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Digital Learning in the 21st Century

Posted March 8th, 2011 by George Krebs

From Des Moines to Charlottesville school districts across the country are making sure there is a laptop in the hands of every high school student. California’s e-textbook initiative augurs the nationwide rise of digital course materials. Teachers now use web videos to reinforce the quadratic formula or impart a civics lesson. Technology is moving forward. Our classrooms and our curriculum need to catch up.

We’re joining with the New York City Department of Education tomorrow morning for an event on digital learning in the 21st century. We’ll speak on the promise of wireless and present a roundtable on the future of K – 12 education, as America begins to employ digital learning solutions. This includes the adoption of digital textbooks and the possibilities of wireless technology to enhance learning in the classroom. Wednesday’s event will explore both the benefits and the obstacles to this shift. The event will take place tomorrow, March 9 from 10:30am to 12:15pm at the NYC iSchool at 131 6th Avenue, at Dominick Street.

Sharing the stage with Chairman Genachowski at the roundtable is a handful of the nation’s standouts in education, from both the public and private sectors. This includes Sharon Greenberger, COO of the NYC Department of Education; Alisa Berger, Principal of NYC iSchool, our host; Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackbord; and other luminaries.

There’s no better school to debut this initiative and hold this roundtable than the NYC iSchool. The iSchool, which introduced its first class in September 2008, looks to set the bar for 21st century learning. The innovative high school incorporates cutting edge technology into students’ everyday learning and both its teachers and students make it a central part of their mission to harness these tools. To learn more about the NYC iSchool, check out this video.

Join us. If you’re in the New York City area tomorrow, the event is free and open to the public – though we’d appreciate your pre-registration. Send an email with your name, organization name (if applicable) and phone number to diglearning [at] fcc [dot] gov.

Posted in Events National Broadband Plan Parents

Announcing Generation Mobile, Featuring Jane Lynch

Posted December 9th, 2010 by George Krebs

(Photo credit: LG Text Ed)

You can find them in the most innocent settings. The dinner table, the classroom, during evening homework hour or an otherwise quiet family walk. Clicking, clacking, beeping, buzzing and whirring. This maneuvering marauder? Mobile phones equipped with text messaging. These devices are exploding in use among the current generation and teens seem programmed to use them constantly.

A happy medium exists. Commonsense and responsible use of technology is within reach. To many parents the mobile culture is unfamiliar. We’re hosting a Generation Mobile forum next Tuesday bringing together teens, parents, educators and experts. During this event we’ll do our best to help parents navigate these challenging issues.

We’ll discuss cyberbullying, sexting, over use, privacy, and texting-while-driving. The Pew Internet and American Life project will present their findings from a landmark study, “Kids and Mobile Phones.”

For the Gleeks in the audience we’re pleased that actress and comedienne Jane Lynch, of LG’s Text Ed campaign, will be joining us remotely. Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes the book upon which the movie Mean Girls was based, will join FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in hosting the first panel “Generation Mobile Speaks” featuring teens, parents and educators. The second panel, “Ask the Experts About Generation Mobile” will feature experts from SafetyWeb, Facebook, Sprint and other major mobile and technology players. A full list of panelists and speakers is below.

This event is about you. We’ve lined up an impressive slate of experts for our sessions on kids, teens and mobile phones. What do you want to know when they take the stage Tuesday? We’ve filled in a couple of starter questions to stimulate ideas. Far more importantly we want to hear from you. Type in your question, wait for User Voice to generate and then click “Create New Idea” below the box. Ask your questions now.

We’re honored to be hosted by DC’s own, cutting edge McKinley Technology High School (151 T Street Northeast). The event will take place on Tuesday December 14th from 10am to 1pm ET. If you’re able to join us – free of charge – please RVSP to generationmobile [at] fcc [dot] gov. Since most of you are outside of the DC area we’ll be live streaming this exciting event online at fcc.gov/live. Participate through Twitter using #genmobile.

