Posts filed under ‘Online Tools’

The Web is 25 Years Old Today

Tim Berners LeeTim Berners-Lee once said “You affect the world by what you browse” and twenty-five years ago today on March 12, 1989, the British scientist created the foundation for what we called the World Wide Web. Today, we simply call it the Web and we have all been influenced by it whether we use it or not.

So how have we been influenced?

According to Jane Hart, Founder of the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies, “many us are now learning very differently, but the most striking thing is that we are taking control of our own learning in ways not possible before.”

Ken Perlman stated in Forbes magazine he believes a new era is emerging: the era of the knowledgeable networker – people who learn, think and work very differently.

How has the Web changed your life? Maybe you have a stronger network through LinkedIn. Or maybe Twitter has allowed you to start your own social movement? And we can’t forget Facebook who has reconnected many of us to friends that we saw every day in high school but haven’t connected with in over 25 years.

March 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

Sharing BrdsNBz Success at 2012 SexTech Conference, April 1-4

ImageThe 2012 Sex::Tech Conference is enjoying it’s fourth year and we’ve been chosen to speak on a panel including not only APPCNC but also Deb Levin, SexTech founder, and Jonathan Holly from Educational Messaging Services.

OneSeventeen’s public-private partnership with the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) will share the success as the first text messaging service for sexual health education.  Kennon Jackson, Jr. (APPCNC) and Jessica Fitts Willoughby will discuss “Adolescents’ Questions about Pregnancy Posed to an Interactive Text Message Service.”

Just in case you’re in SF and attending SexTech, be sure to stop by and hear Kennon and Jessica.  Here’s a brief abstract of their panel discussion:

Want to know what questions adolescents really have about what leads to pregnancy? We examined the questions asked of a sexual health text messaging service promoted to North Carolina teens ages 14 to 19. BrdsNBz North Carolina allows adolescents to text a question to the service and receive a personalized response within 24 hours from trained health educators. Adolescents had a number of questions about pregnancy, mainly what situations can lead to pregnancy (60%). They wanted to know whether anal sex and oral sex could lead to pregnancy, if having sex when a girl is on her period could lead to pregnancy, and if having sex underwater could lead to pregnancy. Adolescents also often wanted to know how to detect and prevent pregnancy. Knowing what questions adolescents have may help health educators address them before they come up. Come find out what teens really want to know about pregnancy.

March 14, 2012 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Kids Prefer Life Online, Choose Correct Behavior

kid_1ReadWriteWeb shares that in a study of 14-21 year-olds, MySpace found that, “Some 36% of the respondents said they found it easier to talk about themselves online than in the real world, leading them to share more about themselves using technology.”  For their younger counterparts who’ve never known life without social networks and text messaging, I’d guess that the percentage preferring to share online would be even higher.

MySpace’s numbers make total sense to us.  For nearly a decade, OneSeventeen Media’s team members have been creating interactive experiences for kids online; we see technology as an opportunity to connect with kids who don’t always feel comfortable reaching out for help or support in face-to-face interactions.  This isn’t to say online interactions should replace real life ones, but often the right online tool can serve as the first step in improving offline relationships.

So often it’s the doom-and-gloom reports about kids online that catch mainstream media attention, and Anastasia Goodstein presents a fresh look at information and youth behavior online:

“- 63% of teens said they DO NOT USE social networks to make fun of other students
– 87% of teens said they HAVE NOT posted naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves.
– 76% of teens said they HAVE NOT signed on to someone else’s account without permission
– 72% of teens HAVE NOT posted personal information that they normally would not have revealed in public

I would say wow, most teens are using this technology pretty responsibly…”

While there’s still room for improvement and educating kids as digital citizens, I greatly appreciate Anastasia framing the numbers to give kids the benefit of the doubt.  There’s a strong majority of kids choosing to do the right things online, and that’s encouraging news!

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August 11, 2009 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

Queen Rania Embraces the Power of Social Media

There are many incredible opportunities through social media, but what excites me most is its power to break down barriers, promote understanding and generate meaningful dialogue.  Queen Rania of Jordan agrees, as she shares on her her YouTube Channel’s spoof of Dave Letterman’s top ten list.

“…I wanted to kick start a conversation in the world’s largest community, because we’re stronger when we listen, and smarter when we share…”

Kudos to Queen Rania for choosing to be a leader in the fight against intolerance and engaging her subjects, and the world, through social media.  I’m inspired by her message, and I look forward to hearing more from her.

She’s a great role model for PlumbBrain kids as they experience the same incredible power of conversation by engaging in PlumbBrain’s social media tools to improve their relationships and communications with parents, peers and mentors.

(Thanks to Roger Clague for sharing Queen Rania’s message with me and sending this great post!)

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June 12, 2009 at 8:33 am 1 comment

Making Social Media Relevant to Learning

From ReadWriteWeb:

“Teachers are always trying to combat student apathy and University of Texas at Dallas History Professor, Monica Rankin, has found an interesting way to do it using Twitter in the classroom. Rankin uses a weekly hashtag to organize comments, questions and feedback posted by students to Twitter during class.”

(Be sure to watch the video to get a feel for how this works.)

I applaud Rankin for her visionary thinking and willingness to dive into social media!  Her experiment exemplifies not only her willingness to innovate, but her understanding that lesson delivery must be relevant and engaging for 21st century kids.   Twitter is a tool that many educators wrestle with to make useful in classroom settings, and Rankin has worked out a way to make Twitter applicable to academic life.

Through our PlumbBrain Micro-Communities we’re excited about the many ways we can social networking and other social media tools relevant and useful to schools — students, teachers and parents.  

