Hello dearest internet. How are you? It’s been ages.
Ok, with 2017 – and the politically active (if not aggro in all directions) market has sparked activism in me. But I’m choosing that activism in the form of digital education. The social frontier is at a new level of everything: from awesome to horrifying. And magnified in tone and exposure.
In late April (perhaps early May), I am going to earmark a week for on-site assistance (starting with northern and central Illinois). I will be building three presentations (well, two, but three):
- PTO & Parents: Raising A Digitally Active Kid, what to know, do, and watch out for.
- Teachers: Understanding your digitally active classroom
- Kids/Assemblies: The Social Smarts of Playing Digitally With Others And Having a Blast
When I say “digital” I mean it in the form of SOCIALLY CONNECTED computer games, console games (consoles = XBox, Playstation, Nintendo, etc), ipad games/apps, iphone games/apps, tablet games/apps, mobile phone games/apps.
The biggest importance for me right now is arming parents with knowledge. Fear is not the goal – understanding and insights are.
- Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network: They all have youth programming that reference, center, or embrace social functionality in the digital space.
- Banning social digital experiences makes them elusive to your child. Elusive things gain curiosity points. Where there is interest there is a will, where there is a will there is a way.
- Trust (and amazing) preschool/kid-focused companies and brands ARE building certain levels of social features into games, apps, and experiences. It’s happening.
- There are many kid-focused companies trying to teach netiquette.
- There are many GENERAL AUDIENCE games/apps that people MISTAKE for “child-focused” — they may have educational value, or youth oriented aesthetics/play… but they are general audience.
One perspective: Would you allow your child to run to the open playground in the middle of the city unattended? Would you leave your child in that brand new over-crowded child pen without concerns in a town you’ve never visited before?
Another perspective: Are you going to make your child sit and look out the window as all the other neighborhood kids play in your front yard? Kids cannot run out into the world during the summer anymore, and running about, playing in the neighborhood (don’t say YOU didn’t do this — I sure as heck did) — virtual experiences are the new forms of freedom play, and they’re growing in importance.
Bottom line: Don’t turn a blind eye. Embrace and educate yourself. 🙂 The best way to meet concern is to do so openly and with both hands on the steering wheel.
If you’d like your school or youth-oriented organization to get in on these presentations, leave a comment below. They’re pre-moderated, so I can review and contact you without exposing your information. 🙂 I will not post comments that have personal data visible.