Cyber-Safety Series -- Parenting in the Digital Age

by pescatello, Flickr.comby pescatello, Flickr.com

With the rapid evolution of technology over the past few years, children are growing up in an incredibly new and unique environment. In fact, a whole new term has been coined for today’s youth – “digital natives.” For digital natives, born after the development of digital technology, the fantastic gizmos and gadgets of the modern age are seamlessly integrated into everyday life, altering learning and social interaction. Of course, for parents who are not digital natives, the virtual world where their children live may seem like a lawless frontier, inscrutable to outsiders. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help digital immigrants to be involved in their children’s online lives:

Background on digital natives: Born Digital by John Palfrey.

Understanding your digital kids:
What in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?
Totally Wired: What Our Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online
E-Parenting: Keeping Up With your Tech-Savvy Kids

Cyber-safety issues and kids:
Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens
Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence
MySpace, My Kids – a Christian writer offers guidance to parents about MySpace.

And, for kids themselves:
A Smart Girl’s Guide to the Internet

For more information, here’s a Frontline documentary/workshop on digital parenting that you can watch at home.

Winter Break Computer Classes

aadl.orgaadl.org

Why wait until the New Year to take a computer class when you can get started right now? The following classes are scheduled during the last week of December.

Digital Camera 101 - Do you find your digital camera to be a little confusing? Are there buttons you avoid because you aren't sure what they do? Do you want to feel more confident about using the camera menu? Come to the Digital Camera class and we'll help you locate the menu, understand some of the camera and photo settings, turn on and off the flash, and more camera basics. Bring your camera!
Wednesday December 29, 2010: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch

Microsoft Word Insert - Find out why using a Page Break to move the blinking cursor to the top of the next page is a good idea. Explore inserting Columns, Tables, Footnotes, Indexes, and Symbols.
Wednesday December 29, 2010: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch

Microsoft Word Drawing - You'll want to sit and play with the Microsoft Word program all day long after you take this class. Learn how to insert objects (Shapes, Squares, Circles, Charts, WordArt, Diagrams, Clip Art and more) into a Microsoft Word document and format the object color and border. Once you're comfortable inserting objects you'll learn how to wrap text around objects, layer the objects behind the text, and more.
Thursday December 30, 2010: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch

Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and registration is not required. Classrooms will open 15 minutes before the start of class.

Microsoft Office 2010

What is Microsoft Office? Microsoft Office is a group of programs designed to help you accomplish typical office tasks.

These are just a few of the Office programs:
Microsoft Word - Create documents such as letters and resumes.
Microsoft Excel - Create spreadsheets.
Microsoft PowerPoint - Create slide show presentations.
Microsoft Publisher - Create publications such as newsletters and greeting cards.
Microsoft Access - Create a database.

Want to learn how to use Microsoft Office 2010? Check out one of these books at the library:
Microsoft Office 2010 For Windows
Easy Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010: The Missing Manual

Click here for a complete list of Microsoft Office 2010 books available at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Click here to go to the Microsoft Office website for an online tutorial.

Cyber-Safety Series -- Cyber-Bullying

by Steven Fernandez, Flickr.comby Steven Fernandez, Flickr.com

Cyber-bullying – bullying conducted over the Internet, using e-mail, social networks, texting and/or attack websites – is an increasingly common problem, and could affect as much as 33% of young people. Lately, high-profile cases of cyber-bullying have been covered by the media, inspiring legislation and crackdowns. President Obama himself has made a strong statement condemning all forms of bullying. Luckily, there are many resources, both in the library and on the Internet, to help parents prevent and respond to this problem.

StaySafeOnline.org offers an excellent list of tips for cyber-bullying prevention and response, as does the National Crime Prevention Council. Check out the Cyberbullying Research Center for research and news about cyberbullying, as well as printable resources for school or home. Stop Bullying Now, a website of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is designed specially for kids, and includes animated videos.

For more information on cyber-bullying and bullying in general, take a look at these books and resources:
7 Ways to Block a Cyberbully and Cyber Safe: Identifying and Combating Cyber Bullies (DVD's).
Girl Wars
The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander
And, for kids:
Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends
Hot Issues, Cool Choices
Jay McGraw's Life Strategies for Dealing With Bullies

Whether you look at any of the resources above or not, here are some tips to remember:
1. Being involved in your child's online life and knowing what they do online can help prevent cyber-bullying from getting out of hand.
2. Know the resources available to you -- your school may already have an anti-bullying policy. Your e-mail, social network and cell phone providers probably have policies to respond to online harassment.
3. Remember, bullying is not normal, and no one should have to put up with it!

