SafeKids/NetFamilyNewsletter 2/17/06 issue

  • From: Educational CyberPlayGround <admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12NewsLetters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 11:52:34 -0500

K12 Newsletters Mailing List
Subscribe - Unsubscribe - Set Preferences

Educational CyberPlayGround Community Mailing Lists
Advertise K12 Newsletters Guidlines

********************************************************************* HELP FOR THE NEW TEACHER <>

Classroom management skills is the number one concern. Find
practical advice, How-To's, Survival Kits, ice breakers, and
online resources that integrate technology into the classroom.

Web News Briefs

1. Playboy's 'Girls of MySpace'

Playboy likes to capture "the cultural zeitgeist," as Online Media
Daily puts it
rticleHomePage&art_aid=39712>, so of course it will soon feature
"Girls of MySpace" on its Web site. "MySpace is not participating in
the pictorial, but has established its own MySpace page,
which is promoting the search for women to pose; also has
purchased ad space on MySpace," according to Online Media Daily, which
adds that Playboy has been "overwhelmed with the number and quality of
submissions." The development "comes at a dicey time for MySpace,
which has found itself under scrutiny for exposing teens to possible
danger." MySpace spokespeople point out that is not a
youth site and told the San Jose Mercury News
<> last
week that 75% of its membership is over 18, but a quarter of 54
million members is 13.5 million teens (the Mercury News piece was
about what unwise blogging can potentially do to teens' reputations).
Here's a sampler of related news this week: a sort of primer from the
Associated Press, "MySpace: A new online star that isn't Google"
nespace.html>; "Teen Web hangouts can be gold mines for predators" at
Pioneer Press in Minnesota
<>; and a
two-part series, "The trouble with MySpace?" at the Rutland Herald in
Vt. (Part 1
and Part 2

2. 2006: Banner year for online kids

There have been many flashpoints between free speech and children's
online safety since the US Supreme Court struck down the
Communications Decency Act (CDA) in mid-'97, but 2006 looks second
only to 1997 as a crucial year for online kids advocacy. Why? Because
of two developments: 1) blogging's popularity among/risks to kids has
become mainstream news nationwide (online safety has reached an
unprecedented level of public awareness), and 2) the fate of the Child
Online Protection Act (COPA, aka "son of CDA") is to be decided in
federal court this fall. In "They Saved the Internet's Soul"
<,70185-1.html>, Wired News
provides excellent background. The "they" in that headline is the
Supreme Court, and what the court understood in striking down CDA was
the difference between TV and the Internet. If the justices had upheld
CDA, Wired News reports, it would've been "the Taliban Internet" or
censored for a 12-year-old user base (at least where US-based Web
sites were concerned), because CDA "aimed to extend to the Internet
the same 'decency' standard that applies to broadcast TV and radio,
and is now most famous for leading to fines for Howard Stern and CBS
television for explicit language and a wardrobe malfunction
respectively." Among other things, the decision showed that local and
even national standards (or those of a current national government,
because lawmakers have had a tough time defining national standards)
are extremely difficult to apply to a "radically decentralized"
international medium, and US courts continued to wrestle with this
when confronted with COPA. That's what the Philadelphia federal
appeals court will look at ­ local standards vs. international medium,
protecting free speech vs. protecting children - for the third time this fall.

3. Back to the porn threat

COPA Commission Report
A pdf version of the report is also online
Child Online Protection Act report recommends voluntary Acceptable Use
Policies in schools rather than government-mandated filtering.

We all keep finding more things from which online kids need
protection. The first blip on our radar screen was online pornography.
Then it was predators (not to mention spyware, phishers, worms, etc.).
Lately, with cyberbullying, blogging, and all manner of kid-published
content, the lesson's about how they can protect themselves from each
other and even themselves. Suddenly we're back to that first issue -
protection against porn ­ because of the long wind-up to next fall's
arguments between the Justice Department and the American Civil
Liberties Union over the Child Online Protection Act in a federal
court in Philadelphia. The San Francisco Chronicle
7AH81.DTL&type=tech> takes a thorough look at how best to protect kids
from porn ­ a law, filtering, or parenting. The answer is definitely
not "none of the above."

4. New PC patches issued

Handy Dandy Directions to Disenfect when you've been skanked.

Windows PC users should make sure they get the seven security patches
Microsoft issued this week, two of which the company says are
critical, Washington Post security writer Brian Krebs reported
_patches_1.html>. One critical flaw is in Internet Explorer, the other
in Windows Media Player; Brian provides details. To get the patches,
go to Windows Update <> or, to make
patching automatic, go to this Microsoft page
dates.mspx>. Another option is to subscribe to Windows OneCare Live
<>, free because still in beta. Microsoft
will start charging $49.95/year in June, but if you sign up by April
30, it'll be $19.95 for at least the first year.

5. For the littlest early adopters

National Children's Folksong Repository - get the songs or send the songs

"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" is the bottom line of this report by
the Associated Press
ory> on the American International Toy Fair trade expo this week.
Toymakers are creating all manner of kid-targeting add-ons for the
iPod, "from electronic drumsticks and other musical instruments to
chairs and electronic playmates that act as speakers." The "chair"
would be Baby Einstein Co.'s "rocking chair that connects to an iPod
so parents can sing along while the child rocks."

