Posted in 21st Century life, cell phones, digital devices, digital kids, digital parenting, kids and privacy, parents and technology

Great Tutorial for Parents Setting Up Kids’ iPhones

kid & smartphone
Via Pixabay.

Are you planning to purchase a new iPhone for a digital kid your family?

If so, check out a recently published article, How to Secure Your Kid’s iPhone,  aimed at parents who want to administer and set up controls on the iPhones that their 21st Century children will be using. The piece in PC Magazine is chock full of suggestions, covering topics such as setting up restrictions, making family sharing groups, choosing passwords, preserving privacy, choosing a browser, turning various phone features on (and off) and much, much more.

Written by Eric Griffith, the July 2017 article, which includes plenty of links to other information, is a must-read for any parents who purchase or plans to purchase a new iPhone to give to a young family member.

And after setting up your child’s iPhone, don’t forget that your work is just beginning. c Become a mentor for your child and strike up regular conversations about civility, digital wellness and citizenship.

Posted in 21st Century life, civility, computer history, digital change, innovation, teaching digital kids, women and computing

Even a Web Founder Worries about Today’s Connected World Climate

the-innovators-9781476708706_hr-1Can a world wide web creator be a doubter about what he helped to create?

I’ve just finished reading The Innovators by Walter Isaacson, a book that highlights the many people who helped create, step-by-step, the digital world where we now reside.

The book begins way back in the mid-1800s with the ideas of Lady Ada Lovelace, an amateur mathematician (and the daughter of poet Lord Byron). It was Lady Ada, Isaacson writes, who provided the ideas and laid the groundwork for early computer developers to use nearly 100 years later when they created their first computing machines.                              Continue reading “Even a Web Founder Worries about Today’s Connected World Climate”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, charging digital devices, device-free times, parents and technology, screen free times

No-Tech Zones Enrich a Child’s Life — and the Family’s

You might want to read 5 No-Phone Zones for Parents and Kids Alike, a January 2017 New York Times article.

screen-shot-2015-04-06-at-8-36-54-pm-e1428367741259Written by Perry Klass, M.D., a pediatrician and long-time writer, the Times article reminds parents to put down their phones when they interact with their 21st Century children, and it emphasizes the importance of any time that a child spends away from digital devices.

Despite the wonders and access that our mobile phones and other connected world devices bring to our lives, screen-free time is essential in a child’s life as well as for an adult. Klass suggests five phone-free times that she considers sacred, though she points out that she is not always successful in her quest. Check out the article.

Posts on this blog highlighting the importance of screen-free time and space include:   Continue reading “No-Tech Zones Enrich a Child’s Life — and the Family’s”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, mobile phones, parents and technology

Thinking About Digital Life in 2017? Consider Simon Sinek’s Ideas

As you think about parenting or teaching digital natives in 2017, check out this presentation, Millennials in the Workplace, by Simon Sinek, an author and business consultant who writes on business, management, and communication. While some people may be put off, during the first few minutes by his characterization of the way  parents raised today’s young adult millennials, watching the entire video is well worthwhile. Sinek is the author of the best seller Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. His most recent book is Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration

In the short video Sinek offers thoughtful ideas and sage advice about growing, learning, parenting, and living well in the 21st Century connected world. His ideas for modifying our mobile device behavior can motivate us to make  positive changes that affect civility, citizenship, and digital wellness in our lives.

Posted in 21st Century life, anonymity, anonymous apps, commenting, digital world reading habits, ethical behavior, hate groups on the web, online hate, parents and technology, raising digital kids

Is Hate Speech in the Connected World Here to Stay?

Expressing hate is so easy with just a few taps on the keyboard.
Expressing hate is takes just a few taps on a keyboard.

Hate speech has been around for a long time, but the connected world has amplified it. Sometimes hateful and threatening comments on social media and in comment sections feel like they are run-of-the-mill daily events. Sadly, Twitter, an awesome social media communications platform — one that I and many educators use and adore — has offered one of the easiest pathways for hate speech amplification. Twitter makes it easy to be “sort-of” anonymous.

