Educational Versus Inspirational Events [en]

[fr] Going Solo vise à être une conférence qui non seulement donne de l'inspiration, mais qui enseigne également. Du coup, préparer le programme ne consiste pas simplement à trouver des orateurs pouvant faire des présentations autour d'un thème donné, mais ressemble beaucoup plus à la préparation d'un plan d'études: il y a tant de matière à couvrir, et il faut trouver les bonnes personnes pour le faire.

It was clear to me from the start, when I started imagining [Going Solo](http://going-solo.net/), that the programme would be built in such a way as to cover a range of topics I thought were relevant. What I didn’t realize is that this is quite different from having a conference/event “theme” and hunting for speakers who have something to say around that theme.

I’ve many times tried to express that although Going Solo is not a workshop or a training session, it is training-like, but I never quite seemed to find a way to explain this clearly. I wanted to say “yes, it’s a conference, but the aim is for people to learn stuff they can use when they walk out.” I think I’ve nailed it now, though: Going Solo is educational more than inspirational.

Most conferences I go to fall in the “inspirational” category. Of course, I learn things there, but mainly, I am inspired, or lifted (if the conference is LIFT). When I planned my Open Stage speech to present Going Solo to the audience at LIFT (watch the video), I wanted it to be inspirational. It’s not a video that teaches you anything, but that inspires you to attend Going Solo (and it did indeed inspire people!)

Even if the conference theme is more technical, and the sessions actually teach you stuff, most often it is a series of related sessions grouped together around a given theme. Reboot is a perfect example of how a theme is used to collect all sorts of contributions.

Not so for Going Solo. Putting together the [programme for Going Solo](http://going-solo.net/programme/sessions/) feels much more like being in charge of defining the teaching programme for an academic year (only it’s a day, thank goodness, not a year). At the end of the day, I want the programme to have covered this, that and that. I try to organize the content into sessions, and then I talk with my speakers to see who can cover what.

I’m realizing now that this is the difficult bit — and as a speaker myself, I should have thought of this before. “Speaker topics” do not necessarily match “Steph-defined sessions” — which means I need to go back and reshuffle my sessions (perfectly doable, but it’s more work) to avoid overlaps and important topics slipping through the cracks.

Has anybody had similar experiences? And for any people reading who speak at conferences, if you agree on a topic with the chair and you’re asked to make sure your talk covers aspects x, y and z of the topic, does it make you feel micro-managed? Or is it something that happens regularly?

Partial cross-post from the Going Solo blog. Also on the Going Far blog.

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A Theory About Freelancers in the Internet Industry [en]

[fr] Une petite théorie à moi qui tente d'expliquer pourquoi l'industrie du web attire tant d'indépendants. En deux mots, c'est une industrie qui bouge très vite, donc les grandes entreprises, plus inertes que les individus, manquent de postes adaptés aux nouvelles compétences qui se développent. (Vous connaissez beaucoup de grandes boîtes qui ont des postes dédiés au "social media", ou qui engagent des "experts en blogs et disciplines associées"?)

De plus, ces indépendants sont souvent autodidactes: la formation, elle aussi, a inévitablement un temps de retard sur les nouveaux développements qui ont lieu au sein de la culture numérique. On se met à son compte non pas parce qu'on a des compétences extraordinaires côté business ou management, mais parce qu'on sait faire des choses pour lesquelles il y a un marché, et qu'on est attiré par la liberté qu'offre une telle "formule".

*This is some copy I wrote a while back, and which I wasn’t quite happy about. I’m publishing it here, however, because it contains a little theory of mine about why there are so many soloists in the internet industry. Reactions welcome on [the Going Solo blog](http://going-solo.net/2008/03/30/a-theory-about-freelancers-in-the-internet-industry/), where it was initially posted. Reminder: today is the last day of March, and [Early Bird prices for Going Solo](http://going-solo.net/registration/) end at midnight, GMT+1 — that’s in a few hours.*

The internet industry generates an important number of freelancing professionals. There are two reasons to this, both related to how fast the world of technology is evolving.

First, formal education inevitably tends to lag behind cutting-edge developments. Though this is true for any industry, it is of particular consequence for a very fast-moving one like the web. The most skillful people in such an industry are often passionate amateurs, who at some point decide to turn their passion into a full-time job.

Second, large companies suffer from the same kind of inertia as education. Many highly competent professionals feel frustrated by the fact that the institution for which they work is not yet ready to take full advantage of what they could offer, and as a result, can be tempted by the more stimulating prospect of going solo and freelancing—or setting up their own business.

The fact that education and corporations move more slowly than pioneers is something which is inherent to their nature. To some extent, it is a problem we must try to act upon, but mainly, it is simply the way things are.

Many freelancers find themselves in this business because of a passion for what they get paid to do. Unfortunately, having great skills in an area there is some demand for is not sufficient to sustain a successful freelancing career. One also needs to be good at dealing with the business side of things: setting rates, finding the right clients, defining what has to offer in the current state of the market, dealing with accounting, taxes, and various laws, as well as managing to find a sense of balance in a life which is very different from a 9-5 with a clear distinction between work and non-work, holidays, and a regular paycheck at the end of the month.

Most freelancers go solo because they are good at doing something that people are willing to pay for, and attracted by the freedom of being one’s own boss and the perspective of possible lucrative earnings. Business skills are not usually paid much attention to until they are suddenly needed, although they are what will determine how successful one can be in the long run. At that point, it’s common for the soloist to feel lost and isolated.

[Going Solo is a one-day event](http://going-solo.net) that was designed to address this issue. We will gather 150 soloists and small business owners around a core group of speakers who are experienced freelancers and will share their knowledge on a variety of business topics. We also want to give freelancers an occasion to come in direct contact with others like them and build a European community where they can support each other.

*Cross-posted from [the Going Solo blog](http://going-solo.net/2008/03/30/a-theory-about-freelancers-in-the-internet-industry/).*

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Granular Privacy Control (GPC) [en]

[fr] Google Reader permet maintenant à vos contacts GTalk d'avoir un accès facile à vos "shared items" (articles lus dans votre newsreader et que vous avez partagés). Il semblerait que beaucoup de personnes ont mal interprété cette nouvelle fonction, imaginant que leurs éléments partagés étaient privés, et qu'ils sont maintenant devenus publics. Nous voilà encore une fois face au même problème: l'internaute moyen (et même le pas-si-moyen) surestime complètement à quel point les informations qu'il publie ou partage en ligne sont confidentielles. Au risque de me répéter: internet est un espace public.

