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Join the Conversation: Raising Kids in a Digital World

From Anisa Raoof:

Raising Kids in a Digital WorldI am looking forward to the upcoming Kidoinfo panel event, Raising Kids in a Digital World on May 25, 2010 from 6:30-8:30pm at Local 121 in Providence. This topic will address the ways in which we can educate, guide and shape the next generation to be conscientious online and savvy users of social media and technology tools.

I invite you to shape the conversation and submit your questions online in advance for our panelists. This is a broad topic and although we cannot cover it all in one evening we can start talking, sharing ideas and connecting with others around what the digital world means for our kids.

I want to know what are your thoughts on this subject? Are your kids online yet? Are you concerned about safety? Play? Education? Do you share your laptop and smartphone? Do you have rules at home about screen time? What do you want to know? I will select as many questions as possible to be answered during the event.

To learn more about the event, panelists and how to sign up, please click:
Raising Kids in a Digital World

If you need more information, please contact me by email: anisa at kidoinfo dot com

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  • Thanks for the link Jess. I suggest everyone takes a look at the ACE list. In a way no different than how we hope our kids behave in real life as well not just online. See you tomorrow!

  • From a reader:
    I would really like it if the panel could address pre teen issues w/ computers – texting, facebook, etc – perhaps Trevor could address this. I realize that my kids tend to be ahead of the curve – your target audience seems to be preschool early elementary – perhaps you should start teenoinfo.

    Also, my boys lost the joy of reading – this totally bums me out. I am finding that now that I have the kindle, they want to download books and read them on the kindle. Whatever works. And if this is more enticing and comfortable for them in the digital world – I am all for using that tool.

    There is a website called http://www.guysread.com founded by Jon Sczieka the auther of The Timewarp series and some sports books for young readers. Are you aware of it? It highlights the trend in boys not reading as much as girls and how that affects them by the time they are in high school. One of the things they say is good is also having boys listen to books – the kindle does do text to audio – I am trying to see if they can listen and read along with the books – if that helps.

  • what i see around digital kid issues is snobbery–it seems like the most basic level of is to boast (or silently feel proud) of how little “screen time” your children get. then there’s another level of snobbery if your children have their own blog, iPhone app, Twitter feed, etc. my question is this: is this a style issue (inconsequential matter of family preference), or are we actually harming our kids by either letting them get very involved in the digital world or by keeping them away from it?

    will a child who is not involved in the digital world from a very young age be at a disadvantage–missing a “critical period” like that for learning foreign language?

  • recent articles from NY Times:

    Teenage Insults, Scrawled on Web, Not on Walls
    …“It’s just shocking that kids have access to all these things on the Internet and we don’t even know about it,” Mr. Stern said. “And it’s disturbing that what goes on there will influence how somebody behaves. How do you block it? How do you monitor it?”
    …Many families on Long Island became aware of Formspring after the March suicide of Alexis Pilkington, a 17-year-old West Islip soccer player who had received many nasty messages.
    …Formspring is not the first site to allow anonymous comments. Some schools say students have been demoralized by comments on Honesty Box, a Facebook add-on. And Juicy Campus, a college gossip site, caused so much grief that some colleges blocked it, and some state attorneys general began consumer-protection investigations. The site shut down last year….”

    Tell-All Generation Learns to Keep Things Offline
    …“Social networking requires vigilance, not only in what you post, but what your friends post about you,” said Mary Madden, a senior research specialist who oversaw the study by Pew, which examines online behavior. “Now you are responsible for everything.”
    …Sam Jackson, a junior at Yale who started a blog when he was 15 and who has been an intern at Google, said he had learned not to trust any social network to keep his information private. “If I go back and look, there are things four years ago I would not say today,” he said. “I am much more self-censoring. I’ll try to be honest and forthright, but I am conscious now who I am talking to.”
    …He has learned to live out loud mostly by trial and error and has come up with his own theory: concentric layers of sharing.
    …Elliot Schrage, who oversees Facebook’s global communications and public policy strategy, said it was a good thing that young people are thinking about what they put online. “We are not forcing anyone to use it,” he said of Facebook. But at the same time, companies like Facebook have a financial incentive to get friends to share as much as possible.
    …Two weeks ago, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to review the privacy policies of social networks to make sure consumers are not being deliberately confused or misled. ”

    Letters in response:

  • Here’s a list of articles that I’ve read recently that are relevant to this discussion. Anyone else have any?

    Kids on YouTube: How much is too much?

    Principal to parents: Take kids off Facebook

    HOW TO: Stalk Your Kids on Facebook and Twitter

    Now What Do I Do? Facebook Etiquette
    “Parents should avoid snooping in their kids’ Facebook pages except in
    extraordinary circumstances, but if inappropriate content shows up
    through a Google search, all bets are off….”

    Student Uses Facebook to Organize Massive High School Walkout

    How Facebook won the web

    Nobody Can Stop Facebook Because Nobody Understands Facebook

    Senators urge Facebook to change privacy settings

  • another great topic anisa — looking forward to it!!

    we are a waldorf-inspired family and as such we significantly limit the amount of media our young children are exposed to but as our daughter will begin public kindergarten in the fall i am very interested in hearing how other families maintain a level of media exposure/use that works for their family – despite what friends, cousins and others are doing. (i like your mantras heather!)

    thanks for all you do to keep us informed and inspired!!


  • anotherjess- screen time limits (and blog viewing) can be approached the same way staying up late and wine drinking are- some stuff is just for adults. That is how we have handled it in our house! My 10 year old has cousins and friends under 11 who have FB pages and cell phones. We keep up our mantra of “there is house phone you are free to use any time” and “use your e-mail if you need to tell your friends some news.”

  • Can’t wait for this event. Here are a couple of the issues in our family:

    1) If we want to limit the amount of “screen time” the kids have each day, is it relevant that they see Mom & Dad spend so much time on their laptops? Or can we limit them without also limiting ourselves?

    2) Like many parents, I’ve used the internet (i.e. blogging) as a way to get a little grownup social life and vent about the irritations of motherhood. Quicker than I anticipated, my 2nd-grader wants to check my blog. I don’t really want to A) kill the blog, B) ban her from it, or C) share all with her. Is there another choice?

  • Great topic. When our kids are young, it’s easy to control. But when are kids are teens, well, we can see by reading the horrible news in MA that some parents no longer have control.
    One thing I’d like to know is, what do I teach now in order for my kids not to abuse technology as they grow? Granted, technology will change, but as Liz said above, how much and at what age?

  • The one thing we are struggling with now is what exactly to teach our almost 4 year old. We know that in this day and age learning how to use a computer is important – but how much and at what age?