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June 2, 2009 at 10:39 am 3 comments

Tweens Balance Online + Offline Life: Update

In early March I wrote about “Julie’s” choice to give MySpace up in recognition of the Lenten season, and as promised I followed up with Julie’s mom to see how things went.  You’ll find her response below. 

fb convo 2 julie 2 copy

I was glad to hear an update on Julie’s experience giving up MySpace and sorry to learn about her family’s accident!  The most fascinating piece of what Mom had to share was how Julie’s tween peers self mobilized to “do good” by supporting their friend in her time of need.  Not only does this display a level of tech savvy and understanding about the viral capabilities of instantaneous communication, but it also demonstrates kids’ eagerness to rally around one another to help each other through some of their most difficult experiences.  Again and again our teams sees and hears examples of young people doing the right thing, but these stories of compassion aren’t what make the evening news.  

Thanks again to Julie’s mom for sharing her insight!

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May 18, 2009 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

What Kind of Tech User Are You? Take the Quiz.

tech userFrom Pew Internet & American Life Project:

“Is Facebook your window to your social world? Is your mobile device the last thing you put aside before shutting the light out at night? Or does the deluge of digital information leave you flat and the ring of your cell phone leave you cranky? Take the quiz to find out where you fit in the typology of technology users.”

Curious, I took the quiz and discovered that I am a Digital Collaborator

“If you are a Digital Collaborator, you use information technology to work with and share your creations with others. You are enthusiastic about how ICTs help you connect with others and confident in how to manage digital devices and information. For you, the digital commons can be a camp, a lab, or a theater group – places to gather with others to develop something new.”

I’m interested to see what other people are!  I’d love for you to take the quiz and share your results below.  Having only seen my results, I’m curious what other titles and divisions there are.  I’d venture to guess my classification is typical of my age group; particulary those of us seeking out Pew’s content.  I’m also wondering if the younger, tech-savvy tween crowd generally falls into the same category?

(Image found here)

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May 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

Tech + Teachers = Great Student Outcomes

gcomputerAn article from eSchool News shares that when dynamic teachers are paired with top notch technology, there are incredible outcomes for students, raising achievement levels an average of 17 percentile points.  Our team members are long time evangelist for the benefit of increased youth engagement when relevant content is delivered through high tech means.  It’s inspiring to hear about these teachers who are pushing themselves and their students farther by pursuing and utilizing technology.  Today’s students are digital natives, and to engage them inside or outside of the classroom, teachers, companies and organizations have to keep up with technology.  Leaders in all sectors reaching out to youth will be those who don’t only keep up, but actively push the technological envelope to encourage these formative young minds to push themselves.  

(Image found here)

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April 30, 2009 at 10:42 am 1 comment

More Honors Kids In India Than Students in US

A friend shared this with me on Facebook this morning, and it was another great reminder that we have to get kids the online tools they need now.  Compared to our global counterparts, the United States is slow to innovate.  Kids across the country need the social emotional tools we can provide in the online context they thrive in, today – not five years from now. 

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April 15, 2009 at 9:26 am 1 comment

Youth Bored With Current Social Networks

danah boyd posted an insightful tweet earlier this week that is spot-on with the feedback we’ve received in our case studies and through our Youth Advisory Board:


She’s absolutely correct.  Kids aren’t pursuing Facebook and other same-box-new-wrapping social networks with the same zest they did several years ago.  Anastasia Goodstein at Ypulse dug a bit deeper into the dwindling flame of passion between kids and social networks saying, 

“A bunch of folks (including me) began to comment and speculate about where the love has gone as well as where teens might go (short answer: they haven’t gone to any one new site or space just yet). I feel like we’ve been talking about youth social networking fatigue on and off for awhile, and really, given that they were the early adopters of these sites, it makes sense.”

I concur with Anastasia’s elaborations, and I have seen the same phenomenon among my peer group of twenty-somethings.  Specific to Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook’s founder), was just a year behind me in college when he first opened Facebook up to college campuses outside of Harvard.  My college classmates and I began our Facebook love affairs five years ago and the relationship just isn’t as steamy as it once was.  I think for the twenty-something and younger crowd, there’s been a shift of perspective when it comes to Facebook.  When Facebook first hit the scene, it was an incredibly enticing way to be a voyeur into the lives of our friends, friends of friends and the cute guy two rows in front of me in biology.  As the service as developed and become more widely used, instead of being a novelty, it has become a basic tool that is useful, but not the thrill it once was (in the last month I personally know five friends who “quit” Facebook because they didn’t find it particularly useful and the novelty had dried up).  

There’s a logical comparison to be made with email.  When people first started using email it was really cool.  I remember getting my first account in the seventh grade through AOL and getting such a kick out of sending one line emails to my friends asking tantalizing questions like, “Did you watch Friends last night?” and then eagerly awaiting a response.  Now, email is a standard form of communication, and I don’t know anyone who looks at their inbox and squeals in delight.  For Facebook’s early adopters, Facebook is the “new email,” meaning that it’s becoming a standard, efficient communication tool, but it is no longer exciting (I do not think Facebook will ever replace standard email).  While Facebook is always open in my browser, I’d estimate I easily spend half the amount of time interacting with the site that I did two years ago.  

What kids are waiting for is the next-generation of social networking to emerge where they can engage with fresh content and new-opportunities in a social context.  PlumbBrain is the next generation of social networking that kids are asking for!

(Image adapted from danah boyd’s twitter)

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April 3, 2009 at 12:12 pm 2 comments

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