Posted in 21st Century life, back-to-school, Back-to-school digital reading, digital wellness, parents and technology

Back to School Digital Parenting Checklist — 2019-20

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

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 and working together to set up a family media plan that works for each person in the family.

Below are a few issues for parents and educators to consider as they seek to maintain quality in kids’ 21st Century digital lives during the 2019-2020 school year. Raising strong and competent digital citizens requires teamwork and immense effort — at home and at school.

1.  Make decisions about screen time in your family. Altogether, as a family, figure out your plan and then think about how you will re-address your decisions as the year progresses. Check out the 2018 article, How Much Screen Time Affects Kids’ Bodies and Brains at Forbes. Family issues to consider might include:

  • What limits will your family set up for digital devices, electronic games, and television?
  • If your child uses a personal device from school, are you aware of specific teacher expectations and time commitments?
  • What else would you like your child to spend time doing?
  • A good article for parents and educators (and a great back-to-school piece to share with parents) is on the NPR website — Kids and Screen Time-What Does the Research Say?   

Continue reading “Back to School Digital Parenting Checklist — 2019-20”

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)

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 9.44.02 PM
Click to download a PDF document.

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 Learning, 21st Century parenting, digital kids, digital parenting, parents and technology

A Few Back-to-School Posts from the Past

backtoschool postsEach year I write a back-to-school post, that challenges parents and educators to think about the ever-changing lives we live as parents and teachers in our increasingly digital world. This year my  2015 post, A Back-to-School Digital Parenting Checklist, received quite a few hits.

So today I am re-sharing several of my back-to-school pieces from the start of previous academic years. Despite how fast change occurs in our lives, these posts are still timely.                              Continue reading “A Few Back-to-School Posts from the Past”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, Back-to-school digital reading, data collecting, digital devices, digital kids, family conversations, parents and technology, supervising digital kids

5 Digital Parenting Questions to Ask As Your Kids Return to School

Now that we are all returning to school routines, take the time to make a few 21st Century family decisions — choices that can help the device-users in your family grow more careful, thoughtful, and serious about their connected world  responsibilities. With so much going on the digital world, parenting today is a bit like riding a roller coaster. But some carefully considered decisions can set the stage for fewer digital world scrapes and bumps in a family’s life.

1. Where will digital devices be charged at night? Most educators recommend that families charge devices in a centralized location away from bedrooms. Many parents also set an evening time limit after which mobile phones, iPads, and even the Internet cannot be used.made_at_www.txt2pic.com

2. If students have significant amounts of online homework, where will they work? Dining room table? Family room? Den? Most educators and pediatricians suggest that students do  homework on computers that are located in places where other people also spend time and not in the bedroom. Check out How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn over at the KQED Mindshift website.

Continue reading “5 Digital Parenting Questions to Ask As Your Kids Return to School”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, 21st Century teaching, apps, Back-to-school digital reading, digital devices, digital kids, digital parenting, mobile phones, parents and technology

How Quickly Do New Apps Gain Kids’ Attention?

See the larger charts below.

As we get ready to return to school for the 2014-15 academic year, my thoughts turn toward the digital life changes that I’ll observe in the lives of my 21st Century students when we come together in September.

After three months of summer activities such as volunteering or part-time jobs and the less structured time at camps and on vacations, most kids arrive at school with new digital experiences, devices, and apps — and they want to share everything. I’ve especially thought about the number of apps that seem to come out of nowhere — suddenly appearing in kids lives and on their mobile devices — and I know popular new ones will appear this fall.

Below I am sharing three slides from digital parenting presentations that I made over six months, from October to May during the 2013-14 school year.

Continue reading “How Quickly Do New Apps Gain Kids’ Attention?”

Posted in acceptable use, Back-to-school digital reading, cell phones, digital parenting, media literacy, parent education, parents and technology, setting technology limits

Nine Back-to-School Technology Tasks

From ClipArt for Free.blogspot.com

The beginning of a school year is a good time for families to set limits, explain rules, and in general, clarify expectations about technology use. Getting started in the fall, when everyone is off to a new grade and a fresh beginning, encourages healthy technology habits.

Depending on the age of your children, you may want to accomplish some or even all of the tasks on this list, encouraging everyone to think responsibly and become committed digital citizens.

Nine Back-to-School Technology Tasks

Continue reading “Nine Back-to-School Technology Tasks”

Posted in Back-to-school digital reading, cell phones, interesting research, parents and technology, teens and technology

Back-to-School Digital Reading Assignment, #3: Teen Cell Phones

For extra insight into the cell phone behavior of your preteen or teenager, take a few minutes to read these 2008 survey results from Harris Interactive, conducted with 2,098 teenagers in the United States. The survey was paid for by CTIA: The Wireless Association, an industry group.  The results appear to be as timely today as they were two years ago. The Marketing Charts website depicts the results with emphasis points. Another cell phone and teen research survey,  Teens, Cell Phones, and Texting, conducted more recently and published in April 2010 by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, an organization independent of industry interests.

The survey results make it clear to all of us — parents and teachers — that mobile phones and smart phones continue to be influential in the world of pre-adolescents and teens and will probably become even more so in the future. These mini-gadgets are permanently anchored in their social lives — and in ours.

A few data highlights from the Harris survey are below. Check the websites for the bigger picture.

Harris Interactive Survey Highlights Include

Continue reading “Back-to-School Digital Reading Assignment, #3: Teen Cell Phones”