How to improve the conversations on this forum about Children + Tech

So far I’m not finding this site useful as a parent who wants to help shape a more humane tech for my daughter and other children and teens. There seems to be a lot of repetition, lots of people building careers, not so much back and forth, and as someone on the East Coast feeling a left out for that reason too. Will continue to check on periodically and perhaps it’s just not meant for people like me.

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Hello Mari,
I understand and feel the same way. I do find some things interesting to read through here and pop in occasionally. I would love a community of parents discussing their experiences with tech and their children. Also I am from Western Australia and things seem a little different as we don’t seem to be as soaked in tech at schools (however it does seem to be increasing) none of my friends share my concern with tech so I have no one to discuss my thoughts or feelings with without them feeling as though I am judging or attacking them. If you have found somewhere more suited to what you are seeking I would truly appreciate if you could share it with me.
Many thanks, Leilani

Hey @Leilani and @Mari!

I want to encourage you both to help us make this forum the kind of community and conversation you want it to be. It is very grass-roots / bottom-up and is an expression of its participants. So if there is something you would like to see changed, please help me change it!

I have a few different ideas and projects in-the-works for improving this forum, but first want to hear: What kinds of conversations do you wish were happening related to parenting? What’s keeping you from initiating those conversations? Can you go start those conversations now?

Please help us all by modeling the behavior you want to see. Bring up the kinds of topics you want to see this community discuss / address and as @Mari points out, engage in a back-and-forth conversation!


I’d love to see ideas shared for positive tech and what parents do think is important for their kids to learn re technology, any thoughts on how to achieve that (even little things), what’s going well. I’ll start that off with a cool clip I showed my kids on a vision for how kids can use technology to create. I’d like to see what parents are concerned about too that’s happening with technology and kids in school, with flow on to the community if that’s an issue, and ideas for addressing it. Both personal family strategies and wider strategies if anyone is interested - for example putting to gather a website of resources for parents around tech in schools, evidence based research, what works what doesn’t, what’s happening in the media, and maybe forming an online group, as a platform to start asking some questions to schools/media/government. I think it’s easier and perhaps more valid to do that with a group backing, both in terms of more people contributing to lighten the load, and different views/diversity to get a balanced approach. If anyone else is interested let me know!


Love this, @JC3! Thank you!

First of all, that talk is wonderful. She has such a great spirit and message. I love the emphasis on giving a diverse group of people (and kids!) the tools for building with computers, so they are creators and not just consumers of technology. And I also love her whimsical approach of teaching and learning through play.

I think in addition to encouraging kids to be creators, so that they can shape and transform the technology landscape they will grow up in, we also need to teach them (and ourselves) how to be smarter consumers of technology… things like how to pay attention to their attention, and how to be critical thinkers and act like detectives when they read and research on the internet (or anywhere, really).

And another thing I’m taking from your post are ideas for how to guide the conversations and capture the insights that happen here on this forum with regards to children and tech. Some themes I hear you saying:

  • Ideas for what to teach kids about tech and how
  • Top concerns for kids and tech
  • Reseach and best practices re: kids and tech
  • Advocacy initiatives around kids + tech for schools, media and government

Do those sound right? Anything missing?

@healthyswimmer: perhaps our “Children” category wiki can be organized around these 4 themes and we can all collectively read through the forum conversations so far to pull out any posts that touch on these themes!

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This sounds great! I’d caution the center of health conversations for kids and technology is how early is too early to encourage screens?

As a forum that is concerned about our wellbeing- we need to clar 1. We should strive fir total transparency about ANY health risks related to technology use especially for kids. 2. Admit there is much we don’t know yet about technology health risks and encourage people to make informed decisions. 3. Respect each others personal decisions regarding technology use. 4. Encourage policy which includes freedom to make informed decisions.

The reason I jump to this soap box here is there are serious concerns regarding dopamine surge with screens and not knowing where screen addiction comes from. Merely taking about healthy habits does not cover most of the population- because guidelines are hard to follow when our brains are getting something similar to crack or sugar. The first major research on heart disease came out just when childhood obesity became a healthcare concern- and this concern is getting worse as the obesity epidemic gets worse.

We need to position ourselves to say things that are more focused regarding health and technology-

Can we take a position of making clear the health risks- BUT encourage freedom of thought to make informed decisions? Otherwise (please excuse me) but it feels like we are meandering through the next tech idea to solve tech. Some tech ideas will solve- but a foundation of health principle will guide us.

Hi @Mamie, that all sounds great. And @healthyswimmer, being clear about health and evidence base/current research is really important, as well as what age to start, I think a lot of parents would share those concerns.

Would we put up 4 topics on these that people could add to over time (such as what’s going well with tech in schools, concerns, current research and media, and advocacy initiatives), or just continue on this thread/ a general thread to keep that info together?


I like this idea! Do you want to start one of those topics (or kick-off all four!)?

Then I propose we use this wiki to document any key insights / research that emerge from the topic conversations so that it is easy for anyone visiting the forum to get up-to-speed and learn the biggest take-aways from the conversations to date. Thoughts?

@mari and @Leilani I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially since you inspired this conversation!

I meant to say we don’t what clicks in kids to start tech addiction- . and this being having great caution solving this tech crisis with more tech. Displacing kids time in front of a screen interferes with development no matter if it is productive or not.

Just saw this which demonstrates how unintuitive this platform is - for me anyway! Much easier to use FB as
Much as I hate it. It has so much why re invent rather than try to take it over ! Like a public utility !

@Mamie I just added to children’s wiki. Like @Mari though - I don’t see everything on this forum, it doesn’t have an intuitive flow for me personally, it’s a bit hit and miss hunting through topics (that then get pushed out of site when no one has commented recently)…with that in mind, can we link this thread to children’s wiki or create a technology in schools title that has a link? I would never have thought to look in children’s wiki if I hadn’t seen it!!

You might want to take a look at my TEDx Talk - Saving The Magic Of Childhood. It focuses on cell phone addiction and radiation. Gives ideas about how to have real “facetime” with children. You can view it at

This is just what I focused on in my TEDx Talk - Saving The Magic Of Childhood. Major concern about screen time addiction and radiation. I spoke about ideas to reconnect with children using real “facetime”. You can view my talk at Light On!

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Thank you @BecomingJesse I’ll check this out!!

@BecomingJesse awesome talk!! Did can you post this to the forum as a topic? Or may I do this?

Mamie I am so sorry it has taken so long to respond. My children are 2 and 4 years old and we have only one television that the children only ever see one channel, one PC and one laptop which the children only ever view to Skype family overseas, my husband and I each have a smartphone which the children never view unless we rarely take a photo. I think I have reached a point where I am just going to lead my children by example as my parents did. I do occasionally pop in here and I do feel this is a place I can come to if I have questions or concerns that I do not know who else to comfortably discuss things about technology with.
Prior to marrying my husband I had no television or computer by choice for many, many years (My phone had no touch screen either). My husband grew up in a household with no television. Perhaps ignorance has been a fear trigger for me.
Thank you for responding with such positivity.

I’m Back after my summer tech break- my kid is back in school- I’m checking in here more often- I have some unrelated deadlines happening but will find time to do this. @aschrijver

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