Thursday, July 17, 2008

iPod Touch Can Send and Receive Messages

I was not aware of this until I went to the Apple Store and played with an iPod-Touch: You can have live wireless Internet if you are in an area with WiFi. I thought that was just for the iPhone. Well I must tell you that I was hooked and plunged in to the purchase. I love the applications, the way you manage the settings, the touch screen, it is all great. I was a big fan of wireless PalmPilots, but the screen was too small for me (sorry over 50). But this larger screen is just about as small as I want to get! Even my Classic iPod screen is too small. This is just right.

It leaves me to mention that if your child has one of these, they can use the Internet at a friend's home, the library, some malls, walking down the street, anywhere. Yes anywhere they can get unsecured Internet access. Be sure you are involved in what they are doing with that access. Ask them to show you how they use it, where they use it and what they are doing. Sit at the computer and have them teach you how to download Apps to their new device.

If you do not know how to text message, I suggest you get in to it right away. Teens prefer to text and you are more likely to get a response if you text rather than phone. Of course this depends upon your child and their preference. I think I will add the texting plan to my phone in September. I have two teens who want rides home or here and there, and sometimes I stay after school for something too and want to inform them.

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Playing Handheld Devices

On the Today Show this morning: Dangerous Games: Predators Using Gaming Consoles by Natalie Morales. This story reveals how predators are now using online gaming to lure their young victims into a deceptive relationship. They are using the chat option in handheld gaming systems such as PSP, NintendoDS, and the gaming systems connected to online players. This can be done ANYWHERE there is wireless access. NintendoDS has PictoChat that does not even need a wireless Internet, just a wireless message about 100 feet from each other. Kids can go outdoors with this device and get on to a neighbors unlocked Internet and bypass your home security/filtering software.
Bullying is on the rise through theses devices. Kids use them to seek revenge on classmates or initiate harassment. Students who spoke on the show told that they know kids who have been approached on the Internet by strangers this way. The are also aware of students who have been bullied or harassed.

  • Know who you can trust, what brands are responsible
  • Ask before you buy a device, can they communicate with others can other communicate with my kids.
  • Set ground rules for using the system, at home, at a friends, in public.
  • Learn safe practices and talk to your children about it.

Seduced by the Internet on Oprah

Oprah had a re-run of a program about Internet pornography today. The story involved a teenage boy who had a pornography business using his web cam from the family home. There is much more to this story including how a reporter investigating something else stumbled upon this and vowed to help the boy out of the business. Read the story HERE.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Instruction Required by Virginia

The state of Virginia has required Internet safety instruction to every k-12 student. There is no specific curriculum just yet, but most districts have elected to use the iSafe program. If you have not visited this site, you should. There are great resources provided for parents, teachers and students and it is FREE.

More Internet Safety Reading

This site crated by Qwest provides information about new changes in programming, virtual worlds, identity theft, and provides an Internet Wonder Certification. This certification is completed by visiting a series of sites to learn more about the Internet.