Digital Kids’ Summer – Collaborative Projects & a Printable

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or parent group using this PDF. **

IMG_4257Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!

Summer 2016 is almost here. It’s a great time for family fun, outdoor activities, visiting museums and historical sites, and choosing from all sorts of camps and special programs. Problem is, many kids spend a lot of their summer vacation in front of screens, and it’s one of the hardest time of the year to focus on digital moderation.

With less frenetic schedules and no school, the summer months are a good time for parents to learn more about the digital whirl that’s such a huge part of kids’ 21st Century lives. So when school is out, plan to do some connected world exploring and learning together, concentrating on projects that can help family members — children and their parents — connect with interesting and meaningful work together. Everyone will figure out more about digital life and add some variety to the types of digital activities that they typically do.

Below are 10 family digital project summer suggestions — all activities require collaboration —  to consider for the upcoming summer vacation.

Ten Summer Digital Projects for Families                        Continue reading

My Two Blog Posts at A Platform for Good

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

Visit A Platform for Good

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.

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A Thoughtful Teen Describes His Healthcare Journey

I’ve been following a well-written blog by a young man named Josh, in his teens, who describes his experiences during the discovery of a brain tumor, the surgery to remove it, and his subsequent chemotherapy treatments (still going on). Believe me, these posts, on his blog called Josh’s Journey, are compelling and riveting to read, largely because he is a careful observer and a good writer.

Visit Josh's blog.

Visit Josh’s blog.

Josh assumes the role of a journalist, focusing on details, experiences, and his reactions as his medical team goes about providing his care. Readers learn what it’s actually like to proceed, step-by-step first with surgery and then with subsequent medical treatments at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Writing must be helpful, perhaps even therapeutic, as Josh confronts uncomfortable medical procedures, but it’s extraordinary that he sustains his writer’s voice, objectively sharing observations and perspectives about the challenging process of fighting a tumor.

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Why Do I Blog? Maybe Because My Dad Has Kept a Journal for 65 Years

My dad shows my husband how to write journal entries on his iPad.

My dad shows my husband how to write journal entries on an iPad.

Recently I led a workshop at my school about blogging. One question I am always asked when I talk about the wonders of blogging, my blogs, and the huge body of writing I am creating is, “What got me started?”

In October 2009 I began work on AsOurParentsAge.net, with lots of encouragement from my husband. His mother, Betty, was near the end of her life. Essentially, helping to care for her filled up our non-work times and had for over two years. When we were not at our jobs, we were assisting Mother in some way. I started writing, initially, about topics that we wished we, as adult children, had known more about before we became caregivers to an elderly parent.

About a year later I began writing for MediaTechParenting.net, a blog that reflects my professional interests and work.

One blog relates to my vocation, the other to an avocation. Bottom line?  Nearly 1000 posts later — a few of them posted on more obscure blogs — I still seem to have lots to say as I use this 21st Century learning and communication tool.

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Media! Tech! Parenting! 2012 in Review

WordPress.com prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.


This blog got about 8,900 views in 2012.

In 2012, there were 106 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 301 posts. There were 151pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 1st with120 views. The most popular post that day was Hurricane Sandy: Finding Reliable Information That Helps You Learn as Well as Look.

Click here to see the complete 2012 report on MediaTechParenting.net.

British Girl’s Blog: Why Make Such a Big Deal About It?

Visit the Never Seconds blog.

You might enjoy reading British Girl’s Blog on School Lunch Stirs it Up in the Sunday, June 17, 2012 Washington Post about a nine-year old girl who is blogging to change the quality of food in her school lunches and to raise money for a local charity, Mary’s Meals, that feeds the hungry. The blog, Never Seconds, has become a sensation…

… because some officials decided to make an impromptu rule — the young blogger cannot take anymore pictures of her school lunches.

So let me get this straight. A child or adolescent starts writing about an issue or a topic and doing it well. She offends no one as she points out that change is necessary — in fact, she writes rather respectfully while taking a stand on making the meals better. People are short-sighted enough to try to stop her?

How long will it take adults in today’s world to understand that life, 21 Century skills, and communication have fundamentally changed — people can create good-quality digital content just about anywhere. They can share it   and other people can also share. Reminder to Adults: Stopping this type of creating on a mere whim doesn’t work. Continue reading

You Can Start a Family Blog – Summer 2012

Visit Start a Family Blog and Get Started!

This summer think about starting a family blog. It’s a terrific communication project as well as a collaborative learning opportunity for everyone — kids, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Last year I taught a short online blogging course to parents at my school. My Start a Family Blog classhosted on a WordPress blog, is still available. The posts will guide interested families through the basics of starting a blog for relatives and friends.

Over at SomeNovelIdeas, a blog authored by librarian Stacy Nockowitz, would be bloggers will find a comprehensive and rich list of resource links to help get started. She organizes her links into categories:

    • Blogging Basics
    • Blogging Resources
    • Blogs About Blogging
    • Blogging Platforms
    • Images

Also included at the bottom of the resource page is a cool glossary of blogging terms.