Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital change, digital kids, digital life, Internet - the Beginning

1981: A Quaint View of the Connected World to Come

You will want to watch and smile over this video of a 1981 San Francisco area television report describing the early use of online media. Illustrating how far we have come in the connected world, it’ a great video to share with the digital kids in your family! Charming and quaint and posted over at Wimp.com.  Enjoy!

N.B This video requires Adobe Flash so the video does not work on an iPhone or iPad.

San Fran Internet Video
Visit Wimp.com to watch the video.

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century teaching, connected learning, digital life, parents and technology

The 2013 Digital World? What CAN I Be Thankful For?

martipicTGiving
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

It’s Thanksgiving 2013, a time when we give thanks for family, friends, and the richness of our lives. It’s also a time to take stock, gain perhaps a bit more insight about the quality of life, and maybe even refrain from always wishing for more.

As a teacher, 21st Century learning advocate, and educational technology enthusiast, I spend much of the year on this blog suggesting ways that families, educators, children, and certainly, my students, can strategize, enrich, and improve their digitally connected lives and, of course, learn enough to avoid potential problems.

But today is different!

We spend so much time grumbling about all the problems that arise in our digital era. So to add some extra fun to our family’s Thanksgiving 2013 celebration, here are a few special experiences and joys that the digital world has brought into my family’s life — for which I am most grateful.

I am thankful that digital life allows me to:                  Continue reading “The 2013 Digital World? What CAN I Be Thankful For?”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, connected learning, digital devices, online communication, parents and technology

Inauguration 2013: Digitally Connected All Day Long

Maureen's inauguration pic
Inauguration Day photo taken by my friend and colleague, Maureen Boucher.

Events like today’s inauguration offer teachers and parents unique opportunities to demonstrate what connected learning is all about in the 21st Century. In my house, Inauguration Day 2013 was filled with digital connections.

We turned on the television around 10:30 this morning and did not turn it off until mid-evening — unusual for us. We also tuned our radios to NPR. A laptop, iPad, and iPhone finished out our Inauguration Day 2013 connections.

When we had things to do around the house we listened to our radios, though I kept my iPhone nearby to check on Facebook friends at the Capitol and along the parade route. When we sat in front of the television, I also used my laptop and iPhone, and my husband used his iPad.

Throughout the day we heard and responded to Facebook pictures and comments, and I often used my iPhone to respond to text messages from friends who shared observations from the Mall. While I thought about tweeting, the tweets were coming in so fast and furiously under the inauguration hashtags that I could not possibly read many of them while multi-tasking on my other devices, so I skipped Twitter for the day.

As we watched television, I opened a laptop window to the live blogging at the New York Times website. At the same time, I used another window to look up things when I wanted to learn more — interesting historical inauguration facts, for instance. I also searched for poet Richard Blanco’s bio to find more about his work, and another discovery was a terrific PBS News Hour interview with Richard Blanco. After President Obama finished speaking, I also looked for and found a link to the text of his speech at the White House website. Continue reading “Inauguration 2013: Digitally Connected All Day Long”

Posted in cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, family conversations, online communication, parents and technology, setting technology limits

Some Time Out From Digital Devices?

In Google’s Eric Schmidt and the Curse of Constant Connection, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus reports on the Google executive’s commencement address at Boston University (BU). In her May 22, 2012 column Marcus describe how Schmidt made the case for a bit of balance — urging new graduates (even as they stayed connected during the graduation ceremony) to take an hour or so each day away from the digital devices that keep us so connected.

The full text of Schmidt’s speech is on the BU website, and it’s a good read for digital age parents who are seeking ways to schedule a bit more disconnected time with family and friends.

To learn more about the search for digital device moderation I recommend the book Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. Author William Powers explores how people who lead connected lives (he does) need to find the time for reflection and interaction away from screens. And he describes how his family wants about setting some time to be together and disconnected.

Best Quote from Powers’ Book

If we’ve learned anything in the last decade about technology and human interaction, it’s that as screen time rises, direct human-to-human interaction falls off proportionally.

Posted in cell phones, digital learning, digital parenting, electronic communication, online communication, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Sherry Turkle TED Lecture-Connected but Alone?

The TED Talk site just posted the most recent lecture by MIT professor and psychologist Sherry Turkle. It’s embedded below.

In her presentation, Professor Turkle illustrates several of the most compelling issues from her recent book, Alone Together. She points out that technology may give us an illusion of togetherness with others, but she challenges us to understand that digital connectedness is not a substitute for person-to-person interaction.

  • Are we hiding from each other even as we are connected?
  • With fewer face-to-face conversations with one another are we less able to learn how to have conversations with ourselves?
  • Do feelings that no one is really listening to us make us want to spend more time with machines that make us feel like these devices are listening to us?
  • Are people increasingly willing to settle for the pretend empathy of devices and robots?

Continue reading “Sherry Turkle TED Lecture-Connected but Alone?”

Posted in digital devices and gadgets, parent education, parents and technology, tech free time

4 Lessons for Parents in a Constantly Connected World

Every digital-age parent with a Blackberry or smartphone needs to read Four Lessons for Parents in a Constantly Connected World. This short article, by Mashable writer Soren Gordhamer, offers a few pointers for parents of digital kids. I’ve summarized each of the recommendations for below.

  • Learn about the games your child plays.
  • Put down digital gadgets and spend time with children (and not letting the gadgets interrupt the time).
  • Keep the gadgets our of the bedroom (for everyone).
  • Start sharing and collaborating on technology searches and projects (and resolve to learn more).

Two recent MediaTechParenting posts relate to this Mashable article.