Cet incident nous montre aussi, à nouveau, à quel point nous avons besoin de pouvoir structurer de façon fine (Granular Privacy Control = GPC) les accès à nos données à l'intérieur d'un réseau social. Facebook est sur la bonne piste avec ses "listes d'amis", mais on ne peut pas encore les utiliser pour gérer les droits d'accès.

In response to [Robert Scoble](http://scobleizer.com)’s post about how [Google Reader needs to implement finer privacy controls](http://scobleizer.com/2007/12/26/google-reader-needs-gpc/). Let’s see what Robert says, first:

> Oh, man, is the Google Reader team under attack for its new social networking features.

> There’s a few ways I could take this.

> 1. I could call people idiots for not understanding the meaning of the word “public.”
> 2. I could call the Google Reader team idiots for not putting GPC into its social networking and sharing features.
> 3. I could call the media idiots for not explaining these features better and for even making it sound like stuff that isn’t shared at all is being shared (which absolutely isn’t true).

> I’m going to take #2: that the Google Reader team screwed up here and needs to implement GPC as soon as possible. What’s GPC? Granular Privacy Controls.

> Here’s how Google screwed up: Google didn’t understand that some users thought that their shared items feeds were private and didn’t know that they were going to be turned totally public. The users who are complaining about this feature assumed that since their feed had a weird URL (here’s mine so you can see that the URL isn’t easy to figure out the way other URLs are) that their feed couldn’t be found by search engines or by people who they didn’t explicitly give the URL to, etc. In other words, that their feed and page would, really, be private, even though it was shared in a public way without a password required or anything like that.

Robert Scoble, Google Reader needs GPC

Wow, I really didn’t think that this feature was going to create trouble. I was personally thrilled to see it implemented. So, here are two thoughts following what Robert wrote:

– I’ve noticed time and time again that you can tell people something is “public” as much as you like, they still don’t really grasp what “public” means. Because things are not “automatically found” on the internet, they still tend to consider public stuff as being “somewhat private”. This is a general “media education” problem (with adults as much as teenagers). So, Robert is completely right to point this out.
– GPC is a very important thing we need much more of online (see my SPSN and Ethics and Privacy posts) but I disagree with Robert when he says that Facebook has it. Facebook isn’t there yet, though they are on “the right path”. I can’t yet use my [friend lists](http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=7831767130) to decide who gets to see what on my profile. That would truly be GPC (in addition to that, their friends list interface is clunky — I need to blog about it, btw).

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Comment j'en suis arrivée à m'intéresser aux blogs d'adolescents [fr]

[en] The story of how I took an interest in teenage blogging, and from there, teenagers and the internet. It involves a difficult first year of teaching and a naked bottom on one of my students' skyblogs.

*// Entrée en matière possible pour mon [livre](http://climbtothestars.org/categories/livre), dans le genre “premier jet écrit dans le train”. Commentaires et suggestions bienvenus, comme toujours.*

Au début des années 2000, je me souviens qu’on plaisantait entre blogueurs en se rappelant que d’après les quelques enquêtes disponibles sur le sujet, le “blogueur type” était une lycéenne québécoise de 15 ans. On était un peu consternés par la quantité d’adolescents blogueurs et la futilité (voire la bêtise) de leurs publications en ligne. “Complètement inintéressant, le blog est bien plus qu’un journal d’adolescente!” On continuait à bloguer dans notre coin, et les ados dans le leur.

*// Voir si j’arrive à trouver des références à ça.*

J’étais loin d’imaginer que cinq ans plus tard, les blogs d’adolescents m’auraient amené à changer de métier et à écrire un livre. Ce livre, vous l’avez entre les mains.

La genèse de mon intérêt pour la vie adolescente sur internet mérite d’être racontée. Elle permet de situer ma perspective. Mais, plus important, elle et illustre assez bien un des “problèmes” auxquels on peut se heurter si on fait l’économie de comprendre comment les adolescents vivent leurs activités sur internet.

Il y a quelques années de cela, j’ai quitté mon poste de chef de projet dans une grande entreprise suisse pour me tourner vers l’enseignement. Forte de mes respectables années d’expérience personnelle de la vie sur internet, je me suis lancée dans un projet de rédaction de blogs avec mes élèves.

Ce fut un désastre. Si j’étais bien une blogueuse adulte expérimentée, je me suis bien vite rendue compte que les “blogs” que je leur proposais avaient bien peu à voir avec ce dont ils avaient l’habitude dans leurs tribulations sur internet. Certains d’entre eux avaient des skyblogs (des blogs pour adolescents et jeunes, hébergés par le groupe Skyrock).

Munie de l’adresse d’un de ces skyblogs, j’ai commencé mes explorations du monde en ligne de mes élèves. Peut-être qu’en me familiarisant avec ce qu’ils faisaient déjà sur internet, je réussirais à mieux les comprendre, et trouverais ainsi des clés pour remettre sur pied un projet qui battait sérieusement de l’aile. Chaque skyblog arborait fièrement une liste de liens vers ceux des amis (“hors ligne” aussi bien que “en ligne”). Il suffisait de cliquer un peu pour faire le tour.

Sur ces skyblogs, comme je m’y attendais, rien de bien fascinant à mes yeux: beaucoup de photos (de soi-même, des copains et copines, du chien, du vélomoteur), du texte à l’orthographe approximative, voire carrément “SMS”, des appels aux commentaires (“lâchez vos coms!”) et, justement, des commentaires (souvent assez vides de contenu, mais qui jouaient clairement un rôle côté dynamique sociale).

Soudain, catastrophe: je me retrouve face à une paire de fesses, sur le skyblog d’un de mes élèves. Et pas juste des fesses d’affiche publicitaire pour sous-vêtements, non, les fesses d’un de ses camarades de classe, qui les expose visiblement tout à fait volontairement à la caméra.

