The first thing I ask my son after school, everyday, is how his day went? He normally answers with the same old “good” or “I don’t know”, but one day he gave me a different answer.
“We learned about citizenship! Do you know what that means?” Wow, way to go Simsbury school system! (Fist pump) That is a really good question, I thought, as I looked into the rear view mirror at my little tyke waiting for my answer.
“It’s about being responsible…?” I trailed off in more of a question, then an answer, but Nathanael nodded his head in approval and went on to tell me that he would prefer Scooby-Doo gummies then the boring old fruit bar that I gave him in his lunch box. Quiz time complete and I passed, phew!
The very next morning I had a meeting scheduled with, business blogger friend and digital lifestyle expert, David Ryan Polgar to pow-wow on what’s been happening with each other, lately. He began our discussion with some great news of becoming the Communications Director for a smart device app company called, Copilot Family, that has based their business model on good digital citizenship…
Citizenship, there’s that word again?! I chuckled, and then explained my reaction with the story about my son, and we then went on to talk about how digital citizenship’s concept has development from recent issues of people over-using their mobile devices as open-ended, free-play systems. Mr. Polgar recently wrote an article stating a solution with young children and this problem, titled The Wired Classroom: Finding Its Potential. In this post, he talks about preparing our younger generations for technology by embracing these devices as tools of learning and teaching with controlled, timed methods inside, and outside, of the classroom. Nathanael has even talked about using tablets for reading, sight-word training, and center time, in his own school. My son has also mentioned interacting with the teacher’s Smart Board. To us old people, that is the black board replacement, which means no more eraser clap duties (cough, cough). Nathanael also gets home-time tablet privileges when he does well with listening and being good at school.
David was happy to hear of our school and home digital responsibilities and he then stated that we are considered the generation of the modern parent – which is, by no means, an easy task. My son may be currently manageable at the age of 5, but what happens when he gets older? Will I have to shut down Internet access at bedtime so he doesn’t use his iPhone all night long? Will his teachers have to use detectors at the doorway of the classroom and confiscate devices from Nathanael, and his classmates, as they walk into school? These are all real-life situations of parents and educators having to use drastic measures to regulate kids these past few years. They have had hard lessons to learn about these technology-driven issues and have tried to quickly resolve them for the sake of our children. (No pressure.)
So in the midst of all the lesson learning to protect our kids, it was only natural to know that the co-founder of Copilot Family, Spring Hollis, is…yup, you guessed it, a mom (and also a runner)! With Spring’s own Runitlikeamom moment, she created this smart device app that allows the parents to gain insight into their child’s tech-use, then, together they can come to an understanding on how to properly use the technology, face-to-face and not, screen-to-screen.
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