YouTube study shows children ‘three clicks away from explicit material’ | Technology |

  • Children are easily exposed to adult material on YouTube. Here are some points to be aware of, taken from this article:

    • Children who view clips of Sesame Street and Peppa Pig on YouTube are on average just three clicks away from explicit adult material on the site

    • [One study] found that graphic footage was available to children who had viewed clips of popular kids’ TV programmes.

    • The list of recommended videos, displayed on the right-hand side of the page after a video has shown, provided a path to the explicit material, the researchers found.

    • A separate study of 24,000 young people found that 27% of seven- to 11-year-olds and nearly half of 11- to 19-year-olds had come across something they thought was "hurtful or unpleasant" online in the past 12 months.

    • It’s worrying to see just how simple it is for children to access videos of an adult nature on YouTube," said David Emm, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab

    • YouTube has a safety mode that can block inappropriate material, such as pornographic material and objectional comments

    • Google admits that the safety feature cannot be "100% accurate" because it relies in part on users to flag inappropriate videos for the safety mode to work

    • Like Facebook, YouTube recommends that it is only used by viewers aged 13 and over.

    • The survey of 24,000 young people, conducted by the UK Safer Internet Centre, found that more than a third of seven-year-olds and 45% of 16- to 19-year-olds said they had not been taught about staying safe online

    • "YouTube has a variety of parent and educator resources on the site such as the online curriculum, as well as tools such as safety mode which parents can turn on to filter out potentially objectionable content and comments."

    • Some internet providers offer parents the ability to filter out inappropriate material, such as pornographic or violent videos

Posted from Diigo.


New fMRI evidence shows that reading literature engages a surprising number of important brain functions.

  • New fMRI evidence shows that reading literature engages a surprising number of important brain functions. Some highlights of the article are listed here:

    • [Research] team placed study participants in an MRI machine and monitored their brain flow while reading the works of Jane Austen.
    • Blood flow was increased in areas of the brain far beyond those responsible for what cognitive scientists call “executive function,”
    • “In one subject… we saw literary analysis activating areas of the brain that we use to place ourselves spatially in the world and areas dedicated to physical activity.”
    • What this research suggests so far is that core skills in the liberal arts have immense cognitive complexity
    • “If our early results hold, it will suggest that literary study can shape not only how we read, but also how we pay attention, training cognitive flexibility, and encouraging us to use new brain regions.”

Posted from Diigo.

California to Give Web Courses a Big Trial –

The private eLearning company “Udacity” is partnering with a California university to offer courses for credit.

Highlights from this news article are provided here:

  • The courses are intended to involve the classroom instructor
  • [The] deal with Udacity is also the first time that professors at a university have collaborated with a provider of a MOOC — massive open online cours
  • [The project involves] for-credit courses with students watching videos and taking interactive quizzes, and receiving support from online mentors.
  • The California State University System faces a crisis because more than 50 percent of entering students cannot meet basic requirements.
  • The Udacity pilot program will include a remedial algebra course, a college-level algebra course and introductory statistics
  • The cost of each three-unit course will be $150, significantly less than regular San Jose State tuition.
  • San Jose State will receive funds from the National Science Foundation to study the effectiveness of the new online classroom design
  • Open online courses exploded in American higher education in 2011 after Mr. Thrun, a nationally known artificial-intelligence researcher at Stanford, and Peter Norvig, Google’s director of research, offered to teach an introductory artificial-intelligence course online.
  • Two other Stanford computer scientists, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, also established a competing private company, Coursera, to develop technologies necessary to change the reach and effectiveness of online education.
  • A growing number of schools have begun experimenting with ways to offer the courses for credit toward a degree.
  • While 40 percent of the students in the traditional version of the class got a grade of C or lower, only 9 percent in the blended edX class got such a low grade.
  • “…of the 23 students who used Udacity, one withdrew from the school, and the other 22 all finished successfully. And two young women got through the whole physics course in just two weeks.”

Posted from Diigo.

Facebook forces Instagram users to allow it to sell their uploaded photos

  • Please help students to be aware of this brazen development. Key points of the article are:

    • Move means pictures could be used in advertising, with all payments going to social media giant

    • may give a boost to Yahoo’s photo-sharing service Flickr,

    • Instagram photos could be used in advertising, without reference to the owner, with all the payments going to Instagram

    • There is no opt-out from that use except to stop using the service and to delete your photos.

    • Facebook bought Instagram because it was growing rapidly.

Posted from Diigo.

Learnist: A Helpful Tool on the Road to Inquiry | Edutopia

  • Learnist is a new web tool with lots of promise for education.

    One teacher shares how she uses it and how it enriches her practice. Some quotes from her article are provided below.

    • This summer I discovered the website Learnist. It’s like a Pinterest for education

    • It allows users to collect web resources and add them to "Learnboards" to educate an audience about a particular subject

    • By using the re-add function, I even drew from the robust educational resources shared by other professionals who use Learnist.

    • I hope to start uploading my own curriculum in order to inspire and support others in the teaching communit

    • Tt enables me to represent myself as a lifelong learner to my peers and to my students.

    • Students were receptive to the Learnboards I created to teach grammar

    • I think my students found the mix of reading, examples, videos and online practice activities to be helpful.

