Summer iRules Part 2

Janell Burley Hofmann, May 26, 2017

Now that you’ve had a few weeks to do your Summer iRules Part 1, you should be able to answer the following questions.

Tech Reflect:

  1. What’s working and what isn’t?
  2. What’s on my mind?
  3. What are the Tech Tendencies for each child?
  4. What’s our summer schedule?
  5. What does our family want from summer?

While Part 1 was more of a reflection, Summer iRules Part 2, is a little more specific.

Summer iRules Part 2 Goal: To have working knowledge of what your kids are using, how they’re using it and when. Let’s find ways they might need support online and how you can begin to form some ideas.

Outcome: Virtual, Emotional, Practical Tech Support in Place

  1. Tech Inventory: Make a list with each child’s name on it. Make a list of all the accounts they have or places they show up online. You may need their help with this. Think social media, gaming accounts, apps, iTunes, YouTube, texting, email, streaming services.


  1. Question It: Does anything surprise you on this list? Do you know what it is and it how works? Do you know who they interact with in these places online and how? Who are their friends and followers? Who are they playing in their online games? Who are they chatting with? What are they watching on Netflix? What’s challenging them? What are they loving? Tech Talk ‘em! Get to know the tech through their eyes and experiences. This will help you manage it better.


  1. Build a Team: Enhance your digital and media literacy. Make a list of your resources. Who is a friend, partner, parent, person you can lean on, ask questions and share experiences? What websites help you? Check my website for a list of recommendations. Other tips? Ask the person at the game store for advice before purchasing. Watch a trailer or demonstration on YouTube of a game or an app before downloading. View tutorials of social media options before saying yes. Add to that team: pediatrician, teacher, librarian, neighbor, grandparents – the more people to love and support our family – the better!


  1. Askable Adult: Clear the communication channels. Make sure that you have openly and consistently identified yourself (and others) as adults that want to help and can help when the going gets tough (confusing, uncertain, unbelievable) online. You don’t have to like everything that happens – and there may be consequences – but let your child know you can handle it. Kids need adults. Teenagers need adults. Students need adults. Be that adult.


  1. Digital Support: Know that nothing in your child’s world is more important than the role of the adults who care about them. This relational component is vital to the health and well-being of their lives online. However, there are digital supports and parental controls out there to lend a hand in preventative digital health. Do some research! I recommend starting with the built in parental controls on the devices and also consider the work of my colleagues at My Torch, VISR and OurPact. Remember – there’s no such thing as Set and Forget!

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