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A Letter To Parents Of Digital Age Children by Susan Lucille Davis first appeared on gettingsmart.com

First, let me thank you for entrusting me with teaching your children, honoring the amazing individuals they are, and helping them discover the confident and empowered young people they can be. Providing a rich and engaging environment for your children to learn in is my utmost concern, but Iately I have had to acknowledge that the young people I see every day do much of the learning that is important to them when they leave the parking lot and head home from school. Thus, I am writing to solicit your help.

For a long time, I have bemoaned how as teachers we have allowed a generation of students to explore the Wild West of the Internet largely without our guidance. I am happy to say that as educators, we are starting to catch up and tend to our students’ needs. But the world of learning, especially learning online, is way bigger than we ever imagined, and to do what needs to be done, we ask for your help.

Two Cautionary Tales

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It’s getting to be that time of year. Your chances of seeing school supply commercials have increased exponentially. Kids are breaking out last year’s Elmer’s in anticipation of glorious glue feasts. Teens are cramming their entire summer reading into the last week of August. Yep, it’s back to school time, folks.

One thing that makes back to school a tad less stressful? Tech, of course! What did you think we were going to say — studying? Pssssh.

Take a gander below at these tech tools, apps, social media and parenting tips that will ease you or your kid into another school year. Here are Mashable‘s best education-related posts from the past year! Enjoy, you teacher’s pet, you.

Check them out….Click Here

  • Tech & Mobile Education Tools
  • Education via Social Media
  • Education Tips & Stats
  • Extracurricular Tech Education
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“Recently, Florida State Representative Kelli Stargel proposed a bill which calls for teachers to assess and grade Pre-K through 3rd grade parents.  Trust me, most parents know without my telling them what their grades are.  The parents that I do speak to are never pleased, and instead of improving, usually blame me or the school for their child’s shortcomings.  Schools already are asked to be social service providers.  Teachers are asked to be nurses, secretaries, counselors, mentors and role models. While performing these and countless other quasi-parental duties, we are also required to supply a top notch education for each and every child … well, an education which at least teaches students how to do well on standardized tests.:

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WHO IS Maggie Cary:a National Board Certified Teacher has been an educator for over 20 years.  She is certified in Secondary Education and holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.  Over the years she has mentored countless teachers and advised hundreds of parents.  Mrs. Cary has taught children from preschool through high school.  She is the mother of two young adults and lives and teaches in Florida.  Over the years she has individually answered a myriad of questions from parents concerning a wide range of issues.  She decided that a blog would be a good way to share her knowledge and experience with parents of school-aged children.

ClassroomTalk.com strives to be a helpful resource for families that have questions about school/parenting issues. You can email her your questions at: [email protected] If Maggie doesn’t have the answer one of her panel of experts will!

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Wesley Fryer has am amazing thought provoking post about Digital Citizenship on his blog Moving at the Speed of CreativityIt is worth reading!!

The actions of Florida 11 year old “Jessi Slaughter” (Jessica Leonhardt) on YouTube as well as her father provide a case study on digital citizenship both sad and instructive to witness. The following seven minute segment from Good Morning America back in July 2010 provides a partial summary of the incident and situation.

The YouTube version above of this clip may be taken down at some point. The following ABC News website posts from July 22nd provide insights into the escalating series of events which led to this extreme and distressing situation:

Viral Cyberbullying: Who’s to Blame for Jessi Slaughter’s Online Infamy

‘Jessi Slaughter’ Says Death Threats Won’t Stop Her From Posting Videos on the Internet
Jessi Slaughter’s Cyber Bullying Nightmare
Jessi Slaughter Breaks Down, Father Steps In

To read the full story, CLICK HERE

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School change: Push versus pull, My Kids Turn

Cossed poster with Permission of the Author

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how our world is changing from a “push” approach, to a “pull” approach. I’ve heard a couple of good examples of the old “push” method, TV and education. The TV executives make a command decision about which programs you get to watch. What day they are on, what time they are on, and if they will continued be on.

In the “pull” world you set your DVR and watch it whenever you want, furthermore, you can fast-forward through the commercials if you want. But the real “pull” world is YouTube. You can search for almost anything, and watch at any time, just about anything you want. There are no elites deciding what you get to see when you get to see it, it’s all up to you.

Another good example of the old-style “push” world is education. Our students are told what they have to take, when they have to take it, with very little if any choice. We have elite individuals who have decided what THE “standards” need to be for every child, and most of our curriculum in K-12 schools is mandated by colleges.

I’m very proud of the project my colleagues at ESSDACK have launched. It is truly a “pull” approach. The name of the project, and the website, are My Kids Turn. Each of the six programs, soon to be expanded to 10, contains video clips designed to help parents with the educational needs of their kids.

Jane Seward’s channel is called Magic Spell, and is intended for parents who want help their children become better spellers. Michelle Flaming’s channel is called By The Numbers, and is designed to give parents strategies to help their kids understand and love math. Reneé Smith and Jaime Hendricks team up on Just Deserts. Just Deserts gives parents table games that can be played with their kids at meal time, that support and enrich their learning at school.

Jodi Case has developed Learn, Grow, and Bloom, which is designed for parents with toddlers through pre-school with language and speaking, build pre–reading and math skills. Great Games, Better Brains is produced by Glenn Wiebe and Jaime Hendricks and helps parents explore the wild and woolly world of video games for their children, from an educational point of view. And finally, Kevin Honeycutt is featured in Raising Digital Kids. Kevin is a national presenter who often speaks on Internet safety and the use of technology by kids.

We are betting that, in the 21st century, the world will continue becoming a “pull” world. We believe that the use of “pull” approaches to learning will lead to real school change. Check out the website and see what you think. Can you imagine your school, or your classroom, or your children’s learning experience becoming customized and individualized through new technologies? – Steve Wyckoff