State of the Kids Digital Space, Apps & Media

YouthNation_LivestreamAlison Bryant and Paul Levine of children's digital research company PlayScience present their latest findings on kids and digital media at Casual Connect in San Francisco.

Not surprisingly, most children hear about new apps from their friends, especially as they get older, though younger children are more likely to learn about new apps from their parents.

Here's the executive summary of the PlayScience report:

PlayScience: Kids, Apps and Digital Media

Here's the video of the PlayScience presentation at the Casual Connect 2015 Conference in San Francisco.


Thanks to Scott Traylor of 360 Kid for the video!

MakerEDU: How To Nurture Creative Mindsets [VIDEO]

image from is one of the most important competencies of the 21st Century. Yet, the puzzling question is how to nurture it? Children are creative from the day they are born and the film describes how to support creativity across cultures.

The content is based on the report, Cultures of Creativity, published by the LEGO Foundation.


Here's the full report by David Gauntlett and Bo Stjerne Thomsen and 20 leading international experts on play, learning and creativity.


Cultures of Creativity LEGO Fonden 2013

Introducing finderyU

Findery, and the world, is your classroom!

While it may seem like you just wrapped up finals, packed up the classroom and headed for a well-deserved summer break, the (sad) truth is a new semester is right around the corner!

As you sit on that beach, you may be wondering how can you incorporate more project-based learning activities into your course syllabus and grab the attention of your students who, let’s be honest, have the attention span of a gnat.

Even if you’re not currently enrolled in college, Findery is a powerful informal learning platform where you can tap into the collective knowledge hidden in Findery Notes and learn (or share!)  more about Australia, space travel, candy, San Francisco architecture or anything else that matters to you!

Introducing Findery University

Today I am happy to share the launch of Findery University!

Findery, is a geo-location based website where anyone can share local knowledge, hidden secrets, stories and information about the world around you. Using Findery, your students (or you!) can annotate places in the real world, leave media rich (YouTube videos, SoundCloud audio, Instagram and your own images) notes tagged to a specific geographic location.

You can even embed Findery notes into your class blog or website or share them via Twitter or on your classroom Facebook or Google+ page.

Findery for Students

Findery is a great way to create a multimedia project for just about any class. Demonstrate your learning by adding notes infused with video, images and text along the paths of your explorations. Ask your classmates to contribute their reflections, narrative feedback and resources on your Findery project through the comments.

Be sure to follow @Campus on Findery to discover and contribute notes about student life and campus history. Your notes could capture memories with your friends or pay it forward by joining the Findery Campus Challenge and leaving tips for your current and future classmates!

Findery University for Educators

Here are a few examples of how you can use Findery University to support formal and informal learning:

  • Studying community supported agriculture?  Investigate and map local food in your area, then leave notes for food sources with commentary on sustainability.

  • Have writer’s block?  Explore the notes in a particular region and build a story around the local knowledge of that place.

  • If you teach American Literature, create a Set that has Notes with facts, images or videos for books or authors included on your course reading list.

  • Encourage observation through illustrating places.  Go on a sketching excursion and post a note with the picture of your sketch.  Tag your notes with #sketchproject to contribute to urban sketching fans on Findery.

  • Use Findery as a way to create a living history map. Share a picture of your ancestors at the docks in Liverpool with an excerpt from their diary talking about how they feel about leaving England for America. 

    Share a note with a video clip  about the hazards of transatlantic boat travel in the 1800s and include a passage from their diary about the challenges they faced during the journey. Bring your family history to life!

Enroll in finderyU

  1. Go to

  2. Click "Sign Up!" and follow the prompts. Don't be afraid of the FAQs

  3. Update your settings, jump in and create your first note, or just start exploring

  4. Download the free Findery University handout, or check out more lesson plan ideas at

It will be exciting to see how educators use Findery in the classroom, student projects or for your amazing passion projects!

Findery wants to share your Notes and lesson plans with our educator community. Send a tweet @finderyU or share the link on the Findery Facebook page, so they can share your FinderyU contributions!

And, oh--you can find me on Findery, here

Facebook for Education: Instagram in the Classroom


Instagram-logoHere's a new Facebook for Educators handout that covers the basics of using Instagram, part of Facebook, in the classroom.

Feel free to share this, and our other (free!) Facebook Education handouts, with your colleagues, parents, youth pastor, coach or anyone who works with youth.

Related: Learn more about privacy on Instagram or get help with FAQs.

Instagram in the Classroom by Facebook for Educators

Click HERE to download the handout! It's free! 

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 (

You can find more free handouts, resources and profession development materials on our Scribd page (


Why Anti-Bullying Programs are Failing [VIDEO]

Do you know a friend, student or kid struggling with bullying? 
This TV interview, with renowned bullying expert Brooks Gibbs, will offer you some practical help. 
Why is school bullying on the rise? What can parents and other caring adults do to help? Most importantly, what is the REAL Solution to end bullying?


Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis

image from www.joanganzcooneycenter.orgGames for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis includes a sector analysis and market map of game‐based learning initiatives with an analysis of relevant trends in education and digital technology that are likely to impact development of a robust game-based learning market segment.

By formulating a new framework for understanding the changing dynamics of purchase decisions at the school, extended learning, and consumer levels including a “follow the money” analysis, this report will guide efficient use of existing capital and examine where new investment would be most productive.