Stay tuned. We’ll post updates to the agenda and the speaker list as they become available.

Speakers and Panelists Include:

  • Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman
  • Jane Lynch, Emmy Winning Actress and Spokesperson for the LG Text Ed Council
  • Rosalind Wiseman, Author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, basis for Mean Girls the movie
  • Tim Sparapani, Director of Public Policy, Facebook
  • Parry Aftab, Kids Technology Expert and Creator of Stopcyberbullying.org
  • Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist, Pew Research Center
  • Marsali Hancock, President, Internet Keep Safe Coalition
  • Michael Clark, Co-Founder, SafetyWeb
  • Dr. Michael Levine, Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center
  • Maureen Cooney, Privacy Officer, Sprint
  • Stephen Balkam, CEO, Family Online Safety Institute
  • K. Dane Snowden, Vice President, CTIA
  • Alan Simpson, Vice President, Common Sense Media
  • Lanita Preston, Author and mother of Frank Preston
  • Stacey A. Kopnitsky, Assistant Principal, Cabin John Middle School
  • Dwan Jordon, Principal, Sousa Middle School, Washington, DC
  • And we’ll hear from a panel of teens about how they use mobile technology

Update 12/13 1:26pm ET: Final Agenda for Generation Mobile Program

10:00 a.m.       Welcome, Opening Remarks, Live Chat with Jane Lynch

  • Welcome by David Pinder, Principal, McKinley Technology High School
  • Remarks by Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC
  • Live Video Chat with Actress Jane Lynch, LG Text Ed Council 
  • Presentation by Amanda Lenhart, Senior Researcher, Pew Internet Project

10:40 a.m.       Panel I:  Generation Mobile Speaks

  • Rosalind Wiseman, Author and Teen Expert, Member LG Text Ed Council
  • Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC


  • Tori Dugger, Senior, McKinley Technology High School
  • Jonathan Harris II, Senior, Dr. Henry A. Wise High School, Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • Erin Maines, Sophomore, Falls Church High School, Falls Church, Va.
  • Frank Preston, Junior, Howard High School, Ellicott City, Md.
  • Lanita Preston, Author and Mother of Frank Preston
  • Stacey A. Kopnitsky, Assistant Principal, Cabin John Middle School, Rockville, Md.
  • Parry Aftab, Executive Director, WiredSafety.org
  • Dwan Jordon, Principal, Sousa Middle School, Washington, D.C.

11:40 a.m.       Panel II: Ask the Experts About Generation Mobile

  • Josh Gottheimer, Senior Counselor to the Chairman, FCC


  • Marsali Hancock, President, Internet Keep Safe Coalition
  • Dr. Michael Levine, Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center 
  • Maureen Cooney, Privacy Officer, Sprint 
  • Michael Clark, Co-Founder, SafetyWeb
  • Dane Snowden, Vice President, External & State Affairs, CTIA
  • Tim Sparapani, Director of Public Policy, Facebook
  • Alan Simpson, Vice President for Policy, Common Sense Media
  • Stephen Balkam, CEO, Family Online Safety Institute

1:00 p.m.         Program Concludes

(Cross posted on Blogband.)

Posted in Events Consumers Office Of Chairman Parents Mobile

FCC Launches New Consumer Webpages Dedicated to Online Safety and Security to Help Kickoff National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Posted October 8th, 2010 by Patrick Webre

By Lauren Kravetz and Patrick Webre

As you may know, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the FCC and other government agencies are providing educational materials and outreach on how consumers and small businesses can protect themselves while online. Online security and privacy are very important issues, and there are growing concerns as we access the Internet to do more and more things, like online banking, purchasing items from our favorite online retail stores and interacting with each other on popular websites.

As the FCC’s National Broadband Plan recognized, protecting online privacy and security are also important for promoting our nation’s adoption of cutting edge broadband services. In kicking off our Cybersecurity Awareness Month activities, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski noted that, "When people fear that new technologies put their privacy at risk, they are less likely to use those technologies. To fulfill the promise of broadband for our children, parents need to feel confident that their children are safe online and that their personal information is protected."

