I’m Back…

After a long (and still on going, but thankfully, via Webex Access Anywhere now) project in DC, and a few days off, I’m back.

I’ve got a touch of computer claw going on today, due to a little overindulgence in Guitar Hero III and Lego Star Wars, on the new Playstation 3 that Santa brought.

So now the tree is down (removed at 3pm Xmas day, by a wife who had her fill of Xmas spirit), and I’m back at work. I’ve got something interesting coming up, but I can’t say anything about it yet.

Since you might be one of the millions that bought new computers or internet accessible devices, a few words of advice:

  • Kids need to be watched online. Always…
  • Use parental filters, and keep them on safe sites. I particularly like:
    • Webkinz World, even though the marketing and real world product tie ins are a bit much, they do provide a safe, easy to use and fun environment for kids.
    • Nick Jr. – decent games, and other than tie in to their own television content, not to over the top (by Saturday morning TV standards).
    • MIT Scratch – actually more of a drag and drop programming language. This will start your kids on the path to geekdom.
    • Google Earth – my kids love finding places, and I love talking with them about the world.
    • Wikipedia – it’s gotten to be the de facto source, even if it may get gamed once in a while. Whenever your kid says “What’s a…” you should whisk them off to Wikipedia to find out.
  • Remember, you’re the adult. You need to know what they are doing.
  • IM and email is not appropriate for children under 15 years old. There should be no unsupervised contact between them. When my daughters need to email something, they need to get me to do it for them.
  • Kids love YouTube – but remember, there’s a lot of content that isn’t right for them. YouTube should be a fully supervised activity. Dancing cats are good. Punks in shopping carts with baseball bats, not good. You’ll figure out the difference.

Okay then, let’s be safe out there…

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