Are Teens Moving Away from Facebook?

Take a few minutes to read Some Teens Aren’t Liking Facebook as Much as Older Users, a May 30, 2012 business article in the Los Angeles Times. Facebook’s growth is slowing, and many teens, after  absorbing lessons about privacy and the need to share less personal information, now seek to socialize online in smaller community groups with people they know.

Reporters Jessica Guynn and Ryan Faughnder point out that students are also far more eager to use mobile services designed for their smartphones. Interestingly, parents are still avid Facebook users.

Best Quotes from the Article

  • Teens… can also be more selective about what they share and with whom, and feel less social pressure to “friend”everyone in their school or friends or friends.
  • Teens who belong to the first truly mobile generation — their most common form of communication is text messaging — are increasingly gravitating to services made for their smartphones and tablets.

Getting a Cell Phone for a Child in Summer 2012?

Check out Techlicious!

The Techlicious blog features an information-filled post, with resources for parents who want to learn more about features and limits-setting as they go about considering whether to purchase a cell phone for a child. In her May 28, 2012 piece Suzanne Kantra describes some of the newest parental control packages on the market at large mobile phone carriers.

Kantra compares and contrasts various features that  address  a variety of parent concerns including:

      • Keeping track of kids
      • Text messaging limits
      • Entertainment

Below are a few past blog posts from MediaTechParenting on mobile phones and kids.

Help Students Evaluate Digital Sources-Howard Rheingold Video

Rheingold’s vision of a person’s personal trust network copied from the video.

Teaching children to evaluate resources and determine credibility is the biggest challenge of our 21st Century world. Until now authoritative textbooks have dominated the world of education, but not anymore.

In the video below, Howard Rheingold, the digital thinker, professor (Stanford and UC Berkeley), and personal learning network advocate, describes how parents and educators should help students develop the ability to ask questions when they discover digital information, thereby evaluating the quality or lack of it. Rheingold calls this “crap detection,” a term originally coined by Ernest Hemmingway.

We need to teach kids, Rheingold points out, “how to search and how to find” and how to be sure that what is found is of good quality. The long-range goal is for each individual to develop what Rheingold calls a “personal trust network.”

Continue reading

Some Time Out From Digital Devices?

In Google’s Eric Schmidt and the Curse of Constant Connection, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus reports on the Google executive’s commencement address at Boston University (BU). In her May 22, 2012 column Marcus describe how Schmidt made the case for a bit of balance — urging new graduates (even as they stayed connected during the graduation ceremony) to take an hour or so each day away from the digital devices that keep us so connected.

The full text of Schmidt’s speech is on the BU website, and it’s a good read for digital age parents who are seeking ways to schedule a bit more disconnected time with family and friends.

To learn more about the search for digital device moderation I recommend the book Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. Author William Powers explores how people who lead connected lives (he does) need to find the time for reflection and interaction away from screens. And he describes how his family want about setting some time to be together and disconnected.

Best Quote from Powers’ Book

If we’ve learned anything in the last decade about technology and human interaction, it’s that as screen time rises, direct human-to-human interaction falls off proportionally.

Multi-Generational Teams Do the Best Work

Have you been ever in a work situation where you feel especially old — as younger colleagues occasionally roll their eyes, proudly demonstrating their up-to-the-minute technology skills? Or maybe you’ve seen more experienced workers shoot down younger worker’s ideas. Lots of people in mid and late career periods, well people of all ages really, note these frustrations. It’s not all about age or technology — it’s about working together.

…and guess what?

Teams with differing ages and skills are often the most productive. While technology skills are important, collaborative skills and teamwork are more significant. In today’s fast-changing world, we are spending considerable effort teaching tech-savvy students how to work together with people who have differing perspectives and different kinds of ideas. Twenty-first Century employers are on the lookout for workers who can collaborate.

Sometimes older and more experienced team members offer points of view that add innovative problem-solving puzzle pieces to a team’s project. Younger workers can push limits and eagerly try new things. Older workers can also be skilled mentors. Skilled leadership, the ability to help people form a cohesive team, is a key to success.

Read, Why Multi-Generational Teams Are Bestover at bNet, the CBS Interactive Business Network.

Two broad reasons that a variety of age groups work together well and produce better results:                 Continue reading

Kids’ Online Privacy Legislation – Will It Ever Happen?

Image made with Wordfoto with a picture taken at the Library of Congress.

Much of what a child or teen does online gets added to a digital profile. Even when information is not supposed to be collected, it accumulates – somewhere. Moreover, when a child or adolescent acts impulsively or thoughtlessly online, no way exists to erase or delete a digital mistake. Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society posts a great digital dossier video that parents and educators may want to use as a conversation tool.

To learn a lot more about the state of privacy policy, especially as it concerns children and adolescents, read the article Congress Revisits Online Privacy Legislation over at Boston.com.

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Read 10 Simple Steps to Internet Safety at Common Sense Media

Check out 10 Simple Steps to Internet Safety over at the Common Sense Media website. Actually it looks like there are eleven items for parents to review at the page.

As always, Common Sense Media hits the nail on the head with clear, well written, and to-the-point parenting information. I’ve inserted a list of the questions.

Pay special attention to the two questions that I’ve listed below:

  • How do I teach my kids to recognize online advertising?
  • Should I let my kid get a Facebook page?