New Book Provides Guidelines for Navigating Technology in Family Life

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Family-life lessons and proverbs on subjects like food, family outings, safety, and social etiquette have been the norm for decades: Don't give the kids candy before bedtime; go to the bathroom before you leave the house; always bring a snack in your purse; don't talk to strangers; sharing is caring; secrets are no fun, the list goes on. 

Pieces of wisdom like these are countless and widespread because they concern timeless activities and consistent issues. But what of letting your baby use an iPad? Endorsing a habit of screen time before bed? Engaging with a teen on how to present themselves in social media?

Vast technological developments present new issues in parenting that age-old wisdoms can't solve. Amid the proliferation of technology in daily activities, parents need to learn for the first time how to assess the impact of technology, discourage the misuse of technology, and encourage its profound benefits. Carrie Rogers-Whitehead broaches the important new consideration for family life in her forthcoming book Becoming a Digital Parent: A Practical Guide to Help Families Navigate Technology. The book will be released in December 2020. 

In 2016, Carrie founded Digital Respons-Ability, a company that researches online behavior and trains educators and parents in what the company calls digital citizenship, or responsible use of technology. In 2019, she published the book Digital Citizenship: Teaching Strategies and Practice from the Field, geared toward educators, about strategies for incorporating that knowledge in curricula and education. 

In Becoming a Digital Parent, Carrie guides parents through complicated issues like the impact of technology during developmental stages, the impact at bedtime, appropriate screen time, and digital identities (like social media profiles and tracked online activity). She discusses how to create a family technology plan, how to communicate with children about variations of these issues, and how to address the dangers of the internet (like sex trafficking).

As an expert on technology, online safety, education, and parenting, Carrie exhibits authority that empowers her in preparing parents with practical tools for approaching technology effectively. The content of the book is based on Digital Respons-Ability's research, hundreds of hours working with parents, and thousands of hours working with students. But Carrie's voice and character offers more than that; as a devoted mother and community advocate, she exudes personability that enables her to alleviate parents' fears of unknown territory. She produces ideas that are credible as well as accessible and writing that is academic and yet commercial.

Carrie's help doesn't end with Becoming a Digital Parent, though; she plans to release another book in fall 2021, The 3Ms of Fearless Digital Parenting. Digital Respons-Ability also offers additional resources and services that expand upon the content of Carrie's book and tailor the material to parents' individual needs and concerns. Carrie's book for parents, clearly, is not a singular branch off her usual course, rather the foundation for an ongoing and supportive sub-community for modern parenting.

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