Take the Tech Out

Mar 5, 2021 14:30 · 4662 words · 22 minute read

Dr Ed Tse: And Sherman asks, like when kids are doing online learning, there’s a certain level of self discipline for the kids to get through the learning material, and how do we help them motivate themselves to finish the work without sitting next to them and constantly monitor like a helicopter parent? Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: Right, right. I love all the new expressions that we have with helicopter parent and snowplow parent we look like, Dr Ed Tse: like parents, right? Like, it’s like, put labels on everything.

Right? Exactly. Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: It’s like leave us alone.

00:36 - Dr Ed Tse: Right, like sharing thing, sharing, like, too much of like one thing over sharing, or anything? Yeah, and I’m, like, come up with great names for as long as parents feel bad.

00:51 - Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: I’m just getting ready to say that as long as we’re not shaming them, I’m okay with it. You know, I like some of the the expressions myself. But But back to your your question. I think that it depends on the age, right? Because there’s different motivations. And again, I think I always think this is a really interesting part about being a digital parenting consultant, is that I’m talking about really the things that are that are the technology and the devices, the social media, internet, etc.

I’m not talking about pure parenting, and yet it always gets back down to pure parenting. And I would say, you know, if you have a question, it needs you thinking about in your mind, take the tech out, right? So take the tech out, and then figure out how would you handle this, this problem if it was not about remote learning. So going back to our situation, we have your child, let’s say they’re not remote learning, because I agree, we’re talking about the self discipline, but it’s just a matter of going to school.

And you see they’re sitting by a window, and out that window is all sorts of activities, and they’re just, you know, always looking out the window. How are you going to know if your child is going to complete the lesson and understand the lesson? Well, one of the things that you can do is what you would what you can do with the online world as well, is when you’re talking to younger children, before the lesson starts, you say, hey, so after your lesson, I would love it, if you told me like the top two, three things that you learned the most important, so then you know that they have to, they have to, you know, give you a summary, finish it out.

If the courses are being recorded, you can even say something like, I would love to know what happens at the one minute mark at the 20 minute mark, or at the 42nd minute mark. And that way, they’re really, you know, watching the clock and paying attention as well. I mean, it’s always about trying to find, I won’t say parenting hacks, because I used this before, and one of my cybersecurity friends said, Elizabeth, stop saying hacks we’re not hacking, like, okay, okay, it’s, it’s just a trick.

A strategy is, you know, to get creative, and, and sometimes as well, it’s just as simple as, you know, think about when your children didn’t want to go to school at all. And he would say, go to school, you’re going to have a great day, and then it’s going to be mommy and me afternoon, or we’re going to you know, go by the library, grab a book and find something that’s pleasurable for them to do.

And I’m not saying bribery, or reward system, hardcore compensation, but you know, quite frankly, we go to work because we get paid. That’s so a little bit of a reward, even if you’d like I said, it’s just a super mommy cuddle.

03:28 - Dr Ed Tse: I think that works, too. And I love that in, I see it as you know, getting them into doing it in a different way is very powerful, especially if we because nowadays, we’re in this world where, like kids have gone from the classroom to their living rooms. And so what’s happening is we’re no longer competing with other distracted kids in a very controlled environment, we are now competing with Xbox and movies, and social media and everything else that can be out there.

And so it is really difficult as a parent to go and compete with the interests of like these produced media. And so it is very important to like if you understand them, and you understand, like, why did they like it so much? And where do they want to go? Like, what would what would be the next step with that, then in terms of motivation, and getting them to do the work, like I always say that there are no boring tasks, only boring imaginations.

And so if they can’t connect it to their imagination, that’s one of the reasons why they say, this is so irrelevant. So if you’ve got that motivation, they’re gonna do this on their own. But if you don’t, and you say, No, you’re gonna sit down, and you’re gonna write through all of these examples. You’re just like, oh, and I do feel like this is this is like, for me, it’s insane. Like one week that my kids in grade two, and he’ll get like, 40 pages of like, worksheets that he has to do and it takes like, two hours a day to do, it’s insane.

And at some point, we have to say, you know what, we’re not going to do all those like, to help him it’s like it’s gonna make him like really not attracted to math at all. Like, we Need to interest is more important than like going through everything, like this attachment that we have as parents, like they must complete everything, I think is another another challenge as well.

05:12 - Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: Yeah, and I loved what you just said, it got me all excited too. And you were talking about, um, just the distractions, and even with the math. And so then, I’m sorry, this is where like, you can see I’m a total tech enthusiast. And I’m saying there are opportunities here, right.

05:28 - So, you know, with the math and all those math sheets, you know, why not go online and do like kumaon math using the app, or whatever else is a Khan Academy.

