posted by on Cybersafety, Internet Safety, Parenting, Parenting Teens, Social media, Twitter

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These days, Twitter is becoming a major part of how professionals in nearly all fields communicate and academia has been no exception. Professors, researchers, and experts of all kinds are using the social media site to connect with other professionals, share research, teach students, and even, strange as it might sound, do serious academic research.

While Twitter might not be the first place many would turn to look for academic-quality information and advice, it’s actually a much more valuable tool than you might think. It offers instant access to a wide range of libraries, museums, and archives as well as an incredibly diverse assortment of individuals who can offer feedback, support, and guidance through all parts of the research process. Read on to learn how to make the most of Twitter as a research tool and, whether you’re a college student or a seasoned educator, you’re bound to find a few tips and tricks that will make you consider Twitter the next time you’re putting together a major academic project.

  1. Carefully evaluate potential sources.

    Like everything on the Internet, information on Twitter should be carefully fact-checked and all sources should be checked out to make sure they’re valid. A little legwork (mousework?) up front could save a lot of time in the long run.

  2. Create lists.

    One of the best ways to make following a lot of people on Twitter not so overwhelming is by organizing your contacts into lists, with each falling into a specific category that will make it simple to browse.

  3. Know how to cite.

    Want to use a tweet in a paper? Then you need to know how to properly cite it. The MLA has just devised a standard format which you should be using.

  4. Ask for feedback.

    What’s the point of a social network if you’re not going to get social or network? Use your Twitter feed to get feedback on any academic research you’re doing, from asking for help with sources to getting ideas on your paper.

  5. Build a professional network.

    Twitter is a great place to connect with others in your field, both those just starting out and those with prestigious careers alike. Start following others who share your research interests to build a network that can be a big help anytime you run into problems or concerns with research.

  6. Hook up with traditional sources of information.

    Some of the first places you follow on Twitter, provided you’re using it for academic purposes, are libraries, archives, museums, laboratories, and other academic sources of information that are related to your areas of interest. These organizations can often point you toward great materials or help you find the things you need with much less effort, sometimes even from miles and miles away.

  7. Use hashtags.

    Get your tweets noticed by using relevant hashtags. For instance, if you’re researching dinosaurs, just add a hashtag like #dinosaur or #paleontology.

  8. Share your work.

    Twitter can be a great place to showcase your published work or to get feedback on work that’s still in progress. Don’t hesitate to show off your accomplishments, it can help you build a better brand and get more valuable connections.

  9. Crowdsource information.

    Need help with a tough problem? Can’t find good documents that support your thesis? Just can’t figure out how to use Twitter? Just ask! One of the best benefits of using Twitter in research is being able to easily crowdsource information.

  10. Make connections outside of your field of expertise.

    While getting connected to professionals who work in your field can be extremely beneficial, it can also be useful to connect with people in related fields or outside of your line of inquiry altogether. They can sometimes bring up solutions or points of interest that might not occur to someone in your own field.

  11. Understand how social media works.

    If you’re a social media newbie, it can be advantageous to spend some time learning about the ins and outs of how it works. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, and will ultimately have a more successful experience in using it for academic purposes, like research.

  12. Decide if Twitter is right for your particular project.

    Twitter is great for a lot of purposes, but the reality is that it won’t work for every research project. Decide up front (and be honest with yourself) if Twitter is really the most productive route for research for your field and area of interest.

  13. Use a mobile Twitter interface.

    If you’re going to be relying on Twitter for research and academic contacts then make sure you can access it from anywhere by downloading a mobile interface. You can use Twitter’s own app, or take a look at some of the most popular alternatives.

  14. Tweet regularly.

    Twitter is about give and take, and if you want others to help you out with research and provide you with interesting information, then you have to be willing to reciprocate. Make tweeting a regular part of your workday to get the most out of the site.

