Category: Parents (page 1 of 2)

ES Parent Workshop: Getting Ready For Summer

On Tuesday morning, Ed Tech hosted another parent workshop in our Family Tech Agreements series. This time we looked at the unique challenges and opportunities of media and technology use by our students during the Summer holidays.

We began by revisiting aspects of the previous parent workshop, such as how to work with your children to create a Family Media Agreement, and ISB’s Media Mentor Month.

Family Media Agreement

Family Media Agreements have become a favourite model for parents looking to develop a media mentor model at home. Having open discussion around technology use as a family allows each member a chance to reflect on their own habits and what they hope to see from one another. Workshop attendees were invited to use the ISB Family Tech Agreements worksheets, or, create their own, in ways that best suited their particular circumstances as a family.

How may your family media agreement need to change to suit the different context of Summer Break?

Activities & Projects

Next, we explored some different media/technology tools that may be of interest to your child that focus on creation over consumption. In most cases, the media and technology is actually a conduit for a hands-on activity.

DIY.org (“Do it Yourself”)

DIY is a safe online community for kids to discover new passions, level up their skills, and meet likeminded people. There are thousands of activities and projects available, and users can unlock many different “patches” (badges) as a reward for their efforts.

Instructables

Instructables is similar to DIY and the premise is that users are encouraged to develop instructional resources for the online community. Users can explore many different projects, from technology and electronics, to woodworking, cooking, gardening and sports. As many instructables projects are a bit more advanced than DIY, it can be a great way for parents to work with their children. The email newsletter includes wide-ranging projects as well as regular challenges and competitions.

TED-Ed

TED-Ed is the educational spin-off of TED (Technology, Education & Design). There are thousands of short videos on all sorts of topics, created by lots of different people. A particular highlight are the different problem solving riddles which can be a great way to get families having fun together.

Slides

Summary

Each family is different and as such needs to shape media and technology use in ways that suit them. We strongly recommend developing a media agreement, as well as exploring constructive and creative tools such as those shown above. We wish you a safe and relaxing Summer Break and please be in touch if you ever need any support or advice.

“Parents as Media Mentors” workshop

On Tuesday, March 20, ES parents were invited to the workshop “Parents as Media Mentors: Tech and the 21st Century Family”, hosted by Clint Hamada, Rebecca Taylor and Sam Griffin (ES Ed Tech) and ES Counsellor, Kevin Kooienga.

The workshop offered parents an opportunity to explore:

The session began with a clip from an American experiment where children were allowed unconstrained access to technology over a period of a few days. From this, it wasn’t hard to see the importance of setting boundaries as the children clearly became tired and agitated. Interestingly, the children themselves acknowledged that unlimited technology was unhealthy.

Parenting Styles

In a previous post, Clint outlined Alexandra Samuel’s three styles of parenting when it comes to access to technology at home:

  • The Digital Limiter: prefers to keep their children away from the internet, and often strictly limit screentime. These children are often Digital Exiles, kept out of the digital world for as long as possible;
  • The Digital Enabler: respect their children’s’ abilities to make their own choices online and take cues from other families on how to use technology. These children are often Digital Orphans, left to explore on their own;
  • The Digital Mentor: enjoys spending time with their children online, cultivating their children’s skills and fostering online learning. These children are often Digital Heirs, inheriting their parents’ values and skills.
Quality vs Quantity

Working in table groups, parents in the workshop discussed the different ways technology is being used at home. For example, are we mainly using technology to consume media (such as watching YouTube clips or playing games for entertainment)?  To what extent do our children use technology to create (for example, making games using Scratch or Minecraft)? Or are we using technology to connect with others (social media, Skype etc). In many cases, our children are often doing several of these things in combination (such as watching a YouTube clip of a Minecraft tutorial while simultaneously creating their own Minecraft world). All of this highlights the need for monitoring, discussion and awareness of the quality and quantity of technology use at home.

The ISB RUA

In the ISB Elementary School, our Responsible Use Agreement has been designed to reference the school rules of Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible in the context of classroom technology. Students, teachers and specialists work with Ed Tech to ensure positive use of technology, supported with a range of proactive (and, where necessary, reactive) measures.

Family Media Agreement

Family Media Agreements have become a favourite model for parents looking to develop a media mentor model at home. Having open discussion around technology use as a family allows each member a chance to reflect on their own habits and what they hope to see from one another. Workshop attendees were invited to use the ISB Family Tech Agreements worksheets, or, create their own, in ways that best suited their particular circumstances as a family.

Workshop Slides

Looking Ahead

Please look out for future parent workshops in this series over the coming months. We are keenly interested in hearing your views on the types of workshops and resources you would like to see in the future – or anything else we can help with – so please be in touch any time.

 

Be a Media Mentor for Your Child

I don’t think anybody would disagree with the importance of being a positive role model for your children. When it comes to technology, however,  Dr. Alexandra Samuel has identified three distinct parenting styles in her research:

  • The Digital Limiter: prefers to keep their children away from the internet, and often strictly limit screentime. These children are often Digital Exiles, kept out of the digital world for as long as possible;
  • The Digital Enabler: respect their children’s’ abilities to make their own choices online and take cues from other families on how to use technology. These children are often Digital Orphans, left to explore on their own;
  • The Digital Mentor: enjoys spending time with their children online, cultivating their children’s skills and fostering online learning. These children are often Digital Heirs, inheriting their parents’ values and skills.

