The very best part of the work I do at Risk Within Reason is the direct contact with parents, teachers, students and readers. I learn something new every time I do a presentation , and the questions I get from audiences and my blog readers help keep me focused on the current issues for schools and families. Which I then pass on to my readers and workshop participants.
Like the explosive growth of Twitter use among teens, partly (they say) because their parents are watching them too closely on Facebook. Or the ways they use video chat to communicate things with friends without leaving a trail. Or the truly creative use of blogging, animation and gaming sites to produce things (from photos to animation to game design and coding) that teens couldn’t have imagined doing even 10 years ago.
It isn’t all bad stuff. It isn’t all scary. Our teens are bright and earnest and curious. But we do need to watch them very carefully. And I like to think that by helping keep my readers informed about these complex and ever-changing issues, I make it easier for them to know what to watch.
When I do workshops on digital safety in schools, I always send out quick surveys beforehand — one for the students and one for the parents. That way I can integrate data from that school into my talk; they like to know what their students and parents believe.
The results are fascinating. They’ve shown me an interesting disconnect between the fears and concerns of both groups, as well as not too surprising differences between the household Internet and cellphone rules as understood by the kids and their parents. It’s a topic I plan to write about soon.
But before I do, I need your help. I’m trying to collect more information about parents’ concerns. What are you worried about when it comes to your kids and technology? How do you deal with those worries? What do you wish your kids knew?
If you have children under the age of 18, please take 5 minutes from your busy schedule to complete this simple 10-question survey. If you have more than one child, pick one between 10 and 16 when you consider your responses. It’s anonymous and confidential. And I promise to write all about it here on Rise Within Reason.