Tess Explains It All: Teens, Social Media and the Myth of Internet Addiction

image from www.clubfemina.comEarlier today I ran across a really insightful (and spot on!) article, written by high school student Tess Harkin, for Huffington Post Teen. In her post, Tess tackles the widely held narrative that teens are 'addicted' to technology and as a result, aren't engaging in real life human connection.

Tess explains the relationship between teens and social media and how it actually does facilliate and foster relationships (IRL!) with her peers

Turns out, when it comes to teens and technology, they're mostly misunderstood.

 "It's almost too easy to agree with the majority and think, "People are right, technology is destroying the human connection." But I think just the opposite.

Technology brings people together. Shocking, I know? It sounds like some crazy marketing ploy, and many commercials support that. But the fact is, it's the truth.

I can talk to one of my friends in California, Canada or Taiwan with the touch of a button. Technology has helped me forge lifelong connection with people I would have lost touch with ordinarily. I can say I talk to more people now, whether it be through Facebook, texting or tweeting, than I did three years ago. And for the argument that nothing compares to face-to-face conversation?

I'd love to engage and be a part of that, but the fact of the matter is, without Skype or Google Hangouts, I wouldn't be able talk to a large portion of my friends. I'm not trying to advocate for technology to replace all forms of in person conversation, I'm just trying to suggest the stigma attached to it isn't necessarily just."

You can read the entire Huffington Teen post here.

ZABRA #BeCyberAware Twitter Chat: Social Media and Digital Parenting Resource List


One of the things I enjoy most about my work is having the opportunity to talk with parents, educators and brands to dispel some of the myths or fears around teen use of social media.

Tonight I’m going to be participating in a digital parenting Twitter chat hosted by Zabra that will be moderated by Josh Shipp.

The event starts at 7pm EST and you can participate through the hashtag #BeCyberAware. I hope you’ll join us for a lively and informative discussion.

No matter the audience, my message is pretty consistent: Don't panic! I'm frequently asked to share some of my favorite digital teens & parenting links, tips and other resources.

So here we go! I've sorted through my bookmarks and tweets and put together this (hopefully) handy handout. Feel free to tweet it or share it with anyone you think would find it helpful.


Cyberbullying: A Sociological Approach  http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2013/04/cyberbullying-a-sociological-approach.html

Young Adults Communication on Social Media

INFOGRAPHIC: Golden Rules for Social Media Use by Teens  http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2013/07/infographic-golden-rules-for-social-media-use-by-teens.html

INFOGRAPHIC: Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat –How Teens Use Social Media  http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-how-facebook-could-be-unraveled-by-mobile-first-teens-2013-4

Southern Poverty Law Center | There Are No Bullies http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-45-fall-2013/there-are-no-bullies

Southern Poverty Law Center | Bullying Quiz http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/bullying-quiz

Facebook Lets Teens Post Publicly: Why That's a Good Thing http://huff.to/19QNvvK

Digital Citizenship Includes Rights as Well as Responsibilities http://huff.to/9JoWlm

Beware of the Internet Safety Industrial Complex http://www.connectsafely.org/beware-internet-safety-industrial-complex/

INFOGRAPHIC: How Millennials Are Using Social Media for Good  http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2013/10/infographic-millennials-use-social-media-for-good.html

INFOGRAPHIC: Teens, Social Media & Privacy  http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2013/05/infographic-teens-social-media-and-privacy.html

Alert: Your SnapChat Photos Aren’t So Secret http://www.businessinsider.com/alert-your-secret-snapchat-relationships-arent-so-secret-2013-9



Facebook for Educators & Community Leaders Guide  http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2013/10/facebook-for-educators-and-youth-community-workers-guide.html  

Facebook for Educators Handouts

Facebook 101: Digital Citizenship

It’s Always Sunny on Facebook



The CDC reports that 60 percent of high school students claim that they have though about committing suicide, and around nine percent of them say that they have tried killing themselves at least once.

Whatever the causes of teen suicide, it is important to note that the pressures of teenage living can lead to suicide. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL):

  • 19.3 percent of high school students have seriously considered killing themselves.

