Sonia Livingstone on Children and the Internet

Sonia Livingstone on Children and the Internet on Social Science Bites (SAGE)

Nigel Warburton – You mentioned exposure to pornography, to racism, to cyber-bullying, is that the limit of risk for a child online?

Sonia Livingstone – Among the most common risks are exposure to pornography and cyber-bullying, though those remain relatively low level. The other risk that people really worry about, it the risk that strangers, paedophiles, ‘weirdos’ (as kids call them) will locate a child, especially a vulnerable child and will exploit and abuse them. And we spent quite a while thinking about firstly how to ask children about that, if they are not aware of those risks, because there are ethical issues in the research we are doing. And then, how to decide what is a risk, because many children go online precisely to meet new people and make new friends. And a ‘new friend’ before you get to know them is a stranger. So, working out which are the strangers who are going to become good friends and which are the ones who are going to harm you is a really subtle judgment that we are asking a child to make. Many children do the kinds of things that allow them to make new friends, like they post their personal information, and they add contacts to their social networking or their instant messaging that they don’t otherwise know, they put out all kinds of information about themselves. But, mainly, they don’t meet strangers and they certainly don’t meet weird strangers out to sexually abuse them.

Scientists tap the genius of babies and youngsters to make computers smarter

” ‘Your computer could be able to discover causal relationships, ranging from simple cases such as recognizing that you work more slowly when you haven’t had coffee, to complex ones such as identifying which genes cause greater susceptibility to diseases,’ said Griffiths. He is applying a statistical method known as Bayesian probability theory to translate the calculations that children make during learning tasks into computational models.” (Yasmin Anwar, UC Berkeley News)

What is the likely future of Generation AO in 2020?

What is the likely future of Generation AO in 2020?“Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project, a second co-author of the report says the experts called for a transformation of education. ‘There is a palpable concern among these experts that new social and economic divisions will emerge as those who are motivated and well-schooled reap rewards that are not matched by those who fail to master new media and tech literacies,’ he noted. ‘They called for reinvention of public education to teach those skills and help learners avoid some of the obvious pitfalls of a hyperconnected lifestyle.’ ” (Elon University and Pew)