As part of our education and outreach on these issues, the FCC has created a new online privacy and security webpage, which can be accessed at www.fcc.gov/consumers. This webpage provides useful information for consumers and small businesses regarding online safety and cybersecurity. Throughout the month, we will be rolling out tip sheets, checklists, videos, screencasts, and blog postings -- such as this one -- addressing several topics, including:

  • Protecting Children in the Digital Age
  • Protecting Wi-Fi Networks
  • Safe Internet Navigation and Transactions
  • Tips for Infected Computers or Networks
  • Best Practices for Small Business Cybersecurity
  • Tips for Using the Internet Abroad

Our new webpage also contains links to other sources of information regarding online security and privacy, and we encourage you to visit regularly to view the updates. Our friends at the Federal Trade Commission have also made available many helpful sources of information, and the National Cyber Security Alliance has pitched in with a website called StaySafeOnline.org.

Thanks for visiting and doing your part to protect yourself and your family while online.

Posted in Consumers Parents
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The New Parents’ Place

Posted September 21st, 2010 by Rachel Kazan - Chief, Consumer Affairs & Outreach Division, CGB

Today we launched our new Parents’ Place webpage filled with resources and information about television, electronic media and online safety. We also link to other sites with great information for parents.  For just one example, click on the link to Net Cetera for practical tips for talking to your children about being online.

We have three categories of online resources:

•    TV and Parental Controls – Learn about children’s television; how to use TV ratings, how to block objectionable programming, and how to report obscenity as well as indecency and profane language on broadcast television and radio.

•    Children’s Safety – Discover information about protecting your children online. Visit OnGuard Online, learn how to discourage your teen from distracted driving, learn about Amber Alerts, and more. 

•    Media and Childhood Obesity – This page includes fun links to LetsMove.gov with challenges to get kids moving and information on good nutrition.  You can also click on Sesame Workshop where you’ll find entertaining ways to teach young children about health and good nutrition.

Want to find television programs for your kids? Type in your zip code to find local broadcast instructional and educational programs in your area.  We also have a link to PBS - so you can find the local times of your child’s favorite PBS show.

We encourage parents to share their practical ideas and insights related to children and communications.  So the website provides a forum for parents and caregivers to share practical ideas about online safety, safe driving and blocking inappropriate content.  Let us know if there are other topics you would like us to add to the discussion list.

If you want to dig deeper, take a look at the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, especially the chapter on education.  And make sure to check out the video of Chairman Genachowski talking with Elmo about the importance of high-speed internet access.  Elmo wants the Internet to be fast, fast, fast!

Posted in Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumers Parents
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One-Stop-Shopping For Consumers

Posted July 27th, 2010 by Joel Gurin - Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

The FCC's website has always had lots of information of interest to consumers but, starting today, this information is just one click away.  Today we are launching the Consumer Help Center.  This site  makes it easy for consumers to learn about our work and take action.  Here, in one place, consumers can do read about consumer issues, get practical advice for avoiding problems, file a complaint, comment on our rulemakings, or read what our FCC experts are saying in our Consumer Blog.  The site includes links to

  • Everything consumers need to know about Bill Shock and Early Termination Fees -- two common issues that affect wireless customers;
  • Savvy Traveler tips -- advice on making phone calls when travelling abroad;
  • Broadband Speed Test -- consumers can test the speed of their broadband service;
  • Fact Sheet Library – more than 150 consumer Fact Sheets on telecom subjects;
  • Links to additional resources on a range of issues, including privacy;
  • Links to file a complaint to the FCC or comment on our rulemakings;
  • Blog posts about consumer issues -- with consumer comments welcome;
  • News releases, statements, and FCC actions.

This is a work in progress and will be updated as more information is added.  Please let us know what you think about the site.  We're listening.

Posted in Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumers Parents
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