Hands On With Photoshop Elements!

aadl.orgaadl.org
Monday November 22, 2010: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Training Center

Join us in class Monday night for an introduction to Photoshop Elements. We teach the class on Mac computers and include tips for PC users. We'll show you simple photo edits like rotate and crop and then move on to tools such as the magnetic lasso and the magic wand. You'll learn how to remove blemishes, apply filters and much more!

We hope to see you in class! Just bring yourself. We'll supply the photos.

Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Classrooms will open 15 minutes before the class start times. Registration is not required. The complete list of computer classes is available here.

Mail Merge Will Help You Create Holiday Letters

Don't think you have the time to create personalized holiday letters? Come to the Microsoft Word Mail Merge class to learn the fast and efficient method to create, print, and send personalized letters to a list of contacts.

Microsoft Word Mail Merge, Tuesday, November 9th, 7 - 9 pm, West Branch.

Classes are filled on a first-come, first served basis and registration is not required. Click here to see a complete list of the upcoming classes. See you in class!

Mail Merge HolidayMail Merge Holiday

Assistive Technology Available on Public Computer Stations

Giant Trackball MouseGiant Trackball Mouse

A giant trackball mouse that requires less wrist and arm movement is available for use at all library locations. Other assistive technologies available on public computer stations are: JAWS - a text to speech software, a computer magnifier, and a text enlarger. Just ask at the reference desk and we'll be glad to help you get started. Click here to read more about assistive technology available at the Ann Arbor District Library and the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.

Fabulous Family-Friendly (Free) Flash Games

OrisinalOrisinalLooking for ad-free online games for your kids? Try Ferry Halim's website Orisinal for over 50 kid-friendly games that are beautifully simple yet challenging enough to keep players hooked.

Cyber-Safety Series -- Social Network Safety

Brian Solis Online by b_d_solisBrian Solis Online by b_d_solis

An ever-increasing number of people use social networks – Facebook for example boasts an impressive 60 million active users and 250,000 new registrations per day. As people integrate the internet and their social lives however, many are finding their personal lives become a little too public. Here are some tips and resources to help you keep your private life private on your favorite social networks.

1. Use a good password – A weak password (like ‘password’ for instance) is an invitation for someone to hack into your profile.

2. Don’t friend people you don’t actually know.

3. Check your privacy settings – Make sure you know exactly who can see what on your profile. You may be exposing more than you want to.
Facebook privacy tutorial.
MySpace safety page.

4. Don’t overexpose, literally or figuratively – Don’t display your full birthday, address, phone number or e-mail on your profile. Don’t say that you will be away from home, especially if you are on an extended vacation. Don’t post photos of yourself that you wouldn’t want to be seen by complete strangers. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t say in front of a potential employer, because they may be watching.

5. Talk to your children about social network safety!

6. Read all about it.
Guides to the social web:
The Rough Guide to MySpace and Online Communities
MySpace for Dummies
Social Networking Spaces

Background on the issues:
Online Social Networking.
The Future of Reputation

For kids:
The Smart Kid’s Guide to Social Networking Online.

Follow a library on Twitter

To tweet or not to tweet, it’s a personal choice. Perhaps you’re one of the millions who are following Lady Gaga or Ashton Kutcher. Or perhaps you're more into following local goodness like the Ann Arbor News or the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.

October 1st is Follow a Library Day on Twitter. A day to celebrate libraries and let the Twitterverse know which libraries you love. Do you follow a library on twitter? Your own AADL has a twitter account, if you’re interested in keeping up with us. Or perhaps you’d like to show your love for the Canton Public Library, the Detroit Public Library, the Dexter District Library, or even the New York Public Library. Find your library online and follow it. Nearby libraries often promote their free public events on Twitter, so it’s a quick and easy way to see what’s coming up.

You can follow all the #followalibrary day buzz on their blog. Don’t forget to use #followalibrary as a hash tag! Which libraries do you follow?
Follow A LibraryFollow A Library

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