Posts tagged with "Teens"

Internet fraud targeted at teens article via 360 MAGAZINE.

Online Scams Targeted at Teens

study warns teens to be on high alert for online scams this holiday season as they are now falling for scams faster than every other age group.

The money lost by teens grew by 1125% over the last five years compared to 390% for seniors. Teens lost just $8.2 million in 2017 compared to $101.4 million last year. This speaks to the growing sophistication of scammers and the overconfidence of tech-savvy teens online.

Social Catfish released a study on the State of Internet Scams 2022 after analyzing data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and the FTC released in 2022.

A record $6.9 billion was lost to online scams in 2021, up nearly double from $3.5 billion in 2019.

California ranked No. 1 with 67,095 victims losing $1,227,989,139 last year, an average loss of $18,302.

3 Online Scams Targeting Teens This Holiday Season:

1)     Romance Scams:  During the holidays, teenagers who feel lonely — despite being surrounded by family — turn online looking for connection. Romance scammers approach them with stolen photos of an attractive suitor, shower them with love and affection, and begin asking for money.

How to Avoid:  Perform a reverse image search to confirm their identity.

2)     Social Media Influencer Free Holiday Giveaways: Scammers create fake Tik Tok and Instagram accounts to impersonate popular social media influencers. They offer free product giveaways and include a link to redeem the product. It is a phishing link that steals all of your data. 

How to Avoid: Fake accounts have few followers. Never click on any suspicious links.

3)     Online Shopping Scams: Teens do most of their holiday shopping online and scammers are creating fake stores and running ads offering holiday discounts. The fraudulent look-a-like website looks may look legitimate at first glance, but any products purchased will never arrive.

How to Avoid: Fake sites have spelling errors in the URL and grammatical errors across the site.

If you are the victim of a scam or attempted scam report it to the FTC, IC3FBI and IdentityTheft.gov.

Discord - The Emoji Effect via 360 MAGAZINE

Discord – The Emoji Effect

Discord, one of the most popular brands among Gen Z, has just released The Emoji Effect – a study of 16,000 users worldwide to further understand the magic behind emojis and why they’re beloved by so many.

Among all of the interactions taking place on Discord, one of the most popular behaviors is the use of emojis. ✨Increasing “emoji power” is one of the most popular perks of Nitro 🚀, Discord’s paid subscription offering, which allows people to boost their emoji library (or create and upload their own custom emoji!) with every new community they join. Nitro offers users access to over 500 million custom emojis, and fun fact: they share over 455,000 emojis every minute –that’s over 7,600 emojis used every second. 🤯

With emojis being a universal language anyone can understand, Discord wanted to learn more about the larger role they play in finding friendships, boosting confidence, and connecting with communities (particularly among Gen Z).

To further understand the magic behind emojis, Discord surveyed 16,000 people around the world 🌎 to understand why they’re beloved by so many.

📊 Key insights from The Emoji Effect include:

Emojis are the Secret to Building Connection, Trust, and Togetherness Online. No matter who you’re speaking to, or where your conversation is taking place, emojis are the secret sauce to building connection, trust, and togetherness online – 63% of people surveyed say emojis help them connect with interest-based communities, while 73% feel emojis help bring people together.

Emojis also help strengthen connections and relationships with friends, family, significant others, love interests, classmates, and coworkers. Next time you’re talking to your mom 👩🏽, boss 👨🏿‍💻, or favorite Discord community member 🧑‍🤝‍🧑, consider throwing in a few emojis!

Younger Generations are Likely to Feel More Honest, Expressive, and Comfortable Using Emojis. Younger generations are often digital natives and for this reason, may have a better understanding of what emojis bring to a conversation. They can also help explain the proper use of even the most cryptic emojis. 🙃🤠

Globally, Gen Z (61%) and Millennials (68%) believe that texts with emojis allow them to be more honest compared to texts without them, and Gen Z (65%) and Millennials (69%) can communicate their feelings better through emojis than written messages.

