Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children? | Rowan Davies | Opinion | The Guardian

Research has found a link between ‘technoference’ and poor child behaviour. The need for light relief is very human, but perhaps we can find a happier balance

Fuente: Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children? | Rowan Davies | Opinion | The Guardian


Twitteracción: Tenemos 5 días hábiles para solicitar el veto del Presidente, ayudanos! – Blog Parlamento Abierto

El proyecto de ley “De protección de los niños, niñas y adolescentes contra contenidos nocivos en internet” busca instalar filtros que bloqueen “contenidos nocivos” para la niñez en las redes de acceso público a internet, lo que podría resultar en el alza de la censura previa y la imposibilidad de que adultos accedan a material al que sí están facultados a ver.

Fuente: Twitteracción: Tenemos 5 días hábiles para solicitar el veto del Presidente, ayudanos! – Blog Parlamento Abierto


PDI lanza campaña de prevención contra el grooming – El Mostrador

PDI lanza campaña de prevención contra el grooming – El Mostrador.

El grooming es una práctica de la que son víctimas miles de niños y jóvenes alrededor del mundo, donde un adulto se hace pasar por alguien más joven con el fin de ganar su amistad y posteriormente cometer abusos en su contra. En la campaña lanzada por la PDI y en la que el actor Augusto Schuster es rostro, se busca crear conciencia sobre los riesgos que corren los menores en internet.


Gaming: don’t think it’s all bad for kids. It can be a step to a creative future | Technology | The Guardian

Gaming: don’t think it’s all bad for kids. It can be a step to a creative future | Technology | The Guardian.

The journey from playing to designing and making games can be a short one, and brings rich educational rewards for children

Project Spark
An image from Project Spark, a program that can be used to design and make games.

Despite their ubiquity, despite the vast sales and the increasing calls for the medium to be recognised as an artform, video games – that most obviously visual of media – still have an image problem. And it is more than superficial, it goes to the heart of the home, where concerned parents worry about the deleterious effect on their sons and daughters. However, while the evils of gaming rhetoric may make the most noise, parents who have fears may be intrigued to know that it is not the only story in town.

Children themselves are now refuting the stereotype that gaming is a mindless, pointless hobby, as the flexibility of the medium allows them to grow from player to creator. And the game-makers agree: “Games as a medium always involve creativity on the player’s part,” says Benjamin Donoghue, creative director at Blackstaff Games. “Creativity is about exploring what you can do within a defined set of rules.” Blackstaff is currently working on DogBiscuit: The Quest for Crayons, a drawing game for mobile devices in which the player designs parts of the game world.


My husband looks at pornography while he’s taking care of our baby girl | Life and style | The Guardian

My husband looks at pornography while he’s taking care of our baby girl | Life and style | The Guardian.

 

Annalisa Barbieri Problem Solved photo‘He will look at porn on his phone when I am in another room.’ Photograph posed by model: Getty Images

I have been with my husband for five years and we have just had a baby. He has always used pornography and he has quite specialist sexual tastes. At the start of our relationship, he was very honest and we tried to incorporate this into our sex life quite successfully.

However, over recent years, his use of pornography and masturbation has come at the expense of our sex life. He rarely instigates lovemaking yet masturbates and uses porn daily. He will look at it on his phone when I am in another room. He also confessed recently that he had been masturbating to porn at work.

Things came to a head with our new baby; he would hold her and still have his phone with him. I asked him not to look at porn when he was with the baby. He said of course not, but over the following weeks would still constantly have his phone with him when looking after her. Last week, he admitted he was looking at porn while he was looking after our daughter.

I was horrified and there were rows and tears. He was very sorry and ashamed and I have pushed him to go to counselling. I cannot move forward until I understand how he could do this.

I am angry and ashamed of his behaviour. We did have a very good relationship outside of his porn problems; it was loving, respectful and supportive but now I fear I can never see him in a sexual way again as I am haunted by the image of him making himself sexually aroused with our sleeping daughter feet away from him.


Un portátil para cada alumno | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS

Un portátil para cada alumno | Planeta Futuro | EL PAÍS.

