Each year, Oxford Dictionaries chooses a Word of the Year. For 2016, the 'Word of the Year was 'post-truth'.
'Post-truth' is the idea that it is easier to influence public opinion with messages that appeal to emotions, belief and prejudices than it is using facts. It is an idea that has been around for awhile, but was brought to a head in 2016 during the Brexit vote in the UK and the Presidential election in the USA.
"Keep all digital devices out of the bedroom!"
"Be a parent, not a friend"
"Don't let your child do anything online that you wouldn't let them do offline"
These were the three key statements repeated by cybersafety expert, Susan McLean, at King's 'Growing Up Online' Cybersafety Seminar on 4 October 2016.
I am guilty of giving in to my obedient, cooperative 12-year-old who does her chores cheerfully. "Everyone has musical.ly, Mum!' I added it and set up my own account and befriended her so I could monitor her. We checked the 'privacy' settings and googled the feedback and set rules about being in school uniform etc. The 13+ age restriction is standard on social media platforms and we talked about how it was a privilege to use it 8 months before she turns 13.
How naive I was!
So its the school holidays and the weather sucks. The sound of the TV is ever-present and, despite your best intentions, the kids have been on their iPods/PlayStation/Xbox/Wii far longer than you know is healthy. We all know too much screen time is damaging for kids but policing it is an eternal challenge. We hear you!
Here are some strategies for controlling screen time in your house:
Last weekend I was assisting my son to do some research on his laptop. I would love to say he was cooperative, but that wasn’t quite how it played out.
I asked him to show me the topic he was researching, in this case a biography. I looked on Haiku for the scaffold for the task and the child simply had to simply look through what information was required for each paragraph and find the research. Simple enough I thought - however, occasionally it doesn’t seem so, and in my case, my son didn’t want to look beyond web page one, let alone actually read what was on the page.