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Stephen Balkam

Hey, It's Safer Internet Day -- Take The Pledge!

Stephen Balkam | Posted 04.06.2013 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

To mark Safer Internet Day, we are launching a pledge and a call to action. I realize there are many pledges out there, mostly sounding like the 11th Commandment: "I will not..." or "I shall not..." Instead, our Pledge for Good is positive, affirming and aspirational. And simple: "I will use my power for good."

Mind the Online Generation Gap

Stephen Balkam | Posted 01.14.2013 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

The kids are fearless and parents are clueless, right? Actually, research that we've launched today suggests that the picture is both more complex than that while also offering some reassurance that while gaps still exist: parents are catching up.

Dad Shoots Daughter's Laptop, Misses an Opportunity

Stephen Balkam | Posted 04.15.2012 | Parents
Stephen Balkam

Mr. Jordan acted on his impulse and turned a teaching moment -- one that should have been behind closed doors and face-to-face with his daughter -- into a premeditated exhibition of force, petulance and destruction of property.

The Good, the Bad and the (Not So) Ugly of Teen Social Networking

Stephen Balkam | Posted 01.09.2012 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

We are in the middle of a remarkable social experiment as a generation of kids grows up with all-pervasive Internet access together with the most powerful social networking tools ever developed.

The Price of Advice

Stephen Balkam | Posted 12.12.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

In a recent New York Times Magazine article, my organization, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), was accurately referenced as a member of the ...

Back to iSchool

Stephen Balkam | Posted 11.08.2011 | Education
Stephen Balkam

The debate over how best to integrate technology in schools, never mind the technology that kids bring to schools, will only intensify. Just take one example: social networking.

Trust, but Verify

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.28.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

The new movie Trust is not easy to watch, particularly if, like me, you have a hyper-texting teenage daughter.

Why the iPad is the Future of Education (and Porn)

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

One iPad per child could very well usher in the kind of transformative change that many have called for in our mostly 19th century-bound schools. It could also transform another industry -- pornography.

Broadband for All or What Elmo Said to the FCC Chairman

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

The Chairman had a little help from beloved Sesame Street character, Elmo. Here's a flavor of their conversation: Elmo has been complaining that his Internet is "too slow" and he doesn't like "buffering."

Sex.com To Be Auctioned: Hey, Bill Gates, How About Bidding on it?

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Stephen Balkam

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation should convert sex.com into the world's leading safe sex portal for videos, tips and guides on how to have a wonderful, responsible sex life.

Broadband Too Hot to Handle?

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

One third of Americans are not connected to broadband. What makes these non-adopters such a difficult population is that there is usually more than one reason for them to not have it.

Miracles and Wonders of the Mobile World Congress

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

Watching the demo, the crowd I witnessed were split between amazement and incredulity.

21st Century Citizenship

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

The concept and practice of 21st century statecraft will have profound implications for how we think of ourselves as citizens -- of both our own country and of the digital world we increasingly inhabit.

Are We (Virtually) There Yet?

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

Recent research found that kids consume 7.5 hours of media per day. Add in multi-tasking (texting while watching TV while listening to music, for instance) and the figure reaches an amazing 11 hours.

Building a Culture of Responsibility

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Balkam

We need to build a Culture of Responsibility online where government, law enforcement, industry, teachers, parents and the kids themselves accept differing yet overlapping areas of responsibility.

Cybercitizens of the World Unite

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Stephen Balkam

Western civilization has a collective memory of what it means to be a citizen, stretching back to ancient Greece. But we are still learning what it means to be a citizen of the digital world.

A Tweet of Consciousness

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Stephen Balkam

Where is Henry James when we need him? Or Carl Jung? Or Teilhard de Chardin? I wonder what all three of them would have made of Twitter. My guess is that James would have approved.

Schools Out for Summer: Kids Go Online

Stephen Balkam | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Stephen Balkam

Now would be a good time to have a talk with your children, tweens and teens about what they are doing online, where they are going and what they are uploading.

Qikker than Twitter

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Stephen Balkam

We're going to have to get used to a Truman Show-type existence where we will both star and direct our own as-it-happens video show.

Sexting and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Style
Stephen Balkam

Sexting -- teens sending sexually explicit photos of themselves via cell phones -- has become the latest in a line of highly charged issues involving kids and the internet.

Setting the Obamas' Parental Controls

Stephen Balkam | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Stephen Balkam

It would send a strong signal if the president established the post of Chief Online Safety Officer, directly responsible to the CTO, to help unify his administration's efforts.

What's Next In Online Safety

Stephen Balkam | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Stephen Balkam

Kids are now producing the kind of content we once shielded them from. There are cases pending in court where the kids are being charged with production of child pornography.

Rediscovering Online Safety

Stephen Balkam | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Stephen Balkam

The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act is a sign that Congress is beginning to get it right when it comes to protecting kids online while not stepping over legitimate free expression rights.

Learning About The Family Online Safety Institute

Huffington Post | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business

The brainchild of Stephen Balkam, the Family Online Safety Institute was created with the goal of finding "innovative solutions for family online safe...