El gobierno argentino completa el reparto de 4,7 millones de ordenadores en escuelas públicas, pero arrecian las críticas por las roturas y porque la mayoría no se usa en clase

Hace cinco años, solo el 47% de los hogares argentinos tenía ordenador. / Ministerio de Educación de Argentina

Todos los estudiantes de secundaria de escuelas públicas de Argentina ya tienen un ordenador portátil pequeño, o netbook, en sus manos. La presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner anunció en diciembre que el plan Conectar Igualdad había completado la entrega de 4,7 millones de equipos, incluidos también los que han ido a manos de los docentes y los alumnos de profesorados. Hasta los críticos del plan, que comenzó en 2010, reconocen que ha sido un éxito como medio para reducir la brecha digital. Hace cinco años, solo el 47% de los hogares argentinos tenía ordenador. Con Conectar Igualdad, un 33% de las familias con hijos en la secundaria estatal, que antes en su inmensa mayoría carecía de equipo, ha recibido un portátil.

Algunas críticas residen en que parte de los ordenadores ya se ha roto y la reparación, a cargo del propio Estado, se demora. Un exconsejero asesor de Conectar Igualdad, Alejandro Artopoulos, que dejó hace un año su cargo, advierte de que un tercio de las computadoras entregadas no funciona y, por tanto, no se ha cerrado la brecha digital, como ha anunciado la presidenta argentina. Artopoulos denuncia que se amontonan en los despachos de los directores de las escuelas, a la espera de que el servicio estatal las recoja para reparar, o se aparcan en manos de los técnicos. Las autoridades del programa responden que solo un 3,5% de los portátiles se encuentra fuera de servicio, aunque admiten la necesidad de mejorar el sistema de reparación.

“Pero la mayor crítica es la ineficacia en incorporar tecnología en la escuela”, embiste otra vez Artopoulos, que es profesor de la Universidad de San Andrés, en la periferia de Buenos Aires, la misma donde daba clases la directora ejecutiva de Conectar Igualdad, Silvina Gvirtz. Artopoulos menciona que encuestas a las que él accedió como exfuncionario revelan que solo el 10% de los ordenadores se usa en clases. En cambio, Laura Penacca, que coordina el plan en el Ministerio de Educación, responde que sus sondeos demuestran que se utiliza más del 30%. Es decir, aún menos de la mitad.


Un video muestra la verdadera Apple: explotación infantil y trabajadores exhaustos

Un video muestra la verdadera Apple: explotación infantil y trabajadores exhaustos.

Escrito por RT.com
Sábado, 20 de Diciembre de 2014 14:04

La BBC ha llevado a cabo una investigación en una fábrica de productos Apple en China y en Indonesia, que reveló las condiciones extremadamente malas del trabajo, como también el empleo de niños que ponen en riesgo sus vidas. Según la investigación, en Indonesia los niños sacan estaño de pozos de barro, donde los deslazamientos de tierra pueden cobrar sus vidas.

El documental de la BBC mostró cadáveres de mineros que trabajaban para Apple en Indonesia. Mientras extraían estaño de profundos pozos, muchos perecieron por deslazamientos de tierra. Según el informe, muchos niños trabajan allí con sus padres.

Apple tiene islas artificiales ilegales en Indonesia, cuenta el documental. Dragas de la compañía rastrillan la arena y el coral del fondo del mar para conseguir estaño. El coral no vuelve a crecer, dijo un científico marino en el programa documental.

El equipo también filmó en secreto a empleados de la fábrica en China y descubrió que Apple de forma rutinaria violaba los derechos de los trabajadores. El reportero vio cómo los obreros tenían que trabajar 18 horas al día sin descanso, muchos de ellos fueron grabados dormidos en sus puestos.


Cops Are Handing Out Spyware to Parents—With Zero Oversight | WIRED

Cops Are Handing Out Spyware to Parents—With Zero Oversight | WIRED.

Mere days after a government crackdown on a spyware manufacturer comes the startling revelation that law enforcement agencies have been purchasing commercial spyware themselves and handing it out to the public for free.

Police departments around the country have been distributing thousands of free copies of spyware to parents to monitor their children’s activity, a fact that’s come to light in the wake of a federal indictment this week against the maker of one commercial spyware tool on wiretapping charges.

The tool being distributed by agencies, known as ComputerCOP, has been purchased in bulk by more than two hundred police departments in thirty-five states as well as by sheriff’s offices and district attorneys. It’s designed to search computers for files and videos based on a keyword dictionary that comes with the software and also can log every keystroke on a computer, sending some of that data—in an unsecured manner—to a server belonging to the company that makes the software.

But according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which examined the spyware and uncovered the arrangement with law enforcement agencies, the spyware works badly and there is nothing to prevent parents who receive it from using it against other adults.