Emojis are Taking Over Written Language. Emojis offer greater personal expression, sometimes even more than written or verbal words. While 57% of people say they can better express their personality through emojis than through words, 70% say emojis can help make messages clearer. 😎🤏😳🕶🤏

Emojis are More Powerful Than Likes. Sharing our thoughts, actions, and interests is a common aspect of online culture. However, with sharing often comes the desire for validation. And emojis may be the new, preferred way to co-sign virtually: 57% of people get a bigger confidence boost when receiving emojis than a Like on a photo, and 43% say emojis provide more validation than a text or verbal statement.

A boost in confidence can be a powerful feeling, and providing that feeling to another person may be as easy as sending an emoji. 😍🔥👑

Emojis Serve as Conduits to Communicating with Friends & Partners. With their ever-evolving definitions and fluid meanings, emojis allow people to adapt different tones and meanings in every conversation – 79% of those surveyed say the emojis they use differ depending on who they are talking to. While the majority of people switch up their emoji use, 44% have a set of go-to emojis they like to use. 🫂💬

Emojis are Key to Making Digital Communication More Human. With the rise of virtual communication, the nuances of in-person conversations are often lost, creating confusion and misunderstanding. Emojis are the missing link 🔗 to making digital communication more human. Over 67% of people believe they can let their guard down when they see others using emojis, and 63% believe compliments shared with an emoji feel more genuine.

Including an emoji in your next message can also help mimic in-person mannerisms: 7 out of 10 people feel that emojis help mimic in-person conversations in a virtual setting, a benefit that’s particularly important when building remote connections is increasingly common. 🤝

Emojis Help Show Us Who Our Real Friends Are. The jury’s out: the true test of finding your BFF is with emojis. Over 65% of people are inclined to agree you’ve reached true friendship status when you start using more emojis with someone. In addition to strengthening existing friendships, emojis also help build new friendships – 43% of people are more comfortable talking with people that use emojis. So break the ice with your new friends and send that emoji. 👉👈🧊🔨

Emojis Serve as Powerful Mood-Boosting Tools. Emojis have a positive effect on our emotional state, and 72% of people agree that receiving an emoji when they are feeling sad brings a simile to their faces. It’s no wonder that 40% also agree that emojis can make them feel more cared for than a hug.

While many of us use them when feeling happy, humorous, and excited, 56% say they’re likely to use emojis when trying to cut the tension in a conversation. So whenever you need to brighten 🌞 your spirit 👻 (or someone else’s), use an emoji!

Custom Emojis Build a More Expressive and Inclusive World Online. Custom emojis are the future and help unlock more personal feelings of connection and community. When asked about custom emojis, people agreed they allow for diversity and inclusivity (84%), the ability to be unique (83%), and self-expression (81%).

While the custom emojis seen on Discord have yet to infiltrate the universal language of standard emojis, the benefits and interest surrounding them indicate a growing desire for their use in the coming future – 76% of people say custom emojis are easier to use than even text! 🧑‍🎨📈🔮

College Television Awards

The Television Academy Foundation today announced presenters for the 41st College Television Awards honoring achievement in student-produced programs nationwide. The ceremony will be streamed globally HERE on Saturday, March 26, at 6:00 PM PDT, 9:00 PM EDT.

The virtual awards show will feature stars from today’s top television shows presenting awards to winning teams in seven categories. Celebrity presenters confirmed to date include Dove Cameron (Schmigadoon!), Rick Glassman ( As We See It), Harvey Guillén ( What We Do in the Shadows), Sam Heughan ( Outlander), Jordan L. Jones (Bel-Air), Rose McIver (Ghosts), Sue Ann Pien (As We See It), Danielle Pinnock (Ghosts), Logan Shroyer (This Is Us) and Hannah Zeile (This Is Us). Albert Lawrence, correspondent for CBS’ The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Television Academy Foundation alumnus, will host.

The College Television Awards will also include the presentation of the $10,000 Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship to Taylor University students Chad Veal and Brendan Wallace for their production titled 20 Over profiling Indiana track athlete, Noah Malone, who suffers from Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy and competes in the Paralympic Games. In addition, the Seymour Bricker Humanitarian Award will be presented during the show.

