Bookmarked Children and Technology by L. M. Sacasas ([object Object])

The Convivial Society: Dispatch, No. 8

L. M. Sacasas reflects on technology and children.

  1. Resist technocratic models of what it means to raise a child
  2. Resist a reactionary approach to technology
  3. Resist technologies that erode the space for childhood
  4. Resist technologically mediated liturgies of consumption
  5. Be skeptical of running unprecedented social experiments on children
  6. Embrace limits
  7. Embrace convivial tools
  8. Cultivate wonder
  9. Tell stories, read poetry
Bookmarked What Is Distance Learning For? by Keith Gessen (The New Yorker)

We have missed school very much during this time—have missed its warmth, its diversity, its sense of a common cause. That is what school is, I’ve come to understand. It is child care, yes, for parents who need to work. And it is some instruction in reading and writing and math. But, most of all, it is a shared experience—of play, and conflict, and even boredom—overseen by professionals who know what they’re doing.

Keith Gessen reflects on his experiences of learning online during the pandemic. Balancing with the stress and apathy, he discusses how he found equilibrium when he stopped trying to imitate the school schedule and cut things back.

We cut Raffi’s schoolwork down to the bare minimum—letters, numbers, name. We cut the Zooms to one per week. And the rest of the time we spent outside in the park: digging for worms, climbing rocks, building “pizzas” out of dirt.

This comes back to Will Richardson’s new normal of learning.

Replied to

Ben, this reminds me of the challenge of having a manager who is also a growth coach. Assume it is not impossible, but also probably not ideal.
Replied to The tightrope balance of parenting (

So parenting tips are something that will always be tricky to give. What works for some, doesn’t work for all. That said, I really think Dave Sands and go over some ideas that are not prescriptive, but rather they are things to think about when trying to deal with kids learning at home… no matter how you currently parent or how good or challenging your kids might be. Here are the tips:

1. Manage Expectations
2. Make a Schedule
3. Minimize Distractions
4. Learning occurs everywhere
5. Set daily and weekly goals
6. All screen time is not created equal
7. Model learning.

The biggest challenge we have faced with supporting our daughter with online learning has been the development of a schedule. Some days my daughter is ready and eager to start learning at 8 in the morning, but the schedule we negotiated states that she starts work at 9. Another interesting challenge has been in regards to the online sessions which run at a different time each day. It certainly is a tightrope.
Bookmarked Sharenting, BYOD and Kids Online: 10 Digital Tips for Modern Day Parents (Troy Hunt)

I was invited into the local ABC Radio studio to comment on this piece and online safety in general so in a very meta way, I took my 7-year old daughter with me and captured this pic which, after discussion with her, I’m sharing online:

Discussion quickly went from sharenting to BYOD at schools to parental controls and all manner of kid-related cyber things. Having just gone through the BYOD process with my 10-year old son at school (and witnessing the confusion and disinformation from parents and teachers alike), now seemed like a good time to outline some fundamentals whilst sitting on a plane heading down to Sydney to do some adult-related cyber things!

For Safer Internet Day, Troy Hunt provides a number of tips when it comes to digital parenting. He argues that everyone needs to find there own balance, but this needs to involve guiding children, managing administration duties and living with the chance that anything shared could be made public. In the end, the message that eminates from Hunt’s piece is the importance of being an active parent.

Digital controls can never replace the role parents play in how the kids use devices; they should be complimentary to parenting rather than a substitute for it.

Some other useful pieces on this topic include:

Replied to 2019 In Review And A Look Forward To 2020 – Ben Collins (Ben Collins)

Best wishes to all of you for 2020! This is my 5th annual review post. I’m proud and thankful that I get to write this post every year, because it means I’m still running my own show and my business is still going. At this time of year I like to pause. Stop doing the … Continue reading 2019 In Review And A Look Forward To 2020

Well done on the year Ben. I liked your point about the challenges of multiple roles:

By far the biggest challenge of my life continues to be the balance of being a good husband and father whilst running my own business and keeping fit. It’s hard to not feel like you’re failing on all these fronts, despite going full tilt all the time. All one can do is keep trying!

This reminds me of a piece from Austin Kleon about the changes moving from one child to two.

