Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents and teachers now have two simple and easy-to-use tools that can assist with developing a family’s media plan and estimating how family members can organize their time so that screen time is balanced with physical activity, reading, face-to-face connections, and homework.
Every school administrator and every PTA group will want to share the information about these digital planning devices in as many ways as possible. The new tools are available at the AAP’s HealthyChildren.org website.
The Academy has also refreshed its screen time recommendations for children of all ages, making needed updates to reflect the changing digital landscape as well as the many media activities in the lives of family members. Whether you agreed or vehemently disagreed with previous AAP screen and media guidelines, the professional society of children’s physicians deserves high praise for its ongoing efforts to address a media and digital landscape that dramatically affects the health and wellness of young people.
According to officials responsible for formulating policy and implementing the directive, future government employment security clearance investigations will include a search of social media content. Applicants will not be asked for passwords and investigators will not log into (or break into) accounts. Investigators will seek to identify the range of an individual’s public content, looking for information that might raise red flags and adversely affect a decision to give a person a security clearance.
Sharing apps make users, especially young people, feel like they can have and keep secrets with their friends. Children, and adults, too, like the apps because they claim to offer a modicum privacy and because any media that they share will self-destruct within a few seconds. Voilà – it’s disappeared!
The 2013 results are based on a nationally representative survey of parents with children under eight years of age. Researchers surveyed 1,463 parents utilizing the same methodology that was used in the 2011 survey and making sure that African-American and Latino representation was large enough to ensure statistically valid conclusions. To further ensure the reliability of the data, investigators provided devices and Internet access to survey participants when necessary.
Several of the Most Interesting 2013 Findings
The survey data indicate that almost twice as many children, eight years and younger now use mobile media when compared to the 2011 Common Sense Media results.
Television, DVD, and video game use on traditional screens is decreasing, but television still dominates.
Although access to mobile media for poor and underserved children has increased since the 2011 survey, a digital divide still exists.
I’ve just returned from the 2013 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference, where I presented a workshop with three colleagues, Renee Hawkins, Vinnie Vrotny, and Larry Kahn. In our Thursday afternoon session we shared our ideas about coaching the parents of 21st Century learners to help them understand more about the digital lives of their children.
As I reflect on our wonderfully collaborative NAIS presentation project — coming up with an idea and developing it over time — I now understand that the workshop planning process led me and my colleagues on a substantial journey featuring what I think of as extremely connected professional development.
This workshop’s journey began a year ago at EdCampSeattle, where I shared an idea about the importance of educating 21st Century parents. At my school I work hard at educating parents about their digital kids, so I wanted to learn lots more about what my colleagues do at other schools.
Actually, I initially shared my idea with independent school colleague, Liz Davis, a dedicated EdCamp advocate, and she told me that I just had to attend EdCampSeattle. (Note: Liz is also one of the main people responsible for getting me to start blogging, but that’s another story.)
If you’ve attended EdCamp, you know that participants suggest lots of great ideas, but not everyone becomes part of the program. At the beginning of every EdCamp people walk around the room suggesting and choosing the topics they are most interested in — called the “law of two feet” in “EdCampSpeak.” They go on to experience, a day-long collegial event that they have planned, essentially carrying out their own program — in itself extreme professional development. Expanding this idea, my workshop colleague, Larry Kahn, will shortly experiment with inviting parents to attend an EdCamp along with teachers.
Common Sense Media recently published a solid piece aimed at helping parents and kids refine and strengthen digital research skills.
Teach Your Kids the Secrets of Smart Web Searchingfocuses on good research practices, with tips on how to search effectively and and explanations about why it matters. This piece can help parents stay front and center, guiding their kids (and themselves) on the road to becoming stronger digital information consumers.
Also included are a few Google tips — ideas that can help Google work for the learner rather than the other way around.
Figuring out how to interact with and use digital media gracefully is a challenge for many adults. A day doesn’t pass that I don’t hear adults express some degree of despair about social media and how it relates to the education of their children.