The virtual awards show is free to watch and advance registration is recommended. Donations to support Television Academy Foundation programs are also encouraged. To register and provide support go HERE.

The 41 st College Television Awards is supported by philanthropists and corporate partners including Kia America, PEOPLE ®, The Loreen Arbus Foundation, Johnny Carson Foundation, United Airlines ®, WarnerMedia and Roku.

About the Television Academy Foundation

Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as The Interviews: An Oral History of Television Project, College Television Awards and Summit, Student Internship and Fellowship Programs and the Faculty Conference, the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, please go HERE.

Dove Cameron-Photo courtesy Dennis Leupold
Sam Heughan announced presenter of The Television Academy Foundation College Awards f/ in 360 MAGAZINE.
Sam Heughan-Photo Courtesy Charlie Gray
Jordan L. Jones-Photo courtesy Peacock
Boy in a Billion album art via Republic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Claire Rosinkranz × Boy in a Billion

Gen Z pop phenomenon Claire Rosinkranz dropped her new single Boy in a Billion.

Gearing up for a big summer, Gen Z singer-songwriter Claire Rosinkranz is back with a brand-new single entitled Boy In A Billion today via slowplay/Republic Records. It paves the way for her anxiously awaited sophomore EP, 6 Of A Billion, set for release on July 9. Be on the lookout for the music video soon!

Even before the song officially dropped, it had already stirred up widespread buzz online. A TikTok of Claire writing Boy In A Billion raked in over 4 million views. She didn’t stop there though. Welcoming her followers into the creative process, countless fans witnessed the recording of the song on Claire’s social media accounts.

On the track, the bass thumps as her vocals glide over finger-snaps and slick guitar wrapped in warbling synths. She details a priceless love with clever verses and a hummable hook carried by her dynamic vocal delivery.

Claire’s most recent single, Frankenstein, has already been streamed more than 5 million times in less than a month. Additionally, she attracted acclaim from various outlets, including Dork and The Honey Pop who raved, “Our jaws are on the floor at the growing potential and stardom of Claire!”

“Frankenstein” marked Claire’s first collaboration – with M-phases, Chelsea Lena, & artist Lexi Jayde.  Another quirky and catchy bop, cowbell holds down the guitar-laden beat as Claire adds her own 21st-century spin to the song inspired by The Cardigans’ classic 90’s hit “Lovefool.”  She immediately shocks pop back to life with the hook, “Guess, I gotta build my Frankenstein.

Claire continues to receive rave reviews from tastemakers in the media. Billboard says, “Remi Wolf and Benee fans, take note of TikTok breakout Claire Rosinkranz, who will surely be your next favorite.” American Songwriter remarked, “2020 may have been a banner year for Rosinkranz, but it’s a culmination of the work she’s put into her craft.” 

The recent releases lead up to Claire’s anxiously awaited second EP, 6 Of A Billion, coming July 9. The EP features tracks “Boy In A Billion” and “Frankenstein” 

6 Of A Billion Tracklist

  1. Hotel
  2. Pretty Little Things
  3. Boy In A Billion
  4. Fall Apart
  5. Frankenstein
  6. LAX

ABOUT CLAIRE ROSINKRANZ 

Southern California singer, songwriter, ballerina, and multi-instrumentalist Claire Rosinkranz grafts the Gen-Z coming-of-age experience onto quirky D.I.Y. soundscapes often cooked up by her dad in the garage. Within a year, the 17-year-old phenomenon has eclipsed over half a billion total streams and received widespread acclaim courtesy of Rolling Stone, Variety, Coup de Main, Buzzfeed, Genius, and more. OnesToWatch championed her as one of its “Top Artists To Watch in 2021,” while New York Times and Billboard named her breakout anthem Backyard Boy among “The Best Songs of 2020.” Backyard Boy inspired over 3 million TikTok videos and fueled the trailer for Amazon’s The Map of Tiny Perfect Things. Along the way, she collaborated with the likes of Jeremy Zucker, Role Model, and Clinton Kane and earned the support of Olivia Rodrigo, Tai Verdes, Lexi Jayde, and 347aidan. Now, she presents an unfiltered perspective on being a teen through her 2021 sophomore EP introduced by the lead single Frankenstein.

