other parents, uncomfortable conversation, kids and technology
How to Talk to Other Parents About Their Child: New Rules for the Digital Age January 31, 2017

What happens when one of your kid’s friends is doing something inappropriate with social media or the Internet? Having that “uncomfortable conversation” may not be fun, but looking out for each others’ kids is good for all of us as parents.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
fake news, sponsored content, fake news sites, fake news on facebook, fake news stories
Kids Don’t Always Know When News Is Fake December 5, 2016

A new study out of Stanford is showing that kids can’t identify “fake news.” This is of concern to parents and educators, so here are some things you can do to address the issue and help kids read more critically.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Digital Citizenship, Digital Citizenship for Kids, Teaching Digital Citizenship, Mentorship, kids and technology
Digital Citizenship for Kids Starts with Mentorship October 3, 2016

Like it or not, your kids’ world is a Digital World. But just because they can operate the devices doesn’t mean that they are prepared for success. Let’s remove some of the misconceptions about kids and technology, and make a commitment to mentorship around the issues of digital citizenship.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Mentorship, Digital Citizenship, Digital Citizenship for Kids, Teaching Digital Citizenship, kids and technology, mentoring, mentors
The Mentorship Manifesto September 14, 2016

The Mentorship Manifesto is a declaration of our responsibility to teaching digital citizenship to our kids. As parents, teachers, school leaders, or administrators, mentorship is the single most important commitment we can make to our kids.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
mayim bialik, parenting, kids and technology, screentime, smartphones
Mayim Bialik and Her Decision NOT to Let Her Kids Have Smartphones August 29, 2016

Mayim Bialik is a TV star (The Big Bang Theory) and neuroscientist who also writes a popular blog on raising kids today’s world. I was delighted and surprised when I found out that she read my new book, Screenwise – and wrote a review on Kveller.com!

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Pokemon, Pokemon Go, what is Pokemon, Pokemon and parents, play pokemon with parents, pokemon parent guide
Pokemon Go: The End of Civilization or a Family Opportunity? August 2, 2016

Is the Pokémon Go craze a good thing for your kids or not? Here’s how to co-create solutions with your digital native, rather than just feeling pressured to jump on the next trend.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Minecraft, online gaming, gaming, parenting
Minecraft Resource Roundup for Parents May 3, 2016

Kids love Minecraft. Sometimes parents don’t understand why. Here’s a little insight straight from some avid Minecrafters, with a short list of some great resources for parents who want to learn more about their kids’ obsession.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
conflict resolution, mentorship, digital devices, texting, text messaging, social media, kids and technology, kids and social media, tweens and technology, tweens and social media, bullying, social media conflicts, social media conflict resolution
Conflict Resolution for Digital Natives March 16, 2016

Kids deal with small conflicts every day – it’s part of growing up. But for today’s “always-on” digital natives, there are additional layers of complexity. Constant connectivity complicates their social sphere. Here’s how you can be a good mentor and teach conflict resolution to your own digital natives.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Tweens and Teens Dating in the Digital Age February 13, 2016

Romance, Love, and Crushes in the Digital Age Pew Center for Internet and American Life is one of my favorite sources of useful data on how kids and families are using technology. In October 2015, they released a study showing that, (surprise!) kids are still falling in love, getting crushes, … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Supporting Kids’ Friendships in the Digital Age January 12, 2016

I just had a chance to have a conversation with Annie Fox, M.Ed, the host of Family Confidential: Secrets of Successful Parenting. I’ve been a fan of Annie’s parenting expertise and youth mentoring for many years, so I was honored to be invited to be a guest on her podcast. … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Technology as a Distraction: Raising Kids in the Digital Age November 19, 2015

Distraction is a real issue with kids and tech. Having a plan can help mitigate the shortcomings of tech and help your kids find balance. When I speak at schools in communities across the country, parents approach me with their concerns. In every community, technology as a distraction comes up … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
EdTech & Digital Citizenship expert, Marti Weston reviews our Connecting Wisely Curriculum September 18, 2015

