Teachers Teaching Parents to Parent: A Lesson in Content Curation

Adding value in your social media channels is the number one way to compete in an attention economy.  Knowing what value to add means being empathetic – understanding deeply where the pain points are for your audience, so you know how to help in mission-centric ways.

For many parents today, questions around appropriate use of technology and screens (large and small) are a daily preoccupation.  From handing an iPhone into the back seat to keep a toddler occupied while in traffic, to helping teens navigate appropriate use of their own devices and freedom on the internet.

The bottom line is: Parents today are doing this for the first time.  We’re pioneering.  This technology did not exist when we were kids, so we have no models of how to parent around it. While there are no simple right or wrong answers, parents can learn a lot from a) experts in the developmental ages of their children, and b) what Jewish values and wisdom can offer to help guide our decision making.

That means Jewish schools and synagogues have a huge opportunity to curate content from expert sources and contextualize wisdom for parents.  This kind of content can be curated throughout the year, but especially in the summer when there’s less “boots on the ground” storytelling, such curated content can become even more important to keep momentum on your channels.  We asked some wise Jewish educators (including those in JEDLAB and Darim Educators Facebook Groups) for their best sources.  Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.

We love the folks over at The TEC Center and The Fred Rogers Center's new Ellie initiative. Both are about supporting educators in making informed developmentally appropriate choices for their schools and students. (Shariee Calderone)

Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Early Childhood Education. (Iris Koller)

Raising Digital Natives is a fantastic website run by Devorah Heitner who brings lessons and insights about creating a positive media ecology in one’s family. I particularly like this recent post about teaching  your children responsible media behavior by modeling it as you take (and share) photos of them. / (Lisa Colton)

Danah Boyd's book, It's Complicated – The Social Lives of Networked Teens.  Really a great counterpoint to a lot of the fear-mongering that's out there, and fabulous reporting. You can download as a PDF too! (Sophie Rapoport)

NAEYC has good resournces on technology and young children (Iris Koller)

Award winning app, Circle of 6, recognized by the White House Apps Against Abuse Challenge.

I like the new book "iRules" very much a parent's perspective–not research based. I also like selections from "The Parent App" and "Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out." (Devorah Heitner)

Anything from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center is great just for context (Russel Neiss)

Following American Academy of Pediatricians Guidelines on children and media is a must. (Russel Neiss)

Common Sense Media has great reviews of content, movies, sites with a breakdown on various attributes (violence, language, etc.) which I find very helpful as a parent, and is always available for quick reference on my phone when I need to answer if my kids can see XYZ movie, etc. (Lisa Colton)

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel is great for Parent discussions! (Susan Rosman)

 

Any other suggestions or resources you'd add to this list?  Add them in the comments!

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