Posted in cultural changes, digital citizenship, digital parenting, family conversations, gadget ownership, parents and technology

Digital Kids to Parents: Please Learn More…

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 my daughter told me.

Kids wish their parents and other adults would:

Continue reading “Digital Kids to Parents: Please Learn More…”

Posted in cell phones, copyright, digital photography, electronic communication, plagiarism, resources to read, setting technology limits, tech free time, writing for the web

9 Family Digital Citizenship Tips: Back-to-School Reading #5

The beginning of a school year is a good time for families to set limits, explain rules, and in general, clarify expectations about technology use. Getting started in the fall, when everyone is off to a new grade and a fresh beginning, encourages healthy tech habits.

Depending on the age of your children, you may want to accomplish some or even all of the tasks on this list, encouraging everyone to think responsibly and become committed digital citizens.

Nine Back-to-School Technology Tasks

1. Place computers in central, well-traveled locations — away from bedrooms and private spaces.

2. Be sure adults, not children, are administrators on the computers and devices in your  home — including laptops and other digital devices.

3. Print and post rules and expectations next to each computer. Specify the times when you do not want your children using computers. Emphasize that your family rules are in effect when children go to a friend’s house. Share my digital citizenship poem that highlights issues to consider. Continue reading “9 Family Digital Citizenship Tips: Back-to-School Reading #5”

Posted in digital learning, digital parenting, parents and technology, teaching

The Virginia Earthquake: Oh How I Love Teaching and Technology

My upstairs hallway

Yesterday in the District of Columbia (my school) and Virginia (my home), we had an earthquake, the largest quake in our area in 70 years. At school things rumbled and doors slammed, so most of the adults, who were preparing for the start of the school year, headed outside for a bit. At my house I returned to find pictures askew. A few things fell on the floor at home, but my neighbor checked on the house and picked them up before I arrived.

But here’s an interesting observation. On a day in August, when teachers like me are getting ready for the start of school — and bemoaning the end of summer just a bit — I found myself wishing the students were already back in school, because I know how special “the day after” can be for young learners and for me, too. Continue reading “The Virginia Earthquake: Oh How I Love Teaching and Technology”

Posted in digital parenting, future tech employment, kids changing lives, parents and technology

Are Technology Jobs Really Out There for Your Kids?

Lots of parents think about the types of jobs their children will hold as adults, but today these days fast-paced technology changes loom large, so adults may need to adopt a new mindset when it comes to understanding the ever-changing nature of employment that today’s children will encounter.

In a July 12, 2011 column in the New York Times, Pulitizer Prize-winning writer Thomas L Friedman (The World is Flat), writes about jobs and the technology world. (or as he often calls it the “flat world”). In his opinion piece, The Start-Up of You, Friedman points out that all of the employees from the big, but newish tech firms (such Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon) can fit into Madison Square Garden with seats to spare. Basically, these firms are not creating that many jobs.

Continue reading “Are Technology Jobs Really Out There for Your Kids?”

Posted in cultural changes, digital learning, digital parenting, parents and technology

International Society for Technology in Education Conference

Dear Blog Readers,

This week I am in Philadelphia attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference along with more than 15,000 technology educators and school administrators — all of us thinking about how students and, yes, their parents and teachers, learn in the fast-changing digital world.

The exhibits feature hundreds of vendors (36 long rows in a vast hall), and we can choose to attend an array of  keynotes, presentations, meetings, poster displays, student presentations, and demonstrations.

To share some of my experiences I have set up a new MediaTechParenting page, and I am blogging several times each day from the conference — my thoughts, ideas, observations, and more.

Back to more traditional posts late this week.

Marti

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, parent child conversations, parents and technology

Choosing a Screen Name this Summer? 5 Tips for Families

Strange screen names seem to pop up in the summer more than any other time of the year.

The best screen names are boring. In a virtual world, where even a nuanced word association can invite unfortunate behavior, taking care when choosing these online names is critical. The easiest solution is to use a first name, nickname, or a different name, perhaps paired with numbers at the beginning or end. Many years ago I used 29Marti1607, a name that attracted little attention except once when someone asked me if my ancestors had lived in colonial Jamestown (settled in 1607).

Children experiment with edgy screen names as one way to look and feel cool, and as they get older, their choices often push limits, unintentionally drawing attention. A suggestive name in any number of categories can encourage the people who interact with your child — even people who are friends — to behave impulsively in the web world where adult supervision is minimal. It is way too easy for two-way communication to go awry.

A Few Screen Name Selection Tips Continue reading “Choosing a Screen Name this Summer? 5 Tips for Families”