In the last few years, since founding Raising Digital Natives, I’ve been working with parents, teachers and students at schools around the country. I was asked to work with a large group of students a few years ago, and I called in a trusted colleague, Karen Jacobson, a school counselor … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
9 Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Communication in the Digital Age August 24, 2015

  The digital world has changed almost everything we do, and parent-teacher communication is no exception. You probably have more access to your child’s teacher than you ever did—and certainly more than our parents did. More access and more communication can be a great thing, but it comes with some … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
How Teens and Tweens are Using Social Media: It May Surprise You May 12, 2015

Social media comes in a variety of forms, but the goal is the largely the same for kids. It serves as a “third space” for teens and tweens—an additional place outside of home and school. It’s a place where young people can “hang out,” even when they are not with … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
“Kids Don’t Understand Privacy Anymore” March 31, 2015

A common refrain that I hear from parents that today’s kids “have no regard for privacy!” Their evidence? A teenager’s “rant” on Facebook. An inappropriate divulgence via Twitter. A photo that would be better deleted than shared. I still remember walking home from 7th grade when a friend said she … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Raising Digital Natives at SXSWedu: Digital Citizenship, Empathy and Apps March 12, 2015

I just returned from speaking at SXSWedu. I had an incredible time—what an experience. SXSWedu is unlike most education conferences because of the diversity of speakers and attendees. There were app developers, policy experts, publishers, school leaders, teachers, students, and activists all at the same conference in Austin, TX. Not … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Exclusion in the Instagram Age: How Can They be Having Such a Great Time Without Me? February 17, 2015

I just wrapped up working with a great group of 7th and 8th graders and wanted to share their ideas so that you can use them with kids (and adults) that you know! If you ask a group of kids if they ever felt left out when they see images … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Thinking Beyond Screentime: Creativity over Consumption January 26, 2015

The new digital tools of the 21st century offer unprecedented opportunities to create. Our most innovative schools are transforming from sites where the “empty vessels” (our children) are filled with knowledge to spaces where kids co-create knowledge with the teacher serving as “Lead Learner.” Libraries are changing, too. They are becoming … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Empathy is the App: Raising Thoughtful Kids in the Digital Age. January 12, 2015

    Happy new year! My TEDx is up! 2014 was an incredible year at Raising Digital Natives! I’m delighted that I got to speak with many of you in the last year. Excited to share my recent TEDx talk with you. TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Internet Safety, Teens and smartphones
Should I Spy on My Kid Online (on TV!) October 31, 2014

I had so much fun on Milwaukee’s The Morning Blend (NBC Milwaukee). The wonderful host, Molly Fay has three kids, and she, along with her viewers, wanted to know how much parents should monitor their kids posts, texts and shared images. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big believer … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Instead of Worrying About Sexting, Parents Should Be Thinking About Empathy October 1, 2014

Channel Two News called me recently to ask about how families can help their kids navigate the word of smart phones and constant connectivity. I had a great conversation with Erin Kennedy in my office, and the crew also filmed one of my parent talks at a school. Additionally, they … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Top 10 Parent and Teacher Concerns about Children and Technology
Top Ten Concerns about Children and Technology September 24, 2014

One of my favorite parts of Raising Digital Natives is presenting to parent groups, teachers and administrators. Frequently, parents and teachers share their experiences with me, so I learn as much as I teach. Being exposed to the concerns parents and teachers have about kids in the digital age is … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Managing the New Rules of Digital Etiquette (For You and Your Kids)
Helping Kids Manage the New Rules of Digital Etiquette September 9, 2014

As technologies evolve, so do the rules of etiquette. While you might be confident about teaching your kids etiquette in the real world, you may feel that it’s more of a challenge in the online world. It takes some time to learn the new rules, and they seem to change … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Everyone Makes Mistakes: Teaching Kids How to Fix Things When Texting Goes Awry July 31, 2014

As parents or teachers we can get too focused on PREVENTING digital mistakes that can ruin friendships and reputations. We need to offer mentorship to our kids on how to repair things (when possible). We can model this in our own social media lives. Kids need to see that relationships … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Spy vs. Spyware: Should You Monitor Your Kids’ Digital Communication?
To Spy or Not to Spy: New Parenting Issues in the Digital World July 22, 2014