For a good overview of Twitter’s online hate problems, take a few minutes to read Jim Rutenberg’s New York Times article, On Twitter, Hate Speech Bounded Only by a Character Limit. Rutenburg shares some of the hateful accusations he’s received and talks about the challenges that Twitter faces with so much hateful, accusatory, and threatening speech. He notes that Twitter, which is no longer growing its subscriber base, is now for sale. Gutenberg speculates on who might purchase it. “You have to wonder,” he writes, “whether the cap on Twitter’s growth is tied more to that basic — and base — of human emotions: hatred.”                                                    Continue reading “Is Hate Speech in the Connected World Here to Stay?”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, 21st Century teaching, digital wellness, parents and technology

Incorporating 21st Century Vocabulary Words Into the Conversation & the Curriculum

vocabulary 4
Check out all the posts in this series and watch for new ones.

To become successful, intelligent, and mindful 21st Century learners, young people need to understand and apply a small group of vocabulary words that now have expanded digital world meanings.

Parents may want to use and talk about these words in conversation as often as possible. Teachers should consciously incorporate them into the curriculum, because the vocabulary knowledge provides young learners with tools that help them consume information more effectively.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 11.28.15 AM
21 Century Vocabulary Words

As young preadolescents and teens become more comfortable with these words and increasingly able at applying the conceptual meanings they may also gain skill at discerning and then avoiding many of the digital world problems and pitfalls that children encounter.

Continue reading “Incorporating 21st Century Vocabulary Words Into the Conversation & the Curriculum”

Posted in cultural changes, digital citizenship, digital parenting, hate groups on the web, online safety, online security, parents and technology, risky behavior

Kids, Hate Groups, and the Internet: There’s So Much to Encounter!

In today’s digital world groups increasingly troll the Internet, depositing easily available and intriguing materials — music, posters, jokes, cartoons, and stories — whose sole purpose is to introduce growing children to hate. Over recent years this readily available propaganda, designed expressly to appeal to teen sarcasm, edgy humor, and musical preferences, strives to look like any other funny or absurd digital content a student might casually discover. Except that it’s not funny.

It’s also not something for parents to scare. The simple fix is for parents and educators to talk with children, mentoring them, helping them learn to evaluate, guiding them to develop an eagle eye that identifies and filters hateful content — exactly what you teach them to do with any other inappropriate content.

All of us — educators, parents, and especially adolescents — need to know how to recognize this type of information and how to alert others. Hate groups look for vulnerable pre-adolescents and teens from every socioeconomic group. The level of education in a child’s home and an emphasis on values of respect and acceptance may not make a difference if a child, during an especially needy, lonely, or stressful time or through an error in judgment, encounters a clever hate group tactic. Many children are simply attracted by absurdity, laughing at symbols they know little about. That’s also when a group may try, if it has even a bit of personal information, to encourage an adolescent to come back, laugh some more, and maybe even make a friend.

Hate groups have become more active and more visible since President Obama’s 2008 election, but these organizations, some quite small, have courted young people for years. An old, but still relevant Salon Magazine article, Web of Hate, described the problem as it existed on the Internet in 1998, providing a good background. The issue, however, is far more serious today.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) spends a considerable amount of its time and money tracking purveyors of hate. Its website features an interactive hate map and also provides first-rate resources that parents, teachers, and religious leaders can use when hateful content surfaces or when it’s necessary to actually fight recruitment tactics. The map, by the way, is an extraordinary teaching tool in itself, but so are the SPLC intelligence files such as this one on the Ku Klux Klan.

Read about the white power racist music industry and some of its recruitment strategiesIn an article in the California-based, East Country Magazine, James McElroy, a chairman of the SPLC board comments:

We try to shine a little light on it. Hate is like a fungus under a rock. Shine a light and you can eradicate it.

Continue reading “Kids, Hate Groups, and the Internet: There’s So Much to Encounter!”