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Of parenting & a class called ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’

One of the central stereotypes of (or maybe urban legends about) us, our tech and our time is people filling every free or empty moment doing something on a screen – texting, playing a game, posting a photo, listening to a tune, checking email, reading a book, etc., etc. It makes us feel guilty or […]

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Do surveys about parents’ concerns increase digital-parenting confidence?

Predictably, the media coverage of a new survey of parents on digital-age parenting focused mainly on their concerns about tech and the Net. We need to question that – question the value of repeatedly reporting about concerns if, as a society, we want parents to feel confident in helping their children navigate today’s media. Here are […]

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Perfect digital parenting doesn’t exist

I’m stating the obvious – that perfect digital-age parenting doesn’t exist – but let me explain why it doesn’t. Writer Heather Havrilesky got me thinking about this with her commentary “The ‘Mommy’ Problem” in the New York Times this weekend. She focuses on mothers (since our culture does so much) and on offline parenting. I’ll […]

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Less parental control, more support of kids’ self-regulation: Study

It isn’t the first time research has found that “parental control” is not the best way to keep children safe online and on phones. “Rather than restricting or monitoring internet use, parents should let their children discover the net, both good and bad, themselves,” the BBC cites a new survey as saying. It’s encouraging to […]

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Zooming in on ‘screentime’ (this time with more precision)

Don’t believe everything you read about “screentime.” It’s rarely helpful – especially if presented as an undifferentiated mass of digital activity that just needs to be limited. That blunt-instrument approach is not helpful to parents. This very visual commentary from graphic designer and blogger Heather Hopp-Bruce in the Boston Globe is a refreshing departure from […]

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Protecting student privacy calls for student participation

This era of big data and big exposure – of all aspects of life to peers, the public and even perpetrators – calls for big participation. Because every day people are exposing, sharing, uploading, creating and inputting things about themselves and others, whether in social situations or part of their jobs, as friends, relatives, students […]

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Does digital downtime fix FOMO?

Maureen O’Connor at New York Magazine calls it “the Band-Aid of Ludditism.” Not that anybody who takes days off from digital media is a Luddite. Certainly not. It’s just that band-aids don’t fix problems; they make them less visible (yes, and help keep things clean, but stay with me for a minute, here). “We have […]

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Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad

I never do movie reviews. But Chef is totally on-topic for NetFamilyNews, and not because some families have foodies in them. It’s because there’s a scene that illustrates better than anything I’ve seen on film how sweetly and respectfully social media can be folded into parenting. Sure, as in this scene, it can be a […]

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UN bringing child rights into the digital age

By Larry Magid In 1989 the United Nations passed an important human rights treaty. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was ratified by all countries in the world except Somalia, Southern Sudan and — believe it or not — the United States.* Rights and protections And even though this document was written before kids started […]

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More clarity on teens’ ‘Am I pretty?’ videos

The thoughtful New York Times story begins with a 13-year-old New Jersey girl posting her “Am I pretty?” video on YouTube. I won’t steal its thunder, so I hope you’ll read it. But I do want to highlight the points most helpful to parents of young teen girls: Ages 13-15: “Nearly all the people in […]

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