Many parents ask me—should I spy on my kids or is that an invasion of privacy? Apps like “My Mobile Watch Dog” and “TeenSafe” give parents the power to read all their kids’ texts. But then what? I tell parents: Mentoring is more powerful than monitoring. I always start by … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Kids crave their parents' attention, but sometimes digital devices get in the way.
Your Attention Please!: Kids Design Apps for Their Parents July 7, 2014

In my last post, I talked about “app development” workshops that I do with 4th–7th graders to illuminate the issues that technology introduces into our lives. We start by identifying a common problem, then trying to solve the problem with a designed solution. We talked about apps to help with … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Kids design an app to help with excessive texting!
Kids Design an App: Stop Texting, Enjoy Life! June 19, 2014

When Raising Digital Natives works in school communities, I do a lot of classroom work with students about navigating friendships and social interactions in the digital age. My favorites might be 4th and 5th graders—they are often aware of the problems, and have a genuine desire to come up with … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Text Messages, Texting, Texts, IM, Conflict, Digital Devices, Smartphones
Texting Trouble: When Minor Issues Become Major Problems June 3, 2014

Conflict is difficult, even for adults. But for today’s kids, it’s particularly complex. The interpersonal conflicts that you remember as a child are all still there, but the landscape has changed somewhat. Digital devices in the hands of our kids offer more connectivity (good!), but it comes with many more … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Smartphones, digital photos, digital pictures, digital images, selfies, Instagram, social media, privacy, Picture Day
Every Day is Picture Day May 20, 2014

Remember picture day at school? I hated picture day. There was a permanence to it that was terrifying. I knew my parents would have that wallet-sized photo of me forever, so I felt like I had one shot to get it right. Smile right, wear the right clothes, and make … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
New Year’s Tech-Resolutions January 9, 2014

Happy New Year (and Back to School) from Raising Digital Natives Back to school is a great time to make those tech-resolutions for a more balanced, more empathic, more thoughtful use of technology in the coming year. Now…that sounds great. But I’ve been locked in my home with my child for … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
What 20 year olds REALLY do on Snapchat (hint: NOT sexting) July 22, 2013

Guest Post By Raising Digital Natives Intern, Gemmie F. (20 years old) Since downloading the Snapchat app last fall, it’s become one of my go-to ways to communicate with the people in my life. I love it. I don’t care if my roommate is in the next room, if I want her … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Perplexed Parent: What to Do When Your Child Wants to Use a Social App You’ve Never Heard Of June 25, 2013

Perplexed parent: “My child wants to use Omegle, Ask.Fm, Instagram, Keek, Yik Yak, Vine, Snapchat, WhisperText, Dead Space, Fruit Ninja, (insert latest, greatest app here). I’ve never heard of half of these, don’t know what they do, and am not even sure what my yes or no means! Guidance, please?” … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Positive media! Brilliant kid media-maker meets President at White House Science Fair April 24, 2013

I am so glad to see Super Awesome Sylvia, getting some major press. Everywhere I go, I recommend her show to parents and kids. I met Sylvia and her Dad at DML 2012 and was so moved by their collaboration. It is so great to see a child and parent … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
I think my kid is playing too many video games. How much is too much? February 4, 2013

Every time I give a talk, people ask me what is “normal.” I also get lots of notes like the one below and they are challenging to answer as I believe this is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Here is how I responded to one thoughtful dad who came to a … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
On gift-giving techno gadgets. December 17, 2012

They want them, you want them. They are exciting and the old ones get dated so fast. What is a parent to do? Please check out my post on PBS Kids about tech gadgets, and feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I’ll be responding for 14 days! … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
GEO-Tracking… Raising Digital Natives Knows Where Your Children are–Do You? December 4, 2012

I got an interesting call the other day, asking for commentary on a brand new application that allows you to see tweets, instagram streams and any other geotagged, shared material. If you want to see what your neigbors are posting, or what people at your child’s school are posting, just … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Building a media ecology in your home….one meal at a time October 30, 2012

