Parenting in a Digital Age, Colchester, May 2014


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Digital technology, social media and online gaming are now a universal part of childhood. But are you worried about what your children might be doing online? What they might come across by accident? Or who might try to contact them through Facebook or Twitter?

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or carer, you will want children to get the most out of new technology. But how do you tread the tightrope of keeping them safe online, whilst enabling them to seize and benefit from the wealth of opportunities on offer? This free event will give you the chance to find some answers.
Dr Bex Lewis is keen to ensure that children are able to seize, celebrate and enjoy the wealth of opportunities offered by the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, blogging and other new technology – safely.
In this lively and engaging session she will draw upon her new book Raising Children in a Digital Age, providing an overview of the digital spaces, and practical tips, advice and information to give you confidence to keep your children safe online. Internet scare stories and distorted statistics will be put in context as clear and sensible guidelines are provided, and suggestions for conversation starters highlighted.
This event is free to attend. No ticket is required. Please sign up so we know how many cups of tea to make - tea & coffee will be available.
This event is repeated on Saturday, 17 May at 10.30am. Creche facilities are available on Saturday.

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Parenting in a Digital Age, Colchester, May 2014

  1. 1. Dr Bex Lewis Director, Digital Fingerprint CODEC, Durham University Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  2. 2. Let’s “tweet” each other…
  3. 3. Published by Lion Hudson February 2014
  4. 4. Feel the Fear….
  5. 5. The End is Nigh!
  6. 6. Digital Culture: It Matters!
  7. 7.
  8. 8. The Toolbox
  9. 9. Are they digital natives?
  10. 10. Communicat e Communicat e Communicat e
  11. 11. Is privacy dead?
  12. 12. To monitor or not to monitor?
  13. 13. Just because you can … doesn’t mean you should!
  14. 14. H.A.L.T. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, step away from the keyboard/keypad and deal with that issue first.
  15. 15. Relationships…
  16. 16. The Bullied The Bully The Bystander
  17. 17. The Bullied
  18. 18. Signs specific to cyber-bullying? • Long hours on the computer • Secretive Internet use • Screen minimization • Refusing to log on or answer phone • Extreme possessiveness of phone, to which constant nervous looks are given.
  19. 19. 5.5  71
  20. 20. Emotionally: • No shame: not their fault • Don’t threaten their online access • Spend extra time together: time for communication • Nurture self-confidence
  21. 21. Practically: • Don’t respond • Keep copies of messages as ‘proof’ • Understand how to ‘block’ accounts • Talk to child re contacting school • Think hard before talking to parents of bully • Request webhost to remove • Get phone number blocked
  22. 22. The Bully
  23. 23. Disinhibition The bully doesn’t see the distress that they cause, feels safe from capture, and protected by the technology, able to say things that they would never say offline.
  24. 24. Any solutions? • Remove their Internet and mobile privileges (for a fixed period) • Get them to write an essay on the dangers of cyberbullying • Assign him/her a book to read about cyberbullying • Assign him/her to community service or other time-consuming activity. • Encourage them to apologise and take responsibility
  25. 25. The Bystander(s)
  26. 26. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing Quote commonly (and probably erroneously) attributed to Edmund Burke
  27. 27. Digital Allies
  28. 28. Ferguson, a professor from Texas A&M who researches technologies’ effects on human behaviour: “Youth today are the least aggressive, most civically involved, and mentally well in several generations .” ‘Imagining the Internet: Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives’, Pew Research Center,, 29/02/12
  29. 29. Stranger Danger
  30. 30. Increasingly Mobile
  31. 31. • No surprise, then, that Facebook is no longer a place for uninhibited status updates about pub antics, but an obligatory communication tool that younger people maintain because everyone else does. • All the fun stuff is happening elsewhere. On their mobiles.
  32. 32. Sex Talk (Porn, Pedophilia and Sexting)
  33. 33. Keeping within the Law
  34. 34. Physical Setup Brain Changes Addiction Multitasking Conversational Ability Couch Potatoes
  35. 35. Screen time and family dynamics
  36. 36. Gaming
  37. 37. Does the digital age offer life opportunities?
  38. 38. Can social media be positive? • Wide range of information • Increased connectivity and collaboration • Educational benefits • Global nature of online • New creative opportunities • Learning criticality • Increased accessibility for those with disabilities
  39. 39. Do it for them Do it with them Watch while they do it Let them do it for themselves.
  40. 40. Grandparents (teachers, youth leaders)
  41. 41. Looking to the future
  42. 42. @drbexl @digitalfprint @bigbible Image credits: Stockfresh, RGBStock, iStockphoto