As an early childhood studies student, one thing that has always been emphasized throughout my courses and placements is the importance of including and supporting families in my practice. To that end, I thought I would share some of the websites and resources that I think parents might find helpful in understanding and navigating digital technology within the context of their children.
- Raising Digital Natives: a website by Dr. Devorah Heitner especially focused on providing advice to parents and educators on how to help children thrive in a digital world. There are dozens of interesting and informative articles such as Technology as a Distraction: Raising Kids in the Digital Age, Conflict Resolution for Digital Natives, and Digital Citizenship for Kids Starts with Mentorship. Dr. Heitner has also done a TEDx Talk entitled The Challenges of Raising a Digital Native.
- Common Sense Media: Common Sense is an independent nonprofit organization with the aim of helping kids thrive in a world of media and digital technology. Highlights from Common Sense Media include Parent’s Corner, featuring answer guides to questions such as “How can I use media to teach my kid empathy?” and “What age should my kid be before I let them use social media?“. Other resources are the Reviews section for age-appropriate media, and the Family Guides to help understand the latest trends in schools.
- PBS Parents – Children and Media: a section of the PBS website devoted to providing parents with tips and strategies for raising children in a digital age. Sections include guides across different ages on television and movies, video games, computers, and even advertising. There is also a milestone section for age-by-age tips, starting from ages three to eighteen, to help children get the most out of digital technology usage.
This is just a starting point, and there is definitely more interactive ways educators can provide resources to parents and engage with them, such as after-school workshops, seminars, or even a newsletter.
What are some of your favorite resources for parents on digital technology?
(Image credit: Common Sense Media)