Conducted and written by Dr. John Richards, Leslie Stebbins and Dr. Kurt Moellering, the report synthesizes findings from extensive market research and a series of fifty interviews with leaders in the developer and publishing industries, and from the government, foundation and research sectors.


Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis by

Why first–year college students select certain online research resources as their favorite

image from www.debaird.netThis paper, written by James P. Purdy, Ph.D., assistant professor of English/writing studies and director of the University Writing Center at Duquesne University, reports results of a preliminary study on why first–year college students select certain online research resources as their favorite.

Results, based on a survey of over 500 U.S. college students in first–year writing classes, offer a more complex picture of student motivation than popular accounts of these students as disinterested, lazy, and ignorant.

Students reported most frequently that they favored resources for reasons of ease, quality, and connectivity.

They reported least frequently that they favored resources for reasons of relevance, variety, and speed. These results suggest that students value finding scholarly sources above relevant sources.Why first–year college students select certain online research resources as their favorite by James Purdy

Trend Watch: Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook & Twitter Friendships [PODCAST]

FacebookForEducators When the tornado devastated the town of Joplin Missouri, teachers turned to Facebook to help locate students. A new measure could make that a bit more complicated.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently signed a bill into law that would ban exclusive contact on social networking sites between teachers and students. Senate Bill 54 passed with unanimous support.

A small part of the wide-ranging SB54, makes it illegal for teachers to be "friends" with students on any social networking site that allows private communication.

That means teachers and students can't be friends on Facebook or can't follow each other on Twitter for example.

It was meant to prevent teachers from developing inappropriate relationships with their students. But to use Facebook parlance, not everyone is clicking the like button.

NPR's All Things Considered's Michele Norris spoke to an eighth grade teacher from Joplin, Mo., who opposes the new law. Randy Turner, who teaches English, said as teachers your job is to reach out to students and that means going where they are and now a days students have shunned e-mail and are using social networking sites to communicate.

But Turner argues instead of protecting children, this new law may be hurting them. "We may be preventing them from talking to the very people who may be able to help," he said.

Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship by barkingrobot


Related Links

North Carolina School Engages Tech Generation With Digital Learning Tools

Logo-pbs-newshour John Tulenko of Learning Matters, which produces education stories for the NewsHour, reports on a North Carolina school district switching from textbooks to all-digital learning materials.

My favorite quote is this piece comes from Mark Edwards, Superientendent of Schools in Mooresville, North Carolina:

"For years we would tell students "We will prepare you for your future." But their experience in school didn't have much to do (with the future).

I would say it would be the same to say "We are going to prepare you for driving a car, so get on this horse." And the kids say "That doesn't make sense, i'm not going to be riding a horse."

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.



Skype In The Classroom: An International Social Network For Teachers [VIDEO]

image from Skype realizes full well its software is used by many school teachers and students from around the globe, and today announced that it has built a dedicated social network to help them connect, collaborate and exchange knowledge and teaching resources over the Web.

This morning, the company launched a free international community site dubbed Skype in the Classroom, an online platform designed to help teachers find each other and relevant projects according to search criteria such as the age groups they teach, location and subjects of interest.

How to create a profile and find a teacher from Skype in the classroom on Vimeo.

The platform, which has been in beta since the end of December, already has a community of more than 4,000 teachers, across 99 countries.

Teachers need only sign up with their Skype account at the website, create a profile with their interests, location and the age groups they teach and start connecting with other teachers by exploring the directory, where they can also find projects and resources that match their skills, needs or interests.

A members-only community, Skype in the Classroom lets teachers easily add each other to their Skype contact lists or message one another.

via TechCrunch

Blackawton Bees: Eight-Year-Olds Publish Bee Study in Respected UK Science Journal

image from Royal Society Publishing science journal Biology Letters is releasing a paper about the way bees use color and space to navigate between flowers. It was written by 25 co-authors, all of whom are between the ages of 8 and 10.

Really: The 25 kids, all from the Blackawton Primary School in Devon, England, designed the experiment from the ground up, and wrote every word in the paper.

The students who published the paper were participants in "i, scientist," a project set up to engage kids with science in a hands-on way. A very hands-on way.

I Scientist film from Storymakers TV on Vimeo.

With help from neuroscientist Beau Lotto (whose son is in the class), the 25-person team began by thinking about the way animals—in particular, bees—perceive the world. You can read more about the Blackawton Bees study and other projects by Lotto by clicking here. The Blackawton Bee paper is available here.

This is a briliant and hands on way to teach kids science. Instead of sitting in classroom and listening to a teacher, these kids are getting a hands on experience that makes science move from theory into actual practice and proves that anyone can do science.


Infographic: Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.image from

 A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements.

His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009.


This animate was adapted from a talk given at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.

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

Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

Retro-tv According to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life project (Lenhardt & Madden, 2005), more than one-half of all teens have created media content, and roughly one-third of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced.

In many cases, these teens are actively involved in what we are calling participatory cultures.

A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.

A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created). Henry Jenkins: Participatory Culture & Media Education

A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these forms of participatory culture, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship.

Access to this participatory culture functions as a new form of the hidden curriculum, shaping which youth will succeed and which will be left behind as they enter school and the workplace.