Now that back-to-school nights are about over, schools will be scheduling parent potlucks, curriculum nights, and educational seminars throughout the academic year. These activities offer lots of opportunity for educational communities to start conversations about the challenges — for parents and kids — of growing up in the connected world.
At all of these events administrators, teachers, and parents should plan to incorporate a few introductory comments that encourage parents to think about helping their digital children become stronger learners, savvier digital citizens, better consumers of content on their digital devices, and overall, more knowledgeable citizens.
Below are a few questions that can be shared at school events and classroom presentations, questions that encourage parents to talk about managing life with 21st Century digital kids. While there are no right answers to these questions, the conversations provide adults an opportunity to talk about what works — and what does not — in the context of young people’s school and social lives.
Choose one or at most two inquiries to use at each activity.
- What steps can we take so that all of us — teachers, students, parents, and administrators — work collaboratively to build strong but kind and respectful digital skills?
- How can each family develop and carry out its own digital wellness plan, but also teach children that the family digital wellness plans of other children are just as important (even though they may be different).
- What strategies can we use to teach children that mistakes are a part of learning and growing up, while also helping them think about how to avoid unnecessary mistakes that result from impulsive behavior?.
- What issues factor into a parent’s decision to purchase a mobile phone for a child? Smart phones and digital devices are wonderful but powerful devices, and while they offer many opportunities for kids, they also offer plenty of pitfalls.
- If a child uses a mobile phone, why is it important for an adult to be in charge of the device?
- Where on the web are examples of digital device contracts and agreements?