Making the e-transition back-to-school safely

As the new school year approaches, parents and caregivers in countries everywhere are gathering school supplies, going through clothes to see what fits and what can last another few months, making appointments for haircuts, getting ready to purchase sturdy shoes and doing all the other things that will make the transition back-to-school go smoothly.

I thought I would chime in with my tips and resources for parents to make the e-transition back-to-school go smoothly too!  What do I mean by “e-transition?” Okay, so I just coined the phrase, but I am talking about the transition from online summer fun with any electronic and/or digital goodies to the online educational use of those same technologies and devices.

So as you make those organizational lists for back-to-school, add this term to your notepad: eTransition. (Please note: these resources are of course available to support you during the school year as well; the goal is to providing understanding on...

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Yik Yak, Anonymity Talking Back

Student post from Hannah Amreen, Law student University of Paris 8

A free social app based on anonymity can prove to be a recipe for disaster, especially in the hands of high school kids who are looking for a means to vent out bitter feelings about their classmates. Initially, Yik Yak, launched in December 2013, was meant for college students, as a ‘virtual bulletin board’ as its creators describe it, which enables its users to share ideas and information with the closest 500 users. Users are limited to 200 characters, no pictures allowed. But there is room enough for nefarious use of the app to be made and defamatory material to be posted, especially since the app has spread to middle and high schools where users are not mature enough to use the app correctly.

A debate on anonymity has been raised. At best, it is a platform where people can easily voice out their opinion, help each other and where close-knit communities can be formed. At worse, it is according to a...

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Our digital footprints

AUTHOR: Katherine Fitzgerald, Law student University of Paris 8

Nowadays it is almost impossible to disconnect, disconnect from the internet and the World Wide Web that is. We are living more and more in a digital era where we are all creating our own online persona, our individual digital footprint. A digital footprint combines everything we post online, share or view. This could include a profile on Facebook or Myspace photographs posted online as well as anything we have written or that has been written about us, for instance on discussion boards, blogs, or in articles. Nowadays we are all being encouraged to put aspects of ourselves and our lives online, and much of this content is freely available to view. Each time we add something about ourselves on the internet we enlarge our own digital footprint. Whenever we mention someone else, we enlarge theirs.

For whilst we are afforded great freedom to write, communicate and interact with one and other we are also shackled by our...

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Adblockers to Help You Get Rid of Ads

AUTHOR: Katherine Fitzgerald, Law student University of Paris 8

Let’s face it – advertising is everywhere – on radio, television, posters, and unfortunately the Internet. We all know how annoying it is to try and navigate through the web and be constantly blasted with suggestive (and more frequently explicit) pop-ups. Nowadays they are never ending and crude, repetitive and distasteful.

Whilst we are sometimes shocked or irritated by such pop-ups we are (unfortunately) no longer surprised by them. The same cannot be said of our children. Pop-ups are indiscriminate and will appear whoever is behind the screen – as such adverts with pornographic images are almost unavoidable to any child ‘surfing the internet’.

On a personal note, being sick of those images popping up on my computer screen, I was advised to download a free ‘adblocker’ program that acts as a filter on my search engine, blocking all pop-ups from appearing (and sparing me...

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