Paris Talks 2018: Parenting, Children and Education in the Digital Age

In 2018, Expats Paris, launched the first conference, Paris Talks, as a platform for provocative and disruptive ideas about the future of humanity.

The conference format is short, powerful, inspiring talks, combined with entertainment and networking opportunities.  Conference issues range from fields of technology, art, and design, to science, environment, humanities and more.

The main focus of the conference is to pose questions about the future, such as, "What does the future look like?"  "Can anyone ever predict what the next century will be like?" 

I was invited to be a speaker at the 2018 Paris Talk and I spoke on the subject of Parenting, Children and Education in the Digital Age. 

Below were the key points for my talk, but as you can see from the video, I went a tad off-script after listening to some of the speakers.  I wanted to really engage the audience and drive home my concerns and support for digital parents: communicate with your children...

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Encouragement for the Digital Parent: Parenting Techniques

I bet you’re wondering whether you even have a digital parenting technique.

Well I can guarantee that you do.

But first let’s clear up this digital parent business. If you have a child who is a digital native, a child born who was born after the widespread adoption of Internet technology, then by extension you are a digital parent.

Your digital parenting technique is no different than your regular parenting style.

Authoritative parents are very supportive and very demanding, and they provide a balance of rules and boundaries to their children. They explain the rules and boundaries beforehand and the child is given plenty of opportunities to explore and develop.

Permissive parents provide tons of love and attention to their children with few rules. Permissive parents encourage their children to explore freely without repercussions and the parents are an available resource, should the child wish.

Authoritarian parents are more focused on controlling the behavior of their...

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Parenting a Child Under 3 in the Digital Age

Parenting in the digital age is bringing new challenges to parents - and children alike.

One of the keys for moving forward as a Digital Parent is to understand the issues and then apply best practices to your family. But attention, don't be afraid to mix and match things up to find something that works for your family.

Effects of Screen time

  • Research is not conclusive on the effects of screens on child development, so err on the side of caution and find balance for screens in the life of your child. Too much screen time may damage the brain, inhibit the ability to recognize emotions, and affect child development.

Screen limits

  • Most pediatricians and psychologists on both sides of the Channel recommend no screens for our wee ones. Wee = less than two years old. 
  • If you’re feeling rebellious about screen limits and have older children, compare your digital family plan with Nanea Hoffman, author of an inspiring no-screen limit article for...
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Parent Perspective: My Digital Parenting Transformation


AUTHOR: Joanne Cammish

I have developed a very recent interest in online safety and parenting. The interest in technology in general has stemmed from the beginning of my teaching career in 2000.

During my career, in and amongst other roles, I have always been drawn to Information Technology. I might not have understood all the complicated tech in’s and out’s, but I understood enough to recognise that I.T. would be very significant in the future. Obviously, I couldn’t have predicted just how big. In my most recent role as Computing subject leader, I spent months cramming up on my knowledge, policies, the new curriculum and all associated paraphernalia. And yet, there is always more to learn.

In parallel with my career in education, I also became a parent. I think that most of you would agree that parenting is without a doubt the most important and hardest ‘job’ while also being the most consuming and rewarding. I have been fortunate to be able to spend...

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Parenting in the Digital Age: Are You in the Know?

Digital natives, digital immigrants, digital parenting, digital, digital, digital.

Just what does all of this stuff mean anyway?

Digital natives are children who are born in the digital age, this age of technology.  They are children who spend a few minutes holding a tablet and smartphone and feel no fear or trepidation in manipulating the technology.  They swipe, pinch, poke without always understanding what they are doing, but with the confidence that something is happening on the screen.  According to Marc Prensky, "our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet."

Digital immigrants are people who were born before the advent of technology.  It is a phrase also coined by Prensky in 2001 used to describe the "generation of people who did not grow up in the digital age."  Again Prensky describes it perfectly by saying: "Those of us who were not born into the digital world but...

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Sexting and Prosecution

Is it possible that children can be prosecuted as sex offenders in the UK and in the US for texting and sexting?

So just what is the issue and how can you best protect your teenager?

BACKGROUND: In a 2009 article from Pew Research Internet Project, sexting was defined as “the creating, sharing and forwarding of sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images by minor teens.“   Sexting has evolved as the era of self-portrait photographs (selfies) has exploded and the term ‘selfie’ was named as one of the top buzzwords in 2012.

ISSUE: young teenage boys and girls are taken sexual photos of themselves (selfies) and then sexting them to others now could face prosecution for distributing indecent images of children and, if convicted have to sign a sex offender registry.

Last year, there was the case of a 17-year-old boy from Manassas County, Virginia who was being charged as a felon for sending sexually explicit videos to a 15-year-old girl.  Stephen...

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Encouragement for the Digital Parent

Being the super advocate on Internet and technology, I had loaded their kid tablets up with plenty of educational apps and games, so I thought I was ahead of the game.

Imagine my surprise when my four year old starts clicking photos and focuses in on a little girl down the hall. I gasped, grabbed the tablet and told my son that we do not take pictures without asking people first. I slapped my hand to my head because it had totally slipped my mind that their little tablets were camera- and video-equipped.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that you are not alone in dealing with technology and parenting. I consult, teach and coach others on Internet safety and best practices and yet even for me, it is not always easy.

But instead of playing the blame game and feeling like a bad parent, I realize that this happens. We cannot stay on it 24/7 and we cannot know the latest news on all technology, apps and games. But we can stay relatively informed and try to nip things...

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7 Digital Parenting Resolutions for 2015

It’s almost mid-January and you have more or less settled back into the school routine after a couple of weeks of (hectic) vacation. If you’re like me, you can’t believe that the holidays are over and here you are again setting out the kids clothes, checking over homework, packing snacks, checking the activities calendar and so on.

You have made your list of resolutions, including yell less, praise more, give more hugs and I thought now is the perfect time to bump up your digital parenting game as well. Just a reminder of some simple things that you can do as a parent in the digital age:

  1. Feel less guilty about screen limits. No, I’m not saying sit your kids in front of Sponge Bob marathons, but I am saying that researchers have noted that a little educational TV is not all bad.
  2. Get outside more. Not just the walk to school, but real life outdoor activities. We did them when WE were younger: Wheelies, bicycles with tassles, roller skates. Tell your kids about...
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Parent Perspective: My Digital Parenting Journey

AUTHOR: Joanne Cammish

As a parent of two children under four, I am on a journey.

A journey to learn all that I can about digital parenting so that I can provide my children with the best that the digital world has to offer while avoiding the scary stuff. If you’re the parent of a young child and feeling overwhelmed, join me on my digital parenting journey, one step at a time.

STEP ONE: Talk to children and young people to understand their world, their perspective.

So I had a chat with my nephew and nieces about their internet use – yes, they still enjoy speaking to me! It was like they were speaking in a special digital language that I wasn’t privy to. They were telling me about the apps they like to use and I managed to glean the odd familiar sound like Minecraft but here ends the extent of my cool recognition.

They mentioned videos on YouTube by CutiePieMarzia. Not to be confused with her boyfriend PewDiePie. They live together so there’s a slight...

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