    • Creating lessons on Learnist helped me make good use of my class time and facilitate one of my most successful writer’s workshops

    • I hope to have students make their own Learnboards as a summative assessment for our critical mass media unit

    • Learnist may seem like a simple tool, but for my students and their future, it is simply revolutionary

Posted from Diigo.

College Admissions Advice to Students: Think Now, Tweet Later

  • More post-secondary admissions are being impacted by applicants’ social media activity. This article describes the results of a recent survey. Some of the more interesting bits are quoted here:

    • Schools are discovering information about prospective students that is negatively impacting their chances of acceptance.
    • [As] more and more kids are using Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter, their online footprint spreads far and wide, with lots of results showing up in a Google search.
    • Admissions officers are looking at your complete online profile — what comes back in a Google search.
    • Twitter and YouTube aren’t private and are more difficult to control.
    • The percentage [of those surveyed] that said they found something that negatively impacted the applicant’s chances of getting admitted into the school nearly tripled. That figure went from 12% last year to 35% this year.
    • The respondents cited vulgarities in blogs, photos depicting alcohol consumption, and essay plagiarism
    • [The study] queried 350 admissions officers from the nation’s top 500 colleges and universities for this survey.
    • “You don’t have to share absolutely everything. Check your digital trail, Google yourself, see what’s out there, check your privacy settings, and limit searchability of your profile wherever possible.”

Posted from Diigo.

In BYOT It’s the Y and O That Matters – Education Week

This short piece has some good points on the benefits of students using their own devices in school.

Article highlights include:

  • I feel that it is our job as educators to teach students how to use something properly rather than ban it because it makes us uncomfortable.

  • Personal technology is loaded with your calendar, your contacts, your preferred applications, and organized the way that makes sense to you. Students become better organized, more productive, and have the potential to be self-directed learners when they use their personal technology.

  • We either get on board with technology because it’s an integral part of our students’ existence or we get left behind, and schools can’t afford to get left behind.

  • In arguments of equity, researchers and practioners found that BYOT was beneficial to students who lacked their own device because it opened up the availability of school owned technology.

Posted from Diigo.

Common Sense Media Report Shines Positive Light on Kids and Social Media

  • This recent report gives insightful statistics on teen social media use and perception. Here are some highlights from the article that summarizes the report:

    • Common Sense Media just published a report that paints a mostly positive picture of social media’s impact on teens’ social and emotional well-being

    • 90% of teens have used social networking and that 75% currently have a social networking profile.

    • (68%) are on Facebook, compared to 6% for Twitter and 1% for GooglePlus and MySpace.

    • (34%) visit their favorite social networking site “several times a day” and 23% are “heavy” social media users.

    • (29%) [of teens] say that social networking makes them feel “less shy” and “more outgoing

    • 20% [of teens] say it makes them feel more confident

    • (19%) [of teens] say they feel more popular and 19% also say they’re more sympathetic to others.

    • only 5%  [of teens say] that social networking makes them feel less outgoing

    • “4% feel worse about themselves, less confident, and less popular after using their social networking site

    • 3% feel shyer

    • most kids (83%) say that social networking doesn’t make much of a difference to whether or not they feel depressed or better or worse about themselves (81%).

    • (49%) of teens said that their favorite way to communicate with their friends is in person, followed by texting (33%

    • 44% of teens say that “they often or sometimes encounter sexist (44%), homophobic (43%) or racist (43%) comments online

    • Among those teens who are “less happy,” 50% report that social networking makes them more outgoing compared to 17% of the “happiest teens.”
      The report is based on an online survey of 1,030 13-to 17 year-olds conducted between February and March of this year.

Posted from Diigo.

What Is TED-Ed’s Role in Today’s Classroom?

  • An introduction to the excellent TED-Ed site. Here are the key points, quoted from the article:

    • [The site] went live in April [2012] with the goal of enhancing classroom lessons and inspiring lifelong learning
    • It is similar to Khan Academy, but the videos are made by teachers from around the world rather than just one expert.
    • Educators around the world nominate outstanding teachers to create a captivating lesson for TED-Ed
    • An editorial board reviews the nominations
    • Teachers work with TED-Ed to write a script and translate lessons into a video
    • Teachers also create supplementary materials, such as multiple-choice quizzes, open-answer questions and critical-thinking questions
    • Videos are tagged to traditional subjects to make them easy to search
    • [Videos] are short to support smart use of video, and the supplementary materials that go along with the videos are customizable

Posted from Diigo.

Classroom Management Website Soars in Size, Popularity

  • A new website is helping teachers and students with classroom management.

    Here are some highlights from the article:

    • [The site] has more than 3.5 million teacher and student users in 30 countries
    • [One teacher] uses the software to note misbehavior and good behavior, including when students ask good questions or give a good presentation to the rest of the class
    • Students and parents could review behavior reports day by day, and they could see both positive and negative actions
    • The site is meant to actually help students change their behavior, not just keep tabs on kids
    • A survey of teachers who use ClassDojo found a 45 percent to 90 percent increase in incidents of positive student behavior, and a 50 percent to 85 percent decrease in episodes of misbehavior
    • ClassDojo is considered the fastest-growing education startup

Posted from Diigo.