Parenting in the Social Age [INFOGRAPHIC]

parenting social age

Did you know that over 50% of parents felt that their children know more about the internet than they do? That can put parents in a precarious position. Just like putting restrictions on TV, chores, bedtimes, parents should be in control of what our child is and isn’t seeing on the internet. From checking parental controls to keeping up with the latest tech, this infographic from TeenSafe is a great place to start in helping parents become more actively engaged with their children online.


eLearning Trends to Follow in 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]


Online options are growing, and the classroom format is changing to incorporate the technology. There are a few trends on the cusp of explosive growth in the coming year, including flipped learning, mobilization, personalization and gamification. This infographic from TalentLMS projects the top 10 E-Learning Trends to Follow in 2015.

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How Four Students Are Changing Online Donations


Reposted from

Giving back to a community is the ultimate gift. Whether it’s code, documentation, bug reporting, project management, designing, or a financial donation, what we give back makes a difference. Four students in a dorm room at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill want to change the way people make online donations. Their mission is to revolutionize the way people give back and reshape conventional views about charity.

Over the last year, they’ve created a platform for donors to help families in need through online product donations. CommuniGift has the spirit of the open source way and would not be possible with open source software and frameworks.

Launched in December 2013, CommuniGift was founded by three students Jake Bernstein (product manager), Thomas Doochin (Chief Operations Officer), and Taylor Sharp (Chief Marketing Officer). A fourth person has joined the team, Jack Wohlfert, as the lead developer for the platform. Here’s how it works: Use the CommuniGift platform to find a family in need, read their story, then purchase gift(s) and stay connected.

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The New Language of Online Safety


Reposted from the Huffington Post:

Stranger danger, online predators, cyberbullying… this is the scary talk you brace yourself for before attending a gathering about online safety, like the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Conference, “Redefining Online Safety,” held in Washington D.C. last week.

But surprisingly, and thankfully, the online safety conversation is changing. According to a new FOSI study, conducted by Hart Research Associates and presented at the conference, 53 percent of parents surveyed report that the benefits of their kids’ using electronic devices outweigh the potential harms. And 42 percent say the two are about equal.

This research shows that parents are starting to understand that along with technology’s benefits come some inherent, yet manageable, risks. What are these risks? Well, despite heavy media focus on cyberbullying, parents are actually most worried about children being tracked by online marketers and viewing inappropriate or harmful content. There was a very clear consensus amongst the tech industry representatives, policy makers, non-profits, and academics at the FOSI event on the best way to mitigate these risks.

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A Revolution In Higher Education


Reposted from MIT News:

When future students come to campus, Sarma says, they might take a few foundational courses with many online elements — perhaps even video games — coupled with instant online assessments that give them real-time feedback on their understanding of a subject. That feedback would also be available to the professors, who can then focus classroom work on concepts students struggle with rather than explaining material already understood. As a result, more class time can be spent on activities like building circuits or robots to explore concepts learned online.

“We want to enable more time for our students to build things and interact more with their professors and peers,” says Sarma, co-chair of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education with Professor Karen Willcox and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz. The group released a report on its findings in August.

Students could also opt to spend a semester abroad, doing field work on a project that ultimately becomes a bachelor’s thesis. And all along they could continue to take online courses, interacting with peers and professors at MIT. “The whole college experience will become much more participatory, more like an apprenticeship,” Sanjay Sarma, director of MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, says.

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Online Learning Industry Will Make $107 Billion In 2015


Reposted from Forbes:

Online learning, also known as e-learning, is booming. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects it will reach $107 Billion in 2015. More traditional methods of training or education are not going away, not yet, but organizations of all types, from public schools to corporations, are opting to train and inform via the web. Pluralsight, an online training service for technology professionals, announced today it has closed $135 million in Series B funding.