Computer Cop Promotional Poster

Computer Cop Promotional Poster EFF

“It’s certainly ironic that law enforcement agencies are going after spyware makers while also distributing software that could be used for the same purposes,” says Dave Maas, an investigator with the EFF. “Obviously there’s a difference in how these were marketed by the maker. But certainly law enforcement needs to train their magnifying glasses on their own operations.”


¿Deberíamos aprender a programar en las escuelas? | El Blog de Educación y TIC

¿Deberíamos aprender a programar en las escuelas? | El Blog de Educación y TIC.

Eduard Muntaner

Ingeniero informático experto en cooperación al desarrollo, autor del blog Com gotes a l’oceà. Actualmente combina su trabajo en UdiGital.edu en el Parque Científico y Tecnológico de la UdG, con el trabajo de cooperante voluntario en escuelas del sur de la India. Recientemente ha fundado el proyecto global Inventors4Change.

En la actualidad vivimos un boom de iniciativas que intentan acercar la programación a los niños. Algunos ejemplos podrían ser campañas como las de code.org (respaldadas por nombres como Bill Gates o Mark Zuckerberg), grandes proyectos como Codecademy, o la reciente incorporación de la asignatura obligatoria de programación web en la Comunidad de Madrid. La aparición de entornos de programación tan intuitivos como Scratch, App Inventor, plataformas abiertas como Arduino, y kits de robótica tan fáciles de usar como los LEGO Mindstorms, han creado un entorno favorable y han vuelto a poner sobre la mesa un tema que en realidad lleva estudiándose desde finales de la década de los 70: ¿Puede la programación ayudarnos a aprender de nuevas maneras y a tomar control consciente de nuestro propio aprendizaje?

Programar en clase | Tiching


Forcing a generation to code is unprecedented, says Codecademy chief | Technology | theguardian.com

Forcing a generation to code is unprecedented, says Codecademy chief | Technology | theguardian.com.

The training company claims the school coding curriculum will improve England’s digital literacy – but it all depends on the skill of teachers

Codecademy’s Zach Sims: ‘We’ve struck oil and we want to make sure we get all of it’
Codecademy’s Zach Sims: ‘We’ve struck oil, and we want to make sure we get all of it’

When US-based website Codecademy was founded in 2011, its emphasis was on adults taking online courses to learn programming skills.

Three years and 25m users later, the company has found that it is not just useful for adults. In fact, one of its big pushes in 2014 is around children and coding.

That is partly because it realised lots of children were taking its existing courses but also through partnerships with schools. Particularly in England, where from this month, coding is part of the new computing curriculum for children as young as five.

“What’s going on here is unprecedented. It hasn’t happened in any other G8 or major economy: forcing an entire country to learn programming,” says Zach Sims, Codecademy’s chief executive.

“The results will be pretty extraordinary. You’ll solve a couple of problems pretty much immediately: the IT skills gap and, hopefully, the gender gap in technology. And hopefully, you’ll raise a more digitally literate generation.”

Obvious caveats: Codecademy wants to work with more schools, so it is hardly surprising that it would talk up the curriculum changes. Meanwhile, if these changes are going to solve skill and gender gaps for the UK workforce, that is a long-term rather than immediate effect.

Still, Sims’ enthusiasm provokes some important talking points. “There’s been this persistent voicing of ‘no one really needs to learn to program’, and we always said that someday it would be in schools, but we never assumed it would be required,” says Sims.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for students to learn a skill that isn’t being taught effectively anywhere else in the world at this scale. And for us, it’s very interesting in so much as it’s the first time a state has mandated blended learning.”

Blended learning is education involving students studying courses online at their own pace, alongside traditional classroom teaching.

“It’s impossible to scale teachers at the rate at which this policy requires them to scale. So it’s the first real at-scale test of [whether] you effectively have teachers acting as facilitators with an online tool,” says Sims.


Coding at school: a parent's guide to England's new computing curriculum | Technology | theguardian.com

Coding at school: a parent’s guide to England’s new computing curriculum | Technology | theguardian.com.

From the start of the new term, children as young as five will be learning programming skills in the classroom

Coding is on the curriculum for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK.
Coding is on the curriculum for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK.Photograph: Alamy

Getting more kids to code has been a cause célèbre for the technology industry for some time. Teaching programming skills to children is seen as a long-term solution to the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them.

From this month, the UK is the guinea pig for the most ambitious attempt yet to get kids coding, with changes to the national curriculum. ICT – Information and Communications Technology – is out, replaced by a new “computing” curriculum including coding lessons for children as young as five.