05:38 - There are so many fantastic, fun ways of doing math now that are completely different from when I was a kid, and you can just, you know, just have a great time.

05:47 - And in that same vein, we were talking about some of the older teenagers and self discipline and, and, and self regulation.

05:56 - You know, there is technology that can help for that, too.

05:59 - There’s like the freedom app, or even just screentime on your Apple phone or using androids digital well being which will, you know, shut down so that way your child can be in school at school time, they won’t be able to go out on 20 different browsers and you know, watch YouTube while they’re streaming Netflix, and they’re supposed to be listening to English class, right? So I mean, parents, you have to get a little involved here, you have to, you know, check things out and talk with them.

That way, you can kind of tone it down a bit.

06:28 - Dr Ed Tse: So, again, the chat, we have faith saying like we found other things that help as well, like she knits and we do a lot of family things. dinners, no tech in the room that night time. That’s a great one. Edna says very insightful. Do you think putting up a personal development programs for kids in the digital space? Would that be of some help to get them to build up quality screentime? Oh, that’s Dr.

Elizabeth Milovidov: an interesting one at night, I think quite frankly, anything that we can do to help our children in our children’s development, personal development, mental, social and emotional learning, I say go for it, if there is a way to combine all of that, and it’s in a digital space even even more. So I had the pleasure of working on a project in Europe that was funded by the European Commission, and 2014 2016.

And we were looking at cyber bullying, and bullying. And we were looking at social and emotional learning. And we looked at children ages 11 to 14. And we were just trying to, you know, figure it all these things out and add that it’s exactly as you said, it’s you know, at this developmental stage, when can we get in and really help children and support children? Well, what we realized at the end of this two year project looking at, I can’t remember how many teams but I would say at least 1006 different European countries, we realized that 11 to 14 was too late that we needed to go in order to start, we need to start with social and emotional learning.

So what I would think at net would be to look at something like Denmark, a country’s in a model, but I think we should be cutting and pasting and not reinventing the wheel, look at countries where some of these programs work. And they work really well, where they’re teaching children’s social and emotional learning, social emotional learning from age three years old, right? So you can do that without screens.

08:25 - Because they don’t need it. So three years, four years, five years, your developmental program until you’re building them up into getting into digital spaces. And they’ve already acquired the skills of kindness and empathy before they hit the digital space. And Edna, then I’m telling you, rockstars, I can just see it. So Dr Ed Tse: 100%. So going back, like we got a lot in the chat.

08:50 - These hacks are great. I guess these questions, work, even went back to school because kids go back to school, March 1 here in Malaysia. So thank you, Sherman, for joining us from Malaysia.

09:00 - It’s an honor. Wow. He also asked like, what was the first math app? You mentioned before Khan Academy? Oh, Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: yes.

09:06 - kumaun k UMN. It was developed in Japan? And I believe Yes, Japanese Yes. And just a different way of approaching math, a completely different way of looking at it. I’ve also seen another fantastic app that I believe it’s called brilliant. org that has different ways of looking at math on a on an app where it’s, you know, spatial and things are moving around, and I’m like, Oh my goodness, I could have really understood, you know, I gather him theorem and all this other kind of stuff if I had had these cool apps, but it’s okay.

Words are my thing. Now, Dr Ed Tse: if I can add to the, the tool belt, especially for math, I found that a straight up bribery does like as you mentioned, does work. So if you’re doing mathematics in terms of like, either like, okay, we’re doing a math example and I’m going to use real money like it suddenly becomes like super relevant to that. Or if you do a real example, and you go, now I’m going to do it with m&ms like that, you know, like, not the big ones, like the really small ones.

And you go like, and if you don’t get this right, you’re gonna get less m&ms. Is that okay? But you know, this is this a real world example. So it suddenly goes from this abstract concept to this is less m&ms, I got to learn this stuff now. Like, I better figure this thing out.

10:22 - And my kids are really young. But it’s, it’s amazing how like, little like, you don’t need a lot to to get them to go. Wow, this is exactly why. Okay, do I want like seven m&ms? Or do I want 11? m&ms? I want 11. Right.

10:36 - So like, how am I gonna do that? So Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: exactly, as we say, in doing geometry with, with pies and things that you can cut into halves and three quarters. And that works as well.

10:50 - Dr Ed Tse: Thank you, um, you know, as we transition, like, one question that increasingly parents are asking related to screen time, is we talked about that you talked about quality, and we were just like, kind of scratching the surface of it.

