Posted in 21st Century life, design and problem solving, maker movement, makerspaces, parents and technology

Innovation & Coding — Fine Tuning the Mission

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Created at http://www.tagxedo.com.

How can we ensure that young people, who enthusiastically embrace innovation, creating, and coding, also associate their work with the fundamental concepts of empathy, humility, and conscience?

As we adults thrill to help children learn, imagine, ideate, explore, and make things, we also need to define a compelling mission for each of our innovation and maker spaces — a mission that emphasizes the significant values that young people should apply to the problems they identify and try to solve. An innovation mission provides a foundation for children, illuminating important issues and providing benchmarks that help them to consider and choose problems. It should also help young learners differentiate between the significant problems that need to be solved from those that are insignificant.

Continue reading “Innovation & Coding — Fine Tuning the Mission”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital literacy, keywords, parents and technology, research on the web, searching, searching for information

Keywords Matter: Children Must Know How to Use Them

51ST8V7G1EL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Maya Bery, a technology/media colleague, who also happens to be a former student, shared this delightful description about two 21st Century children searching for answers.

Two third graders came in this morning looking for the dog books because they’d seen a dog and could not remember what it was called. It was driving them CRAZY!

They looked through the dog encyclopedias to no avail. Searching online for short, fluffy dogs yielded nothing. Then they told me that the dog had short legs. We added that to our Google search and found the answer in two seconds flat. It was a corgi.

Keywords matter!

Continue reading “Keywords Matter: Children Must Know How to Use Them”

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

Screenagers: An Excellent New Documentary & Digital Parenting Resource

Watch the official trailer below.
Watch the official trailer below.

I just finished reading a New York Times Well Blog article about Screenagers, a new documentary that addresses the challenge that too much screen time presents for families. The March 15, 2016 piece by Jennifer Jolly interviews Dr. Dulaney Ruston (read about some of her past projects), the director of the documentary, Screenagers. Dr. Ruston is also in the film.

This movie shares evidence-based scientific research on screen time — a reason the movie will become an important resource for educators and parents as they struggle with the issue of how to manage 21st Century young people and screen time. The experts in the film offer advice about how to support and guide young people as they grow up in a densely digital age. Thank goodness the film focuses on facts and does not inspire fear.

The issue of parents designing and using contracts or agreements and how much they help parents and kids focus on important screen times issues come up in the article and in the documentary. You can check out a comprehensive list of sites that offer these types of contracts and agreements on MediaTechParenting.net. You can also read this blog’s digital parenting checklist.

View the Screenagers Official Trailer                                Continue reading “Screenagers: An Excellent New Documentary & Digital Parenting Resource”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital life, media diet, parents and technology

Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.44.51 PMCheck out a cool infographic over at Tuned in Parents that addresses many screen time questions. The image was created using information from a broad array of evidence-based research conducted by organizations such as Common Sense Media, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Zero to Three, PBS, and a number of research sources, and the infographic addresses many of the questions that parents continuously mull over.

Screen time is for many of us is a conundrum. Most parents and teachers (and grandparents, too) wonder just how to balance the time children spend with screens. Our goal, after all, is to create digital wellness for our children and ourselves — a sometimes lofty goal.

We have many questions including: Continue reading “Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)”

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

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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.

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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 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, 21st Century teaching, data collecting, digital footprints, digital life

Talking about Privacy & Digital Footprints In Grades 7-12

footpathOver the past couple of years, I’ve heard middle and high school kids say that they are sick-and-tired of hearing about their digital footprints — with many exclaiming that they already know what they need to know. My thought? They understand how they make digital footprints, but they don’t always make good decisions when it comes to avoiding the not-so-good digital trails.

What older students — those in late middle and high school — need is a reframed conversation, one that does not focus exclusively on what they do, focusing instead on the broad and complex issue of 21st Century privacy. Continue reading “Talking about Privacy & Digital Footprints In Grades 7-12”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Bookmark It!, digital learning resources, online learning, parents and technology

National Library of Medicine Learning Resources for Young Learners

Amazing resources for young learners at The National Library of Medicine!
Amazing resources for young K-12 learners at The National Library of Medicine!

Check out The National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources for K-12 education, including a number of games. The library is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also has an excellent weekly podcast on a wide range of topics.