This has been coming for a while: the new curriculum was published in September 2013 to fanfare within the technology industry. But it seems many parents will be surprised when their children come home from school talking about algorithms, debugging and Boolean logic.

A survey of 1,020 parents of 5-18 year-olds in England commissioned by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, found that 60% were unaware or unsure about the changes to the curriculum. Similar surveys by tech firms O2 and Ocado Technology yielded similar results: 64% and 65% of parents (respectively) who were unaware of the changes.

If you’re one of those parents, here’s a guide to what your children will be studying under the new computing curriculum; why there is more of an emphasis on programming skills; how teachers have been preparing for the changes; and how you can support your children and their schools over the coming months.

Why is this happening?

The shakeup of computer studies in schools has been trailed for a while, after criticism from ministers and technology companies of the existing ICT curriculum. The education secretary (at the time), Michael Gove, outlined the political rationale for the changes in a speech this January:

“ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching pupils, over and over again, how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs already creaking into obsolescence; about as much use as teaching children to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin.

Our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology and digital literacy: teaching them how to code,and how to create their own programs; not just how to work a computer, but how a computer works and how to make it work for you.”

This plays directly in to the complaints of technology companies that the UK has not been producing enough graduates qualified to fill vacancies. Microsoft and Google, along with BCS and its Computing at School working group, and the Royal Academy of Engineering were all involved in the new curriculum.


Uruguay consolida la escuela digital | Sociedad | EL PAÍS

Uruguay consolida la escuela digital | Sociedad | EL PAÍS.

Llevar la tecnología a los más pobres y dar ordenadores a los alumnos no han mejorado por ahora los resultados académicos

Estudiantes de una escuela pública en Montevideo reciben un nuevo portátil. / andres stapff  (reuters)

Los niños del Colegio 180 de Montevideo llegan corriendo a clase, vestidos con la bata blanca y la corbata azul reglamentaria, cargados con sus mochilas de colores y un ordenador de plástico blanco y verde con asa, un portátil que recibe gratis cada alumno de los centros de enseñanza públicos de Uruguay desde 2007. Se llama XO y está dotado de un sistema operativo adaptado a los niños con propuestas didácticas como concursos de matemáticas, una biblioteca, cámara de fotos y juegos.

El Estado uruguayo lleva invertidos 400.000 dólares en el denominado Plan Ceibal, con el que se han entregado 1.200.000 ordenadores y se ha sufragado la instalación de conexión a Internet y fibra óptica en todos los centros escolares del país y en muchas plazas públicas. De hecho, Uruguay es el país con mayor conectividad de América Latina, según el índice de la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones, dependiente de la ONU. Sin embargo, en estos nueve años de aplicación los resultados académicos de los colegios e institutos de secundaria uruguayos se han estancado o han retrocedido. Los portátiles han llegado a los pobres, pero no han mejorado la calidad de la educación. Una triste realidad que admiten también las autoridades.

El Colegio 180, con sus locales vetustos y sus pasillos gélidos, sin calefacción en pleno invierno, ofrece un insólito contraste entre precariedad y futurismo de pantalla. Aquí estudió primaria el cantante Jorge Drexler, en un barrio de clase media. Pero hace ya años que los hogares privilegiados de Montevideo han desertado de los colegios públicos, y la escuela igualitaria que vio Drexler no ha resistido a los sucesivos recortes presupuestarios, los salarios de miseria de los profesores y el anquilosamiento de la educación que fue el orgullo del país hasta los setenta.

La directora del centro, María del Carmen Vonella, asegura que la distribución de ordenadores “es un avance que globaliza la cultura, que también está en las manos de nuestros niños de todas las clases sociales”. En Uruguay no existe la brecha digital en la escuela. Tanto en las ciudades como en las zonas rurales más remotas, todos los niños y adolescentes pueden acceder a la informática y, de haber una discriminación, sería, paradójicamente, la de los alumnos del sector privado, que no tienen acceso a los ordenadores gratuitos. Pero esta generalización de la tecnología conlleva sus dificultades, como explica Vonella: “Todo depende del gusto del profesor por la informática y de cómo logra dosificarla e integrarla a la educación tradicional”, asegura. La mayoría de los docentes tiene problemas para sacarle partido a los ordenadores y muchas veces rechazan usarlos en clase.


