Sunday, February 26, 2017

They don't know what they don't know

Last night I gave a talk to parents about social media. I was asked to briefly discuss the "big ones", Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat -- just discuss how they work and what students do on them.

As I worked my way through the different apps, I was a bit surprised about the questions being asked. The apparent lack of understanding of basic technology kids take for granted. Their parents don't seem to get it. Your kids are on social media and, very often, they are trying to deceive you.

This post isn't to castigate parents for being out of the loop. I understand that. It's hard to be informed on everything with so much going on online. By the time you track your kid down on Facebook, they've moved on to Instagram. Heck, some of the questions got me Googling at the end of the session and I discovered some new apps and sites I didn't even know about...but that's another blog post.

This is just a reminder for me and others who understand kids and tech--we have to shine a light on this stuff. We need to commit to building trust with parents and give them good information about what kids are doing. We need to stay informed. We have a responsibility to understand the digital world and inform parents and students of the costs and risks associated with irresponsible technology use.

Responsiveness is key, both in understanding the landscape, and knowing how the kids we are in charge of are navigating it. 

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