How to Raise an Optimistic Kid in a Pessimistic World

How to Raise an Optimistic Kid in a Pessimistic World

Dr. Michele Borba

Let’s face it: kids with pessimistic attitudes are among the most frustrating breeds. They give up easily, believe anything they do won’t make a difference, and assume they won’t succeed. Sadly, they rarely see the good, wonderful things of life. They dwell on the negative, bad parts of life, and often find only the inadequacies in themselves:

“I’m so dumb, why study?” “Nobody’s going to like me, why bother?” “What’s the point? I’ll fail.”

Beware: a pessimistic trend amongst today’s youth is increasing. A child today is ten times more likely to be seriously depressed compared to a child born in the first third of this century.

So what’s a parent to do? Read More

Your Samsung SmartTV Is Spying on You

Your Samsung SmartTV Is Spying on You

The Daily Beast - Shane Harris

You may be loving your new Internet-connected television and its convenient voice-command feature—but did you know it’s recording everything you say and sending it to a third party?

Careful what you say around your TV. It may be listening. And blabbing.

A single sentence buried in a dense “privacy policy” for Samsung’s Internet-connected SmartTV advises users that its nifty voice command feature might capture more than just your request to play the latest episode of Downton Abbey.

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party,” the policy reads. Read More

Computer Science: America’s Untapped Opportunity

Computer Science: America’s Untapped Opportunity

Computer science drives innovation in the US economy and society. Despite growing demand for jobs in the field, it remains marginalized throughout the US K-12 education system.

Currently, 25 states still don't allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation. Checkout this infographic from

Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.

Promote Computer Science Today

Universal Values: Self-Control & Justice

MindMake - Paul Henderson

Common Core, standards, curricula and teachers reinforce a set of values. Some educators prefer the term virtues to values because virtues suggest a way of behaving grounded in who we are. They become intrinsic to us. (Remember Groucho Marx’ quip: I have my values, and if you don’t like them I’ve got others).

Two values that seem universal are self-control and justice. EdTech can reinforce these. As more quality video and streaming technology comes on line, especially in humanities-based subjects, parents and teachers will have a wider set of tools at hand to explore and highlight what they value. Read More

Virtual Reality Transforming Personal Entertainment

Virtual Reality Transforming Personal Entertainment

Techcrunch - Sasa Marinkovic

Virtual reality is poised to fundamentally transform personal entertainment as we know it, potentially delivering a long-term impact that may exceed today’s most “disruptive” new technologies. Strapping on a VR headset will catapult the user into a new realm of lifelike entertainment experiences that will seem believable — and very real, within seconds of putting them on.

Traditional movie entertainment turns the viewer into an observer of the story, but today’s gaming technology makes users active participants. VR technology takes everything a giant step further, creating the sense of the virtual world being just as real as the physical. But to achieve this, technology must become invisible, unnoticeable and undetectable. The moment that technology reveals itself by way of a difficult interface or unrealistic experience, the magic spell is broken — and the unconscious world of VR “presence” dissolves. Read More

A Dad’s 3 Rules to Easy Parenting

A Dad’s 3 Rules to Easy Parenting

The Good Men Project - Gavin Lodge

This dad has it all figured out in a tongue-in-cheek essay where he lays out the secret to child discipline.

PARENTS! (Yes, I am YELLING at YOU!) Parenthood is easy.

The nuts and bolts of parenting are simple. Below are the rules to avoid raising an emperor who ruins your life and annoys me at Starbucks. Get these basics down, and then you can deal with what makes parenthood enjoyable (as opposed to barely tolerable.)

FOLLOW THROUGH (I had to yell this one.)

If you say, “Timmy, don’t do X, or we will have to do Y” you best be ready to follow through with play Y.


How Can We Help Kids Learn From Mistakes?

How Can We Help Kids Learn From Mistakes?

Dr. Michele Borba

Tips to help kids recognize a key to success: “Learn from your failures.”

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

Do you want your child to succeed? (And what parent doesn’t.) Then know this: kids cannot learn to persevere, hang in there, or succeed unless they recognize how to deal with failure. Mistakes can be a chance to start over. In fact one of the most highly correlated traits of successful individuals is that they don’t let mistakes derail them.

Achievers succeed despite their mistakes by using their failures as learning opportunities.

Helping our children understand the importance of failing and learning from mistakes is critical for success. Just don’t assume please that your child grasps that lesson innately. We must purposefully set aside time to make sure our kids understand that value of mistakes as well as not be derailed when they make them. Here are strategies to help your child learn one of the most valuable lessons-how to bounce back from failure. Read More

Why Do Smartphones Dumb You Up?

Why Do Smartphones Dumb You Up?

The Register - Alistair Dabbs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My wife has asked me to produce my dong when she is least expecting it. Apparently, this will help her to refocus during lengthy meditation exercises.

She has also asked me to produce this occasional chiming sound (that’s right, a "dong" – why, what did you think I meant?) from different locations in the room. Better still, to enhance the unpredictability of the experience, the noises should be different. By this, I understand that she has a desire to be entertained by a number of different dongs.

Initially, rather than tramping around the room with a sack of percussive instruments, I imagined I might set them up beforehand and walk from one to another. So whenever she begins to nod off, she can be aroused by my dong at her left ear, then surprised by another clapper at one end of the room, and later startled as I jangle away at the bell end. Read More

Why Kid's Digital Skills Don't Match Their Confidence Levels

Why Kid's Digital Skills Don't Match Their Confidence Levels

The Irish Times - Sorcha Pollak & Joe Humphreys

The vast majority of Irish children believe they know more about the internet than their parents, yet 43 percent still don’t know how to use the “report abuse” safety button on social networking sites.

That’s one of the main findings of a new report on internet usage among nine to 16-year-olds published ahead of Safer Internet Day tomorrow.

Nearly two-thirds of the 500 children surveyed for the report by Dublin Institute of Technology researchers Dr Brian O’Neill and Thuy Dinh claimed greater digital literacy than their parents, and girls claimed to have more skills than boys. Read More

Are Media Companies Building Another House of Cards on Snapchat?

Are Media Companies Building Another House of Cards on Snapchat?

Gigaom - Mathew Ingram

If there’s an “It Girl” in the online-media space right now — a single company that sums up the current landscape, for better or worse — it would have to be Snapchat. The four-year-old company is the platform everyone wants to be seen with, whether it’s Vice News using it to post a 10-minute documentary on Bitcoin, or Madonna featuring a video from her new album.

But what exactly do media companies get out of this? Is it a potential share of future revenues (assuming they appear)? Is it exposure to new users, and especially much-sought-after millennials? And are those returns going to be worth it, or are they building another house of cards on someone else’s land? Read More

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