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.
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).
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.
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 calledJosh’s Journey, are compelling and riveting to read, largely because he is a careful observer and a good writer.
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.
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 2009I 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.
… 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 →
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 class, hosted 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 richlist of resource links to help get started. She organizes her links into categories:
Blogs About Blogging
Also included at the bottom of the resource page is a cool glossary of blogging terms.