It Takes a Village To Raise a Tech-Smart Kid
As technology continues to rapidly change, how parents oversee and monitor their children’s online activities and behavior is also constantly evolving. How old a child should be before owning a phone is just scraping the surface of challenging questions moms and dads face in the new world order of technology.
Looking at the big picture, what are we doing as parents and society to really prepare kids for living in a world increasingly comprised of round the clock online access? It’s easy to allow children to play with electronic devices, but allowing them to master these devices without an understanding of how they might impact their lives is important to consider.
Judi Westberg-Warren, President of Web Wise Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching children how to make wise choices online, states on the organization’s blog, “We need for the public to understand that the entire culture of the world has changed. It is a brave new world and we need people to educate themselves and take advantage of the resources that are out there…”
That’s not to say that little thought has gone into this topic. On the contrary, more dialogue and action is taking place than ever before. Legislation has been, and continues to be, put in place to help make the Internet a place of good, rather than evil. Organizations and business are developing ways to help adults and children alike safely navigate through cyberspace. Schools too are beginning to discuss online safety in the classroom and it’s likely they will play a more important role with it sooner rather than later.
With all this said, most of us realize that the heart of educating and raising tech-responsible children begins at home with parents. It’s not a one-time conversation, but an on-going discussion parents need to have with their children as they mature and technology changes. However with the rate of change happening so quickly, all these channels – parents, government, schools, businesses, organizations – need to continue to work together towards the common goal of helping children navigate the internet safely and wisely. If this can happen, the good that can come from it is endless for generations to come.
So where do parents go for help? Here is a list of some organizations that offer tools and strategies to educate kids about online safety:
www.WebWiseKids.org specializes in using the latest technology to teach online safety, offering challenging and realistic computerized games that have been specially designed to reach young people with the information they need to use the Internet safely.
www.GetNetWise.com is a public service brought to you by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences.
www.NetSmartz.com offers an interactive, educational workshop as part of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline.
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