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Danish youngsters teach The Minister for Education about internet and ICT in school September 1, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Internet Safety, School, Youngsters.
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The Danish Media Council for Children and Young People has set up a youth panel called “Medierødderne” consisting of a group of children and young people between the age of 10 and 15. During the summer they have been working on compiling a list of ideas and guidelines for better ICT and internet usage in school. In June they presented their ideas for the Danish Minister of Education.

I have picked out a couple of their recommendations (translated from Danish):

1. Let students teach each other about the internet, and have children share their good and bad experiences with each other, their parents and teachers.

2. All teachers must attend a course in internet and computer skills, and they should include the internet in their teaching more often.

5. If a school creates filters on their computers, the students should be informed why.

9. Schools should set up a rule that prevents teachers from ‘friending’ students on Facebook – and vice versa.

See the complete list of recommendations here.

The panel is one out of many European youth panels within the Insafe network.

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Are the moral panics over? January 21, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Moral panic, Parents, Social Networking, Youngsters.
3 comments

In Denmark, Facebook has become so mainstream that you can expect all kinds of people at all ages to have a profile on the site. Apparently, Denmark is the second largest Facebook country measured in profiles per citizens (even though the large number of profiles probably does not equal the actual amount of users).

Today I received a message on Facebook from an 80 year old man who told me that he uses Facebook to keep in touch with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And he is not alone. Many grown up’s are now communicating with their children on Facebook (which I have recently been giving some interviews on). Also those children and young people who normally use Arto, Skum, NationX or other Danish social network sites that are targeted particularity at young people. At the moment I am receiving many friendship requests on FB from my 12-16 year old informants. At least it is safe to say that several generations are now represented on the same site.

And this has made me think: Are the moral panics over? Have social network sites become so naturalised in society that the previous moral panics concerning e.g. Arto in Denmark or MySpace in the US have faded out?  It has been a while since journalists have focused on the fears and dangers of young peoples’ use of social network sites, and when I am being interviewed they certainly ask different questions than they did a couple of years ago. Also, parents ask me radically different questions when I am giving talks at schools. And politicians are eagerly embracing social network sites and social media in general.

Perhaps we are over the worst moral panics when it comes to youth and online social networking? At least I find it interesting if I through my research into this area during the past four of five years have witness this transition.

New debate book: The Open Diary November 12, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Internet Safety, Privacy, Youngsters.
2 comments

bookAbout a year ago I gave an interview about Danish youngsters’ activities on Arto for a debate book dealing with online social networking and young people’s online behaviour. The book is out now with the title “The Open Diary” (in Danish “Den Åbne Dagbog”). It is written by two journalists (Lonni Park Lynge and Rene Pedersen) and is meant as a debate book to be used in school and at home. It encompasses a number of case stories with young people and interviews with experts.

The book addresses different issues of privacy online and the goal is to facilitate a debate about what is cool and what is not cool to put online.

Read more about the book here (in Danish).

<3 – from online to offline September 19, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Chat, Language, Youngsters, Youth Culture.
6 comments

Today : – ) (the smiley) can celebrate its 25th birthday. On account of that I want to share a little story about a related symbol, the heart: <3.

❤ is a symbol that especially youth use when they are communicating online. I have seen many examples on Arto where youngsters use the symbol when they are writing praising messages about each other, e.g. like this message from one 16-year old girl to another:

heart21.jpg

(more…)

Youth, Web 2.0 and the library September 10, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Libraries, Talks, Web 2.0, Youngsters, Youth Culture.
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hoved.jpgThis Friday I am attending and speaking at an interesting conference called “Ung 2.0” (“Youth 2.0”) about youth, culture and the library. The conference aims at defining what preoccupies young people today and how the libraries can accommodate the youngsters in the future. I am giving a presentation on youth and virtual communities (social networking sites) based on my research. Read more about the conference here (only in Danish).

Also, I have been writing an article about “the digital library users of the future” for the Danish journal DF Revy. (I will remember to post a link when it comes out.)

Furthermore, I have been giving interviews on how libraries can seek inspiration in social networking sites. And I am speaking at another conference dealing with the very same subject at The Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen later this month.

It is nice to see that libraries are really embracing the world of Web 2.0, social software and new media and trying to design for a new generation of library users.

Focusing on youth and social networking July 10, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Social Networking, Youngsters, Youth Culture.
3 comments

I want to thank all of you who e-mailed me about my article ‘35 Perspectives on Online Social Networking‘ and also those who commented on the article at Social Computing Magazine or Slashdot. I found many of the comments to be really interesting and adding further perspectives to the discussion.

I can see from the comments that many people find that I focus too much on youth in the article. In this regard I would like to stress that my research is on young people’s use of social networking sites and therefore the article is only concerned with that. Actually, the list presented should be viewed as a list of ’35 Perspectives on Youngsters and Online Social Networking’ reflecting the many different ‘voices’ we are currently experiencing in Denmark when it comes to online social networking and youth.

As mentioned earlier the list is mostly based on my own experiences with the subject in Denmark where the concept of ‘social networking’ is just now starting to spread to the whole population. I find that up until now we have been going through a ‘moral panic phase’ where (the majority of) the older generation – the digital immigrants to use Prensky’s terms – have been worried about the use of SNS by the younger generation, the digital natives. But I think that social networking sites are starting to get a grip on the general public and when that happens it will be interesting to explore what (new) perspectives will emerge…

35 Perspectives on Online Social Networking – new article in Social Computing Magazine July 5, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Online, Social Networking, Social networking sites, Youngsters.
14 comments

Yesterday I was contacted by Social Computing Magazine who wanted to turn my two blog posts on perspectives on social networking into an article in their online magazine. Of course I am happy to have my posts turned into something coherent. I have not really changed much in the article according to the original posts. But now they have transformed into a single list with 35 perspectives on online social networking.

You can read the article here.

In the news – on young people and surveillance June 7, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Google, Media coverage, Surveillance, Web 2.0, Youngsters.
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Today my colleague Anders Albrechtslund and I hit the frontpage. The Danish newspaper Nyhedsavisen interviewed us about Google Maps Street View and how youngsters would relate to the surveillance. Read the article here.

Also, see my other press appearances here.