Posted in parents and technology

Facebook Fundraisers & My Credit Card

Create a fundraiserI like how individuals can set up small Facebook fundraisers for various charities as a way to celebrate birthdays and other important occasions.

Sometimes when I might be purchasing a present, or at least a card, contributing to a good cause makes it so much easier. At other times, a Facebook friend may put up a fundraiser for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Once in a while deciding what to contribute to can be a challenge. especially when half-a-dozen friends set them up around the same time.               Continue reading “Facebook Fundraisers & My Credit Card”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, 21st Century teaching, digital citizenship, digital citizenship case study, evaluating news, hoax, parents and technology

Oh No! It’s MOMO! … Psssst — It’s a Hoax

Well my title says it all. I read, quite by accident, a crazy MoMo post by someone named Wanda —a scary, urgent, bang-on-the-drum essay. Then there was the video… I am pleased to say that my hoax antenna is pretty well-tuned, and my reaction was, “Here we go again.” In truth I also realized that something similar had been around the digital world a few times before. But since then I’ve watched it travel, once again all over the world.

A viral hoax travels around the world.

Both the New York Times and the Atlantic have published articles about the MoMo hoax. They are worth reading and sharing, so check them out.

I am stunned that guidance counselors, police departments, sheriffs, and all sorts of other community leaders, even a few national leaders  (ummm, not to mention parents) did not do their media literacy evaluation homework before they responded, no freaked out.           Continue reading “Oh No! It’s MOMO! … Psssst — It’s a Hoax”

Posted in parents and technology

A Poem for About Mutual Digital Citizenship — for Kids and Parents

Several years ago I uploaded a post, Advice from Digital Kids to Parents, including some of the thoughts that kids in grades 3-6 shared with me about adults’ digital activities. My students often commented that it was unfair when parents asked their kids to sign a digital life contract or agreement, because adults then proceeded to break many of the common sense rules.

The comments of my former students ring true today, especially when I see parents and kids together on a walk or at the park for a fair amount of time and parents look down most of the time at their phones.

Continue reading “A Poem for About Mutual Digital Citizenship — for Kids and Parents”
Posted in brain, cell phones, mobile media devices, mobile phones, parents and technology

Digital Device Time Off

apple applications apps cell phone
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

How much time do you spend on your phone? How much of that is necessary and how much is diversion?  Do you pick up your phone when you suddenly have nothing to do? How about at a meal? Do you use your phone at the dinner table when conversation is supposed to be going on? How about in restaurants? These are all questions that I frequently ask myself.

New York Times tech reporter Kevin Roose addresses some of these questions in his article Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain. Of course, information about taking time off from digital devices is everywhere these days, usually focusing on privacy concerns and the habits that we develop using our mobile phones. But this article is different.                       Continue reading “Digital Device Time Off”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, commenting, digital world conversations, digital world reading habits, evaluating news, fact-checking, parents and technology

Fact Checking & Commenting Skills Go Hand-in-Hand

commenting sprialLearning to comment well, avoid chatter, and identify made-up news and comments — before sharing or forwarding them —  is a critical 21st Century literacy skill.

Each week I receive a terrific email on fact checking, sent from the Poynter Institute, an independent group that promotes excellent and innovative journalism in our 21st Century democracy.  Poynter’s weekly email message contains all sorts of interesting tidbits, quotes, and information that can help people learn more about information accuracy.

Several weeks ago the Pointer email contained the following quote that can be used as a teaching tool with students in class or with the family discussions around the dinner table.                        Continue reading “Fact Checking & Commenting Skills Go Hand-in-Hand”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital change, digital devices, digital footprints, family life, learning and the brain, parents and technology, personal voice assistants

Should Babies Learn Alexa’s Name Before Mama’s?

Check out a fascinating article, When Your Kid Tries to Say ‘Alexa’ Before Mama, in the November 27, 2017 Washington Post. Tech reporter Hayley Tsukayama describes how a young child responds to the Alexa voice assistant in his house, calling out her name before learning his mom’s. She also writes about the personal voice assistant universe and expert opinions.

51ciPnzyhQL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_I am not sure what to think and, yes, it is amusing.

Yet I keep wondering whether digital toys and devices, especially those that talk, tend to distract babies and toddlers as they go about learning words and begin to carry on a basic conversation. Babies are hard-wired to learn the language that their parents speak — the words, the pitch, the intonation — and it seems like inserting digital conversations into the equation could slow down the process, or at least not be helpful. Twenty-first Century life is becoming more complex for every age as we sail nonstop into an increasingly digital world.

Continue reading “Should Babies Learn Alexa’s Name Before Mama’s?”