  • 14.5 percent of high school students made actual plans for committing suicide,

  • 900,000 youth planned their suicides during an episode of major depression.

Many times parents may not know that their child is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts. There are so many resources available for teens in crisis. Here are some organizations leading the charge to help teens in crisis.

It's important to have the discussion with your kids to let them know if they or one of their friends are suffering from depression or threatening to harm themselves they need to immediately tell an adult, teacher or direct them to one of these crisis providers. If they feel there is an eminent threat, call 911.

Facebook 101: How To Report Suicidal Intentions http://www.scribd.com/doc/75718714/Facebook-101-How-to-Report-Suicidal-Expressions

Crisis Text Line: Get Help Now http://www.crisistextline.org/get-help-now/

ReachOut USA http://us.reachout.com/

Trevor Project: Warning Signs of Suicide http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/warning-signs  

Trevor Project: Get Help Now http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now

To Write Love on Her Arms: Get Help Now http://twloha.com/find-help



Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2011/11/real-to-me-girls-and-reality-tv.html

Reality TV Tip Sheet for Parents http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2011/11/real-to-me-reality-tv-tip-sheet-for-parents.html

What Pop Culture is Teaching Your Boys About Masculinity  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/progressive-parenting/2011/04/19/what-pop-culture-is-teaching-your-boys-about-masculinity

Boys, the Media and Body Image: An Open Letter to The Ellen Show http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2011/04/media-boys-body-image-pop-culture-an-open-letter-to-the-ellen-show.html



Parents Guide to Facebook

48% of Parents Believe the Internet is a Good Contribution to Their Children’s Lives http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2012/02/survey-48-of-parents-believe-the-internet-is-a-good-contribution-to-their-childrens-lives.html

Social Networking Tips for Parents http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2010/10/social-networking-facebook-privacy-tips-for-parents.html

Empowering Parents Through Technology http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2010/09/research-empowering-parents-through-technology.html

Facebook Security and Safety Resources for Parents http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2010/04/facebook-security-and-safety-resources-for-parents-teachers-teens.html

Facebook for Parents http://www.facebookforparents.org/

Connecting with the Facebook Parenting Duo

Why Anti-Bullying Programs Are Failing http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2013/02/why-anti-bullying-programs-are-failing-brooks-gibbs.html

INFOGRAPHIC: School Bullying http://www.debaird.net/blendededunet/2012/01/infographic-school-bullying.html

What Parents Need to Know About Ask.fm & Kik http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/parents-know-ask-fm-kik-144900812.html

Facebook for Edu: Introducing Hashtags on Facebook

Fb.hashtagThis week Facebook rolled out a new feature--hashtags!

Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion.

Here's a new handout that covers the basics of getting started using hashtags on Facebook, along with a quick look at hashtag privacy. Feel free to share this, and our other (free!) Facebook Education handouts, with your colleagues, parents or youth pastor.

Introducing Hashtags on Facebook by Facebook for Educators

Get the Official Facebook for Educators Guide

The Facebook for Educators Guide is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. The guide is a collaboration between myself, Dr. BJ Fogg, Linda Fogg-Phillips and Facebook.

We invite you to join the conversation and share your best practices for using social media in the classroom with educators from around the world on our Facebook for Educators Page (http://www.facebook.com/FBforEducators).

You can find more free handouts, resources and profession development materials on our Scribd page (http://www.scribd.com/collections/2978485/Facebook-101).


How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments

image from www.igi-global.com

I've teamed up again with my writing partner, Dr. Mercedes Fisher, to take a deeper look at how designing for social spaces can help foster a deeper sense of community among students, teachers and the course content.

I'm pleased to announce that our book chapter, How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments, has been published in Social Media and the New Academic Environment.

But beyond the classroom, these best practices can be integrated into any online community, forum discussion or informal online education environment.

As web applications play a vital role in our society, social media has emerged as an important tool in the creation and exchange of user-generated content and social interaction. The benefits of these services have entered in the educational areas to become new means by which scholars communicate, collaborate and teach.
Social Media and the New Academic Environment: Pedagogical Challenges provides relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest research on social media the challenges in the educational context.
This book is essential for professionals aiming to improve their understanding of social media at different levels of education as well as researchers in the fields of e-learning, educational science and information and communication sciences and much more.

