Ancient brains in a high-tech world - the impact of information overload.

By Michelle Polglase on 11/19/18 3:02 PM

There is a tsunami of information about the impact of technology on Generation Z (the iGen), now labelled 'neo-digital natives' and primarily using video to communicate.

Humans have always lived in a complex world, but the Information Age has taken distraction to a whole new level. Smartphones are ubiquitous, leading many of us to 'media multitask' by using multiple devices at the same time. 

'The Distracted Mind' is worth a read, as it examines the way our brains have evolved and the consequences of high-tech lifestyles. It explains why our brains aren't built for multitasking, and suggests better ways to live in a high-tech world WITHOUT giving up our modern technology.

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Social media as social currency

By Michelle Polglase on 9/24/18 4:52 PM

There's no getting away from it, social media is social currency for young people, with many of them gaining their sense of 'belonging' through a connection to online communities. While Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular social media platforms among young people, cross-platform game Fortnite offers a new type of online community that we'll be seeing a lot more of.   

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Digital distraction - spotlight on smartphone use in schools report

By Michelle Polglase on 8/28/18 11:23 AM

Technology provides incredible opportunities, but also increased risks for both students and schools. By secondary school years, virtually every student has access to a smartphone, and digital distraction is increasingly an issue schools need to manage. Cyberbullying most commonly occurs by a classmate, with social media the most popular cyberbullying platform.  

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Gaming, stalking, and sleep deprivation - what schools need to know.

By Michelle Polglase on 6/28/18 11:21 AM

There's been a high profile instance of stalking through online voice and text chat service Discord, with an NZ citizen about to face severe consequences for his actions. Troy George Skinner, 25, was shot in the neck while attempting to break into a US home. He began talking to a 14-year-old American girl using Discord earlier this year, and after the teen attempted to end their communication after three or four months, he then decided to fly to Virginia, US to meet the teen, purchasing duct tape and pepper spray when he arrived. It's every parent's worst nightmare. 

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‘Bring Your Own Digital Distraction’ - BYOD and the new curriculum

By Michelle Polglase on 1/26/18 1:49 PM

The new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko (DT & HM) curriculum in New Zealand explores how technology works, teaching how to use that knowledge to solve problems. By building digital capabilities, the goal is to create an education system that join classrooms and the world of work together in a way that is relevant for today’s young people. However, age appropriate guidelines and boundaries around internet use are essential for good digital citizenship and the overall success of the new curriculum.

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Online gaming is expensive in many ways

By Michelle Polglase on 12/12/17 10:14 AM

Gaming is big money, and wildly popular. The four games Finnish mobile game developer Supercell have on the market include ‘Clash of Clans’, with more than 100 million daily active users (DAUs). And Epic Games are on a winner; in less than a year Fortnite have more than 40 million players logging in to play each month. 

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Managing mobile devices and preventing cyber-slacking

By Michelle Polglase on 11/1/17 12:00 AM

Many of the teachers we talk with are frustrated with digital distraction in the classroom

Personal mobile devices are the norm. They are also both learning devices, and potential sources of digital distraction. While technology is an enabler of education, constant connection can sometimes come at a cost and students can easily succumb to using the internet for non-class related tasks. The term "cyber-slacking" refers to the act of avoiding immediate tasks by delving into cat videos, social media, and other online entertainment, and this new digital world is highly addictive.  

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Innovation in Education, Training and Development Award Winner

By Michelle Polglase on 10/24/17 9:29 AM


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Teens talk VPN use - what’s really happening in your school?

By Michelle Polglase on 10/18/17 3:00 PM

Schools aim to create a safe learning environment supporting the use of digital technology, and Netsafe in New Zealand has produced this guide for the safe and responsible use of digital technology in schools. However, a recent analysis Linewize conducted showed an increasing number of students using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to bypass school internet filtering. We decided to investigate further, and we asked a few teenagers about their experiences.

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How effective is school internet filtering for blocking VPN use?

By Michelle Polglase on 10/10/17 12:00 PM


We live in a knowledge economy, and our children are digital natives. Our students use digital devices to navigate an increasingly complex online world. The knowledge, skills and behaviour required in this environment is continually evolving. Cybersafety and digital citizenship are hot topics globally, and there’s an increasing trend towards a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture in both New Zealand and Australia. Educators spend a great deal of time on school internet policies to help students become knowledgeable digital consumers, while at the same time providing a safe learning environment.

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