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Posts Tagged ‘Computers’

Hilarious Video Showing the Reaction of Children to Old Computers

May 26, 2014

 

 

How times have changed! My 2 year-old knows how to navigate an iPad without any problem, whilst our family didn’t even invest in a home computer until I was in 12th grade. Imagine if a child of today were told that they can have their first computer or smart phone when they turn 17?

The technology itself has changed markedly in that time as highlighted by this video.

 

Click on the link to read New App Encourages Kids to Flush their Teacher Down the Toilet

Click on the link to read Are Violent Video Games Worse for Children than Violent Movies?
Click on the link to read Parents Shouldn’t Be in Denial Over This Very Real Addiction

Click on the link to read Video Game Addiction is Real and Very Serious!

Click on the link to read Internet Addiction and our Children

 

 

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Tips for Keeping Children Safe Online

February 24, 2012

Geek Squad have come up with some common sense tips for concerned parents. These tips are a good starting point for helping your children keep safe online:

Filtering Software: Install filtering software such as NetNanny or the free Windows Live Family Safety 2011. These programs can help your kids surf the Internet safely – without being exposed to any inappropriate material. You can also consider setting up free filtering at the wireless router level with OpenDNS, which will ensure that all devices that connect to your home Internet are filtered.
Maximize Current Programs: Many computers already come with online safety programs. Learn how to accurately use Parental Controls in Windows and Mac Operating Systems, and other programs that aid in monitoring and managing what children view online. Maximize the use of programs you already have installed and at your fingertips.
LOL Does Not Mean ‘Learn Online Lingo’: But you should: Among the many networking sites are Facebook and Twitter. Learn how these sites work and the coded language commonly associated with them. We can consider citing this study that says teens are increasingly using Twitter because parents have figured out Facebook, so they think they’ll have more freedom where their parents aren’t.
Gaming Parental Controls: Many games have online modes, where your kids can play against others around the globe. It’s important to know who your kids are playing with and what content they can access. Set parental controls on games to protect your kids without affecting their gaming experience.
Control Your Kids’ Online Environment: Windows Vista features parental controls that help parents monitor what kids can access on a computer – even when they’re not in the room or at home. Parents can select what games, programs and websites children can access. Time restrictions can even be set to ensure that the kids are following the rules even when mom and dad are not home. This feature is found in the Parental Controls panel and is part of the User Accounts and Family Safety Control Panel applet.

The Problem With IT in the Classroom

February 19, 2012

The problem with the wonderfully diverse technologies available to teachers is that it can sometimes breed lazy teaching. A SmartBoard doesn’t make a teacher. The challenge for teachers is not to rely on the technologies at hand, but to simply use them in conjunction with a well-developed lesson.

When reports show that computers don’t make a difference to learning, I wonder if they are really saying that teachers haven’t learned to capitalise from them yet:

Kids love using computers and gadgets in the classroom but the technology has not made them better learners, suggests a new report.

The non-profit Media Awareness Network interviewed a small sample of plugged-in elementary and high school teachers from across Canada and found there’s work to be done to better incorporate technology into schools.

The report suggests many students aren’t really as good at using the Internet as it may seem. While it’s assumed today’s kids are quick to learn how to use computers, the authors found many students are great at social media or finding something to watch on YouTube but their digital skills end there.

Teachers reported that some of their kids had a hard time effectively using search engines like Google and weren’t able to consistently sort out valuable sources from the clutter on the web.

“Digital literacy is not about technical proficiency but about developing the critical thinking skills that are central to lifelong learning and citizenship,” the report states.

The finding wasn’t particularly surprising, said Matthew Johnson, director of education for the Media Awareness Network.

“It’s something we’ve seen before but this really underlined it. I always like to draw a distinction between literacy and fluency,” he explained.

“When we watch a young person sit down on the computer and open a dozen different screens and do a dozen different things at once, we’re really seeing (digital) fluency — the same fluency that lets a 10-year-old talk a mile a minute. But it doesn’t necessarily show genuine literacy, it doesn’t show they understand what they’re doing, it doesn’t even show necessarily that they’re skilled at what they’re doing.”

Keeping Kids Safe Online

February 5, 2012

I agree with Adam Turner. Cybersafety is something parents need to address. They have the primary duty to ensure that their children are following safe online practices.

As far as I’m concerned cybersafety is primarily a parent’s responsibility, just like teaching about stranger danger or how to cross the road safely. The fundamentals of cybersafety are no different to the real world; don’t wander off, don’t talk to strangers, don’t reveal too much about yourself and call a parent if you’re unsure of something.