Gen Y, Social Media, and Learning in the Digital Age

Social.computingI'm happy to announce that my book chapter that I co-wrote with Dr. Mercedes Fisher is now officially published!

Chapter Title: "Social Media, Gen Y and Digital Learning Styles."

Author(s): Derek E. Baird ; Mercedes Fisher

Pages: 2023-2044 pp.

Book Title: Social Computing: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications

Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Subhasish Dasgupta (George Washington University, USA) Copyright: 2010


In this chapter we outline how educators are creating a “mash up” of traditional pedagogy with new media to create a 21st Century pedagogy designed to support the digital learning styles of Gen Y students.

The research included in this paper is intended as a directional means to help instructors and course designers identify social and new media resources and other emerging technologies that will enhance the delivery of instruction while meeting the needs of today’s digital learning styles.

The media-centric Millennial values its ability to use the web to create self-paced, customized, on-demand learning paths that include using multiple platforms for mobile, interactive, social, and self-publishing experiences.

These can include wiki, blogs, podcasts and other social platforms like Twitter, Emodo and Facebook. New media provides these hyper-connected students with a medium for understanding, social interaction, idea negotiation, as well as an intrinsic motivation for participation.

The active nature of today’s digitally connected student culture is one that more resourcefully fosters idea generation and experience-oriented innovation than traditional schooling models.

In addition, we describe our approach to utilizing current and emerging social media to support Gen Y learners, facilitate the formation of learning communities, foster student engagement, reflection, and enhance the overall learning experience for students in synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning environments (VLE).

Related: Derek E. Baird > Publications

Afternoon News with Richard Brown Show Notes: Facebook & Social Media in Schools

News.talk980Today I had the opportunity to be a guest on Saskatchewan Canada-based The Afternoon News with Richard Brown on NewsTalk 980 (CJME). The topic was on 'Using Facebook in the Classroom."

First, the segment went by pretty quickly! Secondly, the segment started with a discussion about "digital natives." Long time readers know my thoughts on that topic. I also briefly shared the new research about college students', Google and web credibility.

During the roundtable, my position was that--when used in moderation--Facebook can have a place in the classroom. On the other side of the roundtable was a teacher who felt that Facebook and social media didn't have a place in the classroom.

In preparation for the segment, I prepared some notes and thought I'd share them with you. I didn't get to cover all of these topics, but here they are anyhow. Thanks to Richard Brown for having me on his show!

The Afternoon News with Richard Brown NewsTalk 980 | Sept 3, 2010

There’s always been something “new” that freaks parents’ and teachers' out--rock n’ roll, The Beatles, Madonna, Lady Gaga, video games and now Facebook. I like to say Don’t Panic!

Tweens behavoir is the same behavior that teens have had for eons, they’re just using different tools. You used a phone (the one with a cord), they use a mobile phone (the one without the cord). You passed notes in class, they post on their friends' Facebook wall. The best rule: moderation in everything.

  • In the US Facebook is the favorite website among tween boys/girls (M2 Research)
  • Contrary to what you may have heard in the media, kids' do care about privacy and are better at managing their digital footprint than adults.

Facebook Apps: Informal learning opportunites for kids/parents

There are literally thousands of Facebook apps that are related to learning. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • HeyMath (math tutorials, activities, used in Singapore school districts)
  • Math Formulas (contains math formulas for parents/kids)
  • Flashcards: With this application, you can create flash cards to help you study on Facebook.

Docs.com - Allows kids to collaborate

Docs.com for Facebook is a web-based version of Microsoft Office that is designed to be used on the Facebook platform. The service allows students' to easily share Powerpoint/Word Documents in Facebook. Sharing Docs on FB is "baked in."


Social networking services like Togetherville allow kids to connect with their classmates (via their own student social graph) in Facebook. Built on top of the Facebook platform, Togetherville has a school-based friending feature that allows kids to safely and easily find their friends from school and suggest them to parents for approval. Think of Togetherville as Facebook with training wheels.

