Save It for Later Saturday: Teens and Google +, Early Ed, and Picnik

In Save It for Later Saturday you’re getting a brief run-down of the stand-outs from my week's "Read Later" list.  This week, please replace the word Saturday with Monday.  I took the weekend off and watched movies while lounging on the couch with my dogs.  Don’t you love January?  You’ll love the best of my “Read Later” list from Diigo.

There are plenty of opinions on teens and social media.  In Driving Online Without a License I outlined my own opinion and experience with introducing Facebook to my daughter.  In short, I think that teens should use social media. But, just as parents set guidelines for social behavior when teens leave the house, guidelines must be set for social online behavior.  One way to create boundaries for online behavior is to establish rules for content sharing. Last week, Google announced that Google+ will now be open for teens ages 13-18 and created a different set of safety features for the age group.  I recommend going through the privacy settings on Google+ with your teen as she sets up her account.  Any interaction you have with your teen while she is online enhances her media literacy skills, her knowledge of online etiquette (netiquette), and provides opportunities for discussing what is deemed appropriate to share.  You can explore Google+ Features for teens in the Google+ Safety Center, download A Parent's Guide to Google+ from ConnectSafely.org, or read an in depth article by Larry Magid at Huffington Post.  

Speaking of teens, during last week’s State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed that in order to decrease the high school dropout rate, states should require students to attend high school until they graduate or turn 18 (currently only 21 states have this as a requirement).  Increasing graduation rates is good for the economy and I am for anything that helps kids stay in school.  However, as Henry M. Levin and Cecilia E. Rouse point out in the New York Times, the answer to school completion lies in quality early learning.  Additionally, researchers are discovering that early learning is significant to living a successful life beyond one’s school career.  If you are interested in finding out your state’s policy on early education, you can find information in the NAEYC's State Early Care and Education Public Policy Developments: Fiscal Year 2012.

Another announcem ent came from Google last week that may have upset more than a few.  The popular photo editing tool, Picnik, will no longer beavailable.  Fear not.  David Byrne, at Free Technology for Teachers offers a great list of alternatives including, FlauntR, GooEdit, and more.  You can find a complete list of Google product changes here.
 

See you next Saturday.

 

Kimberly at Sperk*

http://sperk77.blogspot.com

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