Digital Glossary Helps Us Know the Lingo

It’s probably happened to you.  You’re talking with your son or daughter or listening to them talk with a friend, and they use an unfamiliar word or phrase.   Whatever they said was about technology, but what, in fact, did they say?

Common Sense Media can help.  Here’s their digital glossary, a short collection of words that are popping up in our children’s vocabulary.  Check it out and see if you can now decode conversation a bit better. After all, YOLO.  

Look it up.

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YouTube offers content that educates and entertains its viewers. It is easy to get lost in this vast library of user-generated material.  Kids just love discovering new videos, but not content is not appropriate for kids.

Common Sense Media has posted A Parent’s Ultimate Guide to YouTube to provides suggestions on how parents can enjoy YouTube with their kids.  Click over to read all their suggestions, but here are their main points:

Start with the Basics

  • Watch with your kids

  • Watch by yourself

  • Be sleuthy (especially if your kids don’t share information)

  • Subscribe

They recommend that you take a peek at the following if you want to get a good sense of what your child is watching:

  • Look at the creator

  • Look at the suggested videos

  • Consider the ads with the video

  • Read the comments

  • Watch the trailer (many channels create trailers)

They also have some ideas for minimizing the potential of your child seeing “iffy” content:

  • Turn on safety mode

  • Take YouTube’s advice

  • Watch later

While these are good ideas, I am not sure that my family has enough time in the day for all of them.  How do you monitor the videos your children are watching?  Let us know in the comments.


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How Teens Share Information on Social Media

Social media sites are outlets for teens to share information about themselves. The shear number of social media outlets provide teens easy ways to communicate, post pictures or videos, and share thoughts and respond to others.

According to a Pew Research study 81% of online teens users have an account on social media.  Do you know how your teen is sharing information online? Compare your results with the results of the Pew Research Center’s results on How Teens Share Information on Social Media.

The graphic below show many of the ways teens navigate social media.

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Likes and Self Esteem

How can a simple button have so much impact on self esteem? For today’s teens it can be directly related. When that Like button is clicked it means people like what you have to say and people think what you share is important. It means people are paying attention to you. For teens there is a connection between likes and self esteem.

In the pursuit of popularity on social media, teens admitted in a research study, that they will  manipulate their profiles in order acquire as many likes as possible. Teens will monitor feedback on posts or photos, and remove any that do not gain enough likes.

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5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

It seems Star Wars is everywhere and the folks at Common Sense Media recently shared five conversations families may want to have with their children:

  • What role does violence play in the story? Do scenes of explosions and space battles affect you differently from those of close-up, one-on-one duels and killings? Why do you think that is? And what makes more of an impact: violence or loss?
  • Who are the movie’s heroes? What makes them heroes? Are Finn and Rey positive role models? How are they different from Han, Leia, Luke, Anakin, and other characters from the earlier films? What motivates them? How do they demonstrate courageTeamwork?
  • Talk about the themes from the previous movies that repeat themselves here. Why are issues of loneliness, good vs. evil, fatherhood, mentorship, and so on so important to this series? How do they play out on-screen?
  • How does Kylo Ren deal with his anger? What are some other options for managing frustration and disappointment? How do the two sides of the Force represent feelings we all wrestle with?
  • Have you noticed all the Star Wars merchandise in stores? Does seeing the characters on products make you want to buy them?


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