Read more about Dr. Samuel’s findings here in her article in The Atlantic.

When looking at the percentage of children who have misbehaved online, Dr. Samuel discovered that it is the children of Digital Mentors who are often making the best choices.

So how can we help our children make these good choices? How can we become Media Mentors them?

Keri-Lee Beasley and Daniel Johnson from GEMS World Academy in Switzerland created and shared a calendar of suggested activities for parents to use as ways to engage with their children and discuss. This calendar also includes links to resources to help support you in having some of the more difficult discussions or in some of the more technical skills.

As a family, you may not be able to take part in all of the activities with your children, but that’s okay!  We encourage you to find the ones that you can take part in and make the time to start having these important discussions and mentoring conversations within your entire family!

 

Click to view the full-size file for download

Click to view the full-size file for download

Seesaw Parent Workshops

Today, Bec and Sam hosted a workshop for parents to experience the features of Seesaw and practise effective feedback on their child’s posts. Included in this post are the slides and resources from the workshop, as well as some additional information about how Seesaw works, feedback guidelines and the importance of family engagement in education.

What is Seesaw?

This video offers an overview of how Seesaw works. The first few slides in our presentation below run offer some examples of what this currently looks like at ISB.

Family Engagement

We know ISB families value engagement in their children’s education and thanks to Seesaw, we can now see what some of this engagement can look like. By regularly checking, commenting and discussing your child’s learning activities through seesaw and fact to face, you are:

  • Showing your child you value the process of learning as well as their effort and achievement
  • Enhancing your child’s accountability for their learning
  • Providing opportunities for feedback that moves learning forward

References:

The Importance of Family Engagement in Education (Seesaw)

Full Study (Henderson & Mapp, 2002)

Translation Tools

Seesaw has the ability to translate content for our EAL students and international families. Watch the video below for a full demonstration.

Seesaw Feedback Guidelines

For a long time we have understood the importance of feedback in education and thanks to the work of John Hattie and Dylan Wiliam there is a lot of supporting data about the efficacy of effective feedback in learning. Effective feedback, however, takes practice, and for this reason we encourage you to observe the following guidelines in order to ensure that we always provide feedback that moves learning forward.

Download Seesaw Feedback Guidelines

Monday’s Workshop Slides

SeesawES_ParentWorkshopOct17

Here are the slides form Monday’s parent workshop for your perusal.

Please feel free to contact ES Ed Tech at any time!

 

Bec Taylor, PK3 – Grade 1: rtaylor@isb.bj.edu.cn

Sam Griffin, Grade 2 – Grade 5: sgriffin@isb.bj.edu.cn 

Susan Su, Ed Tech TA: SSu@isb.bj.edu.cn

High School Departing Student Laptop Reminders June 2017

Below are the slides from the Leavers Lunch.

Follow this link if you need a copy of the reminders page we distributed at the lunch.

Middle School Laptop Return Reminders for Departing Students June 2017

Here are the slides I shared with you at the Leavers Lunch.

Follow this link if you need another copy of the reminders page that we handed out at the lunch.

Seniors Laptop Return Reminders–May 2017

Here are some reminders regarding returning your laptops May 26th. If you have questions or need some help, shoot me an email or swing by my office–room 2413.

iCloud Account Hack Security

You may have heard that a hacker group calling themselves the Turkish Crime Family has threatened to lock 250 million users out of their Apple iCloud accounts if Apple doesn’t pay them $700,000 by April 7th. That’s scary! If you’re like me, you use your free iCloud account to sync addresses and notes between our devices. I don’t want anyone hacking into my account. Thankfully there are some simple precautions you can take to thwart any would be hackers.

Wired has a good article entitled How to Protect Your iCloud Account, Juuust in Case Those Hackers Aren’t Joking that explains what you need to do.

The main takeaways are:

  • change your password—especially if you use the same password for multiple accounts! —see the article for what makes a good password and an explanation of password managers.
  • set up Apple’s two-factor authentication. The article explains what it is and shows how to set it up.

There is some debate online as to whether or not these hackers can get to people’s iCloud accounts but either way it’s a good reminder that we can’t be complacent when it comes to passwords and the security of our accounts. We need to be proactive to ensure our accounts stay secure.

Images

Hacker by PeteLinforth Licensed under CC0 Public Domain

Computer Padlock by TheDigitalWay Licensed under CC0 Public Domain

 

Family Technology Agreements

In our Parenting in the Digital Age sessions we often refer to our family-technology-agreements so here it is. You can find more resources on the Middle School counsellor’s pages on Dragons’ Gate.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media has lots of great resources for families looking for ideas when dealing with anything digital. They have movie and software reviews as well as more general helpful articles.

This week I found 6 Ways to Help Your Kids Stop Multitasking During Homework which has some practical tips for us as parents.

 

 

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