Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, parents and technology, social media, supervising digital kids

Play in the Social Media Sandbox? Decisions, Decisions!

socialmediarainbow
Found on Flickr.

Check out Nick Bilton’s New York Times article, Letting Your Kids Play in the Social Media Sandbox. The February 18, 2015 piece shares Bilton’s experience as he considers how much initial access his nephew should have to social media, after the boy asked about signing up for a YouTube account.

The best part of his decision-making process is the author’s metaphor describing the three doors that open to progressively more complicated social media and how each door leads to a more complicated social experience for a younger person. Bilton explains how each door opens to trickier types of social media that allow — or more likely promotes — certain types of negative behavior. He is not against social media access at all, but he has some specific recommendations about child supervision and parent responsibilities.

Continue reading “Play in the Social Media Sandbox? Decisions, Decisions!”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, acceptable use, digital parenting, family conversations, gadget ownership, parents and technology

Needed: Digital Rules-of-the-Road for Kids’ New Smart Devices

made_at_www.txt2pic.comAfter the December holidays, lots of digital kids will begin using new handheld devices, but as these new gadgets come out of their boxes, parents need to update or introduce a family digital device action plan. A family’s plan is similar to the rules-of-the-road guide that is so critical to new drivers.

These days most flashy new smartphones, iPads, tablets, music players, computers, laptops, notebooks, and video games are connected to the exciting, but rough and tumble world of the Internet, and much of the time these devices are used in places where adults are not present. So sometime during the first week of gadget ownership – or better yet, as the devices come out of their boxes – parents and children need to sit together and review digital behavior and expectations.

To help come up with your expectations, check out a comprehensive list of Internet sites with information about family digital life contracts and agreements. Many parents include these agreements in the box so the conversation begins as soon as a child opens the gift.                               Continue reading “Needed: Digital Rules-of-the-Road for Kids’ New Smart Devices”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, digital learning, diversity, parents and technology, reading on the web

The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL): Changing the World One Book at a Time

What if our children had instant access to a library with thousands of books from countries all over the world — a place that invited them to drop by, read, and learn about one another (without any driving)? Imagine what they could find out about the world’s cultures, celebrations, languages, differences, and also about what they have in common  with all these other people and places!

That just about describes the mission of the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL), a World Wide Web destination hosted at the University of Maryland. The massive website includes digitized books in 61 languages, and it’s the largest online collection of multicultural children’s literature with a mission to the promote the love of reading AND the love of diversity. The books are beautiful filled with colorful and detailed illustrations — you almost feel like you are holding an old-fashioned book!

By clicking on the animated Read Books! icon in the middle of the ICDL home page readers, young and old, are off and reading. The multi-cultural aspect comes from interacting with books that are read and languages spoken by children in 42 other countries as well as seeing pictures by artists from around the world.      Continue reading “The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL): Changing the World One Book at a Time”

Posted in 21st Century life, online tracking, parents and technology, privacy

Retailers Track Adults by Monitoring Device Wifi

We most often worry about advertisers tracking our children online but sometimes forget to think about how much we adults are followed around digitally.

FTC Privacy Series
FTC Privacy Seminar on Mobile Device Tracking

Check out the Washington Post article, Privacy Advocates Push Back on Stores’ Tracking, describing how retailers keep track their customers by monitoring smartphone wifi signals. No guidelines currently regulate this type of information collecting so no privacy parameters exist. Essentially this mobile device tracking is a way to get more information about shoppers, track what they do, and target advertising and target advertising more effectively.

The article, by Amerita Jayakuma, describes how a Maryland legislator has proposed a bill to require retailers to inform people if the store is watching them while they shop.  The Federal Trade Commission recently held a seminar on mobile device tracking.

I’ve been wondering for some time if I was tracked a few months ago when I visited a huge regional outlet mall with my husband.

Continue reading “Retailers Track Adults by Monitoring Device Wifi”

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 life, interesting research, online communication, values in digital life

Is Technology Driving Us Apart? Maybe Not

These days we have so much debate about whether or not digital devices are decreasing our face-to-face communication and our quality of life.

Photo Credit: -Ben Thompson via Compfight cc
Bryant Park Looking Toward the Fountain –                Photo Credit: Ben Thompson via Compfight cc

If you are interested in this debate, check out a fascinating January 17, 2014 article in the New York Times Magazine. In Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart, writer Mark Oppenheimer describes how Rutgers University Professor Keith Hampton and his associates filmed the human interactions at Bryant Park — a New York City park just behind the New York Public Library — to discover how people interact in public spaces. In the process, researchers wanted to learn more about how today’s digital devices affect those interactions.

Professor Hampton based his work on the research of William H. Whyte, a sociologist who filmed people interacting in urban public spaces to learn more about their behavior and what they do. Whyte did his filming in the late 1960s and 1970s, calling it the Street Life Project. Studying the films, Whyte tried to discern what people liked to do, how they conversed, how long those conversations lasted and in what locations.

Hampton’s research, up to the point of filming in Bryant Park, focused on how today’s connected world affects people, and by studying communities he came out with a different perspective than many other of today’s university researchers. In his New York Times article Oppenheimer reports:   Continue reading “Is Technology Driving Us Apart? Maybe Not”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital change, parents and technology

Three Basic — and Best — Digital Parenting Guidelines

Whenever I have conversations about the challenges of digital parenting, people invariably ask how I might condense all of the 21st Century parenting guidance into just a few helpful suggestions.

digparentingCan you get it down to the three most important tips, I’m asked?

I’ll admit that I’ve tried, on one than one occasion, to identify and condense the many elements that combine to strengthen digital world parenting skills, but the challenge takes an enormous amount of thought and even more time. Moreover, any short and succinct advice has to make it clear that we parents can no longer think about living our lives in two parts — digital and non-digital. If tips are distilled down to the basics, they still need to help adults recognize that our world changes constantly, and also that it requires us to continually learn from our children — refining our parenting strategies as we go along.

The good news is that one of my colleagues, Craig Luntz at the Calvert School in Baltimore, has come up with a three-part framework to help families navigate through changing expectations in the 21st Century world. When he works with parents at his school Craig offers the following three-part digital parenting plan.                      Continue reading “Three Basic — and Best — Digital Parenting Guidelines”