Que faire? Intervenir, ou non? Ils ont beau être mes élèves, alimenter leurs skyblogs fait partie de leurs activités privées (par opposition à “scolaires”) et je suis tombée sur cette image un peu par hasard (ce n’est pas comme si un élève m’avait donné directement l’adresse pour que j’aille la regarder).

En même temps, puis-je ne pas réagir? Si cette photo était découverte plus tard et qu’elle soulevait un scandale, et qu’on apprenait que j’étais au courant mais que je n’avais rien dit… Je me doute bien qu’il y a derrière cette photo un peu de provocation et pas mal d’inconscience, plus que de malice.

*// Retrouver les dates d’expulsion des lycéens français — est-ce avant ou après ça?*

Jeune enseignante inexpérimentée, je me tourne vers mes supérieurs pour conseil. On discute un peu. On ne va pas en faire un fromage, mais on va demander au propriétaire du skyblog de retirer cette photo inconvenante — ce que je fais. Il accepte sans discuter, un peu surpris peut-être.

*// “Pour conseil” c’est français, ou c’est un anglicisme?*

*// Un autre élément qui est rentré en ligne de compte est que les photos avaient été prises (visiblement) dans les vestiaires de l’école. Pas certain que ce ne soit pas durant des activités extra-scolaires, cependant. Est-ce un détail utile?*

Une semaine plus tard, la photo est toujours en place. Je suis un peu étonnée, et je réitère ma demande auprès de l’élève blogueur. “Oui, mais Jean, il est d’accord que je laisse cette photo sur mon blog, ça le dérange pas, hein.” J’explique que là n’est pas la question, que c’est une demande qui émane de la direction, et que d’accord ou pas, “ça se fait pas” pour les élèves de notre établissement d’exposer leurs fesses au public sur internet.

*// J’ai l’impression que je traîne un peu en longueur, là. On s’ennuie? Les détails sont-ils utiles? Faut-il raccourcir?*

Le lendemain matin, je me retrouve littéralement avec une révolte sur les bras:

– “Pourquoi vous avez demandé à Jules de retirer la photo de son skyblog?”
– “Ça vous regarde pas! L’école n’a pas à s’en mêler!”
– “Vous aviez pas le droit d’en parler au directeur, c’est sa vie privée!”
– “Et qu’est-ce que vous faisiez sur son skyblog, d’abord?”
– “C’est son blog, il peut faire ce qu’il veut dessus! Et la liberté d’expression?”

Je suis sidérée par la violence des réactions. Certes, ma relation avec ces élèves n’est pas exactement idéale (c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire), mais là, ils sont complètement à côté de la plaque. Si l’élève en question avait affiché la photo de ses fesses dans le centre commercial du village, auraient-ils réagi aussi fortement si l’école (représentée par moi-même, en l’occurrence) avait demandé leur retrait?

*// Comment on dit “challenging” en français? (Pour décrire les élèves sans utiliser l’affreux “difficile”.)*

*// Le temps de narration change durant ce récit, vérifier si c’est “utile” ou si c’est “une erreur”.

Visiblement, ils considéraient ce qu’ils publiaient sur internet comme étant “privé” et semblaient ne pas avoir réellement pris conscience du caractère public de leurs skyblogs, ou du droit de quiconque d’y accéder et d’y réagir. Et pourtant, j’avais passé plusieurs heures avec ces mêmes élèves à préparer une charte pour la publication de leurs weblogs scolaires. Nous avions abordé ces points. Ils “savaient” qu’internet était un lieu public et que tout n’y était pas permis. Qu’est-ce qui s’était donc passé?

Cet incident particulier s’est terminé par une intervention énergique du directeur qui a remis quelques points sur quelques “i”. Restaient cependant deux problèmes de taille, que cette histoire avait rendus apparents:

– l’école a-t-elle un “devoir d’ingérence” lors d’événements impliquant les élèves mais sortant de son cadre strict — et si oui, où s’arrête-t-il?
– que pouvons-nous faire pour aider nos enfants et adolescents à devenir des “citoyens d’internet” informés et responsables?

La première question est du ressort des autorités scolaires, directions, enseignants — et je ne prétends pas apporter grand chose à ce débat ici.

La deuxième question, par contre, est l’objet de cet ouvrage.

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A Book on Teenagers and the Internet [en]

[fr] Malgré l'excellent travail de danah boyd et le livre d'Anastasia Goodstein ("Totally Wired"), je pense que mon projet de livre sur les adolescents et internet tient encore la route. Une petite argumentation à ce sujet.

*// After complaining for weeks that I wasn’t making any progress in writing my [book](http://climbtothestars.org/categories/livre) proposal in preparation for the [Frankfurt Book Fair](http://www.frankfurt-book-fair.com/en/portal.php) I’m leaving for tomorrow, I finally started writing on the journey back home from London. Here’s some stuff in English. Your comments and suggestions are welcome, as always.*

I know of a couple of people in the English-speaking world who are doing great work on teenagers and the internet. One of them is [danah boyd](http://www.danah.org/). She has traveled all over the US and interviewed dozens of teens for her PHD. Another is [Anastasia Goodstein](http://ypulse.com/about.php), who has written the excellent book “[Totally Wired](http://totallywired.ypulse.com/about.php)”, aimed at parents of today’s connected teenagers.

While reading “Totally Wired”, I have to admit I started rethinking my book project. I took the decision to write “The Book” because I noticed a huge void in the French-speaking world. No danah or Anastasia that I know of. Parents and educators need a sane book in French on teenagers and the internet, written by somebody who actually knows and understand the online world. Why not simply translate Anastasia’s book?

I’ve thought about it. For personal reasons, I do want to write a book, and this seems a good and useful subject for one. But is my personal desire to be a published author getting in the way of doing what makes most sense, and putting my energy where it will really be useful? I see two reasons for which this is not the case:

1. Anastasia’s book is US-centric. Although I believe that “internet culture” does not change radically from one part of the world to another, there are differences between the US and French-speaking Europe that need to be taken into account. I could provide this “European perspective”.

2. As a friend of mine told me, “this is important enough that we need more than one good book on the topic”. I can’t, of course, guarantee that my book will be “good”, but I promise that I’ll do my best. 😉

Parents and educators of Francophonia need a guide to their teenagers’ internet. And beyond that, we need to understand the impact all these technological spaces are having on the way we build relationships and relate to each other.