  15. Conduct surveys and polls.

    Since Twitter offers access to an easily accessible pool of people from a wide range of backgrounds, it can be a great place to do some simple, informal polling, which can help you in deciding on a direction to take your research.

  16. Live tweet conferences and big events.

    Share your experiences at conferences (and document your thoughts for later) by live tweeting them on your feed.

  17. Watch what you say.

    The Internet is a public forum and what you say can be hard to take back. Keep everything on Twitter extremely professional.

  18. Keep track of your Twitter progress.

    It can be hard to build a good network on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to regularly check up on your tweets and your followers to see how well you’re getting your research (and your name) out there.

  19. Blog alongside your Twitter account.

    Twitter is great for a lot of things, but not everything can be stated in 140 characters or less. Create a blog to go along with your Twitter feed, which can be used to talk about your research, your life, or anything else on your mind.

  20. Use Twitter to share and document resources.

    Found a great resource? Keep track of it and share it with others by tweeting it!

  21. Collaborate with others.

    Through Twitter, you can meet others who share your research interests. You may even be able to collaborate on large projects.

  22. Motivate yourself.

    Use Twitter as a way to announce your daily research or writing goals. Putting them out there in public will give you a little extra motivation to get the work done.

  23. Take part in Twitter chats.

    Twitter chats are a great way to learn more about a given topic, network, or just enjoy a good academic debate. Check out this list for existing chats or create your own.

  24. Use Twitter to find new ideas, resources, and publications.

    Twitter can be an amazing place to find inspiration for your research! Reach out, browse, and keep your eyes open for new ideas and sources that can add to any project you’re working on.

  25. Get support.

    Writing papers and getting published can be stressful, especially if you’re still early in your career. One way to deal with the frustrations, headaches, and stresses that come along with the territory is by reaching out to others over the web. They can offer a few words of advice, or just commiserate over the tortures of academic life.

  26. Go global.

    Don’t just connect with scholars and tweeters in your home country. Find people from around the world to talk with on Twitter, expanding both your cultural and your academic horizons.

  27. Revisit old tweets to see how far you’ve come.

    Think you’re not getting anywhere on your research? Look back at your old tweets to see how far you’ve come.

  28. Be open and honest.

    If you make a mistake on your Twitter, own up to it. If you’re struggling with a project, be honest about it. Even on a professional feed, people want to know that you’re human.

  29. Follow specific themes and topics.

    If you’re researching a particular area, start following as many feeds related to that issue as possible. Check the web to see if there are related lists of good feeds to follow to get a head start.

  30. Know your audience.

    While a few of your academic colleagues might know what you’re talking about if you use highly technical lingo, your points may be lost on a larger audience. Decide who your intended audience will be before ever penning a tweet.

  31. Share your expertise.

    Know a lot about a subject? Then share what you know! Don’t be afraid to respond to others who are looking for help with research, school assignments, or just a burning question about a given topic.

  32. Be willing to teach and to learn.

    Ideally, Twitter should be a place that you not only take information away from, but also add valuable information to. Teach some, learn from others, and be open to new ideas and experiences.

  33. Build an academic brand.

    Part of having a strong social media presence is building a great online brand, which can make you a go-to source for information on a given subject and can increase your clout in your field. It isn’t without work though, and you’ll have to be dedicated to tweeting, blogging, and being on the web to really make it work.

Source:  Online College

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posted by on Bullying, Cyber Safety, Cyberbullying, Online harassment, Parenting, Parenting Teens

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Did you know bullying could start as early as 2 years old? While we all have experienced bullying in some form or another, the advent of Facebook and Twitter have provided more avenues for harassment. This insightful graphic explores why some kids are compelled to bully and the detrimental effects it has on everybody.

Cyber Bullying and Social Media
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posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Safety, Sexting, Texting

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You probably already have a few pretty good ideas about text messaging.

