This post has been cross-posted to SalisburySD.US.
A week ago, I shared a post asking parents and teachers how they manage digital distraction in the classroom and at home. We’ve had several replies in the comments section. Be sure to check them out and add yours if you haven’t already!
Over the past week, I’ve also discovered several outstanding online resources that provide additional tips and strategies. I’ll share one in this post and have linked to several more at the end. While these resources are focused on parents, we can all learn from them, parents and educators alike.
- Teach your children how to cross the digital street. – “Our young people are still learning their way around the digital landscape largely on their own — when what we need to do is confidently take them by the hand, show them how to look both ways, and cross the street with them — at least at first. That means staying up-to-date about digital safety, the rules of the road, and what’s going on in the neighborhood. Finally, we need to foster the kinds of personal relationships that encourage our kids to talk about where they are going and what they discover along the way (their successes as well as their mistakes) once we let them travel on their own.”
- Help your children pursue their passions online. – “Most parents I know bend over backwards to find the right camps and after-school programs to help their children become better musicians, athletes, actors, programmers, or artists. Just think how you might broaden their experience even more by guiding your children towards the tools and communities online that can help them learn the skills they most want to master.”
- Help your children manage their digital “brand.” – “As a parent, you are no doubt concerned about the possible missteps your children may take online as they (or their friends) share private information and media without thinking about the ugly repercussions that might result in the future. You may also want to take an active role in guiding your child as he or she documents the positive stuff — an emerging talent or an amazing self-motivated project, for instance — in an ad hoc digital portfolio. In the end, though, it’s the same thing: helping your children manage the digital “brand” that will follow them for life.”
And her “Final Plea” states so well the importance of all adults, educators and parents, working together to help children learn and thrive in a digital world.
“Helping children learn how to navigate their way in the digital world is a complicated business. Those of us in education need parents like you to be involved as active and open learners about the digital world, learners who can engage with us, their children and their children’s teachers, in much-needed conversations about digital matters. We need parents to act as important models and supports in their childrens’ explorations online. We need, parents and schools alike, to get past the fear that holds us back from connecting with young people when they need us most. Only then can we help them travel far and learn from the journey once they cross the street to encounter the world.”
For additional resources on the topic of digital generation parenting and managing distraction, consider visiting these links:
- Common Sense Tips for Digital Generation Parents – In this video, Liz Perle, Editor-in-Chief of Common Sense Media, an organization dedicated to providing educators and families with trustworthy information about living in a digital world, shares several strategies.
- Edutopia Digital Generation Project – Additional resources/video.
- Media specialist Henry Jenkins on parent participation – A media researcher discusses the important role parents play in student learning.
- What’s in your feed? 3 ideas to manage content on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – A blog post from a 19 year old, sharing how he has developed his skills to use social networks for learning as well as entertainment.