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Diving Into Something New [en]

[fr] Pour se familiariser avec un sujet nouveau, il faut lire, et même si on ne comprend pas tout, continuer à lire. Au bout d'un moment, les choses commencent à tomber en place, et on peut reprendre avec plus de succès les premiers textes que l'on avait compris que partiellement.

I remember very clearly when I understood this: I was working on my coursework about gnosticism. I didn’t know anything about the subject and had a pile of about 10 books to go through.

I started reading, and felt completely lost: I couldn’t really understand much. But by the time I reached the middle of the pile of books, things started to make sense. I went back to the first books, and they were making sense too.

To learn about something new, one method is to dive in, and just read on even if you don’t understand. At some point, it will sink in, come together, and you’ll start to get it.

Something about [Agile](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development) popped up this morning when I clicked [my Google Reader “Next” bookmarklet](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/09/the-google-read.html) this morning. This isn’t the first time I hear about Agile, and I have a rough idea what it is, but I thought that I should probably read up a bit on it. So I’m [reading this case study](http://www.agilejournal.com/articles/case-study/case-study:-how-bmc-is-scaling-agile-development.html), even though not everything makes sense. At some point, it will. I’m just starting.

*Note: don’t misunderstand. I’m not heading for a career change into software development. I just want to understand more.*

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Parents, Teenagers, Internet, Predators, Fear… [en]

[fr] Conseils aux parents (après mon interview à la BBC ce soir au sujet des "sex offenders" bannis de MySpace):

  • pas de panique, les prédateurs sexuels tels que nous les présentent les médias ne sont pas légion, votre enfant ne court pas des risques immodérés en étant sur internet;
  • dialoguez avec votre enfant; intéressez-vous à ce qu'il fait en ligne;
  • souvenez-vous que fournir des informations personnelles n'est pas un très grand risque; par contre, s'engager dans des relations de séduction avec des inconnus ou des amis adultes en ligne l'est.

J'ai écrit relativement peu en anglais à ce sujet jusqu'à maintenant. En français, lisez Adolescents, MySpace, internet: citations de danah boyd et Henry Jenkins, De la “prévention internet”, les billets en rapport avec mon projet de livre sur les adolescents et internet, et la documentation à l'attention des ados que j'ai rédigée pour ciao.ch.

**Update:** [radio stream is up](http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/wservice/aod.shtml?wservice/world_hys_wed) and will be so until next Wednesday. MySpace piece starts at 29:30, and I start talking shortly after 34:00. Use the right-facing arrow at the top of the player to move forwards. Sorry you can’t go backwards.

I was just interviewed by [BBC World Have Your Say](http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/) (radio, links will come) about the [MySpace banning sex offenders](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/25/myspace-banning-sex-offenders-online-predator-paranoia/) story. (They didn’t find me, though, I sent them a note pointing to my blog post through the form on their site.) Here’s a bit of follow-up information for people who might just have arrived here around this issue.

First, I’m often asked what advice I give to parents regarding the safety of their children online (the BBC asked this question but I didn’t get to answer). So here’s my basic advice, and a few things to keep in mind:

– don’t panic — the media make the whole online sexual predator issue sound much worse than it is; (they might even be more at risk offline than online if they’re “normal” kids who do not generally engage in risky behaviour, given that most perpetrators of sex crimes against minors are family members or ‘known people’)
– **talk** with your kids about what they do online; **dialog is essential, as in many educational situations;** show interest, it’s part of their lives, and it might be an important one; start early, by introducing them to the internet yourself, rather than letting them loose on it to fend for themselves from day one;
– keep in mind that sharing personal information is not the greater risk: engaging in talk of a sexual nature with strangers/adult friends is, however <insert something about proper sexual education here>;

I regularly give talks in schools, and I speak to students, teachers, and parents — all three if possible, but not at the same time, because the message is not the same, of course. When I talk to parents, I see a lot of very scared/concerned parents who understand very little about the *living internet* their kids spend so much time in. But they read the mainstream media, and they’ve heard how the internet is this horrible place teeming with sexual predators, lurking in chatrooms and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, on the look-out for their next victim.

I may be dramatizing a little, but this is basically the state of mind I find parents in. I’ll jump on this occasion to introduce a piece by [Anastasia Goodstein](http://www.ypulse.com/): [Dangers Overblown for Teens Using Social Media](http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/06/fear_factordangers_overblown_f.html). I’m quite ashamed to say I only discovered Anastasia and her work about a month ago — we seem to cover similar ground, and I’m really impressed by what I see of her online (for example, she’s actually [published a book about teens online](http://www.amazon.com/Totally-Wired-Tweens-Really-Online/dp/0312360126) whereas I’m stuck-stalled in the process of trying to get started writing mine — in French). She also [reacted to the MySpace Sex Offender Saga](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anastasia-goodstein/the-myspace-sex-offender-_b_57793.html).

Anyway, my job when I’m talking to parents is usually:

– **play “tourist guide”** to introduce them to this strange internet culture (my background in Indian culture clearly helps me manage the cross-cultural internet/offline dialogue) — I encourage them to try chatting (find a friend who chats and can help you sign up to MSN to chat with her/him) and blogging (head off to [WordPress.com](http://wordpress.com) and write about random stuff you’re interested in for a couple of months)
– **de-dramatize** the whole “internet predator” thing so they’re not as tense when it comes to having their kids online, or being online themselves, and put forward the positive aspects of having an online life too.

What am I concerned about, when it comes to teens online? A bunch of things, but not really sick old men in raincoats posing as little girls in chatrooms or MySpace profiles.

– their blissful unawareness of how permanent digital media is; photos, videos, text etc. are all out of your control once they’ve left your hands; easy to multiply and distribute, they could very well be there for ever; they also don’t realize that all their digital interactions (particularly webcam stuff) is recordable, and that nothing is *really* private;
– their perception of the online world as “uncharted territories” where all is allowed, where there are no rules, no laws, no adult presence; for that, I blame adults who do not accompany their young children online at first, who do not show any interest in what’s going on online for their kids, and who do not *go online* to be there too; teens need adult presence online to help them learn to become responsible internet citizens, just as they do offline; our fear of predators is resulting in teenager-only spaces which I’m not sure are really that great;
– their certainty that one can evade rules/law/morals by being anonymous online and hiding; we’ve told them so much to stay hidden (from predators), and that one can be anonymous online (like predators) that they think they can hide (from parents, guardians, teachers);
– their idea that what is online is up for grabs (I’m not going to stand up against what the record companies call “piracy” — that’s for another blog post — but I do feel very strongly about crediting people for their work, and respecting terms individuals or small businesses set for their work).

