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Tribute to Steve Jobs – and Mothers of NextGen Out of The Box Thinkers!

Today many in the tech world are remembering Steve Jobs, who passed away one year ago. GigaOM wrote a post with reasons to remember Steve Jobs while Mashable covered that “Remembering Steve Jobs’ Death Ignites Twitter Philanthropy”.

 

Today I remember Steve Jobs not because of the reasons the tech sites do, not because I am an Apple Fan girl (I am tech agnostic – I love all technology!), but because Steve Jobs gave me a gift that keeps on giving. Here is my tribute to Steve Jobs:

 

Tribute to Steve Jobs-

 

I remember primary school was a challenging experience for me (because I wanted to just start working), but I kept moving forward and gained important skills.  Now as a mother I see a different side of the way people learn and realize that not everyone can go on the same path when it comes to formal learning. I have a child who is very bright but an out of the box thinker. I spent many years frustrated on how such a bright kid could resist formal learning. Until I read about Steve Job’s background in Wikipedia:

 

Excerpt below is from Wikipedia:

Jobs’s youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he was a prankster whose fourth-grade teacher needed to bribe him to study.

 

…Jobs then attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California.At Homestead, Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez, a neighbor who shared the same interests in electronics. Fernandez introduced Jobs to another, older computer whiz kid, Steve Wozniak (also known as “Woz”). In 1969 Woz started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named “The Cream Soda Computer”, which they showed to Jobs; he seemed really interested.

 

…Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Reed was an expensive college which Paul and Clara could ill afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son’s higher education. Jobs dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy.  He continued auditing classes at Reed while sleeping on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. Jobs later said, “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts”

My tribute to Steve Jobs is to highlight him as a great example to show other parents that out of the box thinkers may not follow traditional educational paths, but they can still reach success in their own way.  Parents can support the exceptional talent of their little out of the box thinkers by helping them find their educational path. And while that path may be very challenging for all involved – it is worth the journey.

 

This is also to explain why I (and my dear husband) have been very busy lately. We are helping one of our children through their journey. Even though there are some days where the obstacles seem too big to overcome, I always think back to Steve Jobs. Which makes me smile and know we have our own little game changer in the works.

 

This is also a warning for the bullies that make fun of quirky smart kids. I want to tell them to get a life and fair warning: Hey bully – that quirky smart kid you are making fun of may be the next Steve Jobs, inventing devices or businesses that you will be standing in line for.. OVERNIGHT.. Ha…

 

Photo and lots of credit to Wikipedia for supplying the info.

Relevant post: Shout out to Mom 101 for her post on bullying: “Is shaming, bullying? And does it even freaking matter?”

 

 

Social Shield: S.O.S. for Parents Trying To Understand Social Networking Terms

SocialShield Releases the Top Social Networking Terms Kids Don’t Want Their Parents to Know

Sheds light on the latest lingo kids are using to hold illicit, risky or secretive conversations


As a parent of a tween, I am well aware of the language and terms tween/tweens use to communicate with each other. But add on to that technology – and the dangers of their terms increases exponentially.  From watching what goes on – I can see that it does not matter if your child has their own phone or not – these terms are used across devices – including computers. They can be used for social but they can also be used to bully or harass other kids.  Parents need to stay ahead of these dangers by educating themselves and then having honest conversations with their kids. Education and communication is key; if your kids are not talking to you about social networking, they are surely talking to their friends.

 

Through MommyTech Summit at CES I was introduced to the folks at Social Shield, social network monitoring service for parents, who sent me this press release with information about social networking terms kids use. The press release is below. But the image above summarizes some of the top (and scary) social networking terms used.

 

PRESS RELEASE: Continue reading

 

A Disturbing New Term: CyberBlackmail

I posted on TechMamas.com yesterday about this terrible news:

Today I read in Techmeme then on the CNET site a report: “Teen gets 15 years for Facebook blackmail“.  Here are some details from that post:

Anthony Stancl, 19, plead no contest in December to two felonies, including repeated sexual assault of a child, according to the report. Stancle had been accused
of creating a Facebook profile belonging to a nonexistent teenage girl and then, between approximately the spring 2007 and fall 2008, using it to convince more than 30 of his male classmates to send in nude photos or videos of themselves
.”

My original post had a second part to it which discussed cyberbullying. But the more I thought about the Facebook blackmail incident the more I realized it is even more sinister then cyberbullying. So last night I got really upset and deleted the second part of my post about cyberbullying – because in the end it was blackmail. I decided instead of cyberbullying I will call the incident “cyberblackmail“.

With scary thoughts of the cyberblackmail incident in my head as I went to bed last night, I did not sleep very well.

For some reason I came to understand that cyberbullying happens. I knew that parents need to educate their kids on the subject, give support if their child falls prey to cyberbullying and have a punishment strategy if they find out their kid(s) participates in cyberbullying. But blackmail is something I had not accepted or imagined would happen in social networks by a 19 year old. And that 16 year old boys could so easily fall prey to the cyberblackmail.

Now I know **it happens.

Next question was “How can I possibly explain this to my son?” There is a lesson that needs to be explained, but the topic is so distasteful that I would rather not discuss it.

So I decided to explain to my 11 year old son, that there are “bad” people on social networks and websites who will try to appear as your friend or a pretty girl to make you do inappropriate things. The lesson learned is NEVER send inappropriate pictures or do anything you don’t feel good about because someone on a social network asked you to do. Never share personal information with someone you don’t know and never meetup in person with them. Be strong, say NO. Realize that anyone who asked you to do inappropriate things is NOT their friend or someone they would want to date. And – inappropriate includes sending any picture that you would not want your future employer to see.

I have a feeling I am not going to sleep well tonight either. But at least I did have the conversation with my son. He was quiet but when I said “Do you understand?” He said “Yes, Yes.. ok… I get it”.

I hope he does.

Until they have “Stop CyberBlackmail” websites, here are some good links for information on cyberbullying:

Stop Cyberbullying.org

Facebook Blog: Watch Your Words: Steps to Preventing Cyberbullying

 

CNET Report: Teen gets 15 years for Facebook BlackMail

**I took out the second part of this post – which I explain in a new post “A Disturbing New Term: CyberBlackmail“. Click HERE to read that post.***

Today I read in Techmeme then on the CNET site a report: “Teen gets 15 years for Facebook blackmail“.  Here are some details from that CNET post:

Anthony Stancl, 19, plead no contest in December to two felonies, including repeated sexual assault of a child, according to the report. Stancle had been accused of creating a Facebook profile belonging to a nonexistent teenage girl and then, between approximately the spring 2007 and fall 2008, using it to convince more than 30 of his male classmates to send in nude photos or videos of themselves.”

This situation is a solemn reminder that kids not only need education on appropriate use of social networks, but also on personal privacy including not sharing personal pictures of themselves online for any reason.