Then there's the  SpongeBob SquarePants speaker system that plugs into
an iPod from Emerson Radio Corp./Nickelodeon. There's a lot of
pressure on the iPod (42 million have been sold), the AP indicates.
"The toy industry is looking to the iPod to help reverse a decline in
traditional toy sales that dates back to 2003." You might also want to
 check out "Mommy, Help Me Download 'Farmer in the Dell' to My MP3
Player," in which the New York Times tells of Fisher-Price's
forthcoming digital music player and digital camera for children ages
3 and older, and other marvels for very small techies

6. Music piracy & iPods

You can sell what you own.
Copyright music and law
Digital Rights Management

The RIAA has opened a new front in its war on music piracy, and it's
not about sharing tunes online. "Wipe your iPod before selling it,"
The Register is telling people
<>. The
Recording Industry Association of America "last week told sellers in
the US that doing so is a clear violation of copyright law [at least
in the US and Europe] and warned them that it's sniffing out for
infringers." For example, if your child got a new iPod over the
holidays and wants to unload his old one on eBay, make sure he takes
all the music off it. Anybody advertising used iPods for the music on
them must definitely be a sitting duck for litigation.

7. Parents, teachers agree (somewhat)

Parents and teachers have very different views on life in school, the
Associated Press reports
.htm>. But there's one thing about which they see eye-to-eye: the
Internet's value. A new AP-AOL Learning Services Poll found that "81%
of teachers and 83% of parents agree that the Internet and online
sources are helpful." The percentages weren't so close in other
findings. "For example, less than half of parents say student
discipline is a serious concern at school. Teachers scoff at that. Two
in three of them call children's misbehavior a major problem," the AP
reports. Also: "73% of teachers say they know more than their students
about learning tools available on the Internet vs. 57% of parents;
"71% of teachers say class work and homework are the best way to
measure academic success" vs. 63% of parents; and in a smaller gap,
"79% of teachers rate high schools good or better in preparing
students for college"
while 67% of parents agree.

8. IM on phones: Coming fast

IMing and how to keep your kids safe on the net.

I have to admit I wasn't sure what the difference was between texting
on phones and IM-ing on phones. In its report about 15 mobile-phone
giants agreeing to enable instant-messaging across their networks, the
BBC <> cleared it up
for me: "IM conversations typically involve more back and forth than
text message chats and it ensures that the experience is similar to
that enjoyed online." The 15 companies, representing a staggering 700
million customers, include Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, and China
Mobile, according to the BBC, and they stand to make a ton of money by
making those customers' experience easy and the technology invisible.
When it happens in the US, fluent IMers and texters like our children
will wonder what the big deal is ­ why wouldn't IM-ing be the same on
computers, phones, whatever. Let's see how long it'll be before this
happens in the US. We're only just starting to have interoperable
IM-ing (between AIM
and MSN Messenger users, for example), and we're way behind Europe and
Asia in texting, though catching up fast.

9. Disney-on-demand

"Good Morning Silicon Valley" sums it up wittily: "No, no, no. The
MovieBeam unit is the third set-top box from the top. Right above TiVo
and below Comcast." There will be a lot of competition for Disney, as
it once again tries to beam movies into your family room on demand
(having suspended the service last spring), the San Jose Mercury News
blog suggests
Disney says it will release films to right when they
come out on DVDs. That does make it tough for Netflix, which announced
its new "video-whenever-Hollywood-feels-like-it service" last fall.
MovieBeam is pricey, though: The Los Angeles Times reports
ory> that it requires a $199.99 (after a $50 rebate) set-top box and a
$30 service-activation fee. "Movie rental fees are $3.99 for new
releases ($4.99 in high definition) and $1.99 for older titles.

10. Not-so-virtual networking

Social Networking explained and revealed

Here's a switch: an upbeat story about a social-networking site.
Vertical ­ in terms of specific locations, interest communities, or
both - is the direction I think more and more blogging and
social-networking are going. This story's all about London-based
connecting, and the site is, launched just three
weeks ago, the Christian Science Monitor reports
<>. The "online
social club" aims to offer "credible, safe alternatives for meeting
new people in a city where new acquaintances can be hard to make." How
it handles teens' safety remains to be seen, but the site is not
targeting people under 18 (per its Terms of Service
<>) and isn't as focused on
media-sharing, customization, and virtual networking as other blogging
sites attracting teens.

11. Courting for real & virtually

Hmm. Are we seeing a trend? Is online romance moving from dating sites
like to alternate-reality games like Will
you too be attending your child's wedding in a virtual world? On the
same day I read in that dating site subscriptions are
LoveInBritneysPokerRoom.html> and in CNET
2100-1043_3-6038936.html> about a transatlantic couple who met as
owners of adjacent virtual properties in Second Life and are now
living together in England. CNET also mentions a couple that met in
"City of Heroes" <>, now planning their
real-life wedding, "but at the urging of a lot of friends in the 'City
of Heroes' community, they're planning in-world nuptials as well."
Some people will soon be meeting in social-networking sites, then move
on to alternate-reality games to court and
wed. Later they'll have to decide whether to have virtual or real children!

12. Poetry site searches way up

Speech and Rhythm, are the two elements of language development.

Valentine Clip Art

Poems beat out chocolates, flowers, and Valentines gifts in Web
searches this week, ClickZstats reports
"The search term, 'love poems,' grew 83% for the week ending February
11." What might be interesting to parents is that visitors to poetry
sites a younger than the average Web users. ClickZ adds that "visitors
to were 56% more likely be in the 18-24 age group. Visitors
to were 100 times more likely to be 18-24."
Those two sites were Nos. 1 and 3 on the HitWise traffic chart. Others
in the Top 10 were,, and The
Lycos search engine reported, however, that "poker" beat out poetry by
a long shot, reports
"Valentine's Day" was No. 1 at, "poker" second, then "WWE,"
"Pam Anderson," "Britney Spears," "Super Bowl,"
and finally "Love Poems" at No. 7. At least poetry bested "Paris Hilton."

Brought to you by and

Copyright statements to be included when reproducing
annotations from K12 Newsletter

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

K12 Newsletter copyright



Other related posts:

  • » SafeKids/NetFamilyNewsletter 2/17/06 issue