5 Tips for Online Child Safety Over the Holidays

With lots of free time over the Winter Holidays, we can anticipate spending a lot of time using technology devices, be they tablets, smart phones, computers, Apple TVs and other streaming devices. Children may also be spending more time with technology. When I ask children about their activities at home, Google, YouTube, Minecraft, and various other tools are mentioned. In anticipation of the increased technology use that children will experience over the holidays, here are 5 tips:

  • Set clear, and firm guidelines for children’s use of technology, and establish technology free zones or times.
  • Incorporate technology with the physical world, using Robotics or other tools. Use Tynker or Tickle to program one of a variety of devices.
  • Turn on Parental Controls or Guided Access for your device. (Instructions for iOS, and Android)
  • Turn on Restricted Mode and other security settings or use YouTube with your child. (See instructions based on your device.)
  • For any apps or websites that your child uses, check whether or not it allows communication between users. If communication is allowed, ensure that communication is moderated/filtered, and that users have to have an account instead of being able to use the site/app anonymously. This will provide a trail for any issues of appropriate use, that your can report to moderators.

It’s important to help children be safe, and responsible online. Otherwise, the consequences can be mild or dire. Lost time that should have been spent doing homework instead of scrolling through Facebook is a mild consequence, while a child taking her own life due to online bullying is dire. Sometimes, we place too much of a disconnect between the virtual world and the physical world, believing that one is real and the other one is isn’t. As you talk to your children about their technology use, remember that technology is part of our real life. Be careful that the language that you use doesn’t enlarge the disconnect that exists between our online and physical worlds.

Read More on the topic:

Common Sense Media’s Parent Guide to YouTube

Create a Slideshow using YouTube

Many teachers use Picasa Web Albums to create slideshows for their blogs. However, Edublogs has recently had a problem where the embed code only works if the teacher only stays in Text mode and doesn’t switch between Text and Visual mode.

Creating a gallery of photos is always an option, but if you’d prefer a slideshow mode, use YouTube.

How to Create a Slideshow in YouTube

  1. Go to Upload in YouTube.
  2. Click on Create beside Photo SlideshowScreen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.19.03
  3. You have an option to use photos in your Google + Profile. Otherwise, you can upload photos from your computer.
  4. After selecting or uploading the photos, and confirming the order, click on Next.
  5. You can customize the Slide Duration, Effect and Transition, as well as select an audio track to play with your slide (no audio is an option).Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.30.29
  6. Click Upload.
  7. Make sure your “video” is unlisted.Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.32.48
  8. Check the advanced settings. I suggest turning Comments off, and enabling embedding (so that you can put the slideshow on your blog).Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 18.33.29
  9. Click Done.
  10. Once your video is uploaded, copy the address, and paste it in your post/page. (Make sure that the link is on a line by itself and that you are working in Visual Mode.)

The Kids Should See This – 10 Ways to Use Video in the Classroom

The Kids Should See This is a site Rion Nakaya and her two children. Ms. Nakaya explains that she created the site to inspire inquiry and wonder. Visit the site for “smart videos for curious minds of all ages” (quote on site).

Video is a great addition to the classroom. Use it as a hook or tuning in activity, or in a number of other ways. Here are some ideas:

  • lesson hook
  • writing prompt for fiction or nonfiction
  • response in discussion forum or on blog post
  • trigger for creating wonder questions
  • springboard for teaching research skills
  • inspiration for kids to create their own video
  • inspiration for service learning/social activism
  • learn vocabulary
  • entry into creation – have students add on to the story/event

Know that the videos are hosted on external sites, but embedded on the site. Notice that children can click on the word YouTube in the video and get on the YouTube site. When using The Kids Should See This (or other YouTube videos) with students, be sure to let them know to practice safe and responsible use by watching the video as it is embedded, and not clicking on YouTube.

Here’s a cool video from the site on the Moser Lamp (which I just happened to learn about recently at a presentation on Kiva U).

How to Use YouTube Capture

Do you take many video clips in your classroom? Would you like to merge them into one video? YouTube Capture lets you do just that.

YouTube Capture lets you easily merge two or more video clips together, trim parts of each one as desired, add music and upload the completed video to YouTube using only one app.

Here’s a tutorial video to show you how to use YouTube Capture. Before you start to watch the tutorial (or maybe even instead of it), I recommend that download the app and take a look at it yourself to see what you can discover. Here are some questions to guide your independent exploration:

  • How do you combine clips to form a video?
  • How do you trim a clip?
  • How do you add music/sound?
  • Can you edit any sound that you add?
  • What happens to clips if you restart the recording?
  • How do you log out?
  • Do clips take in YouTube capture get saved in the camera roll?

If you’ve used YouTube capture, please share your ideas/lessons in the comments.