For instance, you know walking while texting can be tricky, and you know texting in your college courses has a negative impact on your grades. You didn’t need a study to tell you so, but researchers went ahead and did them anyway. But not all the research done on the subject can be filed under “Obvious.”

Here are 15 scholarly facts about texting that you may not have suspected.

  1. Getting a text makes you happier: It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that receiving a text message from a close friend makes you happier, but now we have the research to confirm it. Berkeley psychologists found even sending a text message makes people feel more connected and causes an upswing in mood.
  2. Hypertexters are less healthy: Texting may make you happier, but those who do it too much seem prone to unhealthy habits. Case Western Reserve School of Medicine concluded a study in 2010 that found “hypertexting” — sending more than 120 messages a day — can “have dangerous health effects on teenagers.” Hypertexters were found to be more likely to engage in harmful behaviors like binge drinking (43% more likely) and drug use (41% more likely).
  3. Texting behind the wheel is even riskier than we thought: Few things are as distracting to a motorist as trying to read or send a text message. Researchers at Texas A&M University’s Texas Transportation Institute now say, based on their study, that texting while driving double’s a driver’s reaction time. In the test, drivers using their phones were 11 times more likely to miss a flashing traffic light than focused drivers.
  4. Texting while driving killed 16,000 in a six-year period: Exactly measuring the number of traffic deaths caused by texting is impossible, but researchers from the University of North Texas Health Science Center have put the number at 16,000 between 2001 and 2007. Their findings were compiled based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and were published in the American Journal of Public Health. They estimated that in 2008 alone, 5,870 people died as a result of drivers distracted by texting.
  5. Texters use fewer abbreviations than we thought: Three universities are currently partnering to determine whether it’s true that cell phone communication is really ruining the way we write. The study began in December 2011, and head researcher Christian Guilbault of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia says the research has already revealed some interesting info. It turns out people don’t resort to shorthand as often as we might think. “See you” is used four times as often as “C U,” and of 12 variations of the word “OK,” “okay” is the most common.
  6. Black people send the most text messages: The Nielsen Company looked at monthly cell phone bills of 60,000 users in the U.S. and determined that African-Americans send more texts than Hispanics, whites, and Asian-Americans. The 790 text messages they send per month, on average, is more than twice the amount sent by Asian-Americans, who send an average of 384 per month.
  7. Texting helps HIV sufferers take their meds: A study that recently appeared in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that sending HIV patients weekly text messages to remind them to take medicine and to ask them how they are doing can help them stick to their antiretroviral therapy treatment plans. Researchers at UC-San Francisco’s Global Health Sciences recommend hospitals text patients on the treatment, which has tough side effects, but is also critical to survival.
  8. Texters don’t believe that’s a word: Blame it on autocorrect. A University of Calgary student did a study of texters and word usage, expecting to find that texting encouraged “unrestrained language.” Instead, the results showed people who text more are more likely to reject new words rather than accepting them as possible words. The people who were more open to a range of new words were readers of traditional media like magazines and books.
  9. Texting makes it easier to lie: The Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia recently published the results of their study that paired students playing roles of stockbroker and buyer, with the stockbroker needing to unload a stock that will soon lose 50% of its value. Deals done via texting were 31% more likely to involve lies than those by face-to-face talks. And buyers who were lied to via text proved to be much angrier than buyers lied to in person.
  10. Many people are addicted to texting: Researchers at the University of Maryland studied 200 students after 24 hours of no texting or other media. They found many of them were basically experiencing withdrawal, anxiety, and difficulty functioning. Dr. David Greenfield of the Center for Internet Behavior has compared constant texting and checking email to gambling addiction.
  11. Most people still prefer a phone call: Nearly three-fourths of American adults text. However, while 31% say they prefer to be contacted by text message, fully half of adults still prefer a good old phone call. The findings were the result of a study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, the first such time the group has polled Americans’ on their contact method of choice.
  12. Banning texting while driving is not the answer: At least one group of researchers is making a case against laws banning texting while driving. Researchers at the Swedish National Road and Transport Institute found that driver education is more effective than a ban, partly because people would disobey a law and partly because hands-free devices meant to replace texting as a safer alternative do not actually lower crash figures.
  13. Female teens text the most: Perhaps the only surprising thing here is that it’s older teenage girls, not pre-teen girls, who send the most texts of any group. Girls 14-17 send a median of 100 texts a day. Pew’s Internet and American Life Project also discovered that 87% of all teens in this age group have a cell phone, while only 57% of 12- and 13-year-olds have one.
  14. Texting has spawned its own injury: Texting is convenient, but it could also be a pain in the neck. Dr. Dean Fishman has trademarked the phrase “text neck” to describe an ailment he is seeing conflicting more and more patients. He even started the Text Neck Institute in Florida to treat pain in the neck, back, arms, and shoulders of frequent texters. “Forward head posture” pain, his original diagnosis, did not catch on.
  15. Predictive texting changes children’s brains: Using the built-in dictionary when texting on a cell phone makes children prone to making more mistakes. An epidemiologist from Monash University in Melbourne studied children ages 11-14 who sent 20 texts a week and found that the autocorrect technology makes children more impulsive and less accurate in their learning.

