Posted by Marti Weston on September 7, 2013
Given the chance, kids can offer remarkable insight — good ideas for their parents to consider.
I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills. I often hear my students wonder aloud about why parents don’t always model the digital citizenship expectations that they want their children to learn and apply.
Below are the nine most common “I Wish” statements expressed over the past several years by digital children that I teach. Two of them, I’ll admit, were even mentioned to me by my daughter some years ago. Mea culpa…
Kids Wish Their Parents and Other Adults Would
- Try to learn a lot more about computers in particular and technology in general.
- Stop saying they don’t know much about technology (mom’s especially)
- Not use Blackberries and phones at sports games and school events.
- Don’t talk on the phone so much in the car.
- Learn to play some of the kids’ online games.
- Understand more about helping with searches on the Internet.
- Understand how hard it is to learn the technology rules and regulations and not always threaten to take away technology access when there’s a problem.
- Stop automatically saying that new things like Wikipedia are questionable.
- Try not to act dumb about technology. Even if you don’t understand something, please act like you want to learn new things. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in digital kids, digital parenting, kids' advice for parents, parent child conversations, parents and technology | Tagged: digital kids, digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on September 4, 2013
The back-to-school season is a great time for adults to think about what they can do to help children avoid some of the typical online and social media mistakes and difficulties.
These adult strategies can help elementary and middle school children develop safe, secure, and disciplined digital life skills.
Teachers can also share this list with the parents of their students.
Posted in digital citizenship, digital devices and gadgets, digital kids, digital learning, digital parenting, parents and technology | Tagged: digital devices, digital kids, digital life, digital parenting, supervising digital kids, teens | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on August 31, 2013
Watch a great TED Talk by New York Times Technology reporter and columnist David Pogue. In his talk, 10 Top Time-saving Tech Tips, Pogue shares some cool ways to to save little bits of time (that can add up) when you are using a digital device or surfing around the web. This is the fourth time David Pogue has given a TED Talk.
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Posted by Marti Weston on August 26, 2013
If you are anything like me, you find password management to be challenging — thinking of them, storing them, and recalling them. I’ve tried several password security programs on my iPhone. They work well, but not in a way that satisfies my concern about privacy. and security. I still have to type in my passwords, which means that anyone on an unsecured network where I am working can potentially discover my passwords.
Of course, our digital children need lots of practice when it comes to secure passwords. Twenty-first Century learners need to understand how to be safe, savvy, and secure as they go about their digital lives. But how can we set good examples when it’s hard to do it for ourselves?
Help appears to be on the way.
In his June 5, 2013 New York Times column, tech reporter and guru David Pogue shared information about password memorization programs, and in the process he addressed many of my concerns. In Remember All Those Passwords? No Need Pogue writes that he is especially fond of Dashlane, a free program that memorizes passwords and also fills them in for a user, so no typing is involved. Because the program remembers the passwords, a person does not need to recall them, and that means it’s possible to use words or phrases that are long, detailed, and extra secure. Dashlane can also be used to automatically fill in credit card info — another set of personal information that it’s wise to avoid typing. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, parents and technology, password security | Tagged: Dashlane, David Pogue, password management, password security, passwords, Pogue's Posts, privacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on August 14, 2013
The 2013-14 school year will begin over the next several weeks, right after a relaxed three-day Labor Day weekend. Last year my three-days were more special than most, because I spent the time with my thirty-something daughter. As I thought about beginning the school year my mind kept wandering back to the years the two of us started school together, she as a student and me as a teacher.
During our Labor Day holiday I listened to my daughter, now a physician, talk about her work and her life, marveling at her competence, eagerness to learn, empathy, discipline, and, yes, her sense of fun. More than once during our conversations I thought about the teachers who helped her develop and strengthen these skills, people who took her interests into consideration — as well as the required topics.
