Tag Archives | Parenting

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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‘Being Ginger': A film for anyone addressing bullying

Being Ginger is really about being human. In a fundamentally kind, sometimes humorous, amazingly un-moralistic way, director Scott Harris shows what it both feels and looks like to be dehumanized and what healing from that looks like, even as the casual cruelty he documents continues. Sometimes he asked for it while doing his filming but […]

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Social media reality check from Canadian youth: Key study

Before releasing its report on online conflict, MediaSmarts presented a much broader picture of young Canadians’ experiences in social media: “Life Online.” This is important context for any discussion about cyberbullying and other negative aspects of digitally informed life, whether we’re setting policy at the household, school or national levels. “There are a lot of […]

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Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!

Why is the title of social media researcher danah boyd’s new book “It’s Complicated“? Not just because “the social lives of networked teens” are complicated (the book’s subtitle), but growing up in a networked world is too. And I’d add that it’s further complicated when the adults in a teen’s life don’t have any idea […]

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The kids who are most at risk offline (& online)

In 2009, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force published a finding that the young people most at risk online are those most at risk offline, a clear indicator to me that online risk is not a unique new problem brought on by the Internet. In their thorough review of the online risk literature released right […]

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We need to neutralize ‘negativity bias’ against kids’ Net use

This post is not about technology. It’s about how we (humankind) have been wiring our brains to think about technology. We have quite a hole to climb out of. Not only are our brains already “wired to scout for the bad stuff,” the Huffington Post reports, referring to what neuropsychologist and author Rick Hanson calls […]

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New parental controls for Chromebooks

Just in time for parents’ holiday shopping, Google announced its new “Supervised Users” tool for Chromebooks. You know about Chromebooks, right? They’re a very viable alternative to tablets that are just as (in some cases more) low-cost and offer a more laptop-like experience, and this tool makes them an even more viable option for families. […]

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