Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, online safety, online security, parents and technology, teens and technology

Summer Vacation and Family Digital Conversations

I recommend this documentary for a summer family movie night.

Are you thinking about digital citizenship and safety conversations? Do you want to learn more about Wikipedia?  Summer is a great time for these talks. Here’s why.

School’s out and many children fill at least part of their summer days with World Wide Web activities on fast internet connections. Camps and day camps feature computer labs and lots of specialized digital programs. On the go, we increasingly carry more gadgets — mobile phones, smartphones, iTouches, Blackberries, and iPads. In fact, even on vacations and at hotels, cottages, and many of those rustic country cabins we all hope to escape to, we stay connected. After years of teaching, I’ve found that my students’ digital skills usually expand during the three-month summer hiatus from school.

Adults can learn more, too. Ask your children to help you expand your own skills. Maybe you want to download videos or save podcasts to your smartphone. Perhaps you can start a family blog, really learn how to use your digital camera, or ask your child can show you how to make special ringtones from your favorite music. If you don’t know how to text, summer is a great time to learn. Read 7 Constructive Digital Suggestions from Kids to Parents.

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Posted in cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital parenting, family conversations, online safety, parent child conversations, parent education, parents and technology, teens and technology

Teens, Parent Anxiety, and the Internet

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Day after day frightening stories bombard us with warnings about what might happen to children and teens when they use the Internet and World Wide Web, so it’s useful to remind ourselves that these digital resources can provide our children with unparalleled opportunities to learn, socialize, and become active citizens. An article, Our Overblown Paranoia About the Internet and Teens, recently published in the online publication, Salon, provides just such a reminder.

Pediatrician Rahul Parikh, who practices in the San Francisco Bay area, points out that, despite all of our anxiety about teens and Internet risks, no statistics really exist to offer a full picture of the incidence of exposure to risk. Those few that do are often biased because of a common problem for research, posing questions to get the desired answer. Situations that do occur are often covered by a hysterical media, making us feel like a problem happens over and over, just around the corner. Continue reading “Teens, Parent Anxiety, and the Internet”

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, electronic communication, parents and technology, social media, teens and technology

7 Ways Today’s Teens Communicate — Some Surprises

Check out this cool graphic from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

These graphs (click on the image to go to a larger picture at the Pew site) depict the various ways teens communicate. Notice how low e-mail ranks among the electronic forms of communication that today’s teens use. The data come from a survey of teens age 12 – 17 conducted as a part of the research for Pew’s report, Teens and Mobile Phones.

From the Pew Website

The graphic below shows daily use of a variety of communication technologies – and suggests that while text messaging as a daily activity for teens has grown astronomically over the past three years, other communicative technologies have remained relatively stable or have declined slightly, suggesting that the increase in texting has layered on top of the other modes of communication that teens employ.

Other Interesting Pew Internet Reports include Social Media and Young Adults and Teens and Sexting, both released in 2010.

Thanks to Pew for reminding me of this research via Twitter (@PewInternet).

Posted in data collecting, data sharing, digital parenting, media literacy, parents and technology, social media, social networking, teens and technology

Quiz: How Much do You Know About Social Media?

Take the quiz!

To get a sense of how much you really know about the social networking world and the movers and shakers who are actively developing and tweaking it, take a social media quiz. The Big Social Media Quiz over at the Liberate Media website.

A user needs 70% to pass this quiz, and though I know all sorts of minutia about social media, I only answered 50% of the questions correctly. Sigh!

Liberate Media is a PR firm with social media expertise.

Posted in American Academy of Pediatricians, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital parenting, parents and technology, supervising kids, teens and technology

Pediatricians, Parents, and Digital Kids, Part II

Last Monday I read three powerful articles, and they fit together like a puzzle. They illustrate how a generational digital divide accentuates adolescent virtual world problems — a result of the contradictory digital perceptions of teens and adults.

POISONED WEB: A Girl’s Nude Photo and Altered Lives, appeared in the New York Times. The article describes how small, teenage misjudgments in the unsupervised world of instant web, smartphones, and cyber-bullying, can magnify hate and cause terrible pain. Reporter Jan Hoffman quotes adults who wish they had supervised more carefully and pledge to do more in the future. I wondered, as I often do when I read these articles, what leads adults not to supervise in the first place? Reading about the teachers, administrators, and officials who attempted to create opportunities for growth and learning out of the senseless hurt and cruelty was a highlight of the article.

 

Are We Ready to Stop Labeling Ourselves Digital Immigrants?an amazing and thoughtful post at A Space for Learning, gets to the heart of the digital divide issue. The author writes: Continue reading “Pediatricians, Parents, and Digital Kids, Part II”

Posted in digital parenting, parents and technology, privacy, social media, social networking, teens and technology

Facebook Privacy Settings: New Guide from Techlicious

Check out the Techlicious Facebook Privacy Guide, posted by Josh Kirschner on February 8, 2011 over at the Techlicious website.

Maintaining control over privacy settings is a required and critical technology task for each Facebook user. Since sharing information is one of Facebook’s primary missions, the company wants to collect and share as much personal information as possible with its advertisers. Facebook sets most new features to share data then when they first debut on the site, and to be fair, social networking is all about sharing information. Thus it is up to each individual to determine just how much information to put out there, making conscious decisions about what the world can see, what close friends can view, and what to keep private.

Our children and their friends are enthusiastic Facebook users, but they do not always focus on the need to pay attention, on a regular basis, to privacy settings. I’ve written many privacy posts on this blog including Getting Serious About Online Privacy and Keeping Track: Adolescents in the Digital Age, pieces that focus on the importance of maintaining family privacy when individual members engage in so many digital activities. Knowing the connection between many social networking sites and advertisers — and the impact it has on a user’s privacy — is critical for everyone, but especially for teens.

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Posted in cell phones, digital parenting, online security, online tracking, parents and technology, teens and technology

Do You and Your Child Have ANY Digital Privacy?

New gadgets are great with new capabilities, advanced features, stellar communications, and exciting applications. Everything is perfect, right? Not really and especially not with the smart devices that children and adolescents carry.

As I work and play with my iPhone and iPad, the world seems pretty good. Yet, on the down side is my decreasing privacy. My two devices share a lot of my personal information with others — something I hardly ever think about when I am using the iPhone or iPad. Thinking, however, is a good idea, as is looking over a child’s Internet-connected devices and talking about what should be turned on and what should be turned off.

Continue reading “Do You and Your Child Have ANY Digital Privacy?”