Posted by Marti Weston on June 10, 2013
One of many charts and graphs in the report.
A new study, Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology (PDF), was recently released by Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development. The 52-page report is easy to read and chock full of interesting graphics and charts.
Data were gathered through a survey of 2,326 parents whose children were eight years old and younger. The surveys were conducted in English and Spanish. Check out page nine of the report for more information on the methodology of the research project.
Most Interesting Report Findings (more are available in the report)
- A large number of the parents in the survey do not believe that increased use of media has made parenting easier.
- Most parents in the survey did not report many or significant family conflicts around media use.
- There continues to be a big gap between those who can afford new digital devices and those who cannot afford them.
- The study identified three types of parenting styles when it comes to family media use.
- Media-centric family life centers around various types of screens, and parents as well as children enjoy using media a lot of the time.
- Media moderate family life includes less media access, and the television is turned off a lot more of the time. Video games are not as important to daily life as in a media-centric family.
- Media lite family life includes screen time but less than the other two parenting styles. They tend to do to less television watching as a family, and they do not use television to distract children so that parents can accomplish other tasks.
The blog at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop also describes the study in detail.
Posted in digital devices, digital kids, digital parenting, media and family life, networking, parenting, parents and technology | Tagged: digital parenting, family life, media, Northwestern University Center for Media and Human Development, research | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on June 8, 2013
It’s summer 2013…
…and lots of families will soon purchase a new mobile phone for a fifth, sixth, or seventh grade child.
Remember, however, you are not just handing over a telephone. A child is getting a mini-computer — a digital device that takes pictures, shares locations, communicates via text, e-mail, and phone calls, and easily installs apps that connect in all sorts of other ways. A new cell phone networks your child in nearly unlimited ways to the entire world, and most of what he or she sends on the web via cell phone will never be deleted.
Before handing over the new mobile device, 21st Century parents need to think about how they want digital kids to use their new prized possessions and also about what they don’t want children to do.
Adults can be specific and clear about what is acceptable by setting up a cell phone user contract. Use an agreement word-for-word from the list of links on this blog. Or copy one of the contracts as a template and write a more personalized version that is appropriate for your family. Today’s kids are 21st Century learners, eager to use and explore the digital world — a great way to be — but parents need to set clear expectations that help to ensure that a child explores and experiments as much as possible without humiliation and embarrassment. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, acceptable use, cell phones, digital devices, digital devices and gadgets, parents and technology | Tagged: cell phone, cell phones, digital devices, digital kids, mobile phone, smartphones | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on June 6, 2013
The emoji keyboard has several icon screens.
iPhones seem to have unlimited features to tweak. Since I have owned iPhones for more than four years, I tend to believe I am pretty expert about using them.
Then I read this Christian Science Monitor article, 40 iPhone Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know, and discovered that I still have quite a few cool new things to learn. The February 2012 report, by Megan Riesz, Eoin O’Carroll, and Chris Gaylord, includes a few far-fetched suggestions that I will never do — in my case some the ideas for tweaking Siri — but it also includes several iPhone tweaks that I’ve already added as I was making my way through the 40 tips.
A Few of My Favorites
- Create an “app ”out of a website that you visit a lot.
- Take better pics with HDR photography.
- Install the “emojis” keyboard with lots of little pics and icons — especially nice for texting.
- Take a screen shot on the iPhone.
Posted in cell phones, digital devices, gadget ownership, iPhones and iPads, parents and technology, tips and tricks | Tagged: Christian Science Monitor, IPhone, smartphones, tips and tricks | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on May 6, 2013
Libraries continue to play a significant role in the development of young readers, even as digital resources increase and children engage in more digital activities.
Recent research by the Pew Internet and American Life Organization finds that families with incomes under $50,000 consider libraries to be an important resource in the lives of their children.
Whether they are considering digital or non-digital opportunities, these families are more likely to rate library services as important than parents in families with higher incomes.
Some interesting research findings, quoted from the report:
- 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 79% describe libraries as “very important.” That is especially true of parents of young children (those under 6), some 84% of whom describe libraries as very important.
- 84% of these parents who say libraries are important say a major reason they want their children to have access to libraries is that libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.
- 81% say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries provide their children with information and resources not available at home.
Too see other graphs and learn more about the research released on May 1, 2013, read the report, Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading.
Posted in libraries, parents and technology, reading, research on the web | Tagged: digital kids, libraries, parents, Pew Internet, Pew Research Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on May 5, 2013
Snapchat: the free mobile app that promotes itself as a disappearing act. Parents and educators need to know just enough to understand its attraction to children and adolescents and the potential problems that may occur
Teens and, yes, some tweens are now playing with Snapchat because it’s designed to make pictures disappear at their destination — in ten seconds or less.
I’ve tried to use the app, and pictures really do disappear. Voilà! The content is gone. So does this mean a child (or an adult) can go ahead and send all sorts of pictures?
Well, not exactly. Read A Warning about SnapChat, Teenagers, and Online Photo Sharing, appearing on February 11, 2013 over at the Forbes website.
After downloading and installing the Snapchat app on a mobile phone, a user chooses a picture, text, or drawing and decides how long to allow the a picture to reside on the recipient’s screen — anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds. For Snapchat to work the sender must trust that the recipient will allow the picture to delete and that the recipient will be trustworthy and respect the wishes of the sender. Any user is supposed to be 13 or older.
So yes, the content does disappear, but even a picture residing for just few seconds gives an unreliable recipient enough time to take a quick screen shot, preserving the image. Read this April 10, 2013 New Yorker article, Delete This Picture When You’re Done, by Matt Buchanan, who points out that the Snapchat site is handling over 60 million images a day. Another informative article is SnapChat: Sexting Tool or Next Instagram, a CNN report by Doug Gross. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in acceptable use, apps, cell phones, digital devices, nothing is permanently erased, parents and technology | Tagged: apps, cell phones, deleting pictures, digital devices, digital life, SnapChat | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on April 25, 2013
I keep thinking that grown-up politicians and celebrities will stop humiliating themselves when they use digital media.
But then another event occurs, and I am reminded that a good number of adults, just like many kids, have not absorbed four primary fundamentals or axioms of digital life.
- Nothing is completely private.
- Nothing can ever be totally erased — even when an app or site that says that it will disappear.
- Nothing put online anonymously will necessarily stay that way.
- Nothing personal should be communicated online if it cannot become public.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in acceptable use, digital citizenship, parents and technology | Leave a Comment »