Handcuff illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Facebook × Child Predators

SURVIVOR OF FACEBOOK-FACILITATED CHILD PREDATOR ABUSE TELLS SHAREHOLDERS TO “DELAY END-TO-END ENCRYPTION” UNTIL PLATFORM CAN ADEQUATELY PROTECT CHILDREN

Searing Testimony Shows Danger Facebook Poses to Young Children and How Ill-Conceived Steps Justified on Privacy Grounds Would Only Hurt More Children.

A survivor of child abuse and exploitation who was approached on a Facebook platform urged shareholders today at the company’s annual meeting to delay plans to move ahead with end-to-end encryption that would see Facebook “become one of the world’s most dangerous ’playgrounds’ for children.”

That warning was delivered today by Sarah Cooper, who was approached as a teenager through Facebook Messenger, met a predator in Boston and New York City, and was sold into sex slavery.

The following is Sarah Cooper’s full statement: 

“My name is Sarah Cooper and I am a member of the Survivor’s Council of ECPAT-USA, the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States.

I am here this morning to present resolution #6 asking the Board to report on the risk of increased sexual exploitation of children as the Company develops and offers additional privacy tools such as end-to-end encryption.

One year ago, I told my personal story publicly for the first time, of being groomed and trafficked by a predator that I met on Facebook. He seemed to be my age but was actually decades older. I was groomed starting when I was 15 until just after my 18th birthday. It seemed innocent enough at the beginning. I received a Facebook friend request from someone I didn’t know.  

We exchanged messages back and forth and after some time I sent photos to my predator, then more images to him. He groomed me for over two years.   I thought he was a friend, someone I could trust. I didn’t really know anything was wrong until I met him in person, and saw his face, I finally realized he was closer to 40 than 18.  Once I stepped into his car it was too late… When I was trafficked, given drugs, sold into sex slavery and held against my will at gunpoint… my instinct was to survive.  I was lucky enough to have been rescued by a friend and thankfully survived my ordeal, some are not as lucky and never make it home.

For years, I was unaware of the dangers lurking on the internet, until I myself became a target.  Today, as an advocate working to prevent child sex trafficking, I’ve come to understand that law enforcement in the field relies extensively on tips from Facebook to bring predators to justice.  But what will happen when you go to end to end encryption on the Messenger app? 

Facebook admitted that in going forward with implementing end-to-end encryption it will not be able to see child sexual abuse materials online, and the number of these reports will go down.  Therefore, the number of children’s lives that could be saved or helped, will be less.

Facebook made nearly 21 million reports of child sexual materials last year, and it has been estimated that 75% of these will become invisible once it applies end-to end encryption.

Those reports are not just ‘reports’ – they are children. Children who are scared and hurt, children who need our help, children who believe Facebook would never hurt them. They are someone’s daughter, sister, grandchild and neighbor. 

Facebook needs to immediately improve age verification, increase human monitoring of content, work in tighter cooperation with law enforcement – and it should absolutely delay expanding encryption on its platforms until it can protect children.

Privacy is important, but we need a balance of privacy and protection of the most vulnerable members of society, our children.  

Facebook is a great platform, but it is not a safe platform. And with encryption it will become one of the world’s most dangerous ’playgrounds’ for children.

Thank you.”

Ms. Cooper spoke in favor of Proposal 6 at the Facebook annual meeting, which calls on Facebook to conduct a study of its central role in online child abuse and  “assessing the risk of increased sexual exploitation of children as the Company develops and offers additional privacy tools such as end-to-end encryption.”  The resolution was filed by Proxy Impact, Lisette Cooper, the Maryknoll Sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ, and the Stardust Fund. In 2020, the same resolution attracted the support of 43 percent of non-management shares of the company that is tightly controlled by Mark Zuckerberg.

How bad is the child abuse and exploitation problem at Facebook? And how much worse could it get? 

