Helping Parents Guide Kids' Media Use
SXSWedu 2017 Panel
What makes for effective parent engagement around media and technology?
Parents and caregivers are looking to schools for advice on their kids' media use.
Lisa Nielsen: Rewrote NYC Dept. of Ed. social media and AUP guidelines to make it more friendly for teachers and students. For example, infographics for kids 13+, activity books for students 12 and younger. Also translated into multiple languages.
NYC materials are available for free if other schools; districts want to customize.
Parent coordinators at NYC schools help spread the message.
As a result, more teachers in NYC are using social media to share the story of their schools.
Brian Romero Smith, FWISD - 23,000 high school students in 1:1 tech initiative. Brought parents into the schools for the initiative and had sessions in English and Spanish. Got lots of questions about filtering and social media.
Started encouraging positive digital citizenship and social media use. Created a resource website for parents. Included online presentations from students and took students out to speak with parents.
Created community events. Included teaching businesses how to boost their social media use, and taught tips and tricks to parents to help them become role models for their children. (FOOD attracts people to these events!)
Brought in experts via Google Hangouts or Skype for parents to hear.
Rachelle Wooten, Dig Learn Specialist in Ft. Bend ISD - Found that if students participate and facilitate workshops, more parents will show up.
FBISD - Why not use your LMS to help provide ongoing learning/resources to parents? Rachelle hopes to do this as FBISD moves forward with an LMS in the next year.
Kelly Mendoza, Common Sense Media - CSM offers free resources to parents and educators, including rating edtech tools for learning and media resources for parents. Known for their digital citizenship curriculum.
Digital teaching strategies offers bite size PD for teachers.
CSM also advocates for what's best for kids in education and media.
Programs for parents is called Connecting Families. Started in 2008 and has been through many iterations. Endorsed by National PTA.
Most popular download is their Family Media Agreement.
CSM has a widget you can embed on your website to provide fresh content to parents weekly from their blog.
How to encourage parent participation in events:
- Provide prizes for parents and students for participating.
- FEED the parents! Food is the best.
- Have kids do the talking and drive the show.
- Consider live streaming so parents who can't come in person can view the program later.
- Survey parents at the start of the year to see what their concerns are. Create programming around their concerns.
- Share info via your school or district Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Use multiple channels to reach parents.
How do we empower teachers to play a role?
- In Ft. Bend, students have to participate in an Internet lesson once per nine weeks, facilitated by advisory teacher.
- Embed content in LMS so teachers just need to facilitate the discussion. Badge teachers who engage at a higher level!
- Have a team of people on campus dedicated to digital citizenship and spread the lessons around so multiple teachers are talking with kids about their digital lives.
Make sure you also emphasize the good things that can happen around a positive digital footprint and encourage parents to help their students build one!
Find someone else who is doing this well, and partner with them to support you as you get your parent education initiatives going.
Don't beat yourself up for what you haven't done in this area, but start where you are and do what you can!
Remember it's not just about devices or media or screen time, but what's being done with those tools that matters.
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