatever the direction. That is the message the Slow movement has been gently spreading for a quarter century 
“In this roadrunner world, it can sometimes feel like there is no option but to follow the hurrying herd. But there is,” says Carl Honore, whose 2004 book on the movement, “In Praise of Slowness”, became an international bestseller.


Which is better? Online or in person ?

November 3, 2010 1 comment

A September New York Times article describes results from a 12 year study by the U.S. Education Department that concludes “online learning on average beat face-to-face teaching by a modest but statistically meaningful margin”. Meanwhile a research paper by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research came to a different conclusion, “A rush to online education may come at more of a cost than educators may suspect.”

I personally think many educators and students would agree that several factors affect which medium is “better”. The instructor, the course, the materials, and most importantly the traits of the student, are influences on course effectiveness. I know many new moms who appreciate and do well with online courses, first year college students who fare better with in person courses, and vice versa.

Is it that far fetched that the student may be a major variable on the “best”  method of learning ?

U.S. Education Department study


Working paper by the U.S. National  Bureau of Economic Research


Students say “what makes a good teacher”

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Even though regular surveys are performed by students to assess individual teachers, it is still valuable to consider overall comments. The site is an interesting virtual support group for students who dislike school. Their assessment of teachers must resonate with readers as the corresponding Facebook group currently has over 2000 readers.

The Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Teacher

Handouts Oct. 28

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment