Blogging can be a solitary endeavor, so it’s exciting when another cool website publishes a blogger’s thoughts and ideas. Over the past several weeks I’ve had two blog posts published over at A Platform for Good (PFG), a part of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI).
PFG aims to encourage parents, kids, and educators to connect with one another and think about “doing good” in the digital world. The website and the blog focus on a range of interesting topics with lots of ideas on digital parenting, learning, growing up in today’s world, and many other authentic opportunities — all great for us to have access to in a connected world.
My greatest connected learner satisfaction comes when I discover answers to questions that I haven’t yet thought to ask — something that occurs almost every day in my digital world. Online I’ll search on a topic, read, or merely glance over a site, and suddenly I discover a resource and think — I need to know about that!
As I read the blog post, Learning Online: Real Answers to Real Questions, by colleague and master teacher, Susan Lucille Davis, that’s exactly how I felt. Davis shares a range of digital parenting resources that help to answer parents’ 21st Century learning questions, and along the way, she helps us realize just how much more we can learn in our connected world.
Writing forA Platform for Good, Davis offers resource suggestions that parents can use to gain digital skill and knowledge right along with their children, and teachers can share with their students’ parents.
I had no idea that parents can set up subsidiary e-mail accounts, despite the fact that I am on Google and Gmail countless times each day.
Somehow I’ve missed Joyce Valenza’s TEDTalk about helping kids expand online research skills, but it’s a resource to share widely in an academic community.
Good quality COPPA information sources, that provide basic information to share with parents, are hard to find, but Davis found one and it’s good.
I, too have found that parents need lots of information about digital kids and learning. On my “class-on-a-blog,” initially set up for parents at my school, I write about tools, apps, and sites. On this other site, Discover Your Child’s Digital World, my posts concentrate on digital adventures that kids experience and adults may not know much about.
The idea of spring cleaning each individual’s digital profile is terrific — something for parents and teachers to do themselves and then share with children.
Just like we tidy up our homes and our gardens in March, April, and May, it’s a good time to put our digital domiciles on the to-do list. Paying attention to the upkeep of our digital footprints and devices allows us to clean up and polish online images and minimize potential problems on our devices and gadgets. In the process, we learn a lot about ourselves, but also about the details that others can learn about us online.
Our vision for A Platform for Good is to start a dialogue about what it means to participate responsibly in a digital world. While recognizing the potential risks, we will celebrate technology as a vehicle for opportunity and social change.
The clean-up-your-digital-life mini-poster, available by link or download, asks each of us to take some time to dust off our online lives. Suggestions include ensuring that our passwords are strong, Googling ourselves to see what comes up from a search, and examining our devices to be sure that they are secure and up-to-date. The Platform for Good document also encourages individuals — adults and children — to evaluate the privacy settings on any social network accounts (many adults and children reside on these sites as if they are second homes or at least daily digital playgrounds).