February 3, 2019

0 | 0

Close the Digital Generation Gap, Unlock the Power of Online Affinity Networks, and Fuel Learning

First published on the Connected Learning Alliance blog.

AO_medium.jpg

Fresh into the new year, I’m delighted to announce the publication of Affinity Online: How Connection and Shared Interest Fuel Learning, a book synthesizing research by the Leveling Up team of the Connected Learning Research Network. This book follows in the footsteps of Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media(HOMAGO) published a decade earlier.

Continue reading "Close the Digital Generation Gap, Unlock the Power of Online Affinity Networks, and Fuel Learning" »

Posted by Mizuko Ito at 11:39 AM

September 30, 2018

0 | 0

Value the Creative and Social-Emotional Upsides of Social Media Suggests New Survey from Common Sense Media

Originally published on the Connected Learning Alliance blog.

Earlier this month, Common Sense Media released its report, Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences. The report describes research conducted by veteran digital youth researcher Victoria Rideout and Common Sense Media’s Senior Director of Research, Michael Robb.

This survey is the organization’s second report tracking social media use among American teenagers — the original report of the same name was published in 2012 — and offers a revealing look at teens’ social media use over the last six years and how much it has come to dominate their lives.

Here are a few highlights for the Connected Learning Alliance.

Continue reading "Value the Creative and Social-Emotional Upsides of Social Media Suggests New Survey from Common Sense Media" »

Posted by Mizuko Ito at 11:26 AM

September 1, 2018

0 | 0

How to Shed Distracted Parenting Guilt and Transform into a Digital Hero

Originally posted on the Connected Camps blog.

iphone-6s-plus_877-750x450.jpg

What example are you setting when you’re glued to Candy Crush or texting during dinner? Is your obsession with work at all hours destroying quality time with your kids? A growing chorus of voices are amping up the volume on distracted parenting. Has that guilt inducing memo landed in your inbox?

You’re not alone. And you’re not a horrible parent.

I’ve been interviewing tech savvy parents about how they manage gaming and digital media in their family lives. Past posts include why we should drop screen time rules, game time limits that work for real families, and how to make gaming time into family time.  

It’s not just about managing our kids. Experts agree that parents need to set a good example. But just piling on the guilt is not particularly helpful. Here I review some research, then share what I learned about what makes parents digital heroes. They practice empathy not hypocrisy, value routines over rules, and embrace joy more than guilt.

Continue reading "How to Shed Distracted Parenting Guilt and Transform into a Digital Hero" »

Posted by Mizuko Ito at 9:19 AM

May 24, 2018

0 | 0

How to Make Gaming Time Family Time

Originally posted at the Connected Parenting blog.

controller.jpghttps://asunow.asu.edu/content/move-over-monopoly-asu-researchers-find-families-bond-over-video-game-play

Managing gaming time is a big challenge for many parents. In an earlier post, I examined  what the experts say about setting game time limits versus the realities of raising young gamers. Here, I review the research on playing games with your kids, talk to three game-savvy parents, and reflect on my own parenting experiences to gauge how gaming with kids does or doesn’t work out in real life.

Continue reading "How to Make Gaming Time Family Time" »

Posted by Mizuko Ito at 9:53 AM

January 21, 2018

0 | 0

How I Bonded with My Son by Ignoring Gaming Limits

First posted on the Connected Camps blog.

MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com-Knitting-Together-Rope-Friendship-Love-Knot-Heart-1469244%20small.jpeg

How to manage kids’ gaming time is a hot parenting topic. Parents worry about gaming “addiction,” “Minecrack,” and their kids’ lack of enthusiasm for offline activities. They share humble brags about their strategies for managing gaming in their family. A gamer dad insists they have no rules about gaming, and his kids have figured out how to set their own limits just fine. A mom sets up an elaborate system of game-time cards to be banked and cashed in. Another mom suggests calling kids off their devices with the incantation, ““You are hereby summoned to the RW! I missed you!”

I can’t imagine implementing most of these approaches myself. They are all interesting, sometimes bizarre, and often impressive. I’ve done my own share of humble bragging.  My friends are probably sick of my going on about my son’s good taste in games like Magic, Minecraft, Starcraft, and DOTA.I’ve blogged about how he taught me about what an awesome learning environment Minecraft can be when he built a redstone calculator in game for fun. But I acknowledge that managing kids’ gaming time has involved as much worry, irritation, and nagging as it does pride and acceptance.

This is the first of a series of posts that dives into common advice about managing kids’ gaming time, and how real families do or don’t measure up. I’ve argued that screen time is an outdated concept and that quality matters more than quantity. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to the struggles families face in fostering healthy gaming habits. How families manage kids’ gaming time is one of the most fraught subtopics in how families handle technology and screen time.  I’ll review the research and advice from experts, draw from my personal experiences, and gather real stories.

Continue reading "How I Bonded with My Son by Ignoring Gaming Limits" »

Posted by Mizuko Ito at 5:20 PM