Transgender illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original Photo Credit: Pixabay) for 360 Magazine

Parents Open Letter to Lawmakers

1,500+ Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth Condemn Anti-Trans Bills in Open Letter to Lawmakers

More than 1,500 parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth — from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — signed a letter imploring elected officials to oppose anti-transgender bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country.  

The letter — organized by the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council — was sent to elected officials Monday morning.

The letter comes in response to a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are currently more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of these discriminatory bills, 106 directly target transgender people, including efforts to ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and prohibit evidence-based, life-saving health care for transgender youth.

“Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: ‘You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power and you don’t,’” the parents wrote. “Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society.”

“Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and have access to medically necessary care, just like all children. These bills are cruel — and parents are not going to be silent when elected officials attack their children through discriminatory legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth impacted by these bills are among the most vulnerable to experience depression and engage in self-harm, including suicide. Legislators must realize the seriousness of this issue and remember that they were elected to lead — not call into question whether certain children have the right to exist, to be happy, or to live authentically.”

“As a trans person, I know what it means to have lawmakers try to write me out of existence — imagine being a trans child trying to cope with this reality. There is a coordinated attack on transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth being waged in state legislatures across the country and it is having a devastating impact on the mental health of kids, who just want to be kids,” said Jay Brown, Senior Vice President, HRC Programs, Research & Training. “Parents will not back down when it comes to protecting their children, and they will not tolerate their elected officials using their positions of power to harm and further oppress them. We will never give up hope that if people — including elected officials — hear from people at the center of the policy debate, and their loved ones, that their hearts will open, and their minds will change.”

The full letter is below.

April 12, 2021

Dear Elected Officials,

Many of you are sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for legislation that would force transgender children to participate in sports based on a letter on their birth certificate rather than who they are – or not participate at all. Some of you are also sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for bills that would criminalize best-practice, evidence-based, life-saving health care that transgender youth need (and deserve!) to thrive. 

Parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth like us have called you, sent you emails, and have showed up in the midst of a global pandemic to testify about how devastating these bills are…not only if or when they pass and become law, but also right now because, by whipping up a firestorm of attacks on our kids, they have already caused damage to our families.

Parenting during a pandemic is hard enough. The fact that these bills exist at all—that the lives of our children are up for debate in any state in this nation—adds a layer of worry to an already fraught time. Let’s be clear: the impact of these bills goes far beyond sports and medical care; they call into question whether our children have the right to exist, to be happy, to live authentically. The answer is yes. They absolutely do.

We have shared studies with you explaining that trans youth are more susceptible to struggle with anxiety or depression, not because they are transgender but because of stigma and discrimination. You have heard that being able to participate in sports and being on a team with friends and classmates can improve their mental health. You have heard adolescents tell you how afraid they are of experiencing the wrong puberty or how terrified teenagers are of having their medically-prescribed hormones denied to them. 

This isn’t the first time. We tried telling you all of this a year ago before the pandemic thankfully cut many legislative sessions short and these bills floundered. After hearing some of these concerns last year, a senator in Missouri was quoted dismissively saying “We can’t be responsible for everyone’s mental health.”

We are pointedly telling you now that you actually are responsible for the mental health of these kids. We are holding you personally responsible for the amount of stress, anxiety, and fear our precious children are currently struggling with. We are holding you responsible for how some of our children are crying themselves to sleep every night, asking why so many people hate trans kids and want them to suffer. You are the reason they are asking to move somewhere where they will be protected, because their home doesn’t feel safe anymore with you in charge of creating its laws.

You were elected to your positions to lead. And leaders understand that in our great but imperfect system of government, we favor the concept of “majority rule, minority rights.” Leaders do not use their positions of power to harm and further oppress a struggling and hurting minority.

Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: “You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power, and you don’t.”

Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society. 

Here is a powerful quote from Nomi Ruiz, a Puerto Rican trans woman, artist and performer, that we’d like you to take time to think about…

“The outside world will never truly understand the magnitude of the trans experience, especially that of a child who has an undying need to live in truth despite being ostracized for it. The only way for trans children to thrive is to allow them to live freely in the face of a society that abuses them for it.”

