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Parents' Guide to Computers in Education
Dave Moursund
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.

You can download at no charge the following book:

Moursund, D.G. (August, 2006). Parents' Guide to Computers in Education. Published by Dave Moursund. Several small corrections are reflected in the most recent (3/8/07) edition.

The book is available in two formats:

Click here to download in PDF format.

Click here to download in Microsoft Word format.

Additional Items of Interest

OnGuard Online. Social Networking Sites: A Parent's Guide. Retrieved 5/22/07.

Teens and media: a full-time job
By Stefanie Olsen
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: December 7, 2006, 3:54 PM PST Quoting a summary from December 8, 2006 issue of Edupage:

Results of the 2006 Teen Trend study indicate that U.S. teenagers spend more than 72 hours per week using electronic media, which includes the Internet, television, cell phones, video games, and music. The study, which is in its third year, was conducted by the Harrison Group and sponsored by VNU Business Media. Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Harrison Group, said that the prevalence of these forms of media causes teens to see themselves as stars of their own reality television shows. "Teen life," he said, "has become a theatrical, self-directed media production." Among specific findings of the study: 68 percent of teens have profiles on social networking sites, about 75 percent spend two to three hours a day listening to or downloading online music, and about half of the teens who download music believe that it is legal. CNET, 7 December 2006. Full article available at

Andrews, Michelle (Sept. 10, 2006). Decoding MySpace. Retrieved 9/11/06:
. Quoting from the article:

It's the coolest hangout space for teens-but parents might be surprised at what their kids do there. Here's how to help keep them safe online.


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has imposed a $1 million fine on social networking site Xanga for violations of the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The FTC contended that Xanga allowed users whose self-reported birthdays indicated they were less than 13 years old to create accounts. COPA forbids any company from collecting personal information from users under the age of 13 without parental notification and consent. Xanga reportedly had allowed 1.7 million users to register with birthdays indicating they were under 13. Although Xanga CEO John Hiler suggested that many of those 1.7 million birthdays might be from users older than 13 who used birthdays of pets, or example, the company said it would implement changes geared toward child safety. Previously, the largest fine imposed under COPA was $400,000. In that case, UMG Recordings was fined for similarly collecting personal information from users under 13.
CNET, 8 September 2006

Haddock, Vicki (10/8/06). After years of teachers piling it on, there's a new movement to ... Abolish homework. San Francisco Chronical. retrieved 10/10/06: Quoting from the article:

Vigorous scrutiny of the research, they argue, fails to demonstrate tangible benefits of homework, particularly for elementary students. What it does instead, they contend, is rob children of childhood, play havoc with family life and asphyxiate their natural curiosity. Learning becomes a mind-numbing grind rather than an engaging adventure.

"Researchers have been far from unanimous in their assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of homework as an instructional technique," summarized the Journal of Educational Psychology. "Their assessments ranged from homework having positive effects, no effects, or complex effects to the suggestion that the research was too sparse or poorly conducted" to say.

Moursund, David (n.d.). Arguments against use of computers in education. Retrieved 9/12/06:

Over the years, I have read quite a bit of the literature presenting arguments against use of ICT in education. The reference given above is a collection of some of the better literature that I have read.

Study aims to improve internet literacy. Retrieved 9/10/06:

Researchers at the University of Connecticut and Clemson University are in the middle of a three-year project to find a proven method of boosting the internet literacy skills of disadvantaged students. As part of the study, they're testing a new way to teach students how to read, understand, and critically evaluate the information they find online, through a "reciprocal" model that has been proven to work well in teaching traditional literacy skills.

Peterson, Bret (n.d.). Reading, writing, asrithmetic, and neuroscience? Retrieved 9/11/06:

Education in the United States today is undergoing major reforms, and voices are calling for a return to the fundamentals: reading, writing, and...neuroscience? Dr. Bret Peterson explores how students can enjoy learning about the brain.

Reading (9/20/06). Ability to read and spell 'inherited.' The Age. Retrieved 9/22/06:
. Quoting from the article:

Kids who are good readers are often great spellers too, and now Australian scientists have uncovered a genetic explanation as to why.

Researchers from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane tracked 650 sets of young twins to work out how much reading and spelling abilities are controlled by genes.

The study found that the ability to read and spell were about 50 per cent inherited, with a child's upbringing and schooling controlling the other half.

Ward, Lucy (November 14, 2006). Hi-tech toys offer no educational gain, say researchers. The Guardian. Retrieved 11/15/06:,,1947092,00.html. Quoting from the article:

A government-funded study examining the role of technology in the lives of three- and four-year-old children and their families found that the hi-tech devices - one of the fastest growing sectors of the toy market, aimed at infants as young as nine months - are no more effective than traditional ways of introducing basic literacy and number skills.

Toy laptops and mobile phones were of greater value to young children as an aid to imaginative play such as pretending to make phone calls than in teaching specific skills, researchers at the University of Stirling concluded after tracking families for 15 months.

Youngsters also gained an understanding of the social role of technology simply by watching their parents use computers, digital cameras and mobile phones for work and leisure - far outstripping the benefits of using computers for unrealistic exercises and games while at nursery.