In honour of the Great Canadian National Day of Podcasting (eh), I’ve dug out some of my unpublished episode content from a three week road trip from Ottawa to Newfoundland with the whole family. I reflect on parenting, patience in the car and enclosed spaces with the kids and wonder about the mysteries of gas consumption and how it increases when building memories and towing heavy loads over 7000kms.
I find I am still very mindful of being short tempered and note that I have a lot of room for improvement still.
I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with my son’s grade four class the other day about Internet Safety, Online Privacy and responsible/fun internet use at home. The topic can get big and ugly and has the potential to be a “Scare Attack” / “Shields Up” situation where parents shut down and don’t want to deal with things because it’s just too big or they just don’t understand and are overwhelmed. I thought I’d share some things that helped make it successful.
Fear Not – I am here to help. Let me point you to resources YOU can use to inform yourself on what kids are doing, what you can do to open a dialogue with them and what you can do to help them learn to be safe on the internet. Check out the various Hyperlinks throughout this post.
First off – My employer (Microsoft Canada) is a founding member of “Be Web Aware” along with Bell Canada and the Media Awareness Network. It is a national, bilingual public education program on Internet Safety. FREE RESOURCES that you can use as a parent, an educator or as a kid to learn about how to be safe online. You can get all sorts of info from here as well as the Media Awareness Network (including pre-made presentations in French and English.
Secondly – as with any kind of a discussion or presentation – tailor it to your audience and make it relevant. Mine was to a class of 9 and 10 year olds. They are already using the internet and have already started using email / online chats and messenger programs. As a result – I focused on topics about sharing information, usage guidelines, working with parents to establish lines of communication with questions and answers. I also found the content I was working with had way to many justification slides with stats and percentages – Kids don’t care – they want it simplified, not statistical. Keep the stats for the parents.
Third – I kept it interactive and full of questions and answers as well as mini-quiz times to validate points. Lots of examples that were in their own words and level of language. If I started to see them wrestling around – I knew it was time to move on and re-engage.
Fourth – Had them think about their parents in their shoes a lot. What did we do for fun when we were kids. What did we do and how it really wasn’t any different then what they do – just different tools / toys – that’s all. Ultimately – not much has changed – We like to play with friends, connect and communicate with them (we used telephones or face to face) and have fun / amuse ourselves.
Fifth – wrapping up within the 40 minute interactive session to leave time for more questions / statements about what they saw. Summary message was working together with parents to find happy medium to allow the kids to use / explore the internet while at the same time staying safe and keeping parents informed instead of left in the dark. I encouraged them all to share what they learned with their parents as well as their other friends who weren’t in the class.
I plan on putting on a bigger 90 minute presentation / Q&A talk in the fall timeframe for more then just the single school. I’m going to approach all of them in the neighbourhood and use a larger venue for an early evening talk for parents and kids to attend.
- www.cybertip.ca the 911 for the Internet
- www.safety.sympatico.msn.ca resource for Internet safety
- www.bewebaware.ca fantastic resource for parents and educators about the Internet
- http://www.media-awareness.ca ready made resources in French and English to share and present yourself at your own school or community group
- www.kidproofcanada.com provides proactive child safety programs for kids in communities across Canada
- www.badguypatrol.ca provides 5-10 year olds an interactive way to learn about online safety
I just thought I would comment on something I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks. My girls (if for some reason you didn’t know – we are blessed with a set of Twin girls) are growing up – developing and evolving along their own paths. Maybe it is me or maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling on and off the last month or so – but call me crazy, they seem to have pushed through to a new level of development.
It’s subtle, but I can see different mannerism or comfort around a camera for a quick snapshot – no more of the cheeky / toothy grins that used to be there in all the earlier shots. Likewise – there has been a new development of style and flair with Grace – embracing the springtime clothing options and creating her own sense of style.
It’s weird – I never really noticed these development “plateaus” per say when Mac was around the same age. Maybe the Twin Factor comes into play because I can see one hit a new level with the other not quite there yet – then the catch up happens. Quite cool really.
Just an observation. I thought I would share – something I want to start more often. This blog / podcast is about my family life and my journey as a father. I should take some more responsibility and update it on a more regular basis. Hell – I think I will even port over the old post that have gone stagnant on the old family blog just so I can have some background.
I’m a little reflective in this one – realizing that I’ve got a bit of a short fuze for yelling at times (some times more then others). I’ve taken audio talking about this back in November and combined it with a time warp forward to our second disconnected vacation with the family where I focus on creating experiences.
I am currently working on BOTH aspects of these reflections. As always – I’m a work in progress, learning along the way.
Shout out to Bob and Mark from Canadian Podcast Buffet who decided to declare December 1st as the (great) Canadian National Podcast day. Great incentive to get me off my ass once again to put together an episode that was sitting in my “podcast audio” folder in the form of multiple clips I recorded over the summer. This episode starts off in a dog park with Riley and I getting caught in a downpour.
I talk about exploring comfort boundaries and dealing with the consequences as well as what it’s like on my first disconnected vacation.
Just a quick note to mention that currently my personal PODCAST stream is in a state of confusion / disarray right now. I just recently switched over to a WP site hosted on a new hoster (1AND1). As a result – I am still finding out about the new environment and need to correctly re-initialize my existing feed. I’ve got three episodes in play with an ALPHA as well.
As you might read below – probably at least a couple of episodes about to be released on a more frequent basis.
Come on back – I’ll get it all sorted out shortly and correctly submitted to the Canadian Podcast Buffet directory in short order.
Hang on to your hats… I’ve managed to migrate hosters over to 1 and 1, so I also decided to join the modern world and use WordPress as my blogging engine. Because of that – all my previous links are DEAD and I am in the process of re-establishing them in the RSS feed and figure out the enclosure part of this.
Lets just say – this is a new work in progress.
On the good side – it is motivating me to record and post more.
On the bad side – I have no idea what I am doing so I am flying without a net. Bare with me. I’ll figure it out soon enough.
I’ll have details on what the heck you are supposed to subscribe to and how you get the feed working again soon enough. Hang in there.
ok – Weekend of PAB2010 and I get sick enough to decide I need to stay home on the last day of the conference because I don’t want to get anyone sick. Bummer. What do I do? I climb back in bed to take a nap and wake up hours later. PAB is still going on – I get inspired to get off my ass and put together another episode from audio that has been on my hard drive for a while.
In this episode I introduce Riley – our freakin’ awesome new addition to the family – a Golden Doodle.
I also talk about FreeRangeKids and manage to weave in a short snippit of audio of my girls reading for the first time – they are only 6 and I don’t believe I’ve heard them read like this before.
As I’ve said before – it’s been far too long and I have been re-invigorated to prioritize more time to collect more stories and share them here on the podcast.
I edited a bunch of different audio together to complete a story about “the Rock” being handed to me by Scarborough Dude at “the Only” way back in the fall in order for me to transport it to Mark and Andrea. It’s an interesting story retold a couple of different ways by different story tellers.
I am re-invigorated by finally getting this audio out the door and into the stream. Look for the next episode sooner! More stories and lessons as I go along in life.
P.S. For those interested more in the history of “the Rock” – it’s blog can be found here
Thanks for kicking me in the ASS Dude. I appreciate it.
I am in a situation I hate right now. i have lots of audio in the can, lots of ideas for getting some actual episodes out – but no damn time to do it. WTF? Why does it happen like this?
Got poked by friends online asking “Whatever happened to Its A Green Hat?”. I am starting to sound like a broken record – it’s in the works – really it is.
Enough. I’ve got to get off my ASS and just frickn’ do it!