Posted in cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, family conversations, online communication, parents and technology, setting technology limits

Some Time Out From Digital Devices?

In Google’s Eric Schmidt and the Curse of Constant Connection, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus reports on the Google executive’s commencement address at Boston University (BU). In her May 22, 2012 column Marcus describe how Schmidt made the case for a bit of balance — urging new graduates (even as they stayed connected during the graduation ceremony) to take an hour or so each day away from the digital devices that keep us so connected.

The full text of Schmidt’s speech is on the BU website, and it’s a good read for digital age parents who are seeking ways to schedule a bit more disconnected time with family and friends.

To learn more about the search for digital device moderation I recommend the book Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. Author William Powers explores how people who lead connected lives (he does) need to find the time for reflection and interaction away from screens. And he describes how his family wants about setting some time to be together and disconnected.

Best Quote from Powers’ Book

If we’ve learned anything in the last decade about technology and human interaction, it’s that as screen time rises, direct human-to-human interaction falls off proportionally.

Posted in acceptable use, digital citizenship, digital footprints, kids changing lives, online communication, teaching digital kids

5 Digital Citizenship Moments for Your Classroom

Read my original post on digital citizenship minutes.

Each time teachers comment on digital citizenship issues in the context of daily lessons and classroom life, they model, as all adults should, a digital intelligence — just what we want our students to embrace, whether they are working or playing in the today’s world.

As educators pay increasing attention to these digital digressions throughout the school day, they demonstrate critical values of 21st Century learning — and life — in a networked world. But more importantly, our students observe that just about every learning activity these days, whether digital or not so digital, incorporates time-tested values such as thoughtful evaluation, respect, collaboration, inclusiveness, and acceptance.

Five Digital Citizenship Minutes to Incorporate into Any Lesson

1. Pause for a moment whenever you use a web site, and explain one or two things that you like about it (or don’t like). Or explain just how you found the website

2. Share an irritating or inconsiderate e-mail or cell phone moment — telling your students how it feels and why.

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Posted in cell phones, communicating with grandparents, family conversations, gadget ownership, online communication

Grandma’s iPhone

Over Easter weekend we’ll help my parents learn how to use Skype.

When it comes to her iPhone, few learning difficulties have popped up for my mom, age 84. I am delighted at the ease with which she has transferred from her old flip phone to this one — a 3G that I retired when I updated my iPhone.

How Mom is Using her iPhone

  • Her first lesson focused on typing in her contacts, and she caught on right away and also understands how to make a call using the contacts app.
  • The visual cues on the iPhone screen are terrific.
  • She loves being able to sit in a comfortable chair and play solitaire — no lessons required for this!
  • She enjoys using the speaker feature rather than holding the phone up to her ear.
  • She likes to use Safari anytime and anywhere when she wants to look something up, though like me, she is sometimes frustrated when the phone is slower because there is no wi-fi.
  • She is starting to use the map app.

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Posted in cell phones, digital learning, digital parenting, electronic communication, online communication, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Sherry Turkle TED Lecture-Connected but Alone?

The TED Talk site just posted the most recent lecture by MIT professor and psychologist Sherry Turkle. It’s embedded below.

In her presentation, Professor Turkle illustrates several of the most compelling issues from her recent book, Alone Together. She points out that technology may give us an illusion of togetherness with others, but she challenges us to understand that digital connectedness is not a substitute for person-to-person interaction.

  • Are we hiding from each other even as we are connected?
  • With fewer face-to-face conversations with one another are we less able to learn how to have conversations with ourselves?
  • Do feelings that no one is really listening to us make us want to spend more time with machines that make us feel like these devices are listening to us?
  • Are people increasingly willing to settle for the pretend empathy of devices and robots?

Continue reading “Sherry Turkle TED Lecture-Connected but Alone?”