Mobile Tech & Back To School 2017
Mobile Tech & Back To School 2017
What Parents Can Do To Make A Smooth Digital Transition
I have been fielding many questions from parents, asking me what they can do specific to their children heading back to school, and their use of mobile digital technology, primarily their phones. Here are some of my thoughts:
First, and most importantly, as a parent you need to ask your self this question, “Does my child have the social/emotional maturity, impulse control and the ability to honour boundaries, set by you as a parent or the school, to allow them to operate a cellphone without direct parental supervision?” If the answer to this question is “no” then I don’t care if the child is eight or eighteen years of age, they should not have a personal cellphone. I speak to this point in more depth here: https://www.thewhitehatter.ca/single-post/Is-My-Child-Ready-For-A-Phone
The younger the child the simpler the cellphone should be. Smartphones are designed for adults and not children, tweens and even some teens. For those children and tweens who will be getting their first phone, I recommend the “Kyocera DuraXE” to parents. This is a very rugged flip phone that allows texting and pictures to be taken and sent. As your child matures and shows good digital citizenship, then take off the training wheels and upgrade to a phone that offers more options and abilities.
Create what we call a “Family Collective Agreement” that clearly outlines expectations of how your child will use their technology, inside and outside of the home, which also includes while they are at school. We have created a free Family Collective Agreement that you can download here: https://www.thewhitehatter.ca/single-post/2015/11/10/The-Internet-Social-Media-and-Mobile-Device-Family-Collective-Agreement
Ask your child’s school for their “Code Of Conduct” specific to the use of technology at school. Ensure that you read and share this Code Of Conduct with your child before they start the new school year.Most Codes Of Conduct can be located on a school’s web page. It has also been our experience that our Family Collective Agreement, mentioned above, often covers what is contained in most Codes Of Conduct.
Ensure you show your child how to use their devices; don’t assume they already know how to do it.This is a great way to start the parental participation component to digital safety and digital literacy.
Turn “on” privacy settings and turn “off” specific location settings on their devices.To help parents in this process, I speak to this point in more depth here: https://www.thewhitehatter.ca/single-post/10-Things-to-Make-Surfing-Safer-for-Your-Kids
Don’t call or text your child while they are in class.Speaking to thousands of teachers in our presentations, I can share with parents that this new digital phenomenon has become very disruptive to the teaching environment. If it is that much of an emergency, then call the school first.
Be the good tech role model and mentor. Studies have shown that parents, not necessarily teachers, are the best role models when it comes to the use of digital technology. If you are texting during a face-to-face conversation, guess what your child will do.If you text and drive, guess what your child will do. Be your child’s best parent and not their best friend when it comes to digital safety and digital literacy, there is a difference. To do this, parents need to digitally educate themselves. Parental abdication, specific to the internet and digital technology, can no longer be tolerated. Most importantly, enjoy the digital ride together.
Remember, the majority of youth are doing super uber cool things online, and most are using mobile technology in a desirable way. Having said this however, we parents need to shepherd and mentor our kids when it comes to the use of mobile technology, the younger the better, and I am hoping this posting will help in this process.
Welcome to the new 2017-2018 school year !!!
Digital Food For Thought
The White Hatter