It’s Thanksgiving 2015 and time for my annual list celebrating what’s good about our digital world.
As a parent, teacher, and 21st Century learning advocate with a digital parenting focus, I spend lots of time suggesting ways that families, educators, and children, can strategize, enrich, and improve their digitally connected lives. And, of course, I am always encouraging people — kids and parents — to learn and understand enough about digital life to avoid potential problems.
This year I am especially grateful for a young new family member and for the digital tools that allow me to continually stay in touch. The ability to see, chat, laugh, watch reactions, and almost touch family members who live at a distance enriches life in countless ways.
My 2015 Thanksgiving List
I am thankful that digital life allows me to:
- connect with my daughter, son-in-law, new grandson, and aging parents via FaceTime;
- check out almost any library across the globe;
- track down high quality medical information;
- communicate, almost instantly, with professional colleagues across the country and internationally when I have a question or need to solve a problem;
- read reviews on almost anything I want to purchase;
- educate myself about people and places that are unfamiliar — refugees, for instance;
- help kids discover information on almost any topic;
- find out exactly where the bad traffic is and even avoid it;
- blog and strengthen my writing skills;
- take part in all sorts of online professional development projects;
- collaborate with colleagues across the country and world via their blogs;
- encourage kids and their families to take advantage of online resources to connect with community service projects,
- identify scams more easily;
- listen to classical music on almost any radio station in the world with my digital devices and the Tune-In app;
- listen to podcasts;
- plan a vacation and learn so much more about the quality and culture of my family’s destinations;
- challenge myself to figure out new gadgets, apps, and websites;
- make my charitable contributions online (with ease) to organizations that focus on helping to make the world a better place;
- reconnect and build community with old friends — especially those who live far away;
- make new friends; and
- share, share, share — pictures, videos, stories, ideas, birthdays, and so much more.
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and researchers tell us that gratitude makes us happier. So when your family celebrates Thanksgiving 2015 remember, check out these online gratitude quotes, think about ways you can help children learn to understand gratitude, and as you give thanks, take a few minutes to consider how technology has improved your life and the lives of others.