Teachers Using FB Groups

Teachers can use Facebook Groups to organize their class and provide them with an easy way to communicate and share with parents, various apps, share/create permission slips and handouts via Docs.com and other productivity apps.

Facebook for Parents

Facebook for Parents, co-authored by BJ Fogg and Linda Fogg Phillips, is definitive guide on how to effectively use Facebook as a parenting tool. The book is designed to help parents to navigate the world of Facebook and provide them with best practices. These strategies should also be used by any teacher using Facebook in a school setting.

Togetherville: Designing a Social Web Experience for Kids

Togetherville.logo What is it?

Togetherville is a social networking experience intended for your younger children (5-10 year olds). The new service is designed to provide a training ground where parents can teach their kids important lessons about online communication, community building and what it means to be a good digital citizen.

The Togetherville community experience piggy-backs on the Facebook platform and allows grownups to guide their kids through an age-appropriate social networking experience, kid friendly content, moderate connections and interactions all in an ad-free environment.

How does it Work?

In Togetherville, grownups act as the moderator for new contacts, assuming the responsibility for inviting family members/friends and other kids' to join their child's online neighborhood. The 6-to 10-year-olds are invited to engage with their real-world friends, play games, watch videos, and create art.

Is it safe?

Togetherville is intended for kids who are too young for Facebook and is fully compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Kids' are *NOT connected* to anyone without their parents approval, so parents don't need to worry about 'stranger danger.'

Unlike other child oriented social networks, kids' use their real names instead of an alias. This is important because it teaches them to be responsible for their actions within the community. Since their identity isn't a secret, the thinking is that this will reduce the chances that they will engage in cyberbullying or other no-no behaviors.


Togetherville "Allowance"

Allowance is a new site feature that helps teach kids financial literacy while providing parents with a way to reward good behavior, both online and off.

Parents or other approved adults (family members, coaches) can give a child Togetherville currency called "T-bills," which can be spent on virtual goods, games or gifts within each child's unique Togetherville neighborhood.

Once they have T-bills, parents and adults can give Allowance to children for whom they are administrators. Kids and adults can use T-bills for virtual goodies, gifts and games.

As with any feature in Togetherville, a parent or other adult with administrative rights has complete control over who can give their child funds. In addition, just like in the offline world, a parent can suspend or eliminate a child's Allowance at any time.

Developing Healthy Media Habits

A lot of people will say that kids' don't need to be online and that they should go outside and play.

Think of it this way: too much of anything is bad. Too many hours playing video games or watching cartoons--not healthy! Eating too much ice cream, Taco Bell or drinking too much soda are also not a good thing.

It doesn't really matter if it's chocolate milk, riding your bike in the dark, watching too much TV or being online. As adults, we need to be the ones who help children develop healthy habits.

Social by Design

Think of Togetherville as a social networking apprenticeship where parents act as a Facebook "expert" who mentor and help their children through the experience of participating in a social networking community.

The situated learning theory argues that learning and knowledge acquisition takes place only when situated in a social and authentic context.

Ultimately this process –known as legitimate peripheral participation—moves the newcomer deeper into a community of practice leading them closer to acquiring the knowledge and skills required to be an expert. In Togetherville, young kids' will form a community of practice (and safety net) consisting of their peers, site moderators, and several parent "experts."

Cognitive apprenticeship is an instructional design and learning theory wherein the instructor (or parent), through socialization, models the skill or task at hand for the child. Kids' may also receive guidance from and learn from their peers.

The role of the parent is to help novices (in this case, your kids') clear cognitive roadblocks (Facebook/social networking) by providing them with the resources needed to develop a better understanding of social media. This process is called scaffolding.

Ultimately the kids will become an expert who no longer needs the scaffolding provided by Togetherville and/or parental guidance. In turn, they will have a better understanding of potential roadblocks and are now equipped the skills to navigate the world of social media/networking sites like Facebook.

Putting it All Together

In the end, what's important here is to take a balanced position when it comes to kids and technology. As a parent or teacher, don't be afraid to jump into the technology and social media pool and get your feet wet.

Use this as an opportunity to spend time with your kids and learn more about how they are using technology, mobile phones and social media in their lives.