There are other things which are important, but discussed so little, because “online predators” is such a scary issue that it makes everything else seem unimportant: the “chat effect” (why is it easy to “fall in love over chat”?), findability of online stuff (yeah, by parents, teachers, future bosses), what to say and what not to say online (“what am I comfortable with?”), gaming environments like WoW…

One thing we need to remember is that kids/teens are not passive victims. Some teens are actively seeking certain types of relationships online, and when they do, chances are they’ll find them (proof the “catch a predator” operations in which “normal people” or policemen pose as lusty/consenting teens to trap dirty predators… sure it works, but most teens aren’t like that!)

I remember getting in touch with a kid who had an account on Xanga. He had lifted some HTML code from my site, and visits to his page were showing up in my stats. I asked him to remove it (“hey, lifting code like that isn’t cool!”) and he didn’t react. I found his ICQ number and messaged him, and he was outright obnoxious. A few days later, he started messaging me vulgar messages out of the blue (“I want to f*** you, b****!”). We finally trapped him, a friend of mine posing as a Xanga official who scared him a bit so he’d remove the code from his site, and who actually had a long, long talk with him. He was 9 years old.

If you came here via the BBC, leave a comment to let me know what you think about these issues, or what your experience is!

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MySpace Banning Sex Offenders: Online Predator Paranoia [en]

**Update:** If you’re a parent looking for advice, you’ll probably find [my next post](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/25/parents-teenagers-internet-predators-fear/) more interesting.

[MySpace has removed profiles of 29’000 registered sex offenders](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6914870.stm) from their site.

> In a statement, MySpace said: “We’re pleased that we’ve successfully identified and removed registered sex offenders from our site and hope that other social networking sites follow our lead.”

BBC News, MySpace bars 29,000 sex offenders, July 2007

Sounds like a good move, doesn’t it?

Maybe not so.

First, what is a sex offender? A sex offender is somebody on the state registry of people who have been convicted of sex crimes. A sex offender is not necessarily a pedophile. And in some states… a sex offender might not have done anything really offensive.

Listen to [Regina Lynn](http://www.reginalynn.com/wordpress/), author of the popular [Wired column Sex Drive](http://www.wired.com/commentary/sexdrive) and the book [The Sexual Revolution 2.0](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1569754772):

> Lately I’ve been wondering if I’ll end up on the sex offender registry. Not because I have any intention of harming anyone, but because it has recently come to my attention that in a flurry of joie de vivre I might have broken a sex law.

> You see, I keep hearing these stories of mild infractions that led to listing on the sex-offender registry alongside child molesters, rapists and abusive spouses. There’s the girl who bared her ass out a bus window in college and pled guilty to indecent exposure — and then couldn’t become an elementary school teacher because of her sex offense. Then there’s the guy who peed on a bush in a park and was convicted of public lewdness, a sex offender because he couldn’t find a bathroom.

> […]

> But sometimes I do skirt the edge of the law when it comes to sex. And if you’ve ever ducked into the bushes for a little al fresco fondling, so have you.

> Unfortunately, even in California, it’s not technically legal to make discreet love in public spaces, even in your truck, even if it has a camper shell with dark windows and Liberator furniture, even if no one can see you without pressing his nose to the glass or hoisting her children up over her head.

> And if a passerby does intrude on your personal moment, it’s no longer a matter of “OK kids, pack it up and get out of here.” A witness’s cell-phone video could be on the internet within five minutes. A busybody might even feel justified in calling the police.

> “If someone saw something that offended them and they wanted to sign a citizen’s arrest, the officer is obliged to take the citizen’s arrest,” says Inspector Poelstra of the Sexual Offender Unit of the San Francisco Police Department, who spoke with me by phone.

Regina Lynn, Could You End Up on a Sex Offender Registry?, April 2007

[Critics of Megan’s Law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megan’s_Law#Criticism), which requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state, have also put forward that the registries include people it would be rather far-fetched to consider a threat to our children’s safety.

> But the laws have unexpected implications. Consider California, whose 1996 Megan’s Law requires creating a CD-ROM database of convicted sex offenders, available to the public. (The state has had a registry of sex offenders since 1944.) The Los Angeles Times reports that this new database is turning up many ancient cases of men arrested for consensual gay sex in public or semi-public places, some of them youthful experiments of men who went on to long married lives. One man, arrested in 1944 for touching the knee of another man in a parked car, was surprised when his wife collected the mail containing an envelope, stamped “sex crime” in red ink, telling him he needed to register as a sex offender. Many of these men are going through humiliating confrontations with long-forgotten aspects of their past, and complicated and expensive legal maneuverings to get themselves off the list. “It’s a real concern,” says Suzanne Goldberg of the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, which works on legal issues involving gays. “These laws have the potential to sweep in more people than they should. Laws requiring registration of people engaging in consensual sex are far beyond the pale. Those requirements can have devastating effects on people’s lives.”

Brian Doherty, Megan’s Flaws?, June 1997

These concerns about indiscriminate lumping together of “sex offenders” in the light of the online predator paranoia were already raised in January when MySpace handed over a database containing information about sex offenders to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, on [Violet Blue::Open Source Sex](http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2007/01/myspace_and_the_sex_offenders.html) and [Sex Drive Daily](http://blog.wired.com/sex/2007/01/myspace_hands_o.html). *(As an aside, I now find myself wondering if this post is going to get me blacklisted by internet security filters left and right… How ironic that would be.)*

> These are state registries, and depending on the state you’re in, you’re a “sex offender” under Megan’s Law if you get caught urinating in public, mooning, skinny dipping, or if you get busted having consensual sex in public. Think of how lopsided these charges must be in homophobic states. Also, it’s a lesson in what sites like MySpace can and will do with personal information. I’m definitely an advocate for speeding up natural selection when it comes to rapists and pedophiles, but I worry about what could happen to individuals and personal privacy when a questionably informed company casts a wide net, and turns it over to anyone who asks.

