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Monday, December 29, 2008

California's new law on cyberbullying

SACRAMENTO, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The author of California's new law on cyberbullying at school says it will enable educators to head off situations that could be spinning out of control.


Starting Jan. 1, school officials will have the authority to suspend or expel students who use the Internet or text messaging to pick on fellow students, the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Sunday.


Assemblyman Ted Lieu said his measure will help prevent fights and psychological torment.


"You're dealing with some very fragile egos at these age levels," Lieu said. "Some people can be driven over the edge and do some horrible things."


The Bee said California school disciplinary codes currently are restricted to direct verbal or physical harassment. But many principals said schoolyard altercations often start with insults on FaceBook or sent by text message.


The measure received the support of the PTA and other education organizations as well as Microsoft, which called cyberbullying a "a threat to creating a safe online environment for children."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Journal of Technology in Counseling

Technology has become an important and common occurrence in our everyday lives. Although technology has brought about ease of communication, it has also brought about complex issues. One significant issue is that of cyber bullying among school-aged children and youth. This article brings clarity to this topic, through a discussion of the incidence, definition, and identification of cyber bullying; an outline of school, parent and child responsibilities; and a review of traditional school programs such as zero tolerance. Specific emphasis is placed on the assessment of and therapeutic response to both the cyber bully and the cyber bullied. The Psychological-Educational-Social (‘PEAS’) program, developed by the authors, outlines a comprehensive therapeutic response to cyber bullying among children and youth.

Read the full article:

Helping Kids and Families Stay Safe: Workshops on Cyberbullying and On-Line Safety

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pandora Corp. Announces PC Pandora Free Holiday Giveaway

Pandora Corp. Announces PC Pandora Free Holiday Giveaway

Pandora Corp. is leaving a gift under every parent's tree this holiday season: PC Pandora absolutely free! The economy is tough, but Internet safety for children is one area that we cannot afford to let suffer. Monitoring software will help parents keep their kids safe from Internet predators, cyberbullies and other threats online.


 New York, NY (PRWEB) December 22, 2008 -- Most people will tell you that nothing in life is free. "Everything has a price," as the saying goes. But for the holidays, Pandora Corp. is changing the rules. Beginning at 12:01 AM on December 25th, and through New Years Day, the company will be giving away its signature computer monitoring software, PC Pandora, absolutely free.

"The economy is making the holidays difficult for a lot of folks this year," explains Pandora Corp. co-founder James Leasure. "Parents will probably dig deeper this year to make the kids and family happy, especially if they are planning to buy a new PC for the household. We want to make sure that kids using those PCs stay safe online, and so we're helping parents get the best safety tools for free."

Starting Christmas morning, parents can visit and use the code PCPANDORAHOLIDAY to get the current PC Pandora version 5.2 absolutely free as a download. The giveaway will last until 11:59 PM on January 1, 2009, or until 50,000 units have been given away. There are no strings attached; in fact, there is even an incentive: parents who take advantage of the giveaway will be given an e-coupon to use on the next release of the software.

In early 2009, Pandora Corp. will be releasing PC Pandora 6.0. The new version will contain standard upgrades and modifications plus many important new features including the optional Pandora LIVE, a web-based subscription service that will allow near real-time monitoring, as well as the ability to change or modify settings remotely. Leasure says he hopes that people find the software essential enough to come back and take a look at the new version.

"Internet safety can't be put on the back burner, so we're going to give our software away now when many people are telling us that they simply can't afford discretionary spending," says Leasure. "We want parents to see how incredibly efficient our program is and what a powerful tool it can be in 21st century parenting. Of course, our hope is that these families will remain loyal customers once the economy turns around, but even if not, it's critical that parents understand what's happening online."

PC Pandora is computer monitoring software that records all activity on a computer. The program's first-rate monitoring capabilities take sequential snapshots of everything that happens on the screen, thus allowing parents to see first-hand everything their child does both on and offline. Further details of user activity are made available in text-based files, including instant messenger chats, emails sent and received, websites visited, peer-2-peer files shared, keystrokes logged, programs accessed, Internet search queries and more. The IRIS feature will even send those text-based files right to a parent's email - invaluable for working moms and dads who can't always be home when the kids are online.

Leasure says the ways that computer monitoring software can help parents are so numerous they often don't consider all of them. "If your child is visiting websites you don't approve of, talking to strangers on social networks, creating and maintaining multiple social network profiles, downloading illegal music and movies, or falling victim to or - even worse - acting as a cyberbully, you will know about it if you are monitoring their internet activity."

Typical filters and standard blocks are easy for savvy young users to circumnavigate, "But if you have computer monitoring software like PC Pandora," explains Leasure, "you'll know what your children are doing and be able to act appropriately."

While almost every home in America with kids contains a computer, not everyone can spend the extra money on the protection they need right now. "The bottom line is keeping kids safe online," states Leasure. "Our Christmas gift to parents this year is giving them the tools they need to do just that."

Visit between Christmas and New Year's Day and use the code PCPANDORAHOLIDAY at checkout to get your copy of PC Pandora for free


School cyberbullying law takes effect Jan. 1

School cyberbullying law takes effect Jan. 1

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

Posted: 12/21/2008 02:42:14 PM PST


A new law aimed at deterring the proliferation of cyberbullying at public schools goes into effect Jan. 1, bolstering educators' ability to tackle the problem head-on.


The law gives school administrators the leverage to suspend or expel students for bullying other students by means of an electronic device such as a mobile phone or on an Internet social networking site like MySpace or Facebook; the law, however, only applies to bullying that occurs during school hours or during a school-related activity.


The new law also incorporates the term "cyberbullying" into the lexicon of the California Education Code, which better equips school and law enforcement officials to educate students and parents on the issue.


California is one of only two states in the U.S., the other being Arkansas, that has passed legislation specifically addressing cyberbullying in its education code, said Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-El Segundo), who authored the proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 86, signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 30.


"We hope that other states copy this law," Lieu said.


"(Cyberbullying) is a growing problem."


Educators and law enforcement officials have taken aggressive steps to address the dilemma of cyberbullying and its potential deadly consequences.


Read more:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Study Links Violent Video Games, Hostility

Study Links Violent Video Games, Hostility
Research in U.S., Japan Shows Aggression Increased for Months After Play

By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 3, 2008; A18

Children and teenagers who play violent video games show increased physical aggression months afterward, according to new research that adds another layer of evidence to the continuing debate over the video-game habits of the youngest generation.

The research, published today in the journal Pediatrics, brings together three longitudinal studies, one from the United States and two from Japan, examining the content of games, how often they are played and aggressive behaviors later in a school year.

The U.S. research was the first in the nation to look at the effects of violent video games over time, said lead author Craig A. Anderson, a psychology professor at Iowa State University and director of its Center for the Study of Violence.

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