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Who Protects Kids From Anonymous Cyber Threats & Cyberbullying?

Who Protects Kids From Anonymous Cyber Threats & Cyberbullying?

TechCrunch - Kenneth A. Linzer

Anonymous messaging apps, including Yik Yak, Whisper and Secret, have become a disturbing element of the cyber landscape. These anonymizing apps are quickly becoming a fact of life for schools, parents, children and many other groups in our present day social media scene.

Yik Yak, which received $62 million from Sequoia last month, and similar anonymizing apps have been blamed for school closures, threats to otherwise peaceful neighborhoods, and yet unidentified risks to our society. Yik Yak has a limited geographic perimeter of 1.5 miles and was designed for college-age users on college campuses as a virtual bulletin board. However, it’s been used by those much younger and less mature. Read More


Google and Mattel are bringing VR to the View-Master

Android Authority - Jimmy Westenberg

The View-Master was one of the coolest toys back in the day. Small cardboard reels would be placed in the device, giving a 3D look to the images. Essentially, this was the first taste of virtual reality most people experienced. But today, the View-Master is getting an awesome update. Google and Mattel have partnered up to release a View-Master powered by your smartphone.

Here’s how it works: the device is powered by your smartphone, and uses Google’s Cardboard technology. Instead of inserting cardboard reels into the device, Mattel has created new “experience reels” that you hold up to the headset. This will allow you to experience 3D worlds, educational “field trips” and photospheres. You can also view historical footage, photos and behind-the-scenes video that can be accessed by clicking on icons hovering around people, objects and landmarks. To make it work, you’ll need to download a custom Mattel application that will allow you to view the “experience reels” in a virtual reality setting. Additionally, the device will be able to work with any Cardboard-compatible app if you’d like to experience VR without the reels. Take a look at the video below to see exactly how it works. Read More


Snapchat's New Video Product Is 'Huge'

Snapchat's New Video Product Is 'Huge'

Business Insider - Jay Yarow

Earlier this year, Snapchat launched a new feature called "Discover."

Discover features video from a group of publishing partners, including ESPN, CNN, Yahoo, Vice, Comedy Central, etc.

This was a change of pace for Snapchat, which is became popular thanks to photo messages that disappear in 10 seconds or less.

So, how is it going? According to Kevin Roose at Fusion, it's a home run. Read More


Are Video Games Becoming The Ultimate Spectator Sport?

Are Video Games Becoming The Ultimate Spectator Sport?

The Wall Street Journal - Joshua Fruhlinger

IT’S EASY TO UNDERSTAND why people watch professional sports. But the appeal of watching others play a videogame—whether live in a stadium (yes, seriously) or streamed over the Internet at home—can be bewildering, to say the least.

The pastime is hugely popular, though. Throngs of fans are showing up for live-gaming tournaments that are often held in major sporting venues around the country; some 10,000 spectators came out for a “League of Legends” match held at the Los Angeles Staples Center last year. And Twitch, a service that streams live videos of gamers, draws more than 100 million viewers each month, according to the company. (Amazon purchased Twitch last year for nearly $1 billion.) Read More


Are Humans Getting Cleverer?

Are Humans Getting Cleverer?

BBC News - William Kremer

It is not unusual for parents to comment that their children are brainier than they are. In doing so, they hide a boastful remark about their offspring behind a self-deprecating one about themselves. But a new study, published in the journal Intelligence, provides fresh evidence that in many cases this may actually be true.

The researchers - Peera Wongupparaj, Veena Kumari and Robin Morris at Kings College London - did not themselves ask anyone to sit an IQ test, but they analysed data from 405 previous studies. Altogether, they harvested IQ test data from more than 200,000 participants, captured over 64 years and from 48 countries. Read More


The Modern Kids' Guide to Crafting, Coding, Composing, and More

The Modern Kids' Guide to Crafting, Coding, Composing, and More

Common Sense Media

Kids are naturally creative. Whether they're using pen and paper or a stylus and an iPad, kids find surprising ways to build, craft, and design. Help foster their interest in art, science, music, and construction by offering them a variety of tools to inspire and delight.

These hand-selected educational apps, games, and websites each have the potential to unleash creativity, especially with the support of a parent or teacher. Have fun! Read More


NASCAR Uses Racing to Spark Classroom Interest in STEM

NASCAR Uses Racing to Spark Classroom Interest in STEM

Fox News

It takes a lot of geometry and physics to get a race car to go 200 laps at speeds that can top 200 mph.

In a nod to the often overlooked science behind races like Sunday's Daytona 500, NASCAR is announcing a years-long commitment to promote "STEM" — the buzzword for science, technology, engineering and math — inside classrooms and out.

The NASCAR Acceleration Nation initiative focuses on the three D's of speed — downforce, drafting and drag — and includes instructional materials for teachers.

The effort being announced Friday is a way for NASCAR to show the fun side of engineering and math and to encourage fans to view NASCAR in a new way, said Brent Dewar, NASCAR's chief operating officer. Read More


Cracking the Code: Innovative Startups Bring Coding to the Masses

Cracking the Code: Innovative Startups Bring Coding to the Masses

Forbes - Tom Deuning

If ever there was an industry ripe for disruption, the US education industry is it. Statistics show that students educated in the U.S. K-12 system consistently rank below their peers on multiple key measures, particularly in the fields of science technology, engineering, and math (disciplines known as STEM).

What’s more, among those students who express an interest in a STEM-related career when they enter high school, nearly 60 percent will change their minds before they graduate. So it’s perhaps not surprising that the World Economic Forum ranks the United States 52nd in the quality of math and science education, and 5th in overall global competitiveness. Clearly, something needs to be done. Read More


The Tweet Worth $2.5 Billion

The Tweet Worth $2.5 Billion

Engadget - Daniel Cooper

We're only halfway through the decade, but it's already obvious that Minecraft is the biggest game of the '10s. Its creator, Markus "Notch" Persson has now been honored for his achievement with a cover story in Forbes. The piece reveals a few interesting tidbits about how he came to leave the game that made his name, including the fact that the $2.5 billion sale to Microsoft was prompted with a single tweet. Read More


13 Years Old Is Not Too Young for “The Talk”

13 Years Old Is Not Too Young for “The Talk”

Babble - Suzanne Jannese

Last week my son came home from school and asked me if I wanted to see how a “man and woman kissed.” He proceeded to make his fingers into a circle on one hand and then used a pointed index finger to gesture insertion. I balked. “See,” he said. “Kissing!” He had learned this gesture from a friend. I immediately raced online to find a book about the facts of life and am now waiting for the right moment to begin “The Talk.”

Oddly enough, this happened the very week that the Conservative party in the UK was accused of putting children’s health at risk by refusing to make sex and relationships education compulsory in primary schools. This does astound me, as surely one of the most important subjects that kids should be educated vastly on is sex. Moreover, in an age where (sadly) kids are one click away from stumbling onto porn sites, don’t we have an obligation now more than ever to teach children about self-respect, the ins-and-outs of relationships, and how to use technology wisely? Read More


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