Posted in digital parenting, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social media, social networking

Summer, Social Media, and Digital-Age Parenting

Read the research here.

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.

A 2011 Pew Internet and American Life Project report, Teens, Kindness, and Cruelty on Social Networking Sites, noted that 95% of children ages 12 – 17 are online, many on social networking sites. Since that Pew report was published, media sources report that children several years younger than 12 are also using social media. Read the NPR piece, Social Networks: Thinking of the Children. Children continue to need guidance and limits-setting from their parents.

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”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, copyright, digital parenting, Great TED Talks, parent child conversations, parents and technology, teaching digital kids

Copyright: Lessig on History, Creativity, and Sharing

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.

Posted in digital parenting, digital world conversations, parent child conversations, parent education, parents and technology

Digital Kids to Parents: Listen Up!

With more than 30 years as a teacher including over 20 in the educational technology field, I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills.

Here are the seven most common “I Wish” statements that I’ve heard expressed by children over the last 16 or 17 years. Two of them, I can report, my daughter also mentioned to me ages ago.

Kids wish their parents and other adults would:         Continue reading “Digital Kids to Parents: Listen Up!”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Bookmark It!, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital learning, hate groups on the web, information freedom, parent child conversations, parents and technology

The Teaching Tolerance Website: Use It-BookMark It!

Visit Teaching Tolerance!

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.

Continue reading “The Teaching Tolerance Website: Use It-BookMark It!”

Posted in cultural changes, digital parenting, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Staying Power — Is there Such a Thing Anymore?

My First Palm (PDA)

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.

My Current iPhone 4S

In Bye 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.

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?”

Posted in digital parenting, online databases, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social media, supervising kids

Effectively Guide Your Digital Kids-10 Tips for Grades 4-6 and Beyond

My design with images from the Apple website.

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 contracts and using these agreements with your child. Feel free to take away privileges, or even the device, if your expectations are not met.

Continue reading “Effectively Guide Your Digital Kids-10 Tips for Grades 4-6 and Beyond”