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posted by on Internet Safety, Sexting, Texting

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Sexting and the College Student

posted by on Cybersafety, Internet Safety, Parenting Teens

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Does your teen or tween Tweet?

Years ago raising our children never included teaching them social media manners.  Today, however, your social networking etiquette could determine whether you get into your college of choice and land the job you have been dreaming of.

Social media forums have some real up sides, we can’t deny that. When it comes to staying in touch with far-flung friends and family and being up to speed with all the latest and greatest in news and gossip, it’s been a real blessing to have social networking sites like Twitter.

We just wish that some kids/teens didn’t suffer from some side-effects of overuse.

Here are 7 bad habits that kids pick up from Twitter:

  1. Poor Grammar – We’ve seen this from chat room usage, text messaging, and IM’s; so it’s nothing that’s really new. The 140-character limit and Twitter’s wildly popular platform just seem to exacerbate the problem to a far greater degree.
  2. Time Management – Let’s be frank, this isn’t just a problem for kids, but it poses a greater threat to them, since they haven’t yet learned to balance their time between work and leisure to the extent they will need to as adults.
  3. Following Celebrities – On the surface, and with proper balance, there’s nothing inherently wrong with corresponding with celebrities. In fact it’s one of the great things about Twitter. The danger is in placing more emphasis on the posts of the famous, re-tweeting every little blurb as though it were sage wisdom, all just because of the person’s celebrity status.
  4. Public Venting – It’s good to have outlets for our anger and frustration, so long as they are safe and private. The trend these days apparently is to go to your profile and launch into a thoughtless tirade when the mood swings. Not a wise or healthy habit and one that can end up backfiring on you.
  5. Loss of Originality – This isn’t a widespread thing, but it’s something we are seeing more and more often. Re-tweets are another form of showing approval, like a thumbs-up or a like. Used in that way, they’re vaguely useful and certainly harmless enough.  The difference is that re-tweets at times almost seem like recitations, with RT’ers supplanting original thought in favor of aping whatever post happens to be popular at the time.
  6. Auto-Following – In this context, it’s more or less seen as a polite reciprocation of a friendly gesture. It can be done automatically with an app, or manually on a tit-for-tat basis. The thing is, following someone should be based on individual merit, as determined by the follower, on a case-by-case basis. Kids need to establish these parameters and values in their lives now, and not toss them aside in a social networking environment.
  7. Blurring the Lines – This is a virtually universal issue, in that it affects people of various ages, backgrounds and occupations. There seems to be little if any distinction for so many of us, between our personal and professional lives, as we embrace these social media sites.

