Back-to-School Digital Reading Series for Parents

As summer 2010 moves swiftly along, we begin thinking, albeit incrementally, about back-to-school preparations.

In addition to traditional preparations — school supplies, lunch boxes, schedules, new shoes and clothes — we often use this time of year to update our digital lives, purchasing new computers, updating Internet access in our homes, and deciding whether or not to purchase cell phones other gadgets (MP3 players, iTouch, iPad) for our children.

Parents and teachers who have been through many back-to-school cycles know that some year when school begins, we unexpectedly become acquainted with new types of digital activities, discovering things that our children have known about all summer long. A few years ago Facebook arrived on the scene in just this way. While the school year does not always begin with digital surprises, experience tells us that, more often than not, a new digital activity or concern arrives on our radar screen — that’s the adult radar — at the beginning of the school year.

So to level the playing field between now and early September, I will post regular links to back-to-school parent “reading assignments.”

Most posts in this series will link to articles that address current digital and media literacy topics, providing adults with a reservoir of information that will help when they confront the next digital surprise or incident. Other posts in this series will introduce useful web sites for parents to know about when the first report assignment materializes.

The first article, an interview that the former New York Times technology reporter, David Pogue, conducted with the co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, will be posted tomorrow.

Please stay tuned!

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