Went to reprint after 4 monhts, good reviews, etc. Director, Digital Fingerprint (Durham Uni)
Raising children, rather than parenting = peer needs…
Couple of quotes want us to bear in mind, as we head into the content …
Typically what we hear from the headlines = full of disaster, children are addicted to screens, being abducted via Facebook, giving away all their information, sexting, running up bills, becoming couch potatoes, watching porn, meeting strangers and bullying and trolling at every opportunity.
I exaggerate, but then so does the news – which (by its nature) is focused on the new/the unusual and has left many people with a feeling that there’s very little that they can do …
Set off to look into the research that’s already out there, + 120 questionnaires
Dan Gardner ‘Risk’ – we’re the healthiest, wealthiest, safest generation in history, but the most terrified… example post 9/11 flights/road accidents… but not ‘newsworthy’ in the same way.
Every new technology = moral panics (my experience with TV aged 17 … looked like I was addicted!) … and each seems to be the end of ‘the way we used to do things’ (invented tradition)…. A part of ‘technological determinism’.. (blaming tech rather than behaviour)
Families have also changed – children have more role in ‘decision making’, the types of families we have have changed and come in many more shapes…
[What does this picture make you think?]
Professor Tanya Byron, author of the Byron Report (2008), said: more I understood = more able to support/have confidence…
What need to have respect for, as well as being excited by the opportunities…
3 mins (don’t forget USB stick)
[What do you think of this video, and the things featured on it?]
Digital Revolution affected all our lives whether choose to participate or not.. Huge huge huge numbers online, and the best way to ensure the resilience of children is to ensure that they are ‘digitally literate’ – that they are confident in how to use the technology that has become so much a part of our lives, and that we, as parents, or youth leaders, etc. are able to exhibit a ‘comfort’ with technology ourselves (and no one knows it all!) .. So let’s look at some of the tools.
Like electricity – don’t need to know inside/out to use it … same with technology these days..
But giving an insight into the current top tools (date book )… many of the top tools – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc have been fairly stable for several years now…
The advice in the book particularly focuses on how to find the information to take control of your information (are a great many ways you can).
Bit of an updated version …
Reddit – news stories voted up … (Ask me anything) Secret – are known people but you’re not sure who is who… Jelly – use your existing social networks to ask questions/location, etc.
Also note – WhatsApp!
Highlights the need to help children make wise decisions about the technology that they use…
Yes, children spending more time on technology – become cheaper/more accessible – but that doesn’t mean that they ‘misbehave more’ – there are new ways to do (old) things…
The ‘myth’ of the digital native .. They are not so very different – still human beings – are not beyond our reach, just need some time to understand (avoid technological determinism re ‘the machine forces them (us) to behave in particular ways….
Advertising, consumerism, the digital divide – where do kids turn to for advice (their friends) – start to think how to make yourself more of a confidante.
Talking to children about technology – many parents as nervous as talking about sex, but this is the most powerful tool/technique available…
Ensure each negative statement about tech, etc. accompanied by positive where possible so doesn’t look like dismissing out of hand..
Internet Safety Agreement – work with kids to define one that works for your own family…
Quick e.g. Could do as a school, or as a youth group (importance of peer influence = hugely influential – action learning rather than ‘top down’)
Martha Payne (NeverSeconds) – her Dad still checks everything she receives first… (age 9)
A brief overview of the changing capabilities of children – essentially younger = ‘walled garden’, older = deeper insights. Facebook = 13, many parents think 11 or think is up to them…
Facebook influenced much – Zuckerberg believed privacy = dead, but children actually seem to be pretty intelligent about this – and if they aren’t – warning is not to go mad at them, but help them improve the situation..
The pros & cons of monitoring and filtering – can’t really just rely on the technology to stop things appearing in front of your children – none of the systems = as sophisticated as human beings.. (importance of TRUST)
Location services/managing digital footprint…
What images of self are people projecting? How do you know what you stand for?
Children need role models – if parents have mobiles attached to them, then have no leg to stand on when try to remonstrate with children.
[Discuss: what are the values you’d like to see online .. And how do they tie with offline?]
Importance of not seeing ‘online’ as ‘virtual’ – then people seem to think different rules apply, but it’s a part of our whole lives, and should be treated as such…
Remember that anything that you write online – even in private messages, etc. are easy to copy & paste – and out of your control onve you write them down… quite a good benchmark is thinking of these people who might read it … it may place limitations on what you write – being open and authentic does not mean shove it all out without filters!!
You may still post, but at least you will post with awareness that you may attract kickback, etc.. But also think about how can use functions to still have space for when life is difficult – e.g. secret FB groups…
I think of – before I post – God, Your Mum, ‘The kids’, The newspaper, Your worst enemy
The word ‘friendship’ has changed as we now ‘friend’ others on Facebook – children can’t afford to not accept friend requests from those they interact with in the physical space (e.g. school) as has repercussions for offline life… (and most are offline connections)
Huge amount of online etiquette – including who connect with, speed of response, what you like, etc..
Facebook depression (more/less socially active) ‘Stranger Danger’ (incredibly rare) – and as parents increasingly make friends online, again, seems ironic to say to kids ‘don’t’, rather than helping them do so safely..
