Their world is different from yours.
You can feel it, can’t you? They seem addicted, detached, or distracted.
You can’t see what they are doing “on there.”
Sometimes you feel like you understand it though, right? After all, you experience the stress of “constant connectivity,” just like your kids. It’s just the tip of the iceberg for today’s digital natives. Yes, social pressures are amplified. Yes, digital misunderstandings are rampant. Yes, your kids feel left out sometimes. But it goes deeper than that. Deeper than their experiences today.
You want to consider how to set your kids up for a lifetime of success in a world where they are likely to meet their spouse, find a job, and build their reputations in interactive, digital communities.
Their world is digital world. Here’s what you need to understand it:
Educators and parents sometimes mistake digital proficiency for digital citizenship. Because kids seem “up” on the new technologies and platforms, you consider them fluent. This is dangerous thinking. They need our guidance and wisdom.
Digital citizenship is not about operating the devices. It’s about conducting yourself with empathy and developing meaningful relationships. With your family, with a future spouse, with a future employer.
The landscape is different now, and the rules are changing rapidly. Our kids need help, even if they think they don’t. Even if you think they don’t. It’s up to us as parents to ensure that we are helping our kids develop the skills they need to thrive in their Digital World.
The good news? It’s a skill set. And like any skill, it can be learned.
Simply put, you have to learn in order to teach:
Your ability to parent, lead, or teach is affected by your own relationship with technology. Your relationship with technology is a model for your kids. Learning about their world is a requirement.
Lets make a commitment today—to our kids and to one another.
The way we interact and communicate will keep changing, but one thing remains the same:
True digital citizenship is our responsibility and the stakes are too high to leave it to chance. It’s vital for our kids, good for our families, and necessary for our communities.
Let’s stand up. Let’s be mentors. It’s up to us.
Consulting and Speaking Specialties
- Parent Engagement Strategy for 1:1 Computing & Edtech Initiatives
- Keynote on Empathy in the Digital Age
- Professional Development Workshops
- Assessing your district’s culture of digital mentorship
- Student workshops on Connecting Wisely Curriculum
Raising Digital Natives’ Most Popular Posts
Devorah Heitner’s Media Appearances
- Expert Reveals Biggest Concern About Youngsters And Social Media –CBS Chicago
- Devorah on Milwaukee’s Morning Blend Should Parents Spy on their Kids Online?
- Geotagging Allows for Real-Time Surveillance – NBC Chicago
- Slumber party blues: Social media means kids are excluded in real time – Today Parents
- Devorah on Vicki Hoefle’s Parenting Podcast
Share Devorah’s TEDx with friends to get them into the conversation:
Invite Devorah Heitner, PhD and founder of Raising Digital Natives, to speak at your organization:
Praise for Devorah Heitner’s talks:
Devorah came to speak at my children’s school about raising “Digital Natives.” After hearing Devorah’s presentation I feel more informed and empowered.
Devorah is a very engaging speaker and expert in her presentation. I got a full dose of information about the current digital environment that my children are engaging in. All backed up by some very interesting and powerful statistics!
If you are an educator I would highly recommend Devorah to speak to your school and the parents. If you are a parent and you have the opportunity to attend Devorah’s presentation, run don’t walk. I know that you will find that what Devorah tells you about the digital world, that we all live in now, a real eye opening experience.
– Gil Valentine, Father of a First and a Fifth Grader
Devorah facilitated an extremely productive day-long workshop with members of our Intermediate & Middle School faculty. She is well-versed in the research, and moves effortlessly between a student perspective on the digital world, a parent’s perspective, and an educator’s point-of-view.
Devorah’s approach to empowering teachers and parents is not based on fear. She focused on building empathy, understanding and ultimately, positive identities. She illustrates clearly how to harness the power of technology (including social media) to help children learn and grow. Devorah helps translate the digital world across generations in ways that honor children and adults, and that offers a vision for nurturing sound judgment and independence in students as they grow up in a global, digitized community.
– John Novick, Intermediate & Middle School Division Head at Francis W. Parker School
Devorah Heitner of Raising Digital Natives was a guest speaker at my son’s school. Her presentation was informative and thought provoking. She provided wonderful tips and examples of how to best incorporate or sometimes exclude media from your family’s daily life. I highly recommend her.
– Karin Ellis-Wentz, Educator and Parent of a preschooler and an elementary schooler
I really enjoyed your talk. Your style and personality made it engaging, and your academic background coupled with being a mom makes you credible and accessible. Your presentation was informative for me both as a technology educator and as a parent!
– Allison Drew, Technology Facilitator The Joseph Sears School, Kenilworth IL, parent of three children
I first heard Devorah speak about Digital Natives at our son’s school. I found her to have a clear, concise message about how to address issues our children are facing in this digital age we live in. She was very knowledgeable in the various different ways that our children socialize online and had very simple useable advice to offer. Parents with children of all ages were addressed. In speaking with the other parents attending, the room was abuzz with positive anticipation of getting more of Devorah’s time. Devorah was also very quick to respond to my emails and gave detailed useful advice. I have already recommended her to other parents.
– Frank Bruno, Father of a first grader
Devorah provided an insightful and unique approach to understanding children and their relationship with the digital world. Her approach was empowering both to children and parents by encouraging a partnership to use technology for creativity and learning. I appreciated her simple tips that will allow me to be intentional with my daughter as she learns how to be digitally savvy and learns important life skills that will carry throughout her life.
– Barbara Nordlund, M.A., Psychology, Former Executive Director of a early childhood child center, current nanny recruiter and parent of 3 young girls
Devorah Heitner, PhD, Founder and CEO of Raising Digital Natives, specializes in providing families and educators guidance and resources that help children thrive in our increasingly digital world. An experienced speaker, workshop leader, and advisor, Dr. Heitner holds a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University, and has been published in Edutopia, Good Digital Parenting, and PBS Kids. She has appeared on numerous news and morning television shows as an expert on mentoring young people in the digital age. Dr. Heitner helps schools around the country cultivate a culture of digital citizenship and parent engagement. Her curriculum, Connecting Wisely, is used in schools across the United States. Devorah is based in Chicago and is delighted to be raising a digital native of her own.