Last night I gave a talk about “building a media ecology in your home” to parents of 3-9 year olds. I had a number of wonderful conversations with parents afterwards–but one in particular really made me think. First of all, I am happy to say, this conversation happened with a … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Upcoming talk: Is There An App For That? September 11, 2012

Please feel free to come by and see this or one  of my other upcoming talks! Remember, this year only, I can speak in metropolitan NYC or in Chicagoland without needing travel funds. See you on the road! http://www.peccalendar.org/ Is There an App for That? Parenting Your Digital Child Deerfield Parent … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Texting: How the Medium Shapes the Message July 6, 2012

Derek Baird posted an insightful article on his Barking Robot blog titled: Nancy Lublin: Social Media That Saves Lives In her TED talk, Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something describes in harrowing detail how kids responded to her advocacy texts with serious and heartbreaking calls for help. “I think it [texting]might … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Should Parents Monitor Their Kids Online? June 28, 2012

SHOULD PARENTS MONITOR THEIR KIDS ONLINE? A million dollar question…this article in the NYTimes profiles a couple of families who monitor their kids, sometimes using software like net nanny Big Brother: No It’s Parents If so, should they let their kids know they are doing it? Should they have their … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Snapchat? Fun times…What’s it really for? June 6, 2012

So Nick Bilton of the NYTimes (and others…) have identified the new app, snapchat as being tempting for sexting. The marketing does seem to favor temptingly topless young women…Any thoughts on other possible uses for snapchat? The idea of a photograph that only exists in the moment has a haunting … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Just go outside! No need for screentime, but cellphones are liberating, says Playborhood Guru! May 25, 2012

I just went to a great talk by Mike Lanza about his book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into A Place For Play. He is more strongly opposed to screentime than I am, but I thought many of his points about facilitating kids’ resilience, independence, leadership and fun by creating inviting playspace, … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Generation Z! Kids today,”digital hoarders” and into “Brand Me” according to research from The Intelligence Group April 20, 2012

Allison Arling gave an engaging talk at Sandbox Summit at MIT. To summarize her talk: The Intelligence Group’s research makes some bold claims regarding Generation Z. These kids, born since 1995, are focused on  “brand me.” They are parent influencers, making decisions about purchases with parents. Their integration of the … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Positive Media! Mad scientist girl on YOUTUBE. March 5, 2012

This blog post is about fascinating folks I encountered at the Digital Media and Learning Conference last weekend in SF. I went to a great panel on “Democratizing Learning Innovation” that included innovator and Tinkering School guru Gever Tulley as well as Sylvia and her “tech ninja” dad, and some other … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Cool new apps for preschoolers–how to define “quality” February 10, 2012

I just attended a super inspiring talk at Erikson’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center. They hosted two designers from PeaPod Labs, a company that creates apps for young children, to give a short demonstration of their work, talk about their design process, and discuss ways we can collaborate to … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Some Alternatives to Screentime January 30, 2012

While my main endeavor is to help parents integrate the research on media and kids, and raise thriving digital natives-I was just part of an excellent discussion at ORD Camp 2012 about analog play. I was reminded, by a bunch of super smart techie dudes (all dads) that forts are … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Why Facebook is After Your Kids October 13, 2011

While this article is cautionary in its tone, it raises deeper questions that all of us who use social media should consider, especially if our  kids are participating too! Considering that there are 7.5 million kids on Facebook underage (under 13) these questions are vital.

Devorah Heitner, PhD
FCC Schedules Sept. 8 Digital Back-to-School Primer Forum will focus on the “opportunities and challenges” of technology use by teens September 7, 2011

The FCC will hold a back-to-school forum on the “the opportunities and challenges” of technology use by teens in a digital world, and says it plans future events targeted at other age groups. The Sept. 8 event will include FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and representatives from MTV and Common Sense … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD
Digital dilemmas? June 10, 2011

Should you let your toddler use your iphone? Should your ten year old have a facebook account? How can media help your kids be informed without becoming overwhelmed? What is a caregiver’s role in all of this? On this site, I will be posting interesting articles and information by smart … Read more

Devorah Heitner, PhD