Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tech Tips for the Summer

Digital natives, iGeneration, and Millenials are all names used to describe our students. Regardless of age, these children are highly connected through their use of technology. With summer upon us, here are a few things to consider when thinking about your child’s technology use.
  • How can you balance your child’s summer technology use and the other summer activities that s/he can participate in?
  • How can technology facilitate your child’s summer learning experiences?
  • What social media tools are integral to your child’s life and how can his/her actions with these tools impact their futures?
Below are links to 6 articles that provide parents with tips and tricks for managing your child’s summer technology connections.
    The first two links are from Common Sense Media, a great resource for families with
    children of all ages. This website provides a wealth of videos, articles, reviews and other information about the “world of media and technology.”

  • 8 Tips for a (Nearly) Tech-free Vacation
    In this article, the author presents simple straightforward strategies for family-friendly integration of technology on vacations.

    Digital Fun for Creative Kids
    This article presents an extensive set of technology resources (apps and websites) to continue your student’s learning during the summer months. Activities in categories such as storytelling and coding help children aged 2-17 “stretch those creative muscles in fun ways.”
  • The next four links provide resources for parents of students who are (or might be)
    connected through communication and media technology (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, iMessage, etc.)

    Do You have Any Idea What Your Kids Are Posting Online?
    This blog by an assistant superintendent, who is very connected himself, provides parents with some examples of how connected students young and old are misusing social media. There is also a reference to a blog describing Instagram and examples of household rules for using this tool. Although this blog is specific to Instagram, the information presented can be applied to other social media tools.

    Free Parents' Guides to Snapchat and Instagram
    In this article are links to parent guides for Snapchat and Instagram. These guides are short and to the point (6 pages each). At the beginning of each of these guides are concise answers to: 
    Why kids love these apps

    What the risks of each app are

    How to help kids stay safe using the apps

    How to report abuse and block problem users

    How to use privacy settings

    The Truth about Social Media and Admissions

    This article provides some guidelines for our older students who are applying or getting ready to apply to college. It is a nice discussion of why colleges would be interested in a student’s digital presence. For our younger students, the article provides some things for them to think about as they begin developing a digital presence. - Social Q&A website should be avoided by tweens and teens
    This post discusses, which is a question and answer website that lets users create accounts and post anonymous questions or comments. has been linked to cyber bullying incidents and other abuse. Although this article is written for parents at the Village School in California, it provides useful information and guidelines for all parents.