Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital kids, digital life, mentoring digital kids, parents and technology

Another Digital Parenting Book That’s Scary – Sigh…

fear riskSo many digital parenting books and articles generate fear and anxiety, and American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers is no exception. The big question is whether or not this book, or any of the others, can inspire parents to get serious, learn about the relationships and issues their children encounter with poorly supervised mobile devices, and then figure out how to guide and, yes, supervise their children.

Journalist Nancy Jo Sales offered us a preview of her book in a 2013 Vanity Fair article, Friends Without Benefits, and now that I’ve read both the book and the article, I’d recommend going for the article. The book definitely offers many more interviews with girls, providing an intensive gaze through the prism of 21st Century adolescent digital life.

Continue reading “Another Digital Parenting Book That’s Scary – Sigh…”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital life, media diet, parents and technology

Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.44.51 PMCheck out a cool infographic over at Tuned in Parents that addresses many screen time questions. The image was created using information from a broad array of evidence-based research conducted by organizations such as Common Sense Media, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Zero to Three, PBS, and a number of research sources, and the infographic addresses many of the questions that parents continuously mull over.

Screen time is for many of us is a conundrum. Most parents and teachers (and grandparents, too) wonder just how to balance the time children spend with screens. Our goal, after all, is to create digital wellness for our children and ourselves — a sometimes lofty goal.

We have many questions including: Continue reading “Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, acceptable use, collaborating with kids, digital devices, digital kids, digital wellness, distracted driving, family conversations, gadgets and sleep, media and family life, modeling for kids, monitoring kids online, parents and technology

After Buying a Device & Before Giving It to Kids: What to Do

I’m getting a new iPhone 6s!
I’m getting a new iPhone 6s!

Every 21st Century parent needs a holiday digital parenting checklist that describes the tasks to accomplish between purchasing a new digital device and watching a child gleefully unwrap it. A list gives parents a head start, helping them understand challenges, set explanations and guidelines, anticipate problems, and most importantly, set the stage for responsible and respectful use of extraordinarily powerful devices.

Many parents I speak with point out how little time they have to go through this sort of checklist — but the time spent now is nothing compared the time drain that occurs after your child experiences a connected world problem. It’s worth your time to consider the checklist now.

The MediaTechParenting 2015
         Digital Parents’ Holiday and Beyond Checklist        

Continue reading “After Buying a Device & Before Giving It to Kids: What to Do”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital devices, family conversations, family life, mentoring digital kids, parents and technology

A Positive Story for Younger Digital Kids: Meet the Von Awesome Family

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEAs parents and educators, we quickly come to understand how stories help young people learn.

Unfortunately, when it comes to digital parenting and digital citizenship, we do not have many positive children’s stories — the kind you can sit down and read with a child. We know what we want children to learn as they grow up and use more and more digital devices in a connected world. We are also gradually coming to understand that citizenship and digital citizenship are one and the same.

We need lots more stories that illustrate the way digital life should be lived — stories that we can share with 21st Century children when they are young.

Continue reading “A Positive Story for Younger Digital Kids: Meet the Von Awesome Family”

Posted in 21st Century life, digital devices, digital learning, parents and technology

My New KarmaGo — It’s Here So Watch for My Reports #1

I’ve been waiting and waiting. I realized that the KarmaGo was a new device, but I had no idea how popular it would be or how long I’d have to wait for it (like nearly two months). So about two weeks ago I wrote to ask EXACTLY WHEN I might expect it. And the customer service folks got right back to me, explaining that more people had ordered than expected, and that I should have it in hand within two weeks. Also they offered me another gigabyte of memory to use with this mini (and cute) wifi router.

FullSizeRender
The KarmaGo comes with a handy felt storage pocket. It won’t turn on unless I turn it on.

It’s been two weeks and now I have it in my hand, so check out the photo of my new KarmaGo and the handy little felt bag to use when I carry it around in my purse. The felt container ensures that I don’t turn it on by accident. What a nifty little 21st Century gadget!

For those of your who don’t know, the KarmaGo is a mini router with portable wifi that I’ll carry around. I can turn it on whenever I need wifi and keep if off when I’m not using  it. I buy the wifi access that I require. as I need it and I’ll be learning a lot in the next few days!

Continue reading “My New KarmaGo — It’s Here So Watch for My Reports #1”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century teaching, cell phones, digital devices, student learning and cell phones

The Enormous School Cell Phone Conundrum

Last week I read a great article describing how teachers and students might use mobile phones in the classroom.

All sorts of apps promote student learning, but it takes time an patience to identify the good ones.
All sorts of apps promote student learning, but it takes time and patience to identify the good ones.

Will Ferriter, the proprietor of The Tempered Radical blog, posted an article Interview on Cell Phones in the Classroom, that explains his personal views — based on years of teaching experience — about using student mobiles should be used in the classroom.

“Our goal,” he writes, “shouldn’t be to ban access to powerful tools for learning. Instead, our goal should be to show the students in our classrooms how to take full advantage of the learning potential sitting inside their purses and their back pockets”.

Read the entire blog post which addresses — broadly — the opportunities for learning that digital devices offer  21st Century students. Lots of educators may disagree with Ferriter’s view, but the fact is we fight a loosing mobile device battle. Students own these devices, and while they are always close at hand and the kids know how to use them to connect with others, most have no understanding for the true learning power of these devices offer. We could help them learn a lot more and become more thoughtful about using their mobiles.

Continue reading “The Enormous School Cell Phone Conundrum”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, Conversation skills, digital devices, digital health and wellness, parents and technology

Does Digital Life Distort Our Conversation Skills?

Jacket-for-Reclaiming-Conversation
Learn more about the book.

Do our conversation skills weaken as we continually connect — virtually and physically — with our digital devices? How does this always-connected environment affect our children and youth? Are conversational and empathy skills developing as they should?

Sherry Turkle describes these problems in Reclaiming Conversation, a book that relates how the individuals in many of her interviews note — uncomfortably so — that they are less and less able to carry on a conversation confidently. More worrisome, children, in general, appear to be less able to converse, put themselves in another individual’s shoes, and empathize with that person. Turkle backs up her assertions with evidence.

Continue reading “Does Digital Life Distort Our Conversation Skills?”