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Timely Topics on Teaching & Parenting Digital Children

Soundbites From Day One of FOSI 2013, Conference Post #2

Posted by Marti Weston on November 7, 2013

fosi2013Some of these ideas come from researchers describing the results of various studies. Others come from presenters’ comments. My apologies for not connecting individuals with their comments. 

I am drawing from my 30 pages of actual handwritten notes (handwritten because the seats were not a comfortable height for me to use my iPad).

In the Digital World

  • Six billion people have access to a cell phone in today’s world — more than have access to clean toilets.
  • The enemy of empowerment is fear and lack of expertise.
  • Be the change that you want to see in the world. (a Gandhi quote)
  • Children are using the Internet at younger and younger ages.
  • Surveillance does not create safety — only the illusion of safety.
  • Think less about digital citizenship. The Internet is a huge part of life and we are citizens on and offline.
  • Digital world communication often eliminates a person’s visual and aural signals setting the scene for misunderstanding.


  • Teens take many steps to maintain privacy and  avoid identity theft.
  • Today’s teens to not have the same concerns as adults about keeping things private.
  • When it comes to advertising, teens tend to think that advertisers and corporations will not use their data.
  • Bullying still happens much more at school than online.
  • Teens and older children migrate to platforms that are simple, easy to manage, include pictures, and don’t have many adults.
  • In the digital world the time between action and reaction is short. We need to help people build in reflection time.
  • Building and strengthening a kid’s empathy is a key to addressing bullying.


  • Only about 9% of kids think to go to their teachers with digital problems, because  most pre-adolescents and teens perceive that the teachers don’t know that much.
  • When teachers do speak about digital life issues, kids listen.
  • In addition to critical evaluation and judgment skills, children and teens need to understand how things work in the  social-emotional arena.
  • Four skills are required to navigate our connected world: agency, choice, equity, and literacy.


  • In today’s connected world we have to fight to do the offline things that we used to automatically do together.
  • Children of all ages report their frustration with getting attention from parents.
  • Fear has come to dominate a lot of today’s parenting styles.
  • We need to teach parents to talk about the digital world early in the child-raising process.

2 Responses to “Soundbites From Day One of FOSI 2013, Conference Post #2”

  1. […] A teacher’s takeaways from FOSI 2013: It’s great to get an educator’s perspective. Marti Weston teaches students at all grade levels at Georgetown Day School, a pre-K through 12 independent school in Washington, D.C. […]

  2. […] at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., picked up on the shift in our national discourse in her takeaways from the FOSI conference. She pointed to four things needed for effective navigation of our connected world: agency, choice, […]

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