Facebook hubs may influence grades


Useful thinking about university course Facebook groups, which students typically set up themselves:

At the start of term there is “a big rush” to create the most popular Facebook site for each course, Dr Steele-Davies said, pointing out it is likely that a number of students will attempt to set up a Facebook group designed to act as the online hub for students on a particular degree.

“You may not be aware, but this can actually have a massive effect on the performance of the [student] cohort,” he said. “If the wrong students set up [the most popular] group, and that’s the one everyone goes on, the amount of control they have…is massive.”

Read full story.

Five Labs Personality Typing


A fascinating test came in via my RSS feed – using the last nearly 3000 words from Facebook stati, photos, etc. they decided that I’m not very extroverted…. erm…

Based on the initial responses to the site on Twitter, “people seem to identify pretty strongly with the personalities we generate,” said Nikita Bier, the co-founder of Five, which is working on a product for online conversations that will use similar technology. “Only about 10 percent said we were outright wrong about them.”

Read more about it in the New York Times.

Facebook Bullying Initiative #DigitalParenting


Facebook describes bullying as

Bullying is any kind of repeated aggressive behaviour that involves an imbalance of power such as social status or physical size. Along with physical or verbal attacks, bullying also includes making threats, spreading rumours or deliberately excluding someone from a group.

and is providing advice for teens, parents/guardians, and teachers, including advice on how to deal with bullying, how to report bullying, and how to block/remove ‘friends’.

Read more about it in the Telegraph, or go to the pages on Facebook.

10 Stories About #DigitalParenting, 02/01/14

Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news:

Breaking News ScreenSwitch off – it’s time for your digital detox

My name’s Julia and it’s fair to say I’m a digiholic. Virtually every second of my day is spent with my phone at arm’s reach. But I’m far from the worst offender. The average person checks their phone every six and a half minutes – 200 times a day. One in four of us admits to spending longer online each day than we do asleep, while 73 per cent say that we would struggle to go the whole day without our phones or computers.

Stop your children running up bills on an iPad: a how-to guide

“Children and teenagers unwrapping their new phone or their first tablet are excited about the new experiences and knowledge they can open up,” said Patrick Guthrie, director of strategy and communications at PhonepayPlus. “But young people can be unaware of the costs of accessing some digital content on smartphones and tablets, leaving parents to foot the bill.”

Teenagers migrate from Facebook as parents send them friend requests

“Facebook is not just on the slide – it is basically dead and buried,” wrote Daniel Miller, lead anthropologist on the research team, who is professor of material culture of University College London.

“Mostly they feel embarrassed to even be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.”

Are Teens Really Leaving Facebook?

When you compare the other social media platforms, none of them offer the layers of information and capability to create event invitations, groups and lists, among other unique features. While some of the alternate platforms offer a few of these features, Facebook offers diversity and depth the others don’t.


Sometimes, I’ve noticed with horror that the memories I have of things like my daughter’s birthday parties or the trips we’ve taken together are actually memories of the photographs I took, not of the events themselves, and together, the two somehow become ever more worn and overwrought, like lines gone over too many times in a drawing.

Why Our Teenagers Feel Compelled to Connect on Social Media

In one way, it’s simply evolution: Throughout history, adolescents banded together to find safety in numbers as they moved out into the world, a world that was unfamiliar, uncertain and unsafe.

That world remains risky, even with all the advantages that modern gadgets provide us to map out our routes and pinpoint our coordinates. But to leave home and feel safe, we need to belong to other teens on the same journey. As teenagers, we are compelled to turn towards one another.

What I Know One Year After Giving My Teenager an iPhone Contract

12 ways in which lives have been affected….

New Ways for Children to Interact and Learn Through Digital Storytelling: Global Sleepover Launches Its First Story

The Global Sleepover is a new and unique digital children’s story series (children ages 4-8) about four friends who go on Sleepovers all over the world. On their adventures, they learn about the world and become global citizens. After all, who doesn’t love a Sleepover?

Plymouth Library to Offer More Digital Options for Patrons in 2014

“eBooks are very popular, and are becoming very popular with younger children,” Petlewski said. “Especially now that the schools are integrating iPads and other digital devices into its curriculum. So we have a brand new eBook page, a portal just for kids books.”

Three ways to encourage your child to read

“E-readers, like Mini, let them have instant access to their favorite stories without the distractions that other devices provide,” says Tamblyn.

Canada created an anti-cyberbullying act, whilst in the US an increasing number of books are being removed from the shelves as ‘unsuitable’… and see some babies on iPads.

10 Stories About #DigitalParenting 28/11/13

oosxA18Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news:

  • Give Your Child More Screen-Time, Here’s Why: Parents and educators are often inundated with information that cautions them against allowing their children more than a certain amount of screen-time, suggesting that it fosters anti-social behavior and impacts their ability to learn. Yet studies have found that it depends on the type of content, not the device usage itself, that truly matters. (Whilst others suggest to take some time out)
  • Stop Sharing on Thanksgiving: This year, let’s take a day off from sharing our every thought and feeling with the world. Give thanks for the people in your life by giving them your undivided attention. The most meaningful thing we have to give is our time. Stop broadcasting and start listening.
  • The ‘Facebook’ Town Square: So, now Facebook is serving as the old town square, where people spread the word, get up on the occasional soapbox, and — most dangerously — visually place someone in a stockade when they have wronged the owner of the Facebook account. No judge or jury needed, just the ability to coerce someone into giving up their dignity and holding up a sign stating their transgressions.
  • Kids and Life Online: Are Parents’ Fears Warranted?: For the parents of “digital native” children, the fact that their kids spend so much of their lives online is often the source of serious consternation. For starters, they worry they’re raising a generation of sallow, unpleasant, disconnected creatures who are fearful of emotions, physical contact and possibly even sunlight. They also wonder if playing Angry Birds for hours on end is sharpening their kids’ minds or turning them to mush; if texting 60 times per day is teaching their kids vital communication skills or turning them away from real-world relationships; if Facebook is a healthy venue for social interaction or an overflowing cauldron of bullies and miscreants. Etc. Most of all, though, parents worry that the digital universe is a dangerous place for their children to wander unsupervised.
  • Creating An Army of Digital Defenders To Stop Child Sexual Exploitation: This week, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, issued an op-ed in the UK’s Daily Mail outlining the new proactive steps Google has committed to take in response to the accessibility of child pornography links via mainstream search platforms. Google stands alongside Facebook, Microsoft and many other technology companies that have stood up to be part of the proactive effort to combat the sexual exploitation of children.

… and what you might look for in technology gifts for Christmas, the growth of digital libraries, sharing gift ideas via blogs and we are warned of the dangers of texting and driving.