Social Media and Parents

Last night, the wonderful Alissa Sklar gave a talk at our school to a group of parents interested/concerned/anxious about their children and the online world. They learned a little more about the teenage brain as it relates to their kids’ online use, the importance of teaching impulse control and how teaching digital citizenship is a partnership between school and home.

And then this morning, I came across this from Common Sense media about how to have an ongoing discussion with the parents. I am really intrigued by the idea of this program which has three components:

  1. First, host a teen panel for parents. Let the parents hear from other kids how they use social media, what is important to them, how it makes them feel.
  2. Then organize several discussion groups through out the year on different subjects, some ranging from pure technical know-hows to more philosophical discussions.
  3. Share the amazing toolbox of resources they have put together.

It will take me a minute to process this idea, but it might be the perfect time to implement this, especially after Alissa’s very galvanizing introduction to the topic…

Any thoughts?

Common Sense Media improves the lives of kids and families by providing independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media.


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Cyber Restriction: When Your Teen Abuses Their Digital Privileges

I was checking out some of the recommendations for some social media tips for parents when I came across this article- it re-enforces the importance of talking to your kids, as well as staying calm and not freaking out the moment they make a mistake. Of course, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences (though probably by the time the parent is hearing about it the kid will be feeling the consequences anyways, especially if it was a slip up with their privacy, or posting something they shouldn’t.)

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Most families have implemented boundaries and rules that their kids and teens have to follow when it comes to their gadgets. Hopefully, parents today understand that digital citizenship is as important to their children as potty training was to them …

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Are We Doing Enough to Support the Parents?

I was perusing my iPad resources today and came across this post from my Fave iPad lady Lisa Johnson. She was talking about the implementation of a 1:1 iPad program in an independent school district and how it has been successful because they have taken a “360” approach:

I will say it would not be effective or successful if it weren’t for the 360 model of supporting all angles of the initiative… from district and admin decisions to student and teacher training and even parent meetings ranging from disseminating information to providing tips and tricks to manage the devices at home.Lisa Johnson

As this first year of our first 1:1 class comes to the end I realize we have given some teacher training (though by all accounts we could do more) and have talked to the students about social media and iPad management (though those lessons are hard and require much repetition) but we have not done anything for the parents. The post above gives links to the live streamed info sessions they gave at their parent sessions as well as a list of the resources they mentioned.

I think next year it would be a good thing to do the same thing, if only to let the parents know what our philosophy is at the school. I would also like to emphasize to the parents that managing technology is not something that is going to come overnight to the kids (it is a book, a theatre, a music library and an arcade all wrapped into one) just as time management and organization is not an innate skill. A combined vigilance at school and at home is required in order to develop in the student good study habits.

What do you think?