My daughter just taught me how to use Snapchat.
Granted, I’m not the fastest learner, so it took her a full ten minutes to get me snapping and chatting proficiently. But once I learned how to use the app – a popular mobile app that lets users (mostly kids) take and send photos that self-destruct after ten seconds –there was no stopping me. Before long I was sending silly selfies to my kids, surely embarrassing them with my presence in their digital world.
When I was young, my mom could always be counted on to show up at school or at my best friend’s house; she considered it her job to be a constant presence in my life. Today, if we want to be connected with our kids, we have to show up in the world where they spend an average of 7½ hours per day (according to the Kaiser Family Foundation). That’s the digital world.
CyberWise was founded two years ago for this very reason – to help grownups understand and use digital media so that we can participate meaningfully in our children’s lives. CyberWise LogoTwo of us (moms) founded CyberWise after completing an M.A. program in Media Psychology and Social Change. We decided to use our state-of-the-art education and a combined 30+ years in entertainment and production to launch a site packed with free videos, e-books, resources, and more about digital media. Our motto, “no grownup left behind,” constantly directs our work and our mission is to help every parent and educator become a fully competent citizen of the digital world.
In addition to our website, we advocate for and work towards digital literacy and citizenship becoming a part of every school’s curriculum. Think of this as Driver’s Education for the Information Age. We want students to be equipped with skills to navigate the Information Superhighway safely and confidently. This will help them avoid the negative consequences of a misstep in cyberspace, because these can have a huge impact on a child’s life. We don’t ever want to hear about another incidence of cyberbullying, sexting, or a digital footprint that keeps a student out of college.
Finally we’re very excited about the launch of our new Certification Program. CyberWise Certified is a place where adults can go to take a series of online, self-paced lessonsCyberWise Certified Logo and then receive a certificate that verifies their new skills. Our first course – “Get Digital” – covers topics ranging from an overview of how digital media has transformed the learning environment to how to use many of today’s most popular social media sites. It was designed specifically for the teacher tasked with teaching digital literacy, an administrator needing to understand digital media’s impact on education, or a parent looking to manage and understand their children’s media use.
We hope you’ll drop by our site or our new Certification program and check them out. Or try out a new social media network, like Snapchat, for yourself. You’ll find a Learning Center on our site that can get you up and going in no time, because no grownup should ever be left behind!