Helping Children Navigate Digital Streets: Ideas for Parents (and Teachers, Too)

Several times recently I’ve mentioned a colleague’s blog post, A Letter to Parents of Digital-Age Students. Published at Getting Smart, this piece is so good that I’ve already shared it with half-a-dozen colleagues and handed it to several parents at my school.

Read the post.

Susan Lucille Davis, a colleague of mine and — lucky for me — a member of my personal learning network, writes about the strategies that we adults must use if we want our children to become savvy and safe digital consumers. The task for adults, whether we know a lot or a little about technology, is to support, guide, and help children as they go about learning to manage the challenges in today’s digital world. We must be adult trail guides.

While Susan Davis directs her post primarily toward parents, educators can also take her information to heart.

Three Important Points in this Article                           

1. We need to think about a digital street metaphor, helping children navigate streets and maneuver through the twists and unexpected turns of the online world.

2. Adults already think about connecting a child with his or her interests or passions, but now this responsibility expands  into the digital world. Today’s children must know how to search carefully for materials as well as identify quality (or lack of it) when they discover resources that interest them. They need models at home and at school.

3. Today each of us has a digital brand, and everyone, children included, needs to understand how to create and manage a 21st Century digital profile. It’s a new concept for all of us, one that acknowledges just how much living occurs online.

I’ve only listed the big-picture categories in Davis’ article. Head on over to the post to discover all sorts of resources that adults can use to enrich the lives of their digitally native kids.

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