The newspaper business likes to give awards -- and I won a few, including one for writing a headline about cheese. I left newspapers to work for a Big 5 consulting firm in the new field of knowledge management. The goal of knowledge management is to organize and categorize a company's intellectual capital so employees can efficiently access it and strategically re-use it. Skills I developed in synthesizing and distilling knowledge are evident in Common Sense's concise design. I currently work as curriculum manager for a large business software company.
The goal of software training is clarification and simplification - the same guiding principles I used in developing Common Sense. I live in Maple Glen, Pa. Read the book's Introduction to learn how Jolene -- and the Beatles -- sparked me to write Common Sense. Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central.
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Want to stream a movie in the comfort of your living room? Either when credits roll or the next day, make time to chat about what you watched. If your kid has chosen a complex book, supplement it with some lower-level reading to help him build his comprehension of the subject matter. Ask your child to keep a list of all the new words she encounters so she can look them up later.
The risks of social media are real, from sexting to cyberbullying to acute FOMO fear of missing out , but new research is shedding light on the benefits of kids connecting, sharing, and learning online. For inspiration, here are some of the advantages of your kid being social media-savvy:.
When used positively, media can help teach kids how to be comfortable in their own skin and recognize the beauty that lives within all of us. Here are some tips to teach your children to view advertising critically and reduce the risk that they will be taken advantage of:. Watch television or play a video game together and point out the products and logos used as props or part of the story line. Contests and promotions are devious ways for companies to collect emails and phone numbers. Ask your kids if they know who created a particular ad, which words, images, or sounds were used to attract their attention, and if the product was obvious or subtle.
Emphasize that qualities such as character, kindness, effort, and empathy are most important — not material items. Talk to your teen about the types of violence in the game, the role it plays, and how he feels when he watches it or has to perform a violent act.
This will help him understand how the game manipulates his feelings. For some kids, being the best at video games is a badge of honor among their peers. Help him find other things that he can excel at, too. Many video games have active, involved communities and kids enjoy belonging to these groups. The more family-friendly games you can get him into, the better.
A pre-school friendly world-building game that appeals to older kids as well. There are no rules at all — kids will have a blast figuring out everything they can build, from beaches to amusement parks to universities. An educational app that gives children an interactive look at animals, indigenous people, science, and hobbies around the world. With beautiful graphics and high-quality narration, this app puts kids in charge of their learning. Using a fun, game-style system, kids and grown-ups can learn any of five languages — Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and French.
A popular puzzle app that encourages and rewards players for using their imagination.
Open-ended situational challenges will keep kids on their toes and empower them to devise creative solutions. Find a Healthy Balance with Media and Technology , and consider these five tips for managing your own media tendencies:. Establish time limits and hold yourself to them. Watch, play, and listen with your kids, then talk about the content and how it relates to their lives. To drive home our message of finding a healthy balance with technology, Common Sense has launched a campaign called realtime to remind parents to unplug for family moments and set a positive example for their kids.
You might see yourself in one of these videos! Experts are still unsure whether there is a direct correlation between media violence and violent behavior, yet agree that heavy exposure can be an added risk factor for aggression. In addition, constant exposure to mature and graphic content, especially if it's 'OK-ed' by parents, can lead to desensitization to disturbing imagery.
We would rather have the media our kids' use reflect our own personal values, yet it can be difficult to isolate the good from the bad in the sea of movies and games when our kids are claiming, "but all my friends have it! According to a study from Northwestern, the number one influence on kids' media consumption is how their parents think and act regarding media. Help your kids think about what they are consuming by explaining the true consequences of violence, and point out how unrealistic it is to get away with violent behavior.
Also, if your kid is an avid video-gamer, and you're not sure whether or not to indulge his latest plea for the new Grand Theft Auto V, make sure to check out Common Sense's list of the 10 Most Violent Video Games of and What to Play Instead. Many popular games on the market get the most attention because of their adult content - added mostly just for shock value. While these games are OK for adults to play, make sure you stay up to date on which are and aren't appropriate for your kids' age group.
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These parents mean well, but they don't realize they're robbing their children of dozens of small opportunities to learn to be self-sufficient. For their new bakery, kids must design, name, and make cupcakes. Having a chance to relax and talk to other parents facing similar struggles can cut the isolation that many parents face. All children need love, encouragement, and support, and for kids with learning disabilities, such positive reinforcement can help ensure that they emerge with a strong sense of self-worth, confidence, and the determination to keep going even when things are tough. Of course, children always study their parents closely to see if they act according to what they say and teach them. Personalize Common Sense for your family.
Summer is around the corner and no doubt parents are rushing to get their kids plans in place. Now more then ever, you can use these powerful tools to enhance the activities that kids are already doing or help to create brand-new experiences. Here are some ideas:. Of course, our suggested list of books is not limited to girls. You will cherish the conversation. For inspiration, here are some of the advantages of your kid being social media-savvy: The media is filled with images of unattainable levels of beauty and ruggedness that kids believe is authentic but is nothing more than smoke and mirrors!
Since kids today are not only avid consumers of media but are active creators, it is crucial to instill a healthy body image and a strong sense of empathy from a young age encouraging kids to create images from a place of kindness. Young children have a difficult time distinguishing between advertisements and content.
Here are some tips to teach your children to view advertising critically and reduce the risk that they will be taken advantage of: From the outside looking in, it seems that violent video games are simply inappropriate. Here are some ways to start the conversation:. This is the first guide to include a lot of relevant, grade-by-grade advice to go along with the curated lists of the best teacher-approved apps, games, and websites. Staying in touch with friends is super important to kids and teens and as annoying as it can be to see your kids jabbing away at their phones, it is a normal part of their lives.
But these extra features, plus the privacy and safety issues, make messaging apps better suited for social-media-savvy teens. Here are a few suggestions for keeping our relationships with our phones more balanced:. Things are not all doom and gloom! Here are a few tips on how to integrate this amazing technology into our lives for the better.