Managing technology use in the digital age

Parents across the country are entering into conversations about the role of technology in their lives and the lives of their children. Regardless of family values or family policies regarding access to technology—the digital age is here to stay and all parents are grappling with the implications, which include:

  • the fact that technology both helps users connect but also can interfere with making human connections;
  • the significant differences between watching a story or book unfold on a screen and reading a book;
  • the impact of everything being immediate in life;
  • how we are technology role models for our children; and
  • the fact that ongoing conversations and considering and reconsidering our technology policies is essential given the changing nature of the digital world.

Staying connected and talking with one another has always helped parents navigate the myriad stages of their children’s development. Parents supporting one another around their children’s technology use is no different.

Below you will find links to some articles and resources that I hope you will find relevant and interesting.

How (and When) to Limit Kids’ Tech Use
Link to article

“Teach your children to use technology in a healthy way and pick up the skills and habits that will make them successful digital citizens. From 2-year-olds who seem to understand the iPad better than you to teenagers who need some (but not too much) freedom, we’ll walk you through how to make technology work for your family at each stage of the journey.”  – Melanie Pinola in NYT Smart Living

Mindful Technology
Link to article

Erica Marcus, educator and wellness instructor from Wise Minds, Big Hearts, shared her  blog and resource page including a”personal investigation” exercise along with her book recommendations.

The Art of Screen Time: How your Family can Balance Digital Media and Real Life
Link to book

Anya Kamenetz us all to “enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together.”

Some other articles to consider:

Why Social Media Must Be Taught

Focusing in a Tech Connected World

Why Banning Cell Phones Misses The Point

Distinguishing Addiction From Habit

Good Digital Parenting Is The Challenge Of Our Age

What Kind Of Screen Time Parent Are You?


Photo: Magnus Hagdorn

Georgia to Maine in seven steps

Students in Tim Hebda’s 4-5 class were recently immersed in the thematic study of westward migration in the United States. Territorial and state geography is an essential part of the story, so Tim decided to employ technology—including cameras, projectors, and Skype—to connect Waynflete students with similarly aged students in “mystery locations” around the world. His hope was that these conversations would help students comprehend the scale of some of these travels.

Starting with “are you east or west of the Mississippi?”, it took seven guesses for Waynflete students to pinpoint the location of the mystery school: Georgia!

Tim has several more mystery Skypes planned in the coming weeks, including locations outside of the United States.

How many guesses would it take for you to pinpoint the location of a random Skype user?

Nicole and Jonas Maines ’15 Featured in Latest “Americans Who Tell The Truth” Portrait

Robert Shetterly recently unveiled the newest addition to his “Americans Who Tell The Truth” (AWTT) series: a portrait of Nicole and Jonas Maines ’15.

In his opening remarks, Robert said that “Nicole and Jonas’s courage, commitment, and outspokenness made them perfect models for the kind of people—especially young people—that I want to paint and present as models of courageous citizenship.”

Nicole said that she was honored to have been painted by Shetterly and included in his collection. “It is so fitting to have the portrait unveiled at Waynflete,” she said, “not only because the school is part of our story, but because the people at Waynflete have helped us so much on our journey.”

Jonas thanked Waynflete for “not only giving us a place where we could be ourselves, but for being a place that taught us the importance of love and respect and how to overcome hate and ignorance.”

“The opposite of courage is not cowardice—it is conformity,” said Robert, quoting Texas writer Jim Hightower in closing. “One of the most important roles that educators can play is to help young people become their true selves and not be afraid to go wherever that might lead.”

The Maines portrait has already been requested for two upcoming AWTT programs including a show in North Carolina where state government is engaged in a dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice over transgender rights.

Click here to view photographs from the portrait unveiling.

Click here to learn more about Americans Who Tell The Truth.

Click here to learn about The Samantha Smith challenge.