Most importantly, when it comes to kids and social networking, don't panic!

I've Joined 'The Purple List'

Logo-psfkI'm happy to announce that I've joined The Purple List community, PSFK’s network of independent designers, journalists, marketers, trend experts and entrepreneurs.

The Purple List has been used by journalists to find expert views on new stories; by agencies in search of talent; and by global research consultancies. Plus, PSFK uses The Purple List both as a source of editorial research and opinion on  and as a source of paid expertise when performing client work.

I'm looking forward to collaborating with my The Purple List colleagues and excited to actively embrace this new opportunity.

'No Phone Zone' Lesson Plan: Teaching Teens the Dangers of Texting & Driving

Oprah.nophonezone The "No Phone Zone" lesson plan will educate students on the dangers associated with distracted driving (texting while driving, talking on the phone while driving).

The creation of this lesson plan was inspired by an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that focused on the dangers of distracted driving. According to a 2009 Pew Internet Study:

  • One in three (34%) texting teens ages 16-17 say they have texted while driving. That translates into 26% of all American teens ages 16-17;
  • Half (52%) of cell-owning teens ages 16-17 say they have talked on a cell phone while driving. That translates into 43% of all American teens ages 16-17;
  • 48% of all teens ages 12-17 say they have been in a car when the driver was texting;
  • 40% say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.

No Phone Zone Lesson Plan

The Oprah Winfrey Show has provided teens with a myriad of digital resources--including an easy online editor--needed to make a 60-second PSA.

Students can create their own media, and mash it together with Oprah's voiceover, footage, music from The Oprah Winfrey Show and the No Phone Zone logo.

Best of all? It's all free!

This lesson plan was created by Derek E. Baird and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. This lesson plan is not endorsed or affiliated with Oprah, OWN or Harpo, Inc.

Update: Education World has selected my 'No Phone Zone' lesson plan as the "Tech Lesson of the Week!"

Update: Scribd, the social publishing network, has chosen my 'No Phone Zone' lesson plan as a featured document of the week! Thanks Scribd!

Weekly Wrap: Chegg Battle of the Bands, Oprah's Leno-CoCo PollGate, Social Data Revolution, Mattel Looks to AR, Gen X Stereotypes, Real Time UX, Rowling on Imagination & Failure, Mowtown Content Strategy & More!

Barking.robot.iconChegg Joins College Battle of the Bands: College Battle of the Bands is proud to announce its partnership with textbook rental service Chegg.com! Student bands and musicians can sign up for FREE and promote their music for a chance to play great venues and win amazing gear and cash prizes as part of the national series of events. [Chegg.com]

Conan-Leno Mudslinging Continues With Oprah.com Poll Allegations: So how exactly does the source close to NBC figure that Team Coco flooded Oprah’s ballot box? By good old-fashioned ballot box stuffing, thanks to software designed by die hard Coco fans and advertised on one of the many Team Coco Facebook pages. (Really Team Jay? Why would Ms. Winfrey, or Conan for that matter, want to do that?) Related: Conan, Leno & The Tonight Show Debacle [MovieLine] [Barking Robot}

Augmented Reality Gives Lift to Kids Digital Space: Mattel was at the head of the line as the first major consumer products player to incorporate AR into a retail toy product. As the master toy licensee for James Cameron's film Avatar, the California-based toyco teamed up with an AR software solutions house Total Immersion to create a line of action figures. [Kidscreen]

The Social Data Revolution(s): In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever. [Harvard Business Review]

Free Reality TV Show Debuts on Your PlayStation 3: Sony Computer Entertainment America is making good on its promise to expand original content offerings on its PlayStation Network distribution service. It will be bringing an original reality television series, The Tester, to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles via the PSN as a free downloadable series starting February 18. [Mashable]

Study Finds Podcasts Reach Unreachable Consumers: Although podcasting has shown to be quite popular in niche markets, many marketers have not jumped into the fray. The results of a recent Edison Research and Association for Downloadable Media (ADM) study could change some marketers minds, however, because apparently consumers being reached by podcasting are unreachable in other formats. [Junta 42]

