Technology as a Creative Tool: Keeping a Tech Log
Technology provides our children with amazing opportunities that we couldn’t have even dreamed of at their age. It’s important to emphasize to them that while technology has tremendous potential for making their lives better, it also has a flip side that they have to be aware of as well. The purpose of the Digitally Savvy online workshop is to explore both sides of technology, together, with parents and the digital natives in their lives.
Once you’ve connected in a positive way with your tweens and teens around the subject of technology (try the emoji lesson), your children will be more willing to engage in honest conversations around the topic, as long as you continue to be open about your own experiences.
It’s helpful to create a dialogue about the fact that there are positive/creative uses of technology and not-so-productive uses of technology, and that what’s most important to be aware of, is how we are spending our time. When technology is used as a medium for self-expression, like a paintbrush, instrument, or pen and paper, a whole new world can open up for our children. For us to blindly be adverse to all technology or make sweeping statements to our children about being on their devices too often, will only alienate them further. I’ve written more about creating forbidden fruits, here.
One way to bring this concept to life is for the whole family (or at least 1 parent and 1 child) is to keep a tech log of the devices that are being used and how you are using them. Print out the Tech Log below for each member of the family. Choose a few days to track your use of technology (including tv). Even as grown-ups, we don’t always use technology in the most productive ways (Facebook, Pinterest, online news, shopping, etc.) and believe me, children this age can sniff a hypocrite from a mile away, so the more honest we are during this process, the more trust will be established. I am sure we all have a little room for improvement and what better way to work on it than with the children in our lives.
It’s very important that we do not become judgmental during this process. What’s most important is open discussion and empowering our children to make good choices about their time.