Tech Education For Parents: 10 Resources To Support Your Digital Parenting in the New Year | Janell Burley Hofmann | 3 Min Read

A critical component to digital parenting is our own education and engagement. It’s hard to teach our children digital literacy, media criticism, and to build healthy family iRules if we aren’t feeling solid and supported in opportunities and avenues for our own learning. One of the greatest gifts of this moment is that there is so much access to good, quality information around tech health and digital well-being for families, as well as specific tools, tutorials, and explainers. The surge in our children’s tech use has certainly unveiled a surge in individuals and organizations who want to educate and support us as we lead our families. 

Below is my go-to list of work that informs and supports my own as well as people and places I’ve turned to over the years in my own digital parenting journey. Some are more foundational, research-based, and theoretical, while others are “grab and go”, quick and easy for a family’s everyday use of tech. I respect the approaches below as well as the way it is offered to families and communities. 

I always encourage families to seek and create their own “team” in parenting so that no one has to go at it alone. The development of resources and trusted guides is a key way we can learn and grow as parents. I hope you spend some time in the New Year getting to know some key players on my team and continue to build your own. 

  1. Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org

This is a “one size fits all” stop for parents, educators, and kids. There is something for everyone here, complete with user ratings and reviews that prove insightful to families. 

  1. Family Online Safety Institute https://www.fosi.org/

The Good Digital Parenting section of this resource is excellent for parents and caregivers. The topical and free webinars also provide key conversations and opportunities for learning. 

  1. Connect Safely — https://www.connectsafely.org/.

A top feature here is the topical guides created to educate users and parents. An added bonus is the “Ask Trish” column and podcast content.  

  1. Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesday Newsletter https://www.screenagersmovie.com/tech-talk-tuesdays/

Dr. Delaney Ruston’s weekly newsletter is filled with topical subjects, research, and discussion questions for families. 

  1. Jocelyn Brewer & Digital Nutrition http://www.jocelynbrewer.com/

Jocelyn is an Australian-based therapist and educator. She looks at tech health through the lens of well-being, using nutrition as a familiar metaphor. 

  1. Devorah Heitner – Screenwise & Raising Digital Natives https://www.raisingdigitalnatives.com/.

Devorah’s work is engaging, research based, and necessary. Her programs offer excellent and specific support for parents. 

  1. Center for Humane Technology — https://www.humanetech.com/.

Popularized from the documentary film “The Social Dilemma”, this website is an empowering look and resource for how we can all make the Internet a better, safer, healthier place in society. 

  1. Cyber Civics & Diana Graberhttphttp://www.jocelynbrewer.com/s://www.cybercivics.com/.

The Cyber Civics Curriculum gives parents and educators a look at the scaffolding of tech integration and experiences, while also being a continued and timely resource on youth and tech. 

  1. Tiffany Shlain, Author of 24/6 https://www.tiffanyshlain.com/24-6book.

In addition to the research-based content and personal narrative of a weekly Tech Shabbat in the book 24/6, Tiffany’s work as a filmmaker and researcher on The Science of Character, should not be missed. 

  1.  David Ryan Polgar & All Tech Is Human https://www.davidpolgar.com/all-tech-is-human.

David’s work as a “Tech Ethicist” is present in both his work individually and his work with All Tech Is Human. It’s a critical and foundational invitation to examine how we build and use our tech.

Janell Burley Hofmann

Janell Burley Hofmann is an international author, speaker and consultant specializing on the topics of technology, media, health, relationships and well-being. Janell is the creator of the original iPhone contract and a thought leader in the space of digital mindfulness, digital parenting and intentional use of tech. She is the author of the book, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up published by Rodale, Inc. Janell is the founder of the Slow Tech Movement and iRules Academy. Janell has worked on four continents across diverse demographics, cultures, religions, and socioeconomics. Sensitive to the needs of each community, Janell works with schools, youth, families, educators, and organizations while offering private coaching and consulting sessions. Janell’s professional expertise and personal experience as a mother of five children builds strong connections with a wide and varied population. Janell engages readers, clients and audiences in relevant and meaningful conversations igniting personal empowerment, awareness and purpose in a partnership that will positively impact all. Janell’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies, a Master’s Degree in Critical and Creative Thinking and she is currently working towards her licensure in mental health counseling. Her featured talks include two-time TEDx presenter, SxSW, YPO Southeast Asia Summit, Peace Corp Workshop Leader, Homecoming Day Nagoya University, Nagoya Japan, YPO Middle East Tour, Women2Women International Summit and MIT Strata Center. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Good Morning America, USA Today, National Public Radio, BBC News and The Associated Press.

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