There is simply no way to avoid the important role that Internet-based technology will play in our children's futures. The American school system, developed more than a century ago, is now moving (too slowly, many experts say) towards a technology-based educational paradigm, reflecting the U.S. Department of Labor's estimate that today's children will have 10 to 14 jobs by age 38, all requiring technological fluency. Our children have adapted to technology that wasn't around when we were children and will likely work with technology that hasn't yet been invented in their future professional lives.
Parents and schools need to move out of their comfort zones and embrace Internet-based technology as we march towards the high-tech world of the future.
Setting up an at-home framework
It seems that every other day parents are warned of the dangers of online predators, of the enormous role that text messaging and online networking is starting to play in our children's lives. And yes, too much time spent online can isolate kids. When Internet time is limited, however, and when kids are well briefed on Internet safety and use, time spent online serves as a great link between children and their peers and the wider world of information. Research shows that kids who are social online are usually just as social offline. Introverted kids can use social networking sites to find their voice and gain a group of like-minded kids who share their interests. And every child benefits from healthy connections with kids around the world in online discussion forums and bilingual chat groups.
A few tips:
n Organize your family photos online and create a slideshow with funny captions and music at www.slide.com.
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