How on earth do we maintain balance in our families’ digital lives during the unprecedented times that we are in?
What strategies and tools can we use to create some semblance of normalcy while our kids are suddenly learning at home, and we are struggling to either work remotely or bring in child care in order to run essential services?
On Monday April 6, Stephen Balkam, Founder & CEO of FOSI, moderated a discussion exploring the challenges (and opportunities) of being a good digital parent in a time of crisis. We discussed both short term and long term strategies that can help create order, prioritize education, and forge new routines in the midst of uncertainty.
Stephen was joined by two of the leading thinkers in this space:
Janell Burley Hofmann is the author of iRules, an international speaker, facilitator and consultant and mother of 5. Janell helps schools, youth, families, educators and organizations on the topics of technology, media, health, relationships and well-being. She is the creator of the iPhone Contract and founder of The Slow Tech Movement and iRules Academy. More of Janell's resources can be found here, on her website.
Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, speaker, and Webby Awards Founder, and author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, in which she explores her family’s decade-long, transformative practice of turning off screens one day each week. More of Tiffany's resources are available here. You can sign up for her weekly Zoom baking classes (Fridays at 10am PT/ 1pm ET) here.
Author, 24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week
Janell Burley Hofmann
iRules: What Every Tech Healthy Family Needs to Know
Janell Burley Hofmann is the author of iRules: What Every Tech Healthy Family Needs to Know, International Speaker, Facilitator and Consultant. Founder of iRules Academy & The Slow Tech Movement. Mother of Five.
Janell Burley Hofmann
Founder & CEO
Family Online Safety Institute
For the past 30 years, Stephen Balkam has had a wide range of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in both the US and UK. He is currently the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. FOSI’s mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes the top thinkers and practitioners in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate and to create a “culture of responsibility” in the online world.
Prior to FOSI, Stephen was the Founder and CEO of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) and led a team which developed the world’s leading content labeling system on the web. While with ICRA, Stephen served on the US Child Online Protection Commission (COPA) in 2000 and was named one of the Top 50 UK Movers and Shakers, Internet Magazine, 2001.
In 1994, Stephen was named the first Executive Director of the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) which created a unique self-labeling system for computer games and then, in 1996, Stephen launched RSACi – a forerunner to the ICRA website labeling system. For his efforts in online safety, Stephen was given the 1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize in Gutersloh, Germany, for innovation and responsibility in the Information Society and was invited to the first and subsequent White House Internet Summits during the Clinton Administration.
Stephen’s other positions include the Executive Director of the National Stepfamily Association (UK); General Secretary of the Islington Voluntary Action Council; Executive Director of Camden Community Transport as well as management positions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and Inter-Action. Stephen’s first job was with Burroughs Machines (now Unisys) and he had a spell working for West Nally Ltd – a sports sponsorship PR company.
Stephen received a BA, magna cum laude, in Psychology from University College, Cardiff, Wales in 1977. A native of Washington, DC, Stephen spent many years in the UK and is now has dual citizenship. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post, appears often on TV and has appeared on nationally syndicated TV and radio programs such as MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC and has been interviewed by leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, radio and in the mainstream press. He has given presentations and spoken in 15 countries on 4 continents.