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Free Book for Internet Safety Month

June is Internet Safety Month. To celebrate, I am offering my ebook, Talking Digital: A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Kids How to Share Smart and Stay Safe Online, free until June 23.

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I will be releasing an updated version in Fall 2015. If there is a topic or question you would like included in the next book, please let me know. Happy Reading!




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What Parents need to know about YouNow

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YouNow is part of the new live streaming trend. The best way to describe YouNow is Live TV with audience participation. Instead of passively watching a video, teens can watch their favorite performer or classmate broadcast live and message them questions or comments. The person responds to them immediately during the live broadcast. YouNow has over 100 million sessions a month. Scrolling through these live broadcasts, I saw many young faces.

Teens appear to dominate YouNow. While teens make up the majority of performers, anyone can watch the live broadcasts without registering. Simply, go to YouNow and click around to watch trending people and topics. It is only if someone wants to take part in the chat or broadcast themselves live do they need to sign up. Teens must sign up through their existing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ account. Once they sign up, they create their public profile and start broadcasting.

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Celebrate Internet Safety Month with a Good Book

pibooksIt is June and June is my January. This is when I look back over the past year and make plans for the next. I always kick off summer with a list of new projects. On my list this year, along with organizing photos, is revisiting our family phone contract. With my youngest starting middle school, we will be looking at a new phone and a new contract.

It is fitting that June is Internet Safety Month. NCSA and ConnectSafely are working together to offer tips and strategies for helping families managing technology use. “June is a great time to appreciate the warm weather and to consider how the season impacts our online lives. The Internet greatly enhances our summer experiences as we use technology to plan, enrich and share our activities,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “With some smart practices, you can help protect yourself, your family and the extended online community while using the Internet with greater confidence.”

Thankfully, they are a lot of great websites and books to help parents boost their digital parenting confidence. A few weeks ago, I published a list of some of my favorite websites. This week, I have put together a list of digital parenting books. This list is from my Pinterest board. Most of these I have read and a few are on my to read list. These books are full of tips and strategies for all ages. Celebrate Internet Safety Month by adding one of these to your summer reading list. (If you know of a great book I missed, send me the link and I will add it.)

Happy Internet Safety Month!

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Frienedy, an all ages social network, puts parents in charge.

frienedy iconWhen I first started talking to elementary schools about digital citizenship, I rarely mentioned specific apps. With every year, I see more young kids with phones and tablets. So, I have added slides about Instagram and kik. While I understand why kids love these apps, these places are for people 13 years old and up. This is a tough environment to learn about digital citizenship where mistakes are easily shared and hard to erase.

A few weeks ago, I got chance to talk with Janel Patterson, a parent and CEO of Frienedy, who has created a better approach. She has designed a social network for all ages. Frienedy is for everyone and allows both parents and kids to create private social groups. These groups can center around family, friends, teams or classes. Within a group, members can share activities, photos, videos and documents. They can also post an event on a shared calendar as well as create a WishList for equipment and supplies.frienedy ex

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20 Great Websites for Parents

spring cleaningSpring-cleaning always energizes me to look at everything with a fresh perspective. This past week, I did a little spring-cleaning on KidsPrivacy. I played with different themes, toyed with moving around widgets and contemplated adding new features. The result is a long list of things to delete, things to add and things to move. My first change launches today.

At the end of my internet safety talks, parents always ask me about my favorite websites. I have many. Every Monday, I go through all my bookmarked sites to find out what is happening online, what new technology is coming out and what should parents talk to kids about staying safe and sharing smart. So, I have built a  Digital Parenting Blogs Page. Here, I have links to 20 fantastic organizations and people who are writing for parents raising kids in a digital world.

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Please check out these 20 sites, add them to your bookmarks and set aside a day each week to peruse them. These sites will keep you up to date on the latest apps and give you some fresh ideas for managing technology. Be sure to bookmark KidsPrivacy. This is only the beginning, I will be adding more sites and features this summer. If you have questions or suggestions, please let me know.