When my brother and I were growing up in the Midwest, my dad had a big sign — about one foot by two feet — with one word. MODERATION. The sign sat for years, somewhat incongruously, in our living room, so it was impossible to miss when we were watching television, reading, doing our homework, playing games, or entering and leaving the house. It was also perfectly placed for the times when my parents’ college students came over to the house for extra study help.
Dad’s goal was for us to think, as often as possible, about self-regulating and managing our daily activities, whether we were engaged in a favorite or a not-so-favorite endeavor.
In today’s hyper-connected world, understanding the importance of moderation is a critical skill. We all — adults and children — live fast-paced 21st-Century lives that center on the media and our digital devices. Thus everyone needs to know how to hit the pause button, disengage, and refocus attention elsewhere.
I am still having great fun with Factitious, a quiz that tests my ability to distinguish real news from the fake stuff. It’s a resource that can help individuals fine-tune their media literacy skills, assisting them as they consider the truthfulness (or lack of truthfulness) of a news story.
It’s been some time since I’ve discussed specific mobile phone apps on MediaTechParenting, but a few days ago, KTRK-TV, an ABC.com affiliate, posted a list of fourteen of them and encouraged parents to learn whether their 21st Century children use these apps on their cell phones.
The Texas-based television station’s list includes several apps that may be familiar, such as Instagram, Ask.fm, and Snapchat, but others, such as Holla, Omegle, and Hot or Not, are not as well-known. Some of these apps, in the hands of teenagers, encourage questionable and even uncivil behavior, so they are definitely worth some parent study time. Continue reading “KTRK-TV Lists 14 Apps that Parents of Teens Should Learn More About”→
Common Sense Media has, for years, posted this excellent image-sharing resource, and it’s as timely today as it was when it was first published. The infographic posits a series of questions for 21st Century middle and high school kids to consider before deciding to share a photo on a digital device.
April is National Poetry Month 2019, so it’s a time to celebrate words, word combinations, rhymes, beautiful thoughts and anything else that one can express with language. Children learn so much about words and language when they listen to or read poems or even when they just play around with rhyming sounds.
The World Wide Web offers dozens of resources to help 21st Century kids learn about poems and celebrate the month.
Yesterday in the grocery store check-out line three parents chatted about the devices their children take back and forth to school. When you are cooling your heels waiting to pay for the food in your shopping cart, it is difficult not to listen to the various conversations occurring around you.
Essentially the parents asked one another how they were monitoring what their middle school children do on their laptops during homework time. All three adults sensed that while their kids were working on their homework they were also engaged with other apps (like social media!). When they inquired, their offspring always said they were doing school work. The parents weren’t so sure. Continue reading “Who’s in Charge of that Laptop or Digital Device from School?”→