Summer is a good time for parents to learn more about the social media activities of their children, developing additional skill and more understanding about what’s happening in the digital whirl that is a huge part of kids’ social lives.
The goal is not to prevent children from exploring — that’s not realistic. Instead, parents need to gather enough information to be able to keep an eye on activities, facilitate discussions when required, and intervene when it’s necessary to insulate their kids from impulsive digital behavior on computers, smartphones, and tablets. Continue reading “Summer, Social Media, and Digital-Age Parenting”→
In his 2008 TED talk, law professor Lawrence Lessig describes the history of copyright policy, illustrating the reasons why our laws in general and copyright laws in particular should evolve to reflect contemporary culture and information.
Thoughtful and thought-provoking, this lecture contains information that can be used as conversation starters for parents and teachers of digital kids.
It’s a privilege for me to write occasional posts for the Teaching Tolerance blog. However, years before I ever wrote a word for the Tolerance website, I used it as a reference and information source to develop my teaching skills and expand my understanding of the world.
You should too.
If you don’t know about Teaching Tolerance, an arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center, or if you don’t visit the website on a regular basis, you are missing an ever-expanding information universe focused on human rights, diversity, anti-racism, community-building, acceptance, tolerance, inclusion, and much more. In the digital age, with information and misinformation moving at lightning speed, we cannot learn too much about these topics.
I’ve been thinking a lot about staying power and about the importance of understanding just how fast things can change in the digital world. Both are great topics for family conversations about 21st Century life.
InBye Bye BlackBerry. How Long Will Apple Last?Forbes writer Adam Thierer describes a historical pattern — digital information giants rising and eventually declining when something better, more interesting, and useful comes along.
Using Blackberry as the current example, with occasional references to Palm devices, Thierer points out that these companies are classic examples of companies, “… with a static snapshot mentality disregarding the potential for new entry and technological disruption.”
I’ve never owned a personal computer other than a Mac, so I understand a lot about rising and falling fortunes and how Apple is currently riding high. I also, fondly remember my first Palm device and how revolutionary it seemed.
Still, it’s interesting to think about what new and exiting gizmos may be residing in someone’s garage, basement, hard drive — or imagination — and how revolutionary they may seem compared to the products we love right now.
In her presentation, Professor Turkle illustrates several of the most compelling issues from her recent book, Alone Together. Shepoints 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?
1. Save Facebook, Google+, and other big-time social networking experiences for high school.
2. Know your child’s passwords.
3. Keep online computer activities out of the bedroom. Also, plan on no-screen wind-down time during the last half hour before bed. (Yes, even those bedtime friendly Kindles – why not use bedtime-friendly books?)
4. Set up an overnight charging area for cell phones and other gadgets outside of the bedroom, preferably on another floor or part of your home.
5. Consider writing up digital device contractsand using these agreements with your child. Feel free to take away privileges, or even the device, if your expectations are not met.