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Community Course: Parenting in a Digital World (19/5/2011) - a summary & review

posted 20 May 2011, 06:42 by Jess Maher   [ updated 20 May 2011, 10:09 ]

We held our first ever community workshop, tonight focusing on Digital Parenting and Kids using Social Media at Massey Community House (19th May 630-830pm). We had anticipated a struggle with achieving considerable attendance in numbers as per the reports we had heard and been told by others trying to mobilize projects in this area, despite their best intentions, parents seem to be very unsure, potentially rather overwhelmed and otherwise, rather inactive in their parenting roles with kids today when it relates to an online forum particularly.

With a number of different takes on the main issues and risks facing kids today in our ever increasingly connected & digital worlds, the issues of primary concern for parents can be overwhelming and confusing for many parents. In discussions tonight, the primary risks and issues revolved around the following;

- cyber bullying and the conduct and manner in which many websites seems to support & facilitate these behaviors

- "sexting" and the issue and relevance of mobile phones when it comes to digital issues

- digital rights and the ramifications of entering into contracts with a click (not actively considering terms & conditions)

- the balance between empowering kids to give them freedom online and moinitoring/tracking usage to ensure responsible & safe usage

- the challenge of being able to get parents to appreciate the need to proactively address these issues and considering that their kids could be at risk BEFORE getting into a position where they need to respond to a problem

- the way to best disseminate knowledge to parents, and how to get the message out there to be listened to by parents

- the lack of confidence of many parents to feel empower to influence or manage their kids behavior online when they don't feel they understand what their kids are doing on there anyway

- the danger of empowering and engaging kids with these technologies when the risk of parents "removing access" means that kids are not sharing these issues or problems with their parents when they do occur

- how the best way is to tackle these kind of issues & problems reoccurring throughout NZ in a proactive and positive way rather than "ambulance at the bottom of the cliff" mentality & the personal involvement impact

- how to overcome the reluctance and misconceptions of the essence of "social media" itself & why it may relate to them