Beloit College Class of 2018 Mindset List Is Out

The Mindset authors talk about the lists.

Want to learn a bit about the 21st Century students who are entering college right now and infer a bit about digital kids at other ages? Check out this year’s Beloit College Mindset list for the class of 2018. This yearly list helps adults — parents and educators — recognize just how much our cultural frames of reference differ from those of our digital-age children, even if they may be younger than college freshmen.

Started in 1998 by two faculty members at Beloit, the list was originally created as a way for faculty and staff at the college to learn more about how easy it is for adults talk about things that they take for granted but that their students don’t know.  The website includes links to past years’ lists.

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Watch Out for Malicious E-mail Attachments!

safetyWith e-mail you can’t be too careful!

Despite the increasing role of texting and social media messaging in our lives, most of us still rely on e-mail for a range of important tasks, and often our children do too. To remain safe and secure we must learn how to be on the lookout for malicious attachments.

Perhaps half-a-dozen times or more a month I receive hoax letters from people on my school e-mail lists. These range from messages that call for help from strange places around to world to e-mails with links to web locations that claim to solve problems or help me out in some way. Many of these come from people who I consider to be web and Internet savvy, and most of the hoaxes are incredibly realistic, seeming like they just might need me to click on them. Recently a great article about e-mail security, with information that can help all of us learn more, appeared on the MakeUseOf website.                                        Continue reading

Parent Guides Aim to Demystify Apps and Social Media Sites

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A Parents’ Guide to Instagram

I am just back from the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) 2013 conference, where I discovered a set of well-written, succinct, and easy-to-understand parent guides about various popular apps, social media sites, cybersecurity, and more. If knowledge truly is power, then these publications will help parents gain that knowledge as well as become more secure and even a bit less fearful about the activities of their 21st Century children. These 21st Century learners — our children — work and play in the almost-always-connected world.

The guides, from ConnectSafely.org, are freely downloadable as PDF files. Sometimes the download pages include additional resources.

Written by digital life and learning leaders, Anne Collier (NetFamilyNews.org) and Larry Magid (LarrysWorld.com)  the parent guides will be helpful to schools, church groups, and parent organizations. Collier and Magid collaborate at their ConnectSafely.org site.

A Parent's Guide to Snapschat

A Parent’s Guide to Snapchat

Parent guides are currently available on the following topics.

I expect these writers will write and release additional guides in the future.