BattleKasting a Path to Literacy

How do you motivate kids to want to read a book? Extend a storyworld into other platforms, such as the mobile game BattleKasters to create multiple entry points into the story. Alane Adams set out targeting reading literacy, but she has created a training ground for essential 21st century literacies integrating reading, gaming and constructing transmedia narratives.

Obama on BuzzFeed: Selfie Sticks & Health Insurance

Obama's BuzzFeed video 'Things Everybody Does but Doesn’t Talk About' shows him mugging about, taking selfies and playing air basketball to get young people to visit For leaders, there is a difficult balance between what’s human and relatable and what engenders confidence. How important is that balance?

Using Technology to Motivate Fitness: 5 Apps to Try

Does the first of the year motivate you to think about your mental and physical health? It does for me. Technology can help. Instead of joining a gym you won’t attend, try one of the five mobile apps that I’ve found helpful. None of them are free, but compared to the cost of a gym membership, they're a bargain!

The Psychology of the Selfie

What do Rihanna and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have in common? They documented and celebrated the World Cup final with selfies. Selfies are redefining how we document experience. No more autographs or empty vacation shots of a monument.

Facebook Research: Violating Social Contracts

Facebook is in the spotlight for manipulating member news feeds to measure the emotional impact of positive and negative posts on member moods. Legal or not, this spells bigger trouble for Facebook because it violates the social contract of fairness.

Streetchat, SnapChat, Yik Yak & 5 Basic Media Literacy Rules

A new app makes headlines every week as teens migrate to the next new thing, and in the way of teens, do things that horrify their parents. The solution is not, however, to blame the tools or take away the smartphones. The solution is digital citizenship and media literacy. Here are 5 basic rules on media literacy for teens.

The Spornosexual: Should Beckham Keep His Shirt On?

Metrosexuals—a consumer trend of urban young men with disposable income, hair gel and designer duds—are being replaced by 'spornosexuals,' a mash-up of sports and porn. 'Spornosexuals' are hypersexual, body-obsessed men who want to be desired for their bodies. Labeling super fit guys without shirts as porn speaks volumes more about society than the guys in the photo

Spornosexuality, Body Image and Boys

We’ve spent all kinds of energy worrying about girls and body image. Trends like ‘spornosexuals’ (athletes and other celebrities with their shirts off showing off their abs) remind us not to neglect boys.

Santa Barbara Tragedy: Searching for Answers

The response to the Santa Barbara tragedy shows how social media increases emotional involvement and allow discussions to evolve. The conversations are moving quickly from the tragedy itself to the larger topic of misogyny, however, showing how we are loathe to discuss mental illness and must find something more concrete to make sense out of the senseless.

Children’s Birthday Parties: Where Have all the RSVPs Gone?

Our attitudes about invitations and RSVPs have changed along with how we communicate. Things are more casual. The lack of formality of communications may have impacted how people view RSVPs, but it’s still useful to know who’s coming to your party. For parents trying to throw children’s parties, no RSVPs seems almost epidemic. Here are five solutions.

Binge Viewing Redefines TV Watching

The problem with binge viewing is that it isn’t really a problem. It represents another shift of control from producers to consumers, thanks to technology. It also violates our mental model of ‘TV viewing.’

Redefine Beauty Using Selfies

I am pro-selfie. Not because I like to take them, but because they are a form of expression enabled by new technology. In fact, I have even argued that selfies can be used to for good. Dove has a new video about Selfies, using them to redefine beauty in their #beautyis campaign. Watch it!

Get Over Selfie Shame!

It’s rare to read an article about selfies, Millennials or Facebook without narcissism making an appearance in the first paragraph. That's too bad because taking selfies is a normal thing to do, especially if you have embraced visual communication. From Thank You Note Selfies to Rock the Gym Selfies, here are eight ideas for taking selfies that make your life better.

Flash Mob Creates Live Action Art

Last April, the Rijksmuseum, the Museum of Netherlands celebrated its reopening after lengthy renovations by organizing a cultural flash mob that recreated Rembrandt's Night Watch in a shopping. They literally brought art to life without sacrificing its richness and challenged our understanding of what a "flash mob" can do. Don't believe me? Watch the video.

