Posted in 21st Century life, digital kids, family media plan, media and family life, media diet, parents and technology

Pediatricians Recast Screen Time Recommendations & Give Parents Online Planning Tools

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.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-8-47-49-pm
A screenshot of the two new media tools.

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.

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Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, personal data, social media, social media content, understanding data

U.S. Government to Search Social Media Accounts for Security Clearances

Who’s data is it?
Who’s data is it?

Are there specific situations when others — people we do not know — check out and examine our social media data?

An article in the Washington Post, U.S. to Scan Social Media Accounts Before Issuing Security Clearances, describes a directive issued by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, about searching social media files.

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.

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Posted in 21st Century parenting, apps, digital kids, parents and technology, sexting, sharing media

Needed: Ongoing Social Media Conversations About Image Sharing

using smartponesIf your children are using or begging to use  InstagramSnapchat, Vineor the many other apps on their digital devices that share media, it’s time to get serious about conversations on social media and image sharing. Moreover, many other digital device apps exist or suddenly appear that also encourage sharing. (Check out my post that demonstrates just how apps multiply and catch on with kids.)

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!

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Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital devices, gadget ownership, mobile media devices, parents and technology, too much media?

Children’s Media Use in America – 2013 Report

Common Sense Media 2013 report finding
Check out the other survey findings.

Common Sense Media has published a 2013 report on young children and their access and use of mobile media devices, Zero to Eight, Children’s Media Use in America 2013. The new research study aims to get a reading on how media use has changed since the organization completed and published its 2011 media and children study. Common Sense Media plans to redo this research biennially and publish the collected data.

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.

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Posted in 21st Century Learning, collaboration, digital kids, digital parenting, extreme professional development, NAIS Conference Reports, parents and technology

Workshop Planning As Extreme Professional Development: My NAIS Conference #3

OurStoriesI’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.

Thoughts on Digital Parenting
An example of digital parenting book resources

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.

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Posted in digital learning, digital parenting, online research, parents and technology

Common Sense Media — Research for Kids

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 Searching focuses 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.

Also check out a post from this blog, How Much Does Your Child Search Links?

Posted in digital parenting, museums, parents and technology, social media, social networking

Social Media and Great Leadership

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.

Visit the museum.

So it was with some interest that I read an article, Museum Displays an Educator’s Philosophy, in the September 9, 2011 Washington Post, an interview with educator Johnnetta Cole, Ph.D., who shares thoughtful comments about social media. An anthropologist, college professor, and former president of two colleges (Bennett College for Women and Spelman College), Cole, age 74, is now the director of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. As a leader, she demonstrates creativity and passion for the museum while developing programs that reach out to communities, and she promotes the museum’s educational activities. Using social media wisely is a part of the museum’s plan. Read Cole’s Smithsonian bio.

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