Violet Blue, MySpace and the Sex Offenders, Jan. 2007

In addition to that, we need to totally rethink the views we have on how sexual predators act online. The old pervert lurking in chatrooms is more a media construct and a product of [the culture of fear](http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Fear-Americans-Afraid-Things/dp/0465014909) we live in than a reality our kids are likely to bump into, [as I said recently in an interview on BBC News](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/05/21/video-bbc-interview-teenagers-facebook/ “Watch the short video.”). Remember kids are way more likely to be abused by a person they know (family, friends) than by a random stranger. I’ll assume you don’t have the time to read through [the whole 34-page transcript](http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/20070503transcript.pdf) of the [panel danah boyd participated in](http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/05/11/just_the_facts.html) a few months ago, so here are the most significant excerpt about this issue (yes, I’m excerpting a lot in this post, but this is an important issue and I know people read better if they don’t need to click away). Here is what Dr. David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes against
Children Research Center and the codirector of the Family Research
Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, has to say:

> Now, on the case of internet sex crimes against kids, I’m concerned
that we’re already off to a bad start here. The public and the
professional impression about what’s going on in these kinds of
crimes is not in sync with the reality, at least so far as we can
ascertain it on the basis of research that we’ve done. And this
research has really been based on some large national studies of
cases coming to the attention of law enforcement as well as to large
national surveys of youth.

> If you think about what the public impression is about this crime,
it’s really that we have these internet pedophiles who’ve moved
from the playground into your living room through the internet
connection, who are targeting young children by pretending to be
other children who are lying about their ages and their identities and
their motives, who are tricking kids into disclosing personal
information about themselves or harvesting that information from
blogs or websites or social networking sites. Then armed with this
information, these criminals stalk children. They abduct them.
They rape them, or even worse.

>But actually, the research in the cases that we’ve gleaned from
actual law enforcement files, for example, suggests a different
reality for these crimes. So first fact is that the predominant online
sex crime victims are not young children. They are teenagers.
There’s almost no victims in the sample that we collected from – a
representative sample of law enforcement cases that involved the
child under the age of 13.

> In the predominant sex crime scenario, doesn’t involve violence,
stranger molesters posing online as other children in order to set up
an abduction or assault. Only five percent of these cases actually
involved violence. Only three percent involved an abduction. It’s
also interesting that deception does not seem to be a major factor.
Only five percent of the offenders concealed the fact that they were
adults from their victims. Eighty percent were quite explicit about
their sexual intentions with the youth that they were communicating
with.

> So these are not mostly violence sex crimes, but they are criminal
seductions that take advantage of teenage, common teenage
vulnerabilities. The offenders lure teens after weeks of
conversations with them, they play on teens’ desires for romance,
adventure, sexual information, understanding, and they lure them to
encounters that the teams know are sexual in nature with people who
are considerably older than themselves.

> So for example, Jenna – this is a pretty typical case – 13-year-old
girl from a divorced family, frequented sex-oriented chat rooms, had
the screen name “Evil Girl.” There she met a guy who, after a
number of conversations, admitted he was 45. He flattered her, gave
– sent her gifts, jewelry. They talked about intimate things. And
eventually, he drove across several states to meet her for sex on
several occasions in motel rooms. When he was arrested in her
company, she was reluctant to cooperate with the law enforcement
authorities.

David Finkelhor, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

Let me summarize the important facts and figures from this excerpt and the next few pages. The numbers are based on a sample of law enforcement cases which Finkelhor et al. performed research upon:

– most victims of “online predators” are teenagers, not young children
– only 5% of cases involved violence
– only 3% involved abduction
– deception does not seem to be a major factor
– 5% of offenders concealed the fact they were adults from their victimes
– 80% of offenders were quite explicit about their sexual intentions
– these crimes are “criminal seductions”, sexual relationships between teenagers and older adults
– 73% of cases include multiple sexual encounters
– in half the cases, victims are described as being in love with the offender or feeling close friendship
– in a quarter of the cases, victims had actually ran away from home to be with the person they met online
– only 7% of arrests for statutory rape in 2000 were internet-initiated

I find these figures very sobering. Basically, our kids are more at risk offline than online. No reason to panic! About this last figure, listen to Dr. Michele Ybarra, president of Internet
Solutions for Kids:

> One victimization is
one too many. We watch the television, however, and it makes it
seem as if the internet is so unsafe that it’s impossible for young
people to engage on the internet without being victimized. Yet
based upon data compiled by Dr. Finkelhor’s group, of all the arrests
made in 2000 for statutory rape, it appears that seven percent were
internet initiated. So that means that the overwhelming majority are
still initiated offline.

Michele Ybarra, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

I digress a little, but all this shows us that we need to go way beyond “don’t give out personal information, don’t chat with strangers” to keep teenagers safe from the small (but real, yes) number of sexual predators online:

> Our research, actually looking at what puts kids at risk for receiving
the most serious kinds of sexual solicitation online, suggests that it’s
not giving out personal information that puts kid at risk. It’s not
having a blog or a personal website that does that either. What puts
kids in danger is being willing to talk about sex online with
strangers or having a pattern of multiple risky activities on the web
like going to sex sites and chat rooms, meeting lots of people there,
kind of behaving in what we call like an internet daredevil.

> We think that in order to address these crimes and prevent them,
we’re gonna have to take on a lot more awkward and complicated
topics that start with an acceptance of the fact that some teens are
curious about sex and are looking for romance and adventure and
take risks when they do that. We have to talk to them about their
decision making if they are doing things like that.

David Finkelhor, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

So, bottom line — what do I think? I think that MySpace’s announcement is more of a PR stunt than anything. This kind of action is the result of the ambient paranoia around sexual predators online, but it also fuels it. If MySpace are doing that, it must mean that we are right to be afraid, doesn’t it? I think it is a great pity that the media systematically jump on the fear-mongering bandwagon. We need more sane voices in the mainstream press.

Here is a collection of links related to this issue. Some I have mentioned in the body of the post, some I have not.

