Technology surrounds our children today. This generation of kids will only know a world filled with smart phones, tablets, computers, and advanced technology. And this reality promotes an interesting dilemma for today’s parents because while we understand the power of productive and good technology use, we have also heard and seen the more negative and unproductive impacts constant technology use can cause our kids
Disclaimer as I continue, but I am educational technology fanboy who was a first grade teacher for over a decade. I present at conferences on technology integration and am an Apple Distinguished Educator, so I know the power 21st century technology tools hold in a classroom setting. I am constantly witnessing amazing projects from my peers that truly leave me inspired and in awe.
But that is in the classroom. It is always somewhat hilarious to me that I can leave a classroom where kids created movies about field trips or coded a game for their peers or designed a game for a robot they coded and walk through my door at home with so much angst about my own child’s technology use.
Because while in the classroom there is clear expectation that technology tools are being used to enhance the curriculum or focus on academic tasks, we know at home that it’s not that simple! Because at home there is laundry, dishes, vacuuming, random morning where kids wake up at 5:00 am, and god forbid a moment where you want to have an adult conversation at a meal. There is also the parent on parent crime of judgment about how much your kids are on their devices. Don’t act high and mighty. We have all been there people.
The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated their recommendations on technology use and screen time for kids. And while they highlight the need for monitoring your child’s technology use when they say “Families should proactively think about their children’s media use and talk with children about it, because too much media use can mean that children don’t have enough time during the day to play, study, talk, or sleep,” Which could easily be construed to say “look technology is keeping our kids from sleeping, talking, playing, eating. However makes an important statement when they say: “What’s most important is that parents be their child’s ‘media mentor.’ That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn.”
So my family just moved from Oregon and I am dedicating myself to this transition. We are raising former foster kids so helping them adjust and settle is necessary. However, it also provided me the opportunity to work on a passion project, which happens to be creating video and tutorials on how parents can become the “media mentors” that their children need. So stay tuned and follow me on Twitter and check out my YouTube Channel because when your child starts to become a content creator who is documenting your family’s adventures then you can relieve yourself of some of that technology parent guilt and technology can become another thing that brings your family together.
I leave you with a little adventure my five year old and I took the other afternoon using the Green Screen App by Do Ink to give you a little idea about what I’m all about and some of the adventures I hope to take you all on in the next few months.
This blog is about my journey and hope to connect my knowledge of educational technology with the adventures of parenting as I advocate for parents not to see technology as "the enemy" but rather as an opportunity to be a positive media mentor in our kid's lives.