Stop abusing our kids by creating legislation that targets them. Kill these bills now and leave our kids alone.

Justifiably angry,

Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth

Award illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NYC Scholastic Art × Writing Awards

New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibition

Now on View at The Met

Art and Writing by 2021 Gold Key Winners on Display in The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and The Metropolitan Museum of Art have announced the opening of the seventh annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. This special exhibition is now on view and is free to the public through May 21, 2021.

The exhibition features more than 200 works of art and writing by New York City based Gold Key recipients participating in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens. This year, students from all five boroughs in grades 7-12 submitted more than 10,000 works in 28 categories to the New York City regional program of the Awards, representing more than 300 schools.

Education has been at the heart of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s mission since our founding in 1870, said Heidi Holder, the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education at The Met. Now, more than ever, we are committed to investing in education and supporting the creativity of New York City’s young people. It is an honor to present the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition in partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This annual exhibition demonstrates the power of art to transform, uplift, and challenge us.

All works were blindly adjudicated by accomplished creative and literary professionals based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. This year, the exhibition will present framed prints of students’ work, due to ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure equitable access for all the student artists.

The artworks on display at The Met received top regional awards and were eligible to receive national honors through a second round of judging, which can open further opportunities for exhibition and publication, as well as access to scholarships. The Awards have honored distinguished artists since 1923, including Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, John Baldessari, Luis Jimenez, and Catherine Murphy, whose works are in The Met collection.

Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: The creativity of our city’s teens has continued to flourish despite a year of unprecedented challenges. It has never been more important to celebrate diverse student voices and encourage the artistic expression of a generation of rising leaders. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is thrilled to partner with The Met to showcase the exceptional young winners of the 2021 New York City Scholastic Awards.

The Alliance partners with Parsons School of Design at The New School and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School to present the regional New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met is presented with generous support from The New York Times, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, and Scholastic Inc.

To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit the Scholastic Media Room online.

About the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.

About The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens, businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Mina Tocalini illustration for mental health article inside 360 magazine

Non-Immigrant Kids Respond Differently When Immigrant Children Are Bullied

A recent study finds that, while youth think all bullying is bad, non-immigrant adolescents object less to bullying when the victim is an immigrant. However, the study found that the more contact immigrant and non-immigrant children had with each other, the more strongly they objected to bullying.

“We know that bystanders can play a key role in stopping bullying, and wanted to better understand bystander responses to bias-based bullying,” says Seçil Gönültaş, first author of the study and a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University. “What role does a victim’s background play? What role does the bystander’s background play? Are children more or less likely to intervene if they come from different backgrounds?”

To explore these questions, the researchers conducted a study with 179 children, all of whom were in either sixth grade or ninth grade. Seventy-nine of the study participants were of immigrant origin, meaning that at least one of their parents was born outside of the United States. Researchers categorized the remaining 100 participants as non-immigrants for the purposes of this study, meaning both of their parents had been born in the U.S.

Study participants read three different scenarios and were then asked a range of questions to assess what they thought of the interactions in each scenario and how they would have responded in each situation.

In the first scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies an immigrant child because of his or her immigrant status. In the second scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies another non-immigrant child for being shy. And in the third scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies an immigrant child for being shy. Social bullying involves verbal or emotional abuse, rather than physical abuse. Immigrant youth in the fictional scenarios were born outside of the U.S.

“In general, the kids thought bullying was not acceptable,” says Kelly Lynn Mulvey, co-author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. “But non-immigrant youth thought bullying immigrant peers was more acceptable than bullying of other non-immigrant peers. Immigrant origin youth thought bullying any of the kids was equally wrong.”

“On a positive note, we found that there were two things that made a difference,” Gönültaş says. “First, we found that the more contact children in one group had with children in another group, the less accepting they were of bullying and the more likely they were to intervene to stop the bullying. That was true for immigrant origin and non-immigrant youth.”

