Raising Kids in a Digital World

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It's every parent's fear... rapidly evolving digital playgrounds that their kids explore, from online video games to social networking sites, and parents don't know where the dangers lie.

Kidoinfo.com, a socially savvy Web site for families launched in 2007 by Providence resident Anisa Raoof, brought a panel of five educators, a room full of parents as well as media experts last night to the Speakeasy Space at Local 121 to educate parents on what's happening in the "digital playground."

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The bottom line?  "Kids haven't changed," said Dr. Alice Wilder (second from left), high-profile digital media innovator, "but the toys in their toy boxes have really changed."  Wilder, who was a producer and director of research and development for Nick Jr.'s immensely popular Blue's Clues (and was featured in Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point), is now Chief Content Officer for Kidos, a new learning and entertainment platform that provides kid's digital content iTunes-style. 

Wilder, as well as the other four panelists with her in the low-lit, decidely undigital underground performance space at the popular restaurant, saw immense promise in technology, but cited old-fashioned values to deal with it.  "It's about critical thinking," she said.  "We need to teach kids how to be mediators of their own digital content."

With approximately 50 (mostly moms) in attendance, the questions skewed to the practical, voicing fears about laptops roaming to bedrooms, phones uncontrollable, and unchecked Internet access.  Kate McMahon Macinanti, a parent of three children and educator, had this to say:  "If we can just keep the video cameras out of the bedrooms... but that's probably a good rule for everybody."

Raising Kids in a Digital World is part of KidoConversations, a series of networking and educational events created by Kidoinfo to connect people and resources.  For more connectivity, visit www.Kidoinfo.com.


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