Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Digital Dad: The Questions that Drive

2/3 of my Digital Children
So first off, let's get things straight. This blog post was inspired by Kevin Honeycutt, a super awesome educational technology guru and inspirational speaker. I had the privilege of watching him speak while attending the Alive Conference at Monte Vista Christian School near Watsonville, California, and his insights on digital fatherhood and the digital playground resonated with me as a teacher and a father. Thus the story begins...

 Leaving A Digital Signature
Uncharted territory lays ahead of us. As parents most times we have more experiences to draw from than our children. We can prepare our kids for life, warning them of the potential pitfalls based on previous experiences. We teach them the basics like to never talk to strangers and to look both ways when crossing the street. We do our best to raise successful people trying to instill morals and values based on our experiences. Fast forward...

Look who is standing on top!!
Now, the game changer -- the Internet -- which opened our world by connecting us in new ways. In 1990, when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, I was 8. I experienced the Internet as a child and had limited supervision when I was on the digital playground. I made some poor decisions online, nothing major, but the scope of viralness was severely limited back then. I had a chance to play in the digital sandbox, learning along the way.

Now, excuse the cliche, but times are a-changin; mistakes are broadcast within seconds, and can go viral in minutes. On the other side, children, like EvanTubeHD, make millions on YouTube, while still having time to play!!! Our lives are becoming more and more public and viewable. Our children's pictures are no longer just on the four walls of our house, but shared across screens and devices. Families are connected; people are connected. The internet is a place of great power, which of course can be used for great good or for great evil.

This takes us back to this post's driving questions: who is on digital recess duty and what is our responsibility as digital parents? With this series of blog posts, I hope to explore my journey into digital fatherhood as a father and a teacher. Please add your thoughts and comments below and join me on my journey.