“We also found that children who scored higher on ‘Theory of Mind’ were more likely to intervene,” Mulvey says. “Theory of Mind is an important part of understanding other people’s perspectives, so we suspect this is likely tied to a child’s ability to place themselves in the victim’s shoes.

“Ultimately, we think this study is valuable because it can help us develop more effective anti-bullying interventions,” Mulvey adds. “For example, these findings suggest that finding ways to encourage and facilitate more positive interactions between groups can help kids to understand that all bullying is harmful and to encourage kids to step in when they see it.”

The paper, “The Role of Immigration Background, Intergroup Processes, and Social-Cognitive Skills in Bystanders’ Responses to Bias-Based Bullying Toward Immigrants During Adolescence,” is published in the journal Child Development. The work was done with support from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues’ Grants-In-Aid Program.

Abstract

This study examined how intergroup processes and social-cognitive factors shape bystander responses to bias-based and general bullying. Participants included 6th and 9th graders (N=179, M=13.23) who evaluated how likely they would be to intervene if they observed bullying of immigrant-origin and nonimmigrant-origin peers. Adolescents’ grade, intergroup attitudes, and social-cognitive abilities were evaluated as predictors of bystander responses. Nonimmigrant-origin adolescents reported that they expect they would be less likely to intervene when the victim is an immigrant-origin peer. Further, participants with more intergroup contact and higher Theory of Mind were more likely to expect they would intervene in response to bias-based bullying. Findings have important implications for understanding factors that inform anti-bullying interventions that aim to tackle bias-based bullying against immigrants.

Computer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Over 32% Of TikTok Users Are In Their Teens

Social Media platform TikTok has continued its meteoric rise since an important merger in 2018 that took the platform globally, permeating the mainstream. The platform is especially popular among the younger generation with a majority of teens using Tiktok in the US. According to data presented by Stock Apps, over 30% of Tiktok users are in their teens which is the biggest among all age groups. More data indicates that 7 in 10 American teens use Tiktok at least once a month.

The Early Days of Tiktok

Tiktok is a social media platform that originated in China and is locally known there as Douyin. Douyin was started by ByteDance in 2016 and aimed to spread globally once it gained popularity in mainland China. In 2017 ByteDance launched Tiktok which was the international version of Douyin.

In 2018, Bytedance reportedly spent up to $1B to acquire Musical.ly, another Chinese social media startup based out of Shanghai that was founded in 2014. Musical.ly already had a large following, especially among the younger generation. This became the foundation for Tiktok’s global rise. Since their merger, Tiktok has been made available to download in over 150 countries and 75+ languages.

Tiktok Widely Popular Among Younger Generation

Tiktok allows users to record a short 15-second clip that usually features music in the background and can be edited through filters. A popular kind of clip that originated with the Musical.ly app are short lip-sync videos to trendy songs.  The video can also be sped up or slowed down to the users liking allowing for creative little clips that easily go viral. The platform clearly appeals to the younger generation and has surpassed many other social media platforms in terms of usage among teens. In the fall of 2020, a survey of almost 10K teens indicated that TikTok was the third most popular social media platform behind only Snapchat and Instagram with over 7 in 10 teens indicating that they used the platform at least once a month.

More Than 30% Of Tiktok’s Android Users Are In Their Teens – Largest Share By Age Group

TikTok’s popularity among the younger generation is no secret and is in fact the backbone of the app’s success. As of the midway point of 2020, 32.5% of Tiktok’s Android users are from the 10-19 age group, the largest share of any group, followed by the next youngest generation, the 20-29-year-olds who comprise 29.5% of Tiktok’s Android users. That means over 60% of Tiktok’s Android users are under the age of 30.

This important share of the market has not been lost among celebrities who seek to expand their reach with stars such as Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk among those to join the Tiktok party relatively early in 2018. Since then other megastars such as Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and Will Smith have joined the party, among many others.

In the fall of 2019, Tiktok also announced a multi-year partnership with the National Football League which included the launch of the official NFL Tiktok account giving teams, players and the league as a whole new marketing avenue. Partnerships such as these are what help catapult Tiktok to become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, already boasting 800 monthly active users in less than four years of existence.