RSI Corporate - Licensing

Teaching online safety to kids should be mandatory

The Toronto Star – Catherine Little

“Anyone who has taught teenagers, parented teenagers or has been a teenager knows that they will find ways to do things if they are motivated enough. We are only fooling ourselves if we think we can declare a ban on online activities. Eventually, they will need to travel the online world for school, work and life. Talking to them about how to do it safely from an early age means they are more likely to talk to you about it when they run into difficult situations.”(more)

How every school can promote safety in a digital world

E-School News – Harold Reaves

“Keeping students safe in the digital era — with its myriad dangers — means a proactive IT strategy. Technology has become a mainstay within the walls of today’s schools. One-to-one computing is enhancing and enriching the student experience, transforming the way we teach and the way we learn. K-12 schools were expected to spend approximately $4.7 billion on technology this past year, according to IDC, with no sign of a plateau. But as rapid technology adoption continues unabated, the safety of the students who are meant to benefit from these advances is frequently overlooked.”(more)

Press 3 for Chinese?

Matthews Asia – Patricia Huang

“During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Washington last fall, he and President Barack Obama made rather unsurprising pledges to boost bilateral relations—agreeing to advance cooperation over such top issues as cybersecurity, investment treaties and climate change. But there was one relatively small—yet still sweeping—new initiative that caught my attention in particular. This was Obama’s call for a dramatic expansion in Mandarin language learning among U.S. students. Dubbed “1 Million Strong,” this effort aims to increase the number of kindergarten to 12th grade students currently studying Mandarin, from about 200,000 now to 1 million by 2020. “(This) will ensure a greater understanding of China, create a pipeline of China-savvy employees and ensure that students from all walks of life have the skills and opportunities to compete in today’s workforce,” said Carola McGiffert, president of the U.S. nonprofit established to aid this effort…In just the past decade, Chinese early language and immersion programs across the U.S. have grown more than nine-fold, now totaling over 170 programs.”(more)

Time spent online ‘overtakes TV’ among youngsters

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“Young people are spending more time playing and socialising online than watching television programmes, according to an annual survey tracking children’s media behaviour in the UK. Staff at research agency Childwise described it as a “landmark change”. Among those watching TV, the Netflix on-demand service was more popular than any conventional television channel. There was also a surge in children’s ownership of tablet computers, up by 50% compared with last year. The annual media monitoring report, based on a sample of more than 2,000 five to 16-year-olds, has been following children’s viewing behaviour since the mid-1990s.”(more)

Pew Survey: Parents Staying On Top of Teens’ Online Activities

Education News – Grace Smith

“Teenagers use various digital technologies in this day and age, and parents appear to be doing a decent job keeping up with them. The benefits of digital connection range from the ability to contact a child more readily and easily than ever before to improving kid’s ability to access educational information at the touch of a keyboard, says Monica Anderson for Pew Research Center. But along with the benefits of technology come concerns about who teens are interacting with online and what personal information they are sharing on the Internet…Marion K. Underwood, dean of graduate studies in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas and a co-author of the report “Being Thirteen: Social Media and the Hidden World of Young Adolescents’ Peer Culture,” said the best approach is to be an active part of teenagers online lives and then to gradually give more and more freedom as the teens mature. “Children who felt like their parents were monitoring their activity online were noticeably less distressed by online conflict,” Dr. Underwood said.”(more)

Are Connected Toys Harmful to Your Kids?

VOA News – Aida Akl

“Toys have come a long way. They’re smarter. They’re Wi-Fi connected. They can talk to children and become their new best friend. And for some experts, that might be a potential problem that could hinder children’s development and put their data at risk. Many connected toys interact with children. Some might record their names or address them by name. Others can answer questions or hold a conversation with children – to a point, as in the case of My Friend Cayla, the first Internet-connected smart doll, My Friend Teddy, and Mattel’s Hello Barbie doll. For Psychologist Larry Rosen of California State University at Dominguez Hills…“My rule of thumb with young children is you never let a child use a piece of technology for more than about a half-hour at a time and that … you then use 3-5 times that amount of time to let them engage in creative play, in the kind of play that stimulates other parts of the brain that [are] important for their development.””(more)