Archive for Technology

text, post, snap, chat, stream, share, game!!

Posted on Communication, Cyberbullying, General, Technology September 3, 2015 by Mary George

As our children return to school many have earned the responsibility of having a smartphone.
How can we make sure that they are being smart and 
using it in the way that we intended?

1. Communicate
Make sure that your child is truly mature enough to understand the
positives and negatives of having a smartphone. Many children are given
smartphones at such a young age that they (and their parents!) do not
understand the power of the tool that they have been given. When given
a smartphone, children have access to everything possible on the World
Wide Web. Talk to your children as to what your expectations are as to
their usage. Discuss with them about not giving out their address or
location and help them understand the power of posting pictures and
information on social media and the consequences of creating a digital

2. Create a Smartphone/ Media Use Contract
We love the Smartphone Family Use Contract that many families put in place as
guidelines for their children. Just as children need schedules, they
also need parameters. While there are many variations of contracts on the Internet,
Common Sense Media has one for multiple ages for you to go through with your child
or children and determine what best suits your family.

Common Sense Media Family Media Agreement

3. Educate Yourself
Take some time to educate yourself about what is
new in social media, check out your children’s Instagram/Facebook accounts as
well as who and what they are texting about. It is our responsibility
as parents to keep our children safe. We require them to wear bike
helmets, not take rides from strangers and look both ways before they
cross the street. The Internet is no different just because it is
cyberspace. It is not a place to let your child run free regardless of
what their friends are doing.

In our My Remarkable Self classes, we work with children through
various activities to explain how their actions, whether in the
classroom, on the playground or at home, will effect them and how these
actions and their choices, both positive and negative, lead to
consequences. It is no different in the digital world. The more we can
work with our children to try to help them understand consequences both
in the real world and the cyber world, hopefully they will begin to

—Mary & Claire


**My Remarkable Self is available to give workshops, school/camp
assemblies and classes for parents, students, educators and businesses.
Please contact us for further information.**

© Kids Empowered LLC and My Remarkable Self™ 2015

London School of Economics study – The Smartphone Effect

Posted on Communication, General, Technology May 22, 2015 by Mary George

About a year ago I had to go to the local high school and I happened to be there when classes were changing. It brought back so many memories of talking to friends at my locker, hearing the passing gossip and running off to classes before the bell rang. I smiled to myself remembering the good old days assuming that I would see something similar to what I had experienced. I have to admit, I was totally shocked at what I saw – every kid had their face in a screen instead of talking to anyone. Kids would be walking side by side but no one was engaged with another person. It was really sad to see how the smart phone had taken the place of playful banter, boyfriends and girlfriends sheepishly chatting and looking at one another and just the day to day conversations that take place about a class or about the weekend. And these are just basic communication skills that they do not not use or possibly have…what about LEARNING and TEST SCORES and GRADES?!?

This week the London School of Economics released a study stating that banning phones in schools showed clear improvement in test scores. According to an article by CNN Money, Kids do a lot better when schools ban smartphones, “The authors looked at how phone policies at 91 schools in England have changed since 2001, and compared that data with results achieved in national exams taken at the age of 16. The study covered 130,000 pupils. It found that following a ban on phone use, the schools’ test scores improved by 6.4%. The impact on underachieving students was much more significant — their average test scores rose by 14%.”

Researchers Richard Murphy and Louis-Philippe Beland stated, “We found the impact of banning phones for these students equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days.” While it is typically up to the individual schools to determine their policy on phone use, it is possible that “schools could significantly reduce the education achievement gap by prohibiting mobile phone use in schools.” Regardless of this statistic, this is a very hot topic for parents who also feel that they should be able to get in touch with their children during the school day. Again, I think back to my years in school, when I did not talk or text with my parents all day long. Is constant contact really necessary? I understand that they world we live in today is very different, from violence in schools to parents working further away from home to life being lived at a much faster pace. We NEED to have access to our children for peace of mind now that the technology is there for us to use. But, can they put their phones in their lockers and backpacks and can we give them 6 hours to be disconnected from us and from the relentless, mature digital world to be kids and teenagers for a little while?


—Mary & Claire


**My Remarkable Self is available to give workshops, school/camp assemblies and classes for parents, students, educators and businesses. Please contact us for further information.**

© Kids Empowered LLC and My Remarkable Self™ 2015