Source:  Become A Nanny

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posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Safety, Uncategorized

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As people age, they care more and more about online security and privacy. During their 20s, many people begin distinguishing between their social personality and the image they project in their professional careers. The advent of social media has caused the line between these personas to blur.


While some websites, such as LinkedIn, are obviously intended for professional development, others prove useful as both personal and professional tools. Facebook is the most prominent example. Individuals can keep in touch with their closest friends and post pictures from weekend parties, but they can also network with potential employers and showcase their skills as artisans, designers, writers, and professionals. However, what they share with their friends is not always the same as what they want to share with their co-workers or employers. Moreover, many young adults have been Facebook users since they were in high school or college, and the information they posted years ago might not reflect who they are today.


Some young adults create multiple accounts on social media websites to deal with this issue. One account may be a professional profile that reflects the public image they wish to promote, and another account may be personal, used for socializing with friends. Other solutions are possible. For example, Facebook allows users to configure their privacy settings to display only certain information to certain people. Ultimately, young adults must remain diligent about keeping their personal and professional lives separate.

posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Safety

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Facebook now claims more than 900 million members, and unfortunately some of those individuals have malicious intentions. Members must remain vigilant about their security and privacy settings to protect themselves from identity theft and potential predators. Facebook has a Privacy Settings page that allows users to customize their experience by choosing who can search for them, who can view their profile, and who can send them messages. Members can specify what information applications can pull from their profiles and manage the applications they have installed. They can also limit the visibility of past posts and control what can be posted on their profiles by other users. Individuals should take care to ensure that their contact information is not available to the public. Only their friends, or no one, should have the ability to see this data.


When creating a Facebook account, individuals should use a dedicated e-mail address not linked to any bank accounts or other websites. If someone hacks a Facebook profile, he or she may gain access to the e-mail account. It is also important to use strong passwords to prevent unauthorized account access. Users must be careful about the information they post and the links they follow because posting sensitive information or following links to spyware or malware jeopardizes their online security. Users should log out when they finish each session because Facebook may monitor their activity on other websites if they do not.

posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Defamation, Internet Safety

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Online defamation has become increasingly prevalent in the past several years, necessitating legal action in many cases. Social networking and blogging have led to a sharp increase in online defamation, especially since many individuals believe the Internet to be an unregulated frontier. Courts have consistently affirmed that libel regulations apply to online content just as they do to traditional forms of media. Some victims have successfully tried online defamation cases, often citing the Communications Decency Act. In the coming years, it is likely that legislation pertaining directly to online defamation will make cases easier to try. Part of the problem, however, lies in proving who wrote the defamatory content, which is often posted anonymously.


Legal action remains tricky for online defamation, and many individuals turn to other ways of dealing with the problem, such as reputation management and search engine optimization. Through these techniques, individuals can push defamatory comments from the first pages of Google search results, minimizing the impact that such content has on their lives. By providing truthful, accurate information and encouraging others to make positive comments, most individuals can successfully battle online defamation outside of the courtroom.

posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Safety, Parenting Teens

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Many parents are concerned about what their children are exposed to online but don’t have a clear understanding of what the dangers are or how to prevent them. Especially because of the popularity of social networking, parents must play a proactive role in protecting their children on the Internet. To promote safe online behavior, parents must familiarize themselves with the threats posed by the websites their children often visit. They should visit the sites themselves to learn about what their children are able to see and do, and then research the primary concerns associated with those sites. This information will enable parents to teach their children about the situations they will likely encounter and the appropriate responses.


Communication is one of the most important aspects of keeping children safe online. Children should feel comfortable discussing their concerns, and parents should regularly monitor and ask about Internet usage. Parents must ensure that their children understand basic Internet safety rules, such as not sharing photos, addresses, phone numbers, or other personal information. Parents may also want to consider managing usage by setting limits and keeping computers in open spaces. Internet filters and other software designed to manage family safety help keep children away from unsafe content and give parents the ability to monitor what their children do online.