Obama Takes a Selfie at Mandela’s Memorial Service

It is not unusual for people to want capture extraordinary events, like the memorial for Nelson Mandela. It’s not that surprising, therefore, that a selfie or two might be taken, as you can see from the photo of a three-way selfie-in-progress of British Prime Minister Cameron, Danish prime minister Thorning-Schmidt and President Obama that is rocketing across cyberspace

Branding with Selfies

Selfies are immediate, personal, and authentic. Selfies are fun, participatory and transient. Selfies capture a moment. Selfies are playful. They tell stories. Why aren’t brands using them more?

Funeral Selfies: Grief or Gross?

The Tumblr site Selfies at Funerals is raising more than eyebrows. Many claim that this is yet another example of a generation of narcissists. Technology shifts and adolescent development suggest other conclusions.

Can an App Really Spread Kindness? Meet Kindr

There is a new iPhone app called Kindr that makes it easy for you to send compliments to people you know by providing you with a ‘compliment menu,’ linked to your address book. It is based on the premise, well documented in the psychology literature, that you can make the world a better place by spreading good will. Does it work?

The Healthy Use of Social Media

The appeal of social media is tremendous—it triggers our fundamental drive for social connection and allows us more control over our world. At the end of the day, however, our smartphones, laptops and tablets are just tools. Here are some tips to use them well.

NPR’s Simon: Live-Tweeting Death

NPR’s popular host, Scott Simon, live-tweeted his mother’s passing from her hospital bedside. In doing so, he challenged some commonly-held beliefs about social media. Most who read his posts were deeply moved. As his story continues to spread, many more are forced to reevaluate the ability of social media tools to share meaningful human experience.

The Briefcase Rule: Decisions Under Stress

Lack of self-control can make you sacrifice more, not less, for those close to you, according to a new study. This is helpful insight if you’re one of those harried folks who finds themselves always doing too much for others. Try using “The Briefcase Rule” to help avoid decision-making when self-control wanes.

Selfie Use: Abuse or Balance?

My last post on “selfies” generated some interesting and spirited comments. Some were pro-selfies and some were against, but none neutral. The fact remains that selfies are a trend. Here are some tips about how to evaluate selfie use and keep it from becoming a problem.

Making Sense of Selfies

A selfie is a self-generated self-portrait, often taken with a cellphone camera, posted online. In spite of anxieties over rampant narcissism and the moral decline of the digital generation, selfies are part of the new normal. Selfies can be a brief adventure into a new aspect of self or they can be just for fun. They just seem weird if you’re not used to them.

Seven Myths About Social Media and Relationships

Humans are social animals and with social media, we're connecting all over the place. There are a lot of myths about social media and relationships that reflect two things: fear of new technologies and the underlying assumption that the old way of doing things is the "right" way. Here are seven of the most meme-worthy myths about relationships and why they're wrong.

Low GPAs May Increase Social Media Use

Recent research findings suggest that high social media use was correlated with lower GPAs among female college freshmen. What's getting traction? Headlines warning that social media use may tank your kid’s grades. Sorry to disappoint if you were hoping for a quick fix, but that’s not exactly what the study results mean.

#Selfies: Narcissism or Self-Exploration?

Selfies are pictures you take of yourself to post online. They are all over social networks like Facebook and Instagram—often, but not exclusively, posted by women. People’s views of selfies run the gamut, from narcissism and moral decline to my view, which is that selfies are a by-product of technology-enabled self-exploration.

Social Media Doesn't Have to Make Breaking Up Harder to Do

Moving on emotionally after a break-up is hard, with or without social media. But the easy access and speed of social media sites, like Facebook, can make it easier to torment yourself and harder to move on. Here are five ways social media can help you get over a breakup.

Sandy Hook Tragedy Sparks Social Media Avalanche

The Sandy Hook tragedy has created an avalanche across social media. The senseless violence has so outraged and shocked people that is has turned observers into advocates and supporters. Whether it’s showing support, lobbying for gun control, or calling for school lockdowns, people who don’t normally speak up are taking a stand.

Fake and Funny: Twitter as Interactive Performance Art

Twitter invites reimagining storytelling by opening the doors to a new type of interactive performance art for creative, slightly-bent, would-be comics who spread their humor through fake Twitter accounts, like @KarltheFog, @CatFoodBreath or @TheOrangeCone

Celebrity @#!! On Twitter

Some celebrities are masters at using Twitter to build a fan base. Others, like Chris Brown, suffer from not understanding the potential impact of failing to think first, tweet second.