Keeping an open mind about how you child uses the Internet is essential for them to develop digital skills, says Venessa Paech at her third presentation at media140 Perth. It’s simply another space for them to inhabit and learn about.
Facebook is like the new shopping mall, full of friends, distractions and potential conversations. It’s somewhere to escape the rigours of school and home, to be social and relax. And if you’re not seen there, there’s social consequences. Perhaps you miss out on the latest gossip, or a really funny story. Either way, excluding kids from a place where their peers interact is likely to make them feel isolated and behind the times. Your virtual life isn’t distinct from your real life, one will impact on the other, and if children feel unhappy with one, the other will likely show this too.
It’s important to let children make mistakes on the Internet, so they can learn critical digital skills. However, it doesn’t mean its the end of the world if it happens. If kids fear when accidents do happen that their parents will get angry, it’s unlikely the parents will hear about it. There’s no learning from the mistake. It’s important to keep communication channels open.
One way to allow kids to experiment safely is to create a pseudonym and an avatar, which keeps their identity secure and may also bring out some creativity. It could even be a family activity, creating a back story for their character and talking about their adventures online.
Like all things, the Internet is best in moderation, yet it is an important life skill, and has the potential to teach other life skills.
Replay the event at your leisure, - we've curated everything that happen on the 26th, 27th and 28th April 2012 on the liveblog We'll be providing access to the DigitalBusiness videos and content from w/c 14th May