Shock and Awe and Ahhhh….


February 18, 2017 by readlisaread

So, recently I came across this video:

Click here!

Now, let’s unpack this…. first of all, kids don’t use emojis as a secret code.  Please slap yourself if you were drawn into this conversation in any way. I’m not saying kids can’t be sneaky and furtive, but they don’t invest effort into creating a “secret language” where a picture of a tropical flower is a secret code word for weed.

That (embarrassing) video, however, could have been the opener for a presentation I endured sat through attended today. Now, here is the hard part.  The facilitator was a nice guy, clearly passionate about his subject area, and was obviously not there for his ego– he was there because he wanted to help educators, and therefore help kids.  I get that, and totally respect it.

But… but but but…. I’ve sat through too many of these sorts of things, where the facilitator is not an educator, and therefore needs to impress a roomful of teachers in some way other than teacher-speak. Invariably, the default is Shock. “Did you know children as young as TWELVE take nude photos of themselves and share them?” “Here is a video of a really sad mother/father talking about a really sad thing THAT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU”. I don’t need the numbers of how many SnapChat photos are taken each minute, and I don’t care how many instagram users are in contravention of the Terms of Use. Shocking facts and stunning numbers don’t inform me on strategies to improve my practice.

It’s time to move the conversation beyond “Kids are doing bad stuff on the Internet and adults are clueless.”  Now, having said that, I don’t dispute that some adults are, in fact clueless.  It’s time for them to move that along as well.  A few years ago I could kind of shrug off a middle-aged or younger person saying they didn’t “do” email.  Now I don’t have much patience or understanding for that. It would equate to not takin’ a cotton to the telephone or indoor plumbing. In fact, email is on it’s way to becoming passe, they’ve almost missed the boat altogether.  What WILL all those Nigerian princes do?

So how do we get kids to be better digital citizens and adults to more effectively coach their kids to BE better digital citizens?

Actually, send me your ideas, and maybe I can create a workshop that even I would sit through….


*Ed: Please see my follow-up piece to the whole “alternative science” of dopamine addiction in my sister blog: theuncoordinatedcoordinator



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