Cyberbullying – huge issue – speed, constantly, digital pile-on are core – the 3 roles – bullied, bully, bystander.. (Nancy Willard – is not something kids HAVE to live through…)
Situation of particular concern = (Cyber-bullying)… want to focus on the 3 groups of people involved here..
Bullied – likely to spend excessive time online, or avoid it – maybe interactive nervously, numbers involved vary, but more ‘reliable’ research indicates about 20% affected in some way). Spend extra time with them, develop confidence, don’t remove devices, listen to them, not their fault. // Think about IF/how to respond, keep copies of messages, may be able to block a/cs
The Bully – Disinhibition. Any solutions? Not easy ones, and part of a bigger attitude change – look at advice re bullying in general, but this is where removing access, and encouraging them to understand the harm/take responsibility = key.
The Bystander – the importance of stepping in, rather than standing back … digital allies…
Mobile = cheaper, more accessible, appropriate contracts – so now the tool of choice for many – including kids.
FOMO/need to respond = little digifree time – is the mobile becoming an intruder on other situations – many have set rules re e.g. mealtimes, etc.
Worries about e-babysitter – though “OK” for educational purposes.. Work with them as they download apps (and ensure password on – throughout = are simple things that can be done…)
Ensuring mobile phone costs are managed, and what age (secondary school for most, smartphone GCSE..)
Worries about shortform text = damaging use of English = more creative… (FB as a space where less happens)
Again = human behaviour exaggerated = more vulnerable offline, also online…
Issues of the dangers of porn = complex, but tend to be condensed in the press… for years children have gone through ‘rite of passage’ – but now = easier to get hold of, more explicit, etc.. And changing expectations of what is normal sexual behaviour.
Numbers of pedophiles difficult to determine as tend not to self-declare, and most stats comes from e.g. filtering companies… there is a danger, but more from those who are known – so good to be aware – and remember the technology can help you FIND children too…
Sexting = age old pressure ‘if you don’t going to ditch you’ … so children need same advice to take care what share/when – as once out there – can spread fast…
Seen as Wild West, but it’s not – laws still apply (usually the originating country)
Plagiarism, music, film, apps… dangers of viruses with illegal info… far more likely than many of the other things we might expect (though can also be traumatising = e.g. breaking the family computer!)
Need to set up desk properly …
More worrying = pro-mia sites, etc. advice on how to eat even less, etc. but also note that there are grass roots sites that are giving spaces for more understanding…
Brain changing – everything you do affects brain change = not necessarily bad…
Addiction – is it really addiction? Is it affecting schoolwork, attention spans? Can people really multitask? Are these things all bad or are we just holding onto things that we treasure? Conversational ability (more social) and danger of couch potatoes – use whatever interest online and take it offline…
Standard advice = keep computer in a central room in the house – especially once teenage years = not really possible…
Am Assoc Pead = consistently says 2 hours of screentime max … Bedroom culture; digital time out; reading online (is it about the book content or the book format?)
Gaming – not so much my thing, but increasing complexity of games online – without an end point, and rewards for the more time spent online/just one more level…
Some argue has increased dexterity, sociability, esp for autistic kids… Are worries is violent, addictive and expensive… similar fears about horror films, most of which disproved by media ‘experts’.
Technology = prepares kids for the job market, OK to lurk & learn. Gives them opportunities
I spotted this on Facebook as I was coming to the end of writing this book. It was posted by Will Taylor (communications manager, youth worker, and dad), and seems to sum up what is required of parents in the digital sphere:
Do it for themDo it with themWatch while they do itLet them do it for themselves.
Parents increasingly taking responsibility for grandkids – need to be consistent – greatest growth = accessing pics
Teachers = an opportunity for group space, but also teachers need to ‘take care’.
Youth leaders = need for good boundaries, etc. but also look at the opportunities for peer review, etc.
Only constancy is change … more visual, more audio, higher broadband speeds, more hacker attacks? Cannot make Internet 100% safe so need to give children confidence/skills – by giving them opportunities to engage online… and understand what they do have responsibility for.
First and foremost, I think if children are confident that their parents (and other responsible adults, etc.) care for them, and are there to back them up, they develop resilience in all aspects of life. The more that parents, etc. understand the internet, the more they can help their children with this particular aspect of life (swimming pool analogy)
Final word – remember – there is always a human being at the other end of the keyboard… think before you type…
Primary School, Oxford
Dr Bex Lewis, Director, Digital
Fingerprint; CODEC, St John’s College,
CHILDREN IN A
CC Licence 4.0 non-commercial
“If we want resilient kids we need to
understand what young people’s
experiences are online, listen to their
concerns, and intervene with their best
interests in mind.”
Jane Tallim, Co-Executive Director,
MediaSmarts, Canada, January 2015
“We’re doing this because all the research
tells us that children and young people
respond best to their peers. Whether they’re
under pressure to take part in a dangerous
prank, or to victimise someone, or whether
they’re an online bully themselves, stories
told by other young people are most likely to
resonate and to help them cope, or change
Andrew Tomlinson, Executive Producer, Media Literacy, BBC Learning
BBC: BE SMART