Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital kids, digital life, digital parenting, modeling for kids, moderation, texting and driving

Moderation in Today’s Jam-packed World

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.

moderation wordsDad’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.

Continue reading “Moderation in Today’s Jam-packed World”

Posted in evaluating news, media literacy, media literacy quiz, parents and technology

How Well Can You Identify News That’s Not True?

Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 7.59.02 PMI am still having great fun with Factitiousa 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.

I wrote about Factitious in June 2017, but recently I went back to the site and discovered that the game has expanded, with updated news for each year and a few more news evaluation levels. Last week I asked a group of friends play the game, and we all agreed it is a helpful teaching tool.     Continue reading “How Well Can You Identify News That’s Not True?”

Posted in 21st Century life, acceptable use, cell phones, civility, digital devices, digital parenting, mobile phones, parents and technology

KTRK-TV Lists 14 Apps that Parents of Teens Should Learn More About

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.

14 phone apps for parents to learn about
Click to visit the list @ KTRK.

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”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, cell phones, digital devices, digital kids, image sharing, parents and technology

To Share or Not to Share a Photo?

Infographics_Post a Photo_letter_051712_letter sizeCommon 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.

The questions probably take less than a minute to think about — time well spent if a digital child identifies certain potential consequences and decides not to share an image. Continue reading “To Share or Not to Share a Photo?”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, online learning resources, poetry

2019 Poetry Month Resources

Humpty dumpty LOC
via The Library of Congress

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.

I discovered several good poetry resources over at the Reading Rockets website. Take some time to watch some of the videos available at the Poets on Poetry link and, on the same page, visitors can explore a link with an extensive list of video interviews with poets who write for children.     Continue reading “2019 Poetry Month Resources”

Posted in digital citizenship, fact-checking, fake news, media literacy, parents and technology

What If We Just Stopped Using the Words FAKE NEWS?

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-10-06-52-amTonight I looked at yet another post that yet another person labeled as Fake News (it wasn’t).  

What if we just stopped using the term fake news and gradually transitioned to other words? How much media literacy change would occur from this simple vocabulary adjustment?

  • Misinformation
  • Disinformation
  • Confirmed/Unconfirmed news
  • Authoritative news
  • Substantiated news
  • Verified or validated/unvalidated news
  • Corroborated news
  • Proven/Unproven news
  • Authenticated news
  • Reliable
  • Unambiguous news

Just wondering…

Posted in parents and technology

Who’s in Charge of that Laptop or Digital Device from School?

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.

ipad work at homeEssentially 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?”