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, 21st Century parenting, citizenship, digital citizenship, digital world conversations, parents and technology, raising digital kids

6 Digital Life Conversation Starters to Use in School Meetings, Discussions & Presentations

How much should parents know about the settings on children’s digital devices?
How much should parents know about the settings on children’s digital devices?

Now that back-to-school nights are about over, schools will be scheduling parent potlucks, curriculum nights, and educational seminars throughout the academic year. These activities offer lots of opportunity for educational communities to start conversations about the challenges — for parents and kids — of growing up in the connected world.

At all of these events administrators, teachers, and parents should plan to incorporate a few introductory comments that encourage parents to think about helping their digital children become stronger learners, savvier digital citizens, better consumers of content on their digital devices, and overall, more knowledgeable citizens.

Below are a few questions that can be shared at school events and classroom presentations, questions that encourage parents to talk about managing life with 21st Century digital kids. While there are no right answers to these questions, the conversations provide adults an opportunity to talk about what works — and what does not —  in the context of young people’s school and social lives.

Choose one or at most two inquiries to use at each activity. Continue reading “6 Digital Life Conversation Starters to Use in School Meetings, Discussions & Presentations”

Posted in parents and technology

Digital Parenting Booster Shot? A Healthy Child Metaphor

If you are getting ready for Back-to-School or Curriculum Nights at your school, here’s a post from September 2015 the illustrates the importance of including digital wellness information in all-school and classroom presentations.

Media! Tech! Parenting!

mini-apps-charts-sm2If you are an educator or parent searching for just the right comments about digital parenting to use at a school, organization, or parent meeting, take a look at the blog post A Booster Shot on Parents’ Night by Ann Klotz over at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Klotz, the head of the Laurel School outside of Cleveland, hits the nail on the head, using a healthy child metaphor to describe the important responsibilities — digital and otherwise — for the parents of digital kids. Adults, she points out, must take on these responsibilities no matter how they feel about technology (or even how much more a parent thinks a child knows about technology). Below is one paragraph from Klotz’s post, but I suggest that you read the entire post.

Ann Klotz wrote:                                   

View original post 488 more words

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, back-to-school, digital footprints, digital parenting, digital parenting checklist, parents and technology

9 Digital Parenting Back-to-School Tips – 2016-17 (With Printable PDF)

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Click to download a PDF document.

You can also read a 2019-20 back-to-school update of this post.

What can parents and teachers do to ensure that digital kids, with their hand-held devices, connected school activities, homework, and other online activities, get off to a good start at the beginning of the school year?

Back-to-school preparation is more than school supplies, lunch boxes, and carpool arrangements. It also involves reviewing and articulating connected-life expectations with family members.

To help you consider the issues in your 21st Century child’s digital life, and your own, use this nine-item back-to-school digital parenting checklist to get started. Continue reading “9 Digital Parenting Back-to-School Tips – 2016-17 (With Printable PDF)”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, citizenship, digital citizenship, digital health and wellness, digital parenting, parents and technology

Digital Kids & Parents Talk About Technology Rules

dig cit 2
Digital Citizenship Principle for Kids

A recent study, about parents, children and the technology rules that families adopt will be a terrific resource for schools and parent groups to share. Most parts of the research paper are fairly easy to read as are two articles, one from the University of Washington and the other from the University of Michigan. The research findings, with an extra focus on children’s expectations, are full of discoveries and observations that schools may want to share, almost word for word, with the parents of digital kids.

Alexis Hiniker and Julie A. Kientz at the University of Washington and Sarita Y. Schoenebeck at the University of Michigan conducted the study about digital life rules that parents make and enforce and the expectations that digital kids and their parents have of one another. A National Science Foundation research grant supported the academic work.

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Digital Citizenship Principal for Kids

Interestingly, a few years ago I ask my students, after a year of working together, what messages they would give to their parents about the digital world and their parents’ roles. The answers these young people wrote down were so remarkable that I shared the children’s comments in a September 2013 blog post, and I’ve also included some of the posters that my students designed graphic depictions of the digital rules-of-the-road that parents and teachers expect them to uphold.                     Continue reading “Digital Kids & Parents Talk About Technology Rules”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital kids, digital life, mentoring digital kids, parents and technology

Another Digital Parenting Book That’s Scary – Sigh…

fear riskSo many digital parenting books and articles generate fear and anxiety, and American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers is no exception. The big question is whether or not this book, or any of the others, can inspire parents to get serious, learn about the relationships and issues their children encounter with poorly supervised mobile devices, and then figure out how to guide and, yes, supervise their children.

Journalist Nancy Jo Sales offered us a preview of her book in a 2013 Vanity Fair article, Friends Without Benefits, and now that I’ve read both the book and the article, I’d recommend going for the article. The book definitely offers many more interviews with girls, providing an intensive gaze through the prism of 21st Century adolescent digital life.

Continue reading “Another Digital Parenting Book That’s Scary – Sigh…”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, Conversation skills, digital devices, digital health and wellness, parents and technology

Does Digital Life Distort Our Conversation Skills?

Jacket-for-Reclaiming-Conversation
Learn more about the book.

Do our conversation skills weaken as we continually connect — virtually and physically — with our digital devices? How does this always-connected environment affect our children and youth? Are conversational and empathy skills developing as they should?

Sherry Turkle describes these problems in Reclaiming Conversation, a book that relates how the individuals in many of her interviews note — uncomfortably so — that they are less and less able to carry on a conversation confidently. More worrisome, children, in general, appear to be less able to converse, put themselves in another individual’s shoes, and empathize with that person. Turkle backs up her assertions with evidence.

Continue reading “Does Digital Life Distort Our Conversation Skills?”