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Get Your Kids’ Tech Ready for Back-to-School

It’s that time of year again. The long lazy days of summer are winding down. It’s time for families (grateful parents, disgruntled teens) to get back on a normal schedule, back to work and back to school. It’s also a time for parents to review their kids access to technology. Here are some easy to follow tips for setting reasonable expectations for tech use at home and in school.

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The Technology Isn’t the Problem, It’s You

Over the past few weeks there have been more stories about people losing their jobs, their admission to elite colleges, or the full potential of their formerly bright futures because of what they posted online. The headline of these stories routinely emphasizes the social media platform on which the offense is shared, as though social media is the problem. It is not.

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Digital Wellness: Apply Five Healthy Principles for a Happier You

Technology is so entangled in our lives that we need to consider our tech use when we think about our overall health and wellbeing. Are we using our technology for its intended purpose – as a tool to help us stay connected? If not, are we too dependent on our devices that we isolate ourselves? Think about how you have incorporated social media and smartphones in to your daily life. If you feel out of balance, try these five tips to a healthier digital you.

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The Screen Time Dilemma: Your Attention Please!

I had the opportunity recently to see the IndiFlix documentary entitled LIKE, about the impact of social media on our lives. What really impressed me about this treatment of the subject was the lack of judgement. I note this because many news items and programs, especially about kids’ and teens’ relationship with technology, are delivered with a sneer or exasperation at the way the younger generation is focused on their online lives.

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Digital Wellness: The Tools to Help Us Help Ourselves

It has been a tough year in terms of public relations for the big tech firms. From Congressional hearings, to Russian manipulation of social media platforms to data privacy concerns and breaches you might think we’d all give up on them! But no, they’ve got us hooked. From iPhones to Google to Instagram and Amazon, we all seem to prefer the convenience and connection they provide us over our own privacy and independence.

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Should We Rely on Tech to Get Us Off our Tech?

Facebook, Google, and Apple have recently launched Digital Wellness or Digital Health guides to help us break our addiction to their products. But can we trust them? And shouldn’t we be able to break our unhealthy digital habits without relying on tech to remind us to do so? Is the solution to ‘tech addiction’ found in the tools the big tech companies provide? Isn’t the problem that we rely too much on what our devices tell us to do rather than to our own instincts?

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Gaming Advice for Parents

Parents concerns about gaming are very similar to the overall ­­­­issues parents have with regard to technology: time spent, interaction with strangers, and inappropriate content. Some of the top games kids are playing include: Fortnite, (a great article on this game by Your Teen for Parents), Rocket League, NBA 2K18, Madden (NFL and Mobile), FIFA, Super Mario Odyssey, Star Wars Battlefront II, Clash of Clans, Trivia Crack, Minecraft and Call of Duty.

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Dear Social Media, It’s Time to Grow Up

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act provides safeguards for our children under the age of thirteen. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even YouTube use COPPA to inform their age requirements. This assumes that at 13 years old while using social media, our teens should be able to understand the difference between advertising and content, truth and distortion, appropriate and offensive postings and how to behave in an online environment.

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4 Tips for Avoiding Tech Distracted Holidays

‘Tis the season of gathering around the fireplace, attending holiday parties, enjoying lively dinners and the sounds of beeping Smartphones. Wait, what was that last one? During the holidays we aspire to re-create a 1950s perfect version of family gatherings. The problem is that 2017 is full of distractions that were unthinkable 60 years ago. So, how can we resolve our nostalgia with 21st century reality? Here are my Positive Digital Life tips to make the whole family happy.

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Digital Strategies: Why One Teacher WANTS His Students to Use Social Media

One amazing teacher can have a profound impact. Many of us can remember at least one teacher who changed the way we thought about ourselves, about learning and about our place in our communities. I remember my third grade teacher who was so captivating that she made me want to do my best. Decades later, I still remember her style, humor and passion for teaching. She made it cool to be smart and she changed the way I thought about school. I thought of her again recently when I spoke with Jason Shaffer, High School Education Technology Teacher for the North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Florida. Jason is on the leading edge of educators who want their students to use social media. He is an inspiration to me and to his students, watch my full interview with Jason and you will soon see why.