A preschool teacher encouraged my daughter to get up and keep going after a fall or a spat, and her kindergarten teacher recognized her love of books but also reminded her to relax and play. In second grade her teacher came to the rescue when my daughter wanted to bring a book to read at recess, and this same gifted educator suggested that she “become an author” and write her own books.
Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Marti Weston on August 9, 2013
I often hear people of all ages, including children, say, “It doesn’t matter that my digital information is collected, because I have nothing to hide.” What bothers me most about this comment is the limited understanding that it demonstrates — a lack of knowledge about how fast the traditional walls of privacy are tumbling down and how little of it has to do with the bad things that people do.
People who make the comment usually know little about what happens to collected digital data, most of it documenting everything we do in our daily digital lives and almost none of it destined to identify wrongdoings or help to find “bad guys.” So much data is now collected about each of us in so many different ways, that almost nothing about us cannot be found out.
Our phones document where we go, our cars move through intersections with mounted cameras that note our license plates, the grocery stores keep track of the foods we prefer, and our Internet searches document the things we want to do, what we want to purchase, and often our worries about how to solve certain problems. Our data even document our medical conditions (despite physicians and insurance companies complying obsessively with HIPPA privacy rules) as we go about checking on symptoms and prescription side effects, or merely try to learn more.
So I was pleased to discover a May 2013 article, Why Privacy Matters Even If You Have Nothing to Hide, by Daniel J. Solove, a professor of law at George Washington University. In easy-to-understand terms Professor Solove addresses the myths associated with narrow interpretations of privacy issues.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 21st Century parenting, 21st Century teaching, digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology, privacy, understanding privacy | Tagged: Daniel J. Solove, digital life, family conversations, personal information, privacy | 2 Comments »
Posted by Marti Weston on July 16, 2013
A new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools, shares the results of a survey of 2,462 Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers. Data were collected in online and in-person focus groups.
Pew researchers asked educators about the effect of digital tools on their students’ writing skills. They also wanted to gather more information about the digital tools that teachers use in their classrooms and find out whether these tools help students become better writers. Survey participants were also asked share their views about the skills their 21st Century students’ will need to be successful in their future lives.
A Few of the Pew Findings
- Many teachers believe that the increasing digital world audience for writers encourages students of all ages to taking writing more seriously.
- Seventy-nine percent of the educators surveyed agree or strongly agree that digital tools encourage students to collaborate with one another.
- Fifty percent of the teachers report that digital tools make it easier for them to help students improve their writing. Interestingly, thirty-one percent say that these tools make little or no difference. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 21st Century Learning, educating digital natives, parents and technology, teaching digital kids, writing | Tagged: Advanced Placement, English teachers, National Writing Project, Pew Internet, Pew Internet and American Life Project, teaching, writing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on July 11, 2013
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After recent news reports about the National Security Agency (NSA) and its data collecting, we adults are thinking much more about the lack of privacy in our lives. We need to remember, however, that including children and adolescents in the conversation is important if they are to become competent and confident digital citizens.
With our online profiles, social media accounts, mobile devices, and files saved to the cloud, almost no one doubts that we have less privacy; however, what is an ideological or big discussion issue for adults is far more complicated and abstract for children. For most adults the sentinel issue — how much data collection intrudes on a family’s or individual’s personal life — is a primary focus. The issue for children, on the other hand, is that without basic understanding of privacy concepts they lack the information and the skills that they need to recognize and avoid potential problems.
Many years ago my parents designated important topics for dinner table conversations — broad subjects that we recycled again and again as the four of us shared family meals. When one or the other parent said, “We should talk about that at dinner,” my brother and I knew it was something that Mom and Dad wanted us to take seriously.
Today children and adolescents need to experience this same type of dinner table conversation to help them learn about privacy and develop strategies for maintaining as much of it as possible. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in digital citizenship, digital footprints, digital parenting, kids and privacy, privacy | Tagged: digital citizenship, digital devices, digital dossier, digital footprints, digital parenting, digital profiles, privacy | Leave a Comment »