MySpace bars 29,000 sex offenders
Could You End Up on a Sex Offender Registry?
MySpace and the Sex Offenders
Megan’s Flaws?
Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths ([see danah’s post for YouTube video](http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/05/11/just_the_facts.html))
– [Video: BBC Interview (Teenagers, Facebook)](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/05/21/video-bbc-interview-teenagers-facebook/)
– [Adolescents, MySpace, internet: citations de danah boyd et Henry Jenkins](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/12/20/adolescents-myspace-internet-citations-de-danah-boyd-et-henry-jenkins/) (quotes are in English)
– [De la “prévention internet”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/17/de-la-prevention-internet/)

*note: comments are moderated for first-time commenters.*

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De la "prévention internet" [en]

[fr] Thursday evening, I went to listen to a conference given by a local high-ranking police officer who has specialised in tracking down pedophiles on the internet. His presentation was titled "Dangers of the Internet", and I was expecting to hear warnings about excessive pornography consumption and predators lurking in chatrooms.

That's exactly what I heard.

Before going, I had intended to blog viciously about the conference. I changed my mind. I changed my mind because first of all, I spoke up a few times during the conference to ask for numbers, give information I had gathered from other sources, or simply state my discomfort with some of the "official" messages targeted at kids to "keep them safe".

Then, after the talk, I went to have a chat with the speaker. I realised that we agreed on quite a few things, actually. Our angle is different when presenting, of course, and more importantly, his job is to hunt down pedophiles, not talk about the internet and teenagers to the public (which, in a way, is mine).

To cut a long story short, I had a few interesting conversations during that evening, which left me more motivated than ever to get on with my book project on the subject of teenagers and the internet. Problems are complex, solutions aren't simple. And around here, there is little money available to run awareness operations correctly.

Jeudi soir, je suis allée assister à une conférence sur les dangers d’internet, donnée par Arnold Poot, Inspecteur principal adjoint à la police cantonale vaudoise, spécialisé dans la traque au matériel pédophile sur internet. J’y suis allée prête à me retrouver devant le “discours attendu” au sujet des prédateurs sexuels sur internet. Je n’ai pas été déçue. Pour être brutalement honnête, j’avais aussi la ferme intention de bloguer tout ça, de prendre des notes, et de montrer méchamment du doigt les insuffisances d’une telle approche.

J’ai changé d’avis. Pas sur le fond, non. Je pense toujours qu’on exagère grandement le problème des prédateurs sexuels sur internet, et qu’à force de placer des miroirs déformants entre la réalité et nos discours, on finit par ne plus s’y retrouver. Par contre, je n’ai plus envie de démonter point par point la présentation qui nous a été faite.

Ceci n’est donc pas le billet que j’avais l’intention d’écrire. Attendez-vous donc à quelques ruminations personnelles et questionnements pas toujours faciles dans le long billet que vous avez commencé à lire.

Qu’est-ce qui a amené ce changement d’état d’esprit? C’est simple: une conversation. Au lieu de fulminer dans mon coin et de cracher du venin ensuite sur mon blog (mon projet initial — pas très reluisant, je l’admets), je suis à intervenue à quelques reprises durant la présentation pour apporter des informations qui m’amènent à avoir un autre regard sur certaines choses dites, et même pour exprimer mon désaccord face à une certaine conception de la prévention internet (“ne pas donner son nom ni d’informations personnelles”).

Il y a des semaines que je désire écrire un billet (toujours pas fait, donc) en français qui rend compte de [la table ronde sur la victimisation des mineurs](http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/video.shtml) à laquelle [a participé](http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/05/11/just_the_facts.html) mon amie [danah boyd](http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/), chercheuse travaillant sur la façon dont les jeunes construisent leur identité dans les espaces numériques. A cette table ronde, trois autres chercheurs actifs dans le domaine des crimes commis à l’encontre de mineurs. Je rentrerai dans les détails plus tard, mais si vous comprenez un peu d’anglais, je vous encourage vivement à lire ce que dit le Dr. David Finkelhor, directeur du *Crimes against Children Research Center*, en pages 3 à 6 de la [retranscription PDF de cette discussion](http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/20070503transcript.pdf). (Le reste est fascinant aussi, je n’ai d’ailleurs pas fini de lire les 34 pages de la retranscription, mais l’essentiel pour comprendre ma prise de position ici se trouve dans ces trois-quatre pages.)

Mais ce n’est pas tout. Après la conférence, je suis allée discuter avec l’intervenant. Pour m’excuser de lui être ainsi rentré dans le cadre durant sa présentation, d’une part, mais aussi pour partager mon malaise face à certains messages véhiculés de façon générale autour de la question des pédophiles sur internet. Et j’ai été surprise.

Parce qu’en fin de compte, on était d’accord sur de nombreux points. Parce que son discours, comme il le dit, c’est celui “d’un flic qui arrête des pédophiles” — et pas autre chose. Son métier, c’est d’être policier, j’ai réalisé. Il nous a fait une présentation sur les dangers d’internet tels qu’ils apparaissent dans son quotidien de professionnel — ce qui n’est pas forcément la même chose que “rendre compte de la situation sur internet dans sa globalité” ou même “faire de la prévention”.

J’ai discuté longuement avec lui, puis avec deux enseignantes (dont une avait assisté à ma rapide présentation de l’internet social à la HEP en début d’année scolaire) qui font de la prévention internet dans les classes du primaire. Discussions intéressantes et sympathiques, mais où encore une fois, je n’ai pu que constater à quel point nous manquons de moyens (en fin de compte, cela reviendra toujours à une question d’argent) pour faire de la prévention “correctement”.

Je voudrais pouvoir former des gens à faire le genre d’intervention que je fais dans les écoles — et pas juste en leur donnant un survol de la situation durant 45 minutes. Mais qui, comment, avec quel argent? De plus, je réalise de plus en plus que pour faire de la prévention intelligente, d’une part il faut avoir identifié le problème (les dangers) correctement — ce qui est à mon avis souvent [pas le cas lorsqu’il s’agit d’internet](http://flickr.com/photos/julianbleecker/385705252/) — et d’autre part, on retombe inévitablement sur des problèmes éducatifs de base (la relation parents-enfants, le dialogue) qui renvoient à un contexte de société encore plus général.

