Posted in cell phones, digital parenting, mobile phones, parents and technology

Getting a Cell Phone for a Child in Summer 2012?

Check out Techlicious!

The Techlicious blog features an information-filled post, with resources for parents who want to learn more about features and limits-setting as they go about considering whether to purchase a cell phone for a child. In her May 28, 2012 piece Suzanne Kantra describes some of the newest parental control packages on the market at large mobile phone carriers.

Kantra compares and contrasts various features that  address  a variety of parent concerns including:

      • Keeping track of kids
      • Text messaging limits
      • Entertainment

Below are a few past blog posts from MediaTechParenting on mobile phones and kids.

Posted in digital parenting, digital world conversations, parent child conversations, parent education, parents and technology

Digital Kids to Parents: Listen Up!

With more than 30 years as a teacher including over 20 in the educational technology field, I’ve heard many kids reflect thoughtfully, and not so thoughtfully, on their parents’ digital skills.

Here are the seven most common “I Wish” statements that I’ve heard expressed by children over the last 16 or 17 years. Two of them, I can report, my daughter also mentioned to me ages ago.

Kids wish their parents and other adults would:         Continue reading “Digital Kids to Parents: Listen Up!”

Posted in digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, electronic communication, parents and technology

Summer Camps and Technology

Have fun reading this Chicago Tribune article, Welcome to Camp Tur-Ni-Toff, describing the lengths that sleep-away camps are going to preserve “their bucolic bubbles.” It sounds like the luckiest camps are those that do not have cell reception in the area. NOTE: The reporter points out that parents have more difficulty with the gadget prohibitions than do the campers.

My favorite quote:

The essence of camp is to rise and fall on your own … not to call your parents because you’re homesick or having a bad day,

My second favorite quote:

Even letters home are done with actual stamps and paper … a first for many of our campers.

Read the entire article.

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, online security, parents and technology, when to give children email

Giving Kids E-mail this Summer? 5 Tips for Parents

What is the right age for children to get personal e-mail accounts? Most of us discover, usually in hindsight, that a child’s independent e-mail account changes the context of many childhood experiences and complicates our child rearing concerns.

E-mail connects a child to the world in ways that we parents may want to postpone. Chain mail, spam, the occasional unkind note, crazy stories, and the appearance of strange links — all are experiences that cannot be avoided, even with the best parental monitoring and regular family discussions.  Complicating the situation are the regular and age-appropriate conversations children have with one another, talking about odd and unusual electronic encounters. It’s wise to chat with teachers at your child’s school because they observe digital interactions that are different from what parents see.

Hundreds of digital options — e-mail is only one of them — are available and waiting for your child to discover them, so in the final analysis you cannot prevent digital access. You can, however, make decisions help you focus on educating your child about digital citizenship.

5  Options to Consider When Your Child Asks for E-mail Continue reading “Giving Kids E-mail this Summer? 5 Tips for Parents”

Posted in acceptable use, Back-to-school digital reading, copyright, digital devices and gadgets, Evaluating Web Resources

3 Copyright Resources: Teaching Digital Kids to Respect Ownership

Visit Copyright for Kids!

The other day I chatted with a parent about the concept of copyright. Both of us are concerned that digital kids understand very little about intellectual property. The free-for-all digital information climate ensures that children have considerable difficulty comprehending what belongs to whom.

Copyright laws are arcane, and even a bit crazy, but it’s critical to teach kids that protecting the intellectual property of others is important. With your child take the Copyright Challenge quiz at Copyright for Kids to see how much you know. When you finish the quiz check out these frequently asked questions about copyright.

Two Other Resources

Posted in answers to media questions, family conversations, media literacy, parents and technology

Talking to Children About the News

News saturates our world. The electronic media makes small events large and dramatic events frightening. Moreover, with around-the-clock media coverage, many news stories feel like they will never end. Read Facts for Families: Children and the News, at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website.

So what should parents do to help children process news, especially when a frightening or dramatic event is relentlessly covered in the media? Continue reading “Talking to Children About the News”