Violence, video games and fun – a beginners' guide for parents | Technology | theguardian.com

Violence, video games and fun – a beginners’ guide for parents | Technology | theguardian.com.

The Guardian Games’ session at Camp Bestival this weekend explained some of the benefits and ground rules of video games for mystified parents

Camp Bestival performers
Not Keith Stuart and Jemima Kiss talking to Camp Bestival parents about video games Photograph: Caitlin Mogridge/Redferns via Getty Images

A festival is not a natural place to think about video games. At Camp Bestival this weekend, the sun was out, the crowds were swarming between stages; there were circus acts, acoustic sets, storytelling sessions for children. Everybody was enjoying being outside, surrounded by friends, music and the Dorset countryside – there were very few screens, apart from at the Skylanders Trap Team promotional area which drew excited kids and wary parents, mumbling to each other that they’d wanted to escape that kind of thing …

But for an hour on Sunday, in front of a surprisingly large audience at the Guardian’s tent, I talked about video games on stage with Jemima Kiss. What we wanted to do was place games in a cultural context to show how they’ve evolved, what they have to offer and why the newspaper covers them. We wanted to show that games have a place at this table.

The history of games

Sometimes people are surprised by just how long these things have been around – since 1958, in fact – so we started there. The sports sim Tennis for Two was programmed on an ancient analog computer by William Higinbotham at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. It ran on an oscilloscope screen.

From here, our talk took in landmark titles in the history of games as an industry; from Pong through to Candy Crush Saga. There was Space Invaders, which popularised the shoot-em-up genre and introduced reactive sound, the looping four-note background music speeding up as the alien invaders neared your ship. We considered Pac-Man, one of the first marketable game protagonists, which introduced the idea of merchandising to the sector.

We talked about Tetris and its perfection of “tidying up” as a game mechanic, and Street Fighter 2, and the way an error in the game’s character animation had the unexpected benefit of revolutionising the fighting game genre. Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, also figured, the former for kickstarting the open-world action adventure, the latter for, well, becoming the biggest entertainment franchise in the world.

Games and violence

Aware that there were lots of parents in the audience, we wanted to talk about violence. A myth I still encounter from non-players is that most games are about shooting and graphically depicted death. Actually, although shooting obviously remains a vital game mechanic, 75% of games released during 2013 were suitable for children under 16, and less than 10% were rated 18. However, we were keen to emphasise that 18 means 18; it’s not a casual suggestion, titles with this rating are absolutely unsuitable for children. Games aren’t a bogeyman but parents have a role in ensuring that children are protected from graphic violence. That’s a message people don’t often want to hear.

As for the long-term link between game and real-world violence – after 30 years of interrogation, none has been scientifically established. Research into the matter is often limited (and, arguably, flawed) in its methodology and focus; short term spikes in aggression can be given undue prominence, while meaningful studies are often misrepresented by tabloid newspapers looking for something easy to blame the latest gun tragedy on. It is impossible to apportion specific blame when violence happens – myriad socio-cultural influences are involved.


La nueva tendencia de agredirse anónimamente en internet – El Mostrador

La nueva tendencia de agredirse anónimamente en internet – El Mostrador.

Con frecuencia se cree que los insultos proferidos en redes sociales contra una persona son publicados por extraños. Pero se ha descubierto una práctica reciente en que la víctima también es la perpetradora. ¿De qué se trata?

bbc-nota-internet-agresiones

Una nueva tendencia en las redes tiene preocupados a padres y expertos: muchos jóvenes están publicando insultos contra sí mismos en internet aprovechando el anonimato del ciberespacio. Pero, ¿por qué lo hacen?

Informes recientes revelan que el trolling, una práctica que consiste en agredir con comentarios ofensivos a una persona en internet, es un fenómeno en aumento. Cuando las personas sufren abusos y amenazas en las redes sociales, se asume que provienen de un extraño, pero no siempre es el caso.

Según expertos en cultura informática y organizaciones no gubernamentales que se dedican al tema, el acoso cibernético infligido por la misma persona es parte de un problema que está empezando a surgir y que algunos llaman “hacerse daño digitalmente” (una traducción del inglés cyber self-harm o también self-trolling).

Las estadísticas de prevalencia son difíciles de obtener: hasta el momento sólo existe un estudio relevante al respecto. El Centro de Disminución de la Agresión de Massachusetts (MARC, por sus siglas en inglés) descubrió que de los 617 estudiantes que entrevistó, 9% había hecho alguna forma de self-trolling.