Our kids are throwing themselves headlong into this new neighborhood of technology while many of us are holding on to the comfort of the old country (and things are moving so fast that email could be considered an old-fashioned way to communicate!).
Although we're catching up, our kids have raced ahead.
We have two options on how we feel about this:
Door #1: total paralyzing fear
Door #2: acceptance and embracing it as a teachable moment for both you and your child or student
(If we're experiencing this at home, make no mistake, teachers are feeling the gap, too, and there are so many benefits to using technology in the classroom.)
If you can give in and choose Door #2, I have a great tip for you. Go to the newly-launched Platform for Good, created by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). The teacher's site, in particular, is awesome. It introduces a concept that I totally believe in: Make the Kids the Teachers. It's called Teach Teachers Tech (TTT).
This is a great idea because adults need the help and kids want to show us what they know. (In my pilot program -- Be the One -- older kids teach the younger ones about leadership and how to step up for one another. Kids are the experts in their own worlds.)
It's ok to give up a little control. It's ok that they're better than us at something. It doesn't mean that they don't still need us to help them navigate but we need to know where they're going first. It's also the best online safety tool. I always suggest that parents ask kids to take them for a tour of their online world. Be proud of them. It's the quickest way to get the inside scoop...and gain their trust.
There's a lot of good in the new neighborhood. We need to be familiar with all aspects and not just the negative ones. If we only focus on the dangers, we'll lose out on all it has to offer. And speaking of the dangers, if we understand the new neighborhood better, we are more skilled in steering them away from the dark alleys.
A final tip: Be a Good Student because that will make you a Better Parent and a Fantastic Teacher.
Eureka! The gap gets smaller.
In the words of A Platform for Good, this is your chance to Connect, Share and Do Good.