This set of summer digital activities, 5 Things You Can Do Online With Your Child This Summer, arrived in my e-mail a week or so ago. The list includes simple, but open-ended activities, each one enjoyable by itself, but with the potential to lead parents and children in many additional and enjoyable digital directions during the summer vacation. The ideas come from NetSmartz.
NetSmartz also features a wide range of digital safety educational resources for educators and law enforcement professionals.
No blog, though, at least not one that I can find. Puzzling since they provide some excellent information on blogging. Why not an example of what good blogging looks like — maybe one for parents and one for adolescents?
School’s out and many children fill at least part of their summer days with World Wide Web activities on fast internet connections. Camps and day camps feature computer labs and lots of specialized digital programs. On the go, we increasingly carry more gadgets — mobile phones, smartphones, iTouches, Blackberries, and iPads. In fact, even on vacations and at hotels, cottages, and many of those rustic country cabins we all hope to escape to, we stay connected. After years of teaching, I’ve found that my students’ digital skills usually expand during the three-month summer hiatus from school.
Day after day frightening stories bombard us with warnings about what might happen to children and teens when they use the Internet and World Wide Web, so it’s useful to remind ourselves that these digital resources can provide our children with unparalleled opportunities to learn, socialize, and become active citizens. An article, Our Overblown Paranoia About the Internet and Teens, recently published in the online publication,Salon, provides just such a reminder.
Pediatrician Rahul Parikh, who practices in the San Francisco Bay area, points out that, despite all of our anxiety about teens and Internet risks, no statistics really exist to offer a full picture of the incidence of exposure to risk. Those few that do are often biased because of a common problem for research, posing questions to get the desired answer. Situations that do occur are often covered by a hysterical media, making us feel like a problem happens over and over, just around the corner. Continue reading “Teens, Parent Anxiety, and the Internet”→
Since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan two weeks ago, I’ve thought a lot about teaching children the importance of making contributions and volunteering all of the time, not just when a catastrophe occurs and relief efforts are all over the news.
Recently I discovered Learning to Give, a long-established website that helps children learn about volunteerism, giving, service learning, and civic engagement. The organization encourages parents, church leaders, and educators to make service learning and philanthropy a significant presence in the lives of children.
If you worry about the digital research activities of children, especially older students who complete significant amounts of their research using the unlimited resources available on the World Wide Web, you are not alone. Over the past 10 years I have wondered — more than once and sometimes with great angst — if my child and the many children I’ve known over the years really understand the need to evaluate the resources that they find on the web.