Tweet O' the Week: "At Chateau Marmont on a gorgeous day. Everyone here looks like they're on the verge of famous." via @TVBlogster

Get Real About Gen X Stereotypes: Much laudatory ink has been spilled on the Baby Boomers...usually by Boomers themselves. As for the Millennials, those born between 1982 and 1998, the quantity of reportage lauding their public-spiritedness has quickly become tiresome. But a new report casts doubt on the widely accepted stereotype of Gen X-ers as inferior to these other groups. [New Geography]

The Case for Content Strategy, Mowtown Style: how do you start humming the content strategy tune to your own team and to your prospective clients? Listen up and heed Aretha Franklin. No, really. [A List Apart]

UX of the Real Time Web: A major thing done by users on the real time web is the posting and recommending of external links. These links will often go to a story, website, picture, or video that could be of interest to people right now. One problem is that there is so much sharing being done on the real time web that it can become difficult to differentiate the legitimate links from the noise. [instantShift]

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination: J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. [Harvard Magazine]

Global Youth: What Youth Think | 2010 Youth Trends Report

Partnering with youth marketers, culture and trend experts from around the world, Graham Brown (the force behind mobileYouth) have crowd-sourced an impressive amount of research on global youth trends and shared his findings in a series of three presentations.

What Youth Think: 2010 Youth Trends Report presentations are a must see for youth marketers, media planners, educators, youth pastors and anyone else who works in the youth space.

So sit back, take notes and enjoy. Then let's all meet up at the Carrot Mob!

Get Away from Technology, Experience the World

Route 66 | Photograph by Derek E. Baird "It’s important to get away from technology and experience the world. You’ve got to see your world, see your community, see what’s not being said that needs to be said. That’s probably the best way to figure out what you’re going to say.

For me at least, it’s impossible to have any good ideas while sitting behind a computer. Ideas come from life. As Hemingway said, “I have to live to work."

    -Jonathan Harris, Beyond Flash (via Amanda Mooney)

Millennials: The Gen Y Tsunami is Here


"For marketers, the Millennials represent a multifaceted challenge that defies easy categorization. Beyond their demographic diversity, marketers need to recognize distinct behaviors, preferences, attitudes, and values that set this group apart from the rest.

We need to realize that consumer-driven marketing integration is not a dream but a critical reality. And this starts with understanding who these young adults really are."

--DMW Direct Consumer Insights,"Millennials"

Related: 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup

Dan Rosensweig becomes CEO of Textbook Rental Service Chegg.com

Chegg Dan Rosensweig is leaving his job overseeing Activision's Guitar Hero video game franchise to run Chegg. Chegg.com has been trying to shake up the college textbook industry by allowing students to rent the material required for their courses. The hiring was announced Tuesday.

Rosensweig is best known for his four-year stint as Yahoo's chief operating officer, where he worked closely with the Internet company's former CEO, Terry Semel. Rosensweig left Yahoo! after a management reshuffling in 2006.

This isn't Mr. Rosenweig's first foray into the education technology space. While at Yahoo! he was actively involved with my team on the Yahoo! For Teachers project. You can catch Dan's cameo in this promo video for Yahoo! Teachers. Dan is also current member of the DonorsChoose National Advisory Board.

Apple's secret iPad weapon: Marvel Comics?

It's easy to imagine why Apple would want to bring comics to the iPad – and thanks to Steve Jobs, it has an inside track to make that happen.

When Jobs needed movies for iTunes, Apple got them from Disney. When he needed TV shows? Disney (which owns ABC) was among the first to sign up. Why all the Disney love? Remember, Steve Jobs was the CEO of Pixar, which had a very lucrative movie distribution deal with Disney.

But wait, you say. Disney isn’t exactly a major book publisher. Oh, yes it is. Disney just bought Marvel, remember?

With Marvel comes Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, and all manner of other classic superheroes. Lately, much of the value from those characters has come through movies and TV. It’s easy to forget that these characters first came to life through full-color artwork on the printed page – a format that never translated very well to the digital realm.

Until the iPad, that is. The iPad will be the first mainstream computing device with the interface, the power, the battery, and the gorgeous color screen to truly bring comic books to life.

via brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com