Que faire? Allez toquer chez Mme Lyon? Peut-être. Mais honnêtement, je n’aime pas “démarcher les gens à froid”, et je n’ai pas l’énergie pour ça. (Peut-être que je devrais le faire plus, mais pour le moment, c’est comme ça que je fonctionne.) Il y a assez de travail à faire avec les gens motivés, à moitié convaincus, ou au moins curieux, qui me contactent d’eux-mêmes. Oui, on critiquera peut-être, mais j’attends qu’on vienne me chercher. Ça changera peut-être un jour, mais je n’en suis honnêtement pas certaine.

Donc, que faire? Du coup, je retrouve un bon coup de pêche (pas que je l’avais perdue) pour mon projet de livre. Je crois que le public le plus important à toucher, c’est les parents, en l’occurrence. Et les gens “en charge de la prévention”. Peut-être qu’un livre serait utile.

J’ai fait plusieurs lectures ces derniers temps qui m’ont marquée. Tout d’abord, “[Blink](http://www.amazon.fr/Blink-Power-Thinking-Without/dp/0316010669/)” et “[The Tipping Point](http://www.amazon.fr/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference/dp/0316346624/)” de [Malcolm Gladwell](http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/403-0634329-5245215?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books-fr&field-author=Malcolm%20Gladwell). Le premier s’intéresse à l’intuition, d’un point de vue scientifique. J’y ai retrouvé, exposées de façon bien plus précises, fouillées et argumentées, de nombreuses idées que j’avais fini par me faire, au cours des années, sur la question. Le deuxième examine ce qui fait “basculer” certains phénomènes: qu’est-ce qui fait qu’une idée ou une tendance à du succès? Il y parle de la propagation des idées, des différents types de personnalité qui y jouent un rôle clé, et donne aussi quelques exemples d’application des ces principes à… des problématiques de prévention.

Ensuite, livre dans lequel je suis plongée en ce moment: “[The Culture of Fear](http://www.amazon.fr/Culture-Fear-Americans-Afraid-Things/dp/0465014909/)” (Barry Glassner) — une critique sans complaisance de la façon dont la peur est promue par les médias et les gouvernements pour, entre autres, encourager à la consommation. C’est américain, oui. manchettes-peur Mais on est en plein dedans ici aussi: les chiens dangereux, le loup, l’ours maintenant, les étrangers bien sûr, les jeunes, la technologie… et les pédophiles tapis dans les chats sur internet, prêts à se jeter sur nos enfants sans défense. Ce n’est pas pour rien que [le premier obstacle au bonheur est la télévision](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/05/31/reboot9-alexander-kjerulf-happiness/), où l’on nous rappelle sans cesse et si bien de quoi avoir peur et à quel point notre monde va mal.

Mes réflexions ces temps ont pour toile de fond ces lectures. Il y a aussi, dans la catégorie “billets jamais écrits”, “The Cluetrain Manifesto”. [Achetez ce livre.](http://www.amazon.fr/Cluetrain-Manifesto-End-Business-Usual/dp/0738204315/) Lisez-le. Ou si vous ne voulez pas l’acheter, [lisez-le gratuitement sur le site](http://www.cluetrain.com/book/index.html). Ne vous arrêtez pas aux [95 thèses traduites en français](http://www.cluetrain.com/manifeste.html) que vous pouvez trouver sur internet. Le livre est bien moins obscur et va bien plus loin.

Bref, preuve en est ce billet destructuré, écrit petit bout par petit bout dans les transports publics de la région lausannoise, ça bouillonne dans mon cerveau. Et je me dis que la meilleure chose à faire, juste là maintenant, c’est de formaliser tout ça, par écrit. J’en parle, j’en parle, mais je réalise que je blogue très peu à ce sujet, parce qu’il y a trop à dire et que je ne sais pas très bien par où commencer. Quand j’ai décidé de partir cinq semaines aux Etats-Unis, je me suis dit que si rien ne se présentait côté “travail payé” (ce qui est le cas pour le moment, même si ça peut tout à fait changer une fois que je serai là-bas) ce serait une excellente occasion de me plonger sérieusement dans la rédaction de mon livre. Et là, je me sens plus motivée que jamais à le faire — même si au fond, je n’ai aucune idée comment on fait pour écrire un livre.

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Reboot9 — Ewan McIntosh: Are We Ready For the Citizens of the Future? [en]

*Here are my notes, unedited and possibly misleading, blah blah blah, of the Reboot9 conference.*

*[Talk stuff is be on Ewan’s blog.](http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2007/06/reboot9_citizen.html)*

Technology is everywhere but is not necessarily the main thing in everybody’s life.

Ewan McIntosh

Have schools and workplaces adapted to the digital natives? 2007: 16-year-olds born at the same time as the web.

Let’s see what some of these kids are capable of. Cup-stacking video. The daughter just broke the world record for cup stacking and the mother in the background doesn’t react. She doesn’t have a clue.

We’re not letting young ones import their passions in the workplace (school/work).

Headteachers’ reactions when they see that: useless, waste of time. But hey, this is what they spend their time at! Do we take advantage of this kind of thing?

Harnessing kids’ creativity. What do we do with it before it’s stomped out by corporations?

Five points are key (we might not get through them all).

1. Audience

Kids are used to having huge audiences. 19th century classroom, the average audience for a piece of work is 1, or maybe 30 if the work was put up in the classroom.

In the 20th century classroom (with the printing press)… to the one-click web — a 7-year-old making his first edit on wikipedia. Audience: 1’114’274’426

In Ewan’s school, nearly a third of teachers blog about once a week.

Question: what does this audience mean?

The kids are acting local. They publish for their classmates. And when they get a comment from somewhere else, they turn their interest to that country.

Golden eagle animation: why we shouldn’t steal eggs from nests.

2. Unleashing creativity

Kids are very creative. But we never see it. (steph-note: I know where it goes… in “pranks” and “misbehaviour” often — some of the stuff they do is actually really neat if you forget the moral judgement).

Flickr: Toy photo stories. Six word stories. French language animation “sous la mer”, made by 16-year-olds, and they loved doing it!!

Flickr notes are great as an educational tool.

Why are creative kids important… and deadly? If you’re a politician doing a BS blog, the kids will smell it and spoof it. (David Cameron… the spoof had way more hits than the original stuff.)

Scratch: drag’n’drop programming — you can get six-year-olds in there.

77% of gamers are married. Importance of gaming in what education is turning into.

School trip blogs.

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