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Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
Digital life
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Digital life


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  • 1. Digital Life
    • Or -- When Did The World We're Raising Our Kids In Become Not the One We Were Raised In?
    • Presented by Bob Irving, Middle School Technology Coordinator, Lancaster Country Day School
    • January 26, 2011
    • Version 1.0
  • 2. The World in Which We Live
    • Always on
    • Always connected
    • Media rich
    • Socially networked – Facebook is the 3 rd largest country in the world, with over 600,000,000 members
    • Mobile – the phone is the computer
    • 12,000,000,000 text messages sent every day; 5,000,000,000 cell users worldwide
    • R-rated
  • 3. How does this affect us as parents?
    • Moved those “conversations” with our kids up several years!
    • Has made it impossible to use the Amish model
    • It requires us to be better educated about this new world
    • Requires more diligence
  • 4. Technology problems?
    • We make a mistake if we consider these issues as technology problems
    • That gives us the false hope that there are technology solutions to these problems
    • NOTHING is foolproof. Any reasonably tech-savvy young person can find a way to get around anything
  • 5. Topics to briefly consider
    • Cell phone usage – how much, when, what kind
    • Texting/sexting
    • Social networking
    • Bullying
  • 6. Cell phone usage
    • Why do your kids need one?
      • Worst possible reason – “All their friends have one”
      • Second worst – “So I can keep in touch with them every second of the day”, called “tethering”
    • What kind do they need, if you decide they need one?
      • My suggestion is the least possible
      • They don’t need the iPhone 4 unlimited text/phone/data plan “just in case of an emergency”
  • 7. Parental controls on phones
    • All the major carriers have plans for this, usually @ about $5 per line per month
    • Link to my article on MyLCDS
    • Depending on carrier, you can limit number of hours, texts, times…
    • Depending on age, probably a good idea for the parents to have the phone overnight
    • Who’s paying for this, anyway?
  • 8. Texting/Sexting
    • Set parental controls for limits on texting, both in terms of # and hours available
    • Sexting – what is the principle here? Needs to be discussed in the context of your family’s values
      • Legal ramifications – people under 18 who have sexted have been charged with distribution of child pornography
      • What to do if your child is the recipient of unwanted emails, pictures, etc?
        • What would you do if something happened like this that didn’t involve computers or phones?
  • 9. Social Networking
    • Facebook would be the 3 rd largest country in the world – over 600,000,000 members
    • A fact of life – the current normal way for teens to communicate
    • Email is passe
    • Privacy is a concept they don’t readily understand
  • 10. How to use Facebook
    • You must be 13. It’s easy to lie and get around it, but there could be legal ramifications
    • Understand nature of digital data – it never goes away – pictures, movies, can be downloaded and redistributed.
      • Wayback Machine – you can search for websites in the past. It’s archived at
    • Understand privacy settings. Sit down with your child and go over them
      • Constantly changing so you need to have current info
    • Have your own account. It’s fun!
  • 11. This is going on your permanent record…
    • In my day, an empty threat
    • Today, a reality
    • They need to learn how to manage their “digital footprint”. They’re in charge
    • Things that seem trivial or fun or “rebellious” could send a red flag to future employers, college admissions officers
  • 12. Bullying
    • “ Cyberbullying” – not sure this is a helpful term
      • If people spread lies about others via phone calls, is it “phone bullying”?
      • If they do it via notes passed in class, is it “pencil bullying”?
    • Bullying is a real problem, but putting “cyber” in front of it removes the human factor and makes it a technology problem. It isn’t.
  • 13. Resources
    • My current favorite –
      • Their mission – “Improving kids’ lives in a 24/7 media & technology world”
      • Age-appropriate advice for parents, reviews of games, websites, books, TV, movies, apps, etc
      • They do seem to follow their name – common sense. Not alarmist or reactionary, but also aware of pitfalls
    • Wired Safety -- http://
      • A good jumpstation