Replied to Have you thought about writing a book about parenting? – Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

Becoming a parent is an opportunity to think about who you’ve become, who you wanted to be, and, if you need to, course-correct. This is what’s so fucking hard about it: You not only have to take a cold look at yourself in the mirror and become the kind of person you want your kids to be, if you have biological children, you spend all day around little people who are living mirrors. And they don’t necessarily reflect back at you the parts of you want to see! (There have been several nights where I’ve turned to my wife and said, “Do you ever feel like they got our worst parts?”) Lou Reed’s song could be about a child instead of a lover: “I’ll be your mirror / reflect what you / in case you don’t know.”

I always enjoy your reflections on parenting Austin. Whether right or wrong, I feel that I have learnt so much about myself through the reflections provide by my children.
Bookmarked Using the Internet to Raise Your Children (Medium)

This isn’t a HOWTO sit your kid down in front of a computer and have them turn into a genius. There is nothing that does that, there is nothing good that doesn’t involve effort from adult caregivers. Education is a conversation between people who care for each other, an energetic passing of culture and skills between generations. It takes our full attention in the moment to do it right, and that’s valuable, even when we don’t have nearly as many moments as we’d like.

Quinn Norton reflects on learning alongside her daughter. Although this learning is ‘work’, it can be fun work, especially when it is focused on interests. She supports this by suggesting a number recommendations to spark learning. My biggest takeaway was Quinn’s point that without pauses and reflection, music, podcasts and videos is merely consumption.

Cruising media without pauses feels like learning, but it’s not. If you don’t follow up the information by interacting with it, it’s in one ear and out the other. Redundancy helps, too. If you’re trying to teach your child about elemental particles, choosing a series of YouTube videos from different sources, with pauses each time to discuss them can be great, but the choosing and the pausing, to write or discuss notes, are what makes it learning instead of passive channel surfing.

Liked Leaning on Parents Isn’t an Intervention, Y’all. (THE TEMPERED RADICAL)

Sure — letting parents know about the struggles of individual students is a responsible act.

And sometimes, those notifications may result in improvements. A parent might hire a tutor for their child to address academic gaps or a student might change their behavior in response to home-based consequences.

But seeing parent communication as your primary INTERVENTION — instead of as nothing more than providing INFORMATION — is a cop-out.

Liked An open letter to parents… (What Ed Said)

We asked parents who attended our informal session last week to sort all these aspirations into two groups. Once they got going, it quickly became clear which would put pressure on their children and which would support them in becoming well adjusted, valued and valuable members of society, content within themselves. We ask you to think about it too…

Edna, this is a great example of the power of words and the mindset that it perpetuates.
Bookmarked Are your words doing damage: how to talk to your teen and help stop cyber bullying (Parent Hub – Dolly's Dream)

The Dolly’s Dream video made by 15-year-old Charlotte McLaverty has taken our understanding of the impact of cyber bullying out of our heads.

Another great piece from Dan Donahoo on cybersafety and the importance of environment.
Bookmarked Kylie used to be the breadwinner, but this is what happened when her husband got promoted (ABC News)

Ms Lewis is not alone. With women today more educated than ever, their qualifications, expectations and desire to work in fulfilling professional roles are the same as men’s.

Highly educated women also tend to marry men of similar education, resulting in more relationships comprised of two professional equals, often holding similar career and work aspirations.

And while there are many positives to such arrangements, they can also bring with them a uniquely contemporary problem: when you have two similarly ambitious and educated individuals, what happens when one’s career takes off — and the partner’s stagnates?

Caroline Zielinski discusses the challenges of family and work. I think that this is something that Austin Kleon captures best:

Increasing Complexity

I feel that the biggest challenge in today’s day and age is balancing between everyone’s interests.

Liked Fiona Hardy on Instagram: “My girl levelled up at swimming after putting in some super hard work, so we took her out for sushi train and Timezone tonight because…” (Instagram)

69 Likes, 8 Comments – Fiona Hardy (@readwatchshoot) on Instagram: “My girl levelled up at swimming after putting in some super hard work, so we took her out for sushi…”

Bookmarked Youth Spies and Curious Elders – Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

On holding onto your curiosity as you age.

I love the term ‘curious elder’:

John Waters is what I call a Curious Elder — someone who manages to retain their curiosity as they age and stays interested in what young people are up to. The curious elder isn’t interested in judging youth, they’re interested in learning from them.

As a parent and an educator, I think that there is a danger of understanding, rather than “revelling in the mystification”.

I remember when I taught music I would start each weekly lesson with a listening diary where we would reflect upon a different piece of music chosen by a student. It was a fascinating opportunity.