Some parents might complain that it’s all too complicated, but it’s not if you take an interest in your children’s activities and take the time to learn the basics. Talk to them about computers and the internet. Ask them what they’re learning at school and what they’re doing at home. Take an interest, just as you should in their other activities. 

Turner suggests ways in which parents can better supervise their children:

A common cybersafety rule is that the computer stays in the living area, positioned in such a way that anyone who walks into the room can see what’s on the screen. If notebooks are permitted in the bedrooms for studying, perhaps it’s on the condition that they recharge on the kitchen bench at night. The same rule can apply for mobile phones, which can also help combat cyberbullying.

You can split cybersafety into two key areas. The first is protecting young children from accidentally stumbling across inappropriate content. This isn’t hard if you can set up a list of appropriate bookmarks and trust your kids not to wander. Installing an ad and pop-up blocker offers an extra layer of protection. If children can’t be trusted not to wander, even by accident, you might consider a whitelist plug-in for your browser, which lets you limit access to a specific list of sites.

The second area of cybersafety is hindering older children who are deliberately seeking inappropriate content. This area is much harder to deal with, as smart and determined kids will find a workaround to just about any security measure (remember, help is only a Google search away).

There’s a big market for desktop filtering software, but don’t walk away and trust it to do a parent’s job. In my experience it tends to cripple your computer, but your mileage may vary. If you do want to restrict internet access, look at services that are independent of your end device – particularly useful if your house contains a variety of internet-enabled gadgets.

It’s worth investigating the filtering options built into wireless routers. Some let you create blacklist and whitelists, or switch off the internet at specific times. You could even run a separate wireless network for the children, making it easier to control their access without affecting your own. Another filtering option is DNS-level services such as OpenDNS. 

Whilst teachers should also take an interest in cybersafety issues, it’s up to the parents to take the lead.

The Benefits of Educational Apps

April 22, 2011

Last week I discussed how technology can be a good thing when the balance is right.  Unfortunately, technology addiction is very common among young children.  The trick is to have firm guidelines for how much time can be dedicated to technology use.  I certainly wouldn’t ban it altogether.

Technology has such a legitimate upside which cannot be dismissed:

Pupils at primary schools who use educational apps on smart-phones and tablets are performing better in their lessons, a new report showed has revealed.

The study reveals that forty per cent of parents who download educational apps say their child’s academic performance has improved as a result.

But the research shows that not only are they helping to raise academic attainment, educational apps are also helping children aged between 5 and 11 every day, inside the classroom. 

The study, commissioned by Encyclopaedia Britannica, shows the vast majority of parents who have downloaded an app claim they have helped their child with school work and projects, while more than half of parents with smart devices actively encourage their child to download apps for exam revision, homework and learning about new topics.

The report also reveals that families with access to mobile devices are fully engaged with educational apps as learning aids, with the average smartphone-owning family downloading more than four since purchasing their device.

The findings comes as two thirds of parents with smart devices are calling for more educational apps to be developed, saying they encourage independent learning and that children prefer to use them compared to other learning aids.

Ian Grant, Managing Director of Encyclopaedia Britannica UK, said: ‘It’s great that families are fully embracing new technologies when it comes to their childrens education and that they’re starting to see tangible benefits to academic attainment, both in and out of the classroom.’

Sue Atkins, Author of Raising Happy Children for Dummies and parenting blogger, said: ‘In a busy, hectic, stress-filled world of trying to get children interested in learning and being curious about the world, we need to engage them in new ways, and what better way than to download smartphone apps.

‘As a parent myself, I welcome this brilliant new way to help my daughter with her revision.’

Research was carried out online by PCP among 510 UK parents of children aged 5 – 11 with access to at least one smart device, in March 2011.

Exposing children to technology is good when properly supervised. Like with everything in Education, and therefore in life – balance is integral.

Cyber Culture and Our Kids

December 3, 2010

I recently attended a Professional Development session on cyber culture.  The survey conducted by AISV interviewed thousands of kids from Grade 4 to Year 8 and collected information about their internet habits.  Some of the interesting findings included:

  • 1 in 5 year 5/6’s don’t consult parents about their internet activity.
  • 15% of year 5’s and 20% of year 6’s have internet access in their bedrooms.
  • Half the respondents claim they don’t have parent imposed internet rules.
  • 30% of respondents know ways in which to circumvent parental controls such as bypassing net filters and minimising pages when parents approach.
  • 40% of respondents name their school or city on social media sites such as Facebook.
  • 84% use chat rooms on a daily basis.
  • Approx. 3/4 don’t use privacy function on their social media pages.

I found some of these stats quite confronting.  Internet safety along with cyber bullying are big issues that educators must take extremely seriously.

I’d love to hear from teachers who have addressed issues of cybersafety in class.  What resources did you use?  How did the class respond?


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