Ep. 19: Being a “Tech Positive” Parent with Devorah Heitner

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Earlier this year, I devoured Devorah Heitner’s book Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World during a single plane trip. Heitner’s insights changed my previously (and very opinionated) negative view of my kids’ screen use.

I highly recommend all parents read Screenwise, as the book provides new insights into our kids’ digital world and helps parents feel less afraid of tech. She teaches us how we can become “tech-positive” parents.

And while I’m still a proponent of being unplugged (as is Heitner), I now view my kids’ (and my own) screen use in a more nuanced way. Screen use is not the black and white, evil verses good, proposition that it is often presented as in the sensational news pieces that fill our media feeds.

Heitner’s work offers a refreshing perspective that relieves parental anxiety and offers simple parenting tips and easy-to-implement strategies to be a “tech positive” parent.

Heitner is the founder of Raising Digital Natives. She earned her Ph.D. in Media/Technology and Society from Northwestern University, and has been working with communities, schools and companies across the United States and beyond. Devorah speaks to schools, organizations, and corporations, leads workshops, and consults with educators on their toughest concerns in teaching kids to use tech in a smart way.

As Devorah describes:
I’m here to take the fear out of this emotionally-charged topic and help you guide your kids towards empathy, kindness, and integrity. Getting this right sets kids up for a lifetime of success in a world where they are likely to find a job, meet their spouse, and build their reputations in interactive, digital communities.

I am thrilled to share this episode of the podcast which will introduce you to Heitner and her important work to help parents navigate raising “digital natives” who learn to use technology in a positive way. Heitner’s book, and our podcast interview, inspired me to think more positively about technology. I hope they do the same for you!

Resources and Links:

Visit Heitner’s Website, Raising Digital Natives, for a ton of excellent resources! Raising Digital Natives is a place for parents and educators to get practical, timely, and non-judgmental advice to set kids up for success in a digital world, and in life.

Order Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World!

If you’d like Devorah’s ebook: A Dozen Tips for Raising kids in the Digital Agesign up here. 
This post, Every Day is Picture Day, is one of my favorites. It speaks to the photo craziness of this era and how to mentor our kids in their photo taking and posting.
 

Phonewise is an online class designed to take about 4 weeks (but you can return to the materials for the next year).

 

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