Keeping Up in a Digital World Published 2008-07-28 under

Digital World As parents and educators, it is important for us to stay abreast of the digital world in which our kids live. I recently found another reason for us to keep up.

I have been immersed in several projects recently, one of which involves exploring the human development aspects of growing up in a digital world. This project has me searching for resources that explore various ways our digital world is affecting the development of our kids.

My research took me to a report titled The Appropriation of New Media by Youth. It is an interesting look at use of new media from a European perspective. The report looks at several countries offering a profile and recommendations for each. For example, one of the general recommendations for the United Kingdom was:

"We recommend that the current emphasis placed on the regulation and prohibition of online media within schools and colleges is substituted by pedagogical interventions aimed at developing children and young people’s critical literacy skills and competencies."

But what really caught my attention I found in the report conclusions:

The survey also shows that whereas young people are appropriating user skills thanks to their peers and to their own experiences, they are finding few adult partners to rationalise and systematise the spontaneous learning channels they are developing. Instructional independence is a quality, to be sure, but many young people feel (and sometimes express) the need of finding a heedful ear among adults and at times a dialogue that the family and school develop to a very limited extent about using the Internet, games and mobile telephones. The Appropriation of New Media by Youth - page 56

Excellent! Absolutely! We need to keep up with our kids so we can be there to help them as they navigate adolescence in a digital world. How can a child talk to us about cyberbullying when we don't get social networking? Most of us can relate to being embarrassed on the school playground, but how many can relate to a child who has just been flamed in a Internet chat room? So to say up with my daughter, I am off to explore the world of Pinky Dinky Doo.

BTW... If you have any resources that you would like to recommend, add them to the comments. I am looking for articles or sources that address issues relating to the digital world and human (child) development. While issues involving how the educational system needs to be changed to reflect the digital world are important, this project is more about the emotional, social, moral, ethical development of kids that takes place both in school and out of school. I am really excited to see what you might recommend.

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