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Facebook Restricts Violent Video Clips & Photos

Facebook Restricts Violent Video Clips & Photos

BBC News - Leo Kelion

Facebook has begun placing warnings over videos posted to its site, stating their contents might "shock, offend and upset" if viewed.

The alerts prevent the videos from automatically playing in feeds unless they are clicked, unlike other clips.

The site is also preventing graphic videos and photos from being shown to any user who has identified themself as being under 18 years old.

It follows pressure for the move from its own safety advisers.

But one psychologist said the measure still did not do enough to protect young, vulnerable members of the social network. Read More


Power of the #Hashtag and Professional Development

Power of the #Hashtag and Professional Development

Edutopia - Michelle Manno

Ineffective and totally useless aren't exactly the buzzwords you expect to come across when discussing teacher development. However, they're not uncommon. As a member of the education community -- former teacher, current higher education professional -- more often than not, I hear friends, colleagues, and peers lamenting about their professional development obligations.

Research shows that professional development helps you become a more effective teacher. There are a number of journals, such as the Journal for Research on Technology in Education and the Journal of Education for Teaching, that cite statistical evidence to prove that, yes, engaging in professional development does increase teachers' confidence and overall teaching ability. However, the Center for Public Education believes that this research is not translating into practice. Read More


Silicon Valley Turns Its Eye to Education

Silicon Valley Turns Its Eye to Education

The New York Times - Natasha Singer

The education technology business is chock-full of fledgling companies whos innovative ideas have not yet proved effective - or profitable. But that is not slowing investors, who are pouring money into ventures as diverse as free classroom-management apps for teachers and foreign language lessons for adult learners.

Venture and equity financing for edtech companies soared to nearly $1.87 billion last year, up 55 percent from the year before, according to a new report from CB Insights, a venture capital database. The figures are the highest since CB Insights began covering the industry in 2009. Read More


These Medieval LEGO Buildings Look Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen

These Medieval LEGO Buildings Look Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen

Nerd Approved - Nicole Wakelin

We’ve all cobbled together a Lego building or two of our own creation, but it’s a good bet that they didn’t look anything like these. They’re the work of Daniel “Legonardo Davidsy” Hensel who has made a series of medieval buildings representing everything from a mill to a castle to a blacksmith’s workshop. Each is incredibly detailed with the Lego stacked at odd angles to give it some texture and depth. Read More


Americans Use More Online Social Networks

Americans Use More Online Social Networks

The New York Times - Vindu Goel

Teenagers may be spending more time on messaging services like Snapchat, but American adults are still increasing their use of social networks, according to a new survey released January 9, 2015 by the Pew Research Center.

The Pew survey, conducted in September 2014, found that 52 percent of Internet users regularly logged on to at least two social networks, up from 42 percent in Pew's August 2013 survey. Read More


iPhone Separation Anxiety Is Real

iPhone Separation Anxiety Is Real

The Huffington Post - Damon Beres

You might think you're doing yourself a favor if you leave your phone behind when you head to an important meeting or dinner with the in-laws, but a new study suggests just the opposite is true.

According to new research from the University of Missouri, being separated from your iPhone can lead to "physiological anxiety" and "poor cognitive performance."

The study, "The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology," was published online Thursday in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Researchers recruited a total of 40 iPhone-using participants from three journalism courses at a "large university" in the Midwest. (iPhones were selected because it's easy to disable the device's "silent mode," researchers wrote.) Then, they ran a couple of experiments. Read More


Channeling Positive Tablet Usage To Foster Childhood Development

Channeling Positive Tablet Usage To Foster Childhood Development

TechCrunch - Yuval Kaminka

"Kids spend too much time on tablets and smartphones, not enough time outside!”

“They are losing key skills because they are spending too much time on video games and apps!”

We hear statements like these constantly, but the fact is, technology is a part of our lives, including our children’s, and that isn’t likely to change. Instead of looking at tech as the ogre, why not consider the types of apps, games and programs children are using?

Research from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that less than half of the screen time for kids between ages 2-10 involves “educational” material. Parents should look for more positive and productive ways for kids to interact with devices. Screen time, if monitored and channeled properly, can provide meaningful experiences and outcomes for children. Read More


Young Adults Flock To Instagram - Seniors Sign Up On Facebook

Young Adults Flock To Instagram - Seniors Sign Up On Facebook

Engadget - Mariella Moon

When we wrote about that survey, which found that working adults care more about email than social media, we said that might be why grandparents are some of the most active on Facebook. Well, according to this new study that's also from Pew Research center, we got it right: more than half (56 percent, to be exact) of internet users aged 65 and above have signed up on the social network. What's even more impressive is that percentage apparently comprises 31 percent of all seniors in the US. If you're looking to get in touch with your selfie-loving teenage cousin, though, you may want to hit up Instagram instead. 53 percent of young adults between the ages 18 and 29 prefer the photo-sharing social network, which probably explains all those cringe-inducing reactions to Instagram's recent spam account crackdown.

Other than that, the study also found that Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and even LinkedIn saw a huge increase in users over the past year. Facebook still remains the most popular, though, it's just that more adults now maintain several social media accounts. You can read the study's full results, which were based on the activities of American adults (81 percent of the total) that use the internet, on the research center's website. Read More


U.S. Students Improving – Slowly – In Math and Science, But Still Lagging Internationally

U.S. Students Improving – Slowly – In Math and Science, But Still Lagging Internationally

Pew Research Center - Drew DeSilver

Scientists and the general public have markedly different views on any number of topics, from evolution to climate change to genetically modified foods. But one thing both groups agree on is that science and math education in the U.S. leaves much to be desired.

In a new Pew Research Center report, only 29% of Americans rated their country’s K-12 education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (known as STEM) as above average or the best in the world. Scientists were even more critical: A companion survey of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that just 16% called U.S. K-12 STEM education the best or above average; 46%, in contrast, said K-12 STEM in the U.S. was below average.

Standardized test results appear to largely bear out those perceptions. While U.S. students are scoring higher on national math assessments than they did two decades ago (data from science tests are sketchier), they still rank around the middle of the pack in international comparisons, and behind many other advanced industrial nations. Read More


Anonymous App After School Hopes Safety Changes Can Reverse App Store Ban

Anonymous App After School Hopes Safety Changes Can Reverse App Store Ban

Re/code - Kurt Wagner

Sometimes, a new year can bring a fresh start — and no one could use a fresh start more than anonymous social networking app After School.

The app, which has been banned from Apple’s App Store for almost a month, is looking to change its reputation and get back into Apple’s good graces after safety threats and cyberbullying led Apple to pull it from the store in early December.

In the first week of 2015, the company has added a new alert system for threats, added an online reporting form and asked suicide prevention and cyberbullying experts to join their newly created safety board, which COO Cory Levy says he’ll bounce product and strategy ideas off of. Read More


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