In  2013,, the online learning giant and arguably the 800-pound gorilla in the e-learning space, took in $103 million in growth equity from Accel Partners and Spectrum Equity. Subscription Content reported that the site already had $100 million in revenues with two million subscribers. The Lynda service has amassed more than 83,000 instructional videos, mainly on software and web development, but a quick look now shows a wider range of design to photography to 3D animation. Content is still the winning card for this market and Lynda just announced the acquisition of Phoenix-based Interface Technical Training; adding more than 2,500 videos teaching business, technology and creative skills to its own collection. They have an annual fee with unlimited access to all its videos.

I think the niche sites and well-organized, curated platforms are going to change how we learn. Author Kio Stark conducted over 100 interviews with independent learners for her book: Don’t Go Back To School and it chronicles how people are using online methods to increase their knowledge base. It hints at why the online learning industry is going to grow beyond $100 Billion. We’ll continue to see investment in this space as startups target new niches or build out deep content wells that bigger players will want to acquire.

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The Education of Tomorrow [INFOGRAPHIC]




K-12 Education Moves Increasingly Online [INFOGRAPHIC]


To more fully envision blended learning, picture a continuum that puts brick-and-mortar schools at one end and fully-online programs at the other. Blended learning can fall anywhere in between depending on the mix of campus-based and online learning that is used. This can lead to many different implementations.

The Trust Challenge: $1.2 Million in Grant Funding to Foster Trusted Online Learning Environments

WASHINGTON – June 17, 2014: HASTAC and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, responding to a landmark Aspen Institute report, announced a $1.2 million challenge to foster trust in online learning environments and help educators harness one of the most powerful tools of the digital age – online networks.

The 5th Digital Media and Learning Competition, dubbed The Trust Challenge, will offer year-long development grants of up to $150,000 to teams with the most promising innovations for fostering trusted learning environments online. The open invitation for proposals is supported by the MacArthur Foundation through a grant to the University of California, Irvine, administered by HASTAC, an alliance of more than 14,000 humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists and technologists working together to transform the future of learning.

The Trust Challenge is a response to a new report by the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet that called for innovations that enable people to pursue learning experiences online in an environment that is safe and private. The task force focused on American education, but the Trust Challenge is an international competition because the challenge is global.

“The Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet has highlighted the transformative role that digital media can play in helping every learner to reach his or her full potential,” said David Theo Goldberg, a HASTAC board member and the director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute. “Our competition seeks to advance solutions that build the trusted environments learners need online so they can safely and confidently access the rich learning opportunities the Internet affords.”

In the Task Force report, Learner at the Center of a Networked World, also made public on Thursday, Honorary Co-Chairs Jeb Bush and Rosario Dawson argue a trusted online environment is necessary for effective learning. “Technology should revolve around the learner, not the other way around,” they wrote. “And the learner should possess the digital age literacy tools to use and understand the media in both the virtual and physical worlds.”

The Aspen Institute report envisions a future of openness and innovation in education if America can shift away from a fear-based approach to using the Internet that unwittingly blocks access to valuable learning resources.

“Just as the digital revolution changed many industries, its promise is now being realized in learning environments inside and outside schools,” said Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s Director of Education and a leading proponent of Connected Learning. “The Internet is a vital link, and innovative educators are helping learners create unique and personalized learning pathways as they follow their interests online, connect to supportive peers and mentors, and become the creative makers and producers today’s economy rewards. Our goal is to support this explosion of interest-driven learning by ensuring all learners can safely and confidently leverage these rich digital resources.”

The Trust Challenge is open to museums, libraries, school districts, schools, higher education institutions, community organizations, developers, researchers and others committed to creative, open connected learning. Successful projects will develop digital projects and tools designed to build privacy, security, and safety into its digital offerings and build awareness around data and trust. Projects might include web or online applications, digital badge systems, data management platforms, online learning content or other innovations.

Winners will receive grants of $10,000 to $150,000 as well as a year of programming designed to support successful project development. Grantees will be networked with each other and more broadly into a highly innovative, cross-disciplinary community of technologists, educators, scholars and leading thinkers.

Organizations and institutions can also win three $5,000 People’s Choice Awards that will support the purchase of approved technology. People’s Choice Winners will be determined by an online vote.

For more information about the Trust Challenge, visit


  • Sheryl Grant, Director of Social Networking
    HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition

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