Resources and discussion for parents, teachers and young people navigating the evolving landscape of the digital world.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Parenting in a Digital World, 2015

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Wow, it's been a while since we've written a post here! I suppose that speaks to how busy we have been this school year, but we are working to get back into a regular writing routine, I promise. There is so much to share and discuss!

Last night we hosted our annual Parenting in a Digital World workshop, and I left feeling super energized and excited to tackle future initiatives, share more stories and research with the families in our community, and extremely grateful to the folks who came, participated, and contributed wholeheartedly to an excellent discussion of current issues facing our kids (and us, too!) with an eye toward creating a more pleasant, kind, and educational digital world. It was great!

Here in one neat spot are all the resources from the presentation, as well as a few links to stories we brought up as examples, more statistics, and helpful sites you might want to check out. If you have any questions or requests for us to address particular topics, please leave a comment!

Our slide presentation:

SMAHRT Slide Presentation

Texting/Emoji Quiz (just for fun)

The Resource List (downloadable document)



Online Resources:

Adolescent Development:

Media Conversation Hooks

  • “what’s your favorite way to communicate with your friends?”
  • “what does _____ do that ______ doesn’t?”
  • (insert names of two favorite apps) 
  • “what’s hard to say face-to- face that is easier to say online?”
  • “what did you learn about someone online that they have never told you face-to-face?”
  • “how do you show friends how you feel online? What happens if someone misunderstands it?”
  • “what topics are too important to you to talk about online?”
  • “what’s the funniest status update you’ve ever shared?”
  • “what do you wish you hadn’t shared?”(or, I once shared this, and I wish I hadn’t. has that ever happened to you?”)
  • “how do you help a friend who suddenly has a bunch of snarky comments on something they posted?”
  • “what do you do when you feel lonely?”
  • “wow. I just learned that college students prefer to learn from textbooks instead of e-books. Why do you think that is?”
  • “what app did you used to use that you don’t any more. What changed?”

Lindy West interviews her "troll" on NPR

Other Statistics from Different Sources (Document)

Linked here is a list of stats compiled from two different sources. The first is from an upcoming documentary from The Representation Project called The Mask You Live In (trailer below). I do a great deal of work in my Digital Citizenship class around stereotypes in the media, and more specifically we look at gender stereotypes, identity, and the roles kids assume in their interactions with others. I firmly believe that a huge part of the "trouble" kids get into with technology--their language, behavior, sexting, exploring that "inappropriate" content they all mention--could be avoided if we were willing to have more open conversations with them around sexuality, emotions, self-esteem, group think, fitting in, and all the angst-y things associated with their adolescence. To that end, we have looked deeply at the messages our society and the media send us about who we are supposed to be, act like, and look like, especially through the lenses of masculinity and femininity in our culture.  After producing Miss Representation, about the portrayal of women in the media, filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom decided to look at the other side of things and try to answer the question, "What is happening to our boys?" There are some shocking and heartbreaking statistics that come out of her work and the research behind it. After sharing the film's trailer and a few of the statistics with students, I've had several boys express a keen interest in seeing the film and spending more time discussing the issues it raises. Charles Wright has purchased the rights to screen the film, and the accompanying curriculum, but we are still waiting to receive it. It should be here in May sometime! We will keep you posted. The film as it was originally produced is for a 16+ audience. The educational version we have purchased will include a PG-13 version that will be more appropriate for us to use. I plan to write a more thorough post on all that I have learned since I dove into "Boy World." Stay tuned...

The second set of stats come from Dr. Elizabeth Englander, who hosted a webinar online that I recently attended, sponsored by the Digital Citizenship group at Common Sense Media and Her book is in the list of resources above. Great stuff from her team here!