Its no secret that were raising children in a totally different world than the one we knew as kids. Gone are the days of letting kids run as free birds round the hood, playing with this friend and that, instructing them only to come home once the streetlights turned on. Gone are the days of kids throwing a quarter in the payphone somewhereanywhereto call for a ride home from the mall. Gone are the days of sending kids across the street to play at the park for a few hours while parents worked or cleaned or cared for siblings. Though many parents may scoff at the idea of letting a child run free at in the neighborhood, many are allowing their kids to do just thatin the wilds of social media. But because their kids are home, safe and sound under their own roof, maybe even tucked into their little beds, cozy and calm, this type of free play is often viewed quite differently. Believe meIm not judging. Im waaaay beyond judging other parents and firmly believe that were all just doing the very best we can, where we are, with what we have. It makes me nervous, so Im changing my parenting focus in order to better meet the needs of my three digital kids. Heres the skinny. . . Our Digital KidsTeaching, Supporting, and Parenting 21st Century Learners: Just last week I read a piece in the Washington Post Helping your kids navigate the stormy seas of social media, by Mari-Jane Williams and it confirmed for me that I should share what were doing over here. Social networking today is really just a natural part of the way kids and teens are growing up, according Caroline Knorr, parenting editor of Common Sense Media. But Im in the thick of itsocial media that isand I have a pretty firm understanding of how many of the tools are used, both as creative outlets and as tools for promotion and campaign-creation. And I feel like I want to introduce my kids to these tools because I canand because Ive taught them so many things already. So in this series, Im going to share how Im slowly introducing my kids to cool tools of social media. Maybe not signing them up for itbut showing them whats out there so that when their friends talk a big game, my kids have a clue. And along the way, Ill share how Im teaching my kids to use the devices we have and the fabulous apps and programs on em. Honestly? Im not ready to invite Maddy, Owen, and Cora to join in any serious social networking because I dont feel up to it. Yet. It takes time. And effort. And a lot, a lot, a lot of energy. But when I do, Ill share it here. And hopefully that learning in the every day will be just what other parents need to move more confidently into this next chapter with their kidsnot behind them, but alongside them. Or very slightly ahead of them. And? My kids dont even meet minimum age requirements according to the Terms of Service for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Its 13at least for Instagram and Facebook. And I really feel like if I want my kids to follow rules when it comes to social media, then I have to as well. So Ill start by sharing how my digital kids have come to know some social media and technology basics: Texting Facebook blogs Instagram Twitter Power Point Pixie Microsoft Word And Ill share my point of view as an educator, parent, and social media savvy blogger and writer. And Ill take any ideas, support, or advice from my readers as I go. Anything specific YOU want to learn? Let me know. Hope youll join me for the ride. Next up: Texting as a Learning Tool Texting without really texting Pin ItThe post our digital kids: teaching, supporting, and parenting 21st century learners appeared first on teach mama.