11:05 - And I’m wondering, like, how do you know, like, as a parent, how do you know, I went from, like, this is like, kind of, like, not so great. The screen time versus like, wow, this is like really productive? What would like how would you measure that? How would you How would you even determine that, you know, all the screen time? Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: Yeah.

11:23 - So I mean, there’s two ways. Again, I’m always for the proactive, right? So if we’re going to be proactive, that means that you’re going to be guiding your child on how to find educational Yes, I said it educational, and entertaining content online. So my number one resource for all of those things is Common Sense Media, where you can go on and find, you know, apps and books and movie reviews.

And you can find parents guides to just about whatever it is that you’re looking for. And I think that that is one way to really make sure that your child is getting something with quality. And what’s even better with Common Sense Media is that they go in, and they specifically tell you about the types of content, whether it has violence or profanity, whether it’s educational, and I think the positive role models, and I think those are all fantastic things.

And one other little tip that I think is great, especially for parents with younger children, because sometimes you don’t always know.

12:22 - And Sesame Street is, you know, Sesame Street and you after a while you’re like, Okay, what else can I show them is that you can just go on and you know, for example, tick the little box for three year olds, and you can find all the content that is appropriate for three year olds.

12:37 - Now, with that in mind, there are also parent reviews, where the parents will talk about these items. And then what is my personal favorite as somebody who is a children’s rights advocate, and I believe always that we need to keep talking to our children. talk, talk, talk, talk talk, is that they ask the children you know, what do you think about this? What age should it be? Did you like it? Did you not like it.

So that is one way beforehand to find out about content. And to find out, you know, what, what this is going to do for your child. The other way to find out about content is that reactive way that I was mentioning, which is we are you’re watching how your child is reacting to certain films or apps or episodes, and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

13:21 - You know what, what riles them up? What gets them excited, when they watch something, you know, I don’t know, Ed, the Science Guy, or, or, you know, any of the little things that my kids used to love when they were when they were little, they’re 11 and 14, but there were so many really good, the Einsteins, there we go, think about the Einsteins, and then they get off on a little and since they stopped watching the episode, or they stop, they stop, you know, playing with the app, and then they want to go get pen and paper because they want to reproduce something that they had, that they had learned.

I mean, these are all indicators of you know, the content that you want to get more of, and the ones that you want to reduce, if you can, and Dr Ed Tse: I think this is really powerful about having these right kind of resources that point towards the right direction. Because I would say that, for the most part we are, we’re in a pretty different world now. Like people ask, like, what’s the difference between screen time today versus when we just watch TV as a kid? And I guess a lot of it has to do with who curates or who determines the programming for that it used to be a person.

And now it is very much an algorithm or an AI who’s making determinations for that. And I’m kind of curious, like, like, there’s no there’s not a lot of rules right now on AI like recommending certain things to your kids. And if it recommends something inappropriate, there’s nothing there’s not a lot of rules that kind of prevent you, like prevent companies from being liable if that happens. So I’m wondering like Is that is that the current state of affairs right now is it’s like the Wild West, they can just give you whatever recommendation? Or are things like starting to change, even from like a legal political perspective, like, Are we going to start seeing some some broader changes in this space? Yeah, I personally, Dr.

Elizabeth Milovidov: I think so I think we’re going to start seeing more regulation, because it’s already happening in the United States, also here in Europe. But I do think that just because I’m I do work, I consult for tech companies, as well as non governmental organizations and governments. So I do think that one of the things that that can really support parents is to realize that all the tech companies have safety centers, they all have guidelines, they will tell you that their content is not for children, and how to set up parental controls how to reduce how to limit after that, you know, when parents give an eight year old Tick Tock account, or a 10 year old and Instagram account, and we know that these are for 13.

And plus, we can’t we can’t really say anything. So you’d said and use the word liable for tech companies. And I was like, my lawyer hat came on saying don’t, we’re not going to say liable right now, because that’s, that’s, that’s not what we’re talking about. But let’s just say that these are very challenging times. And I think that just for example, something really simple when we’re talking to YouTube.

If you do not want your children going down the rabbit hole of suggestions will then turn off the automated recommendation and that you know, the next thumbnail that will keep coming up. Same thing with Netflix, if you don’t want them to sit there and watch episode after episode turn that off you there’s a button that you can press so that you don’t have to automatically see watch next episode.

And how do I know this? Because I watched the Bridger tins probably in like, four hours. Definitely a weekend for sure. And so you know, do do as I say, not as I do.

17:03 - Dr Ed Tse: You know what? I think that that’s the key. We didn’t we didn’t talk about viability, but I do feel like eventually, there’s a lot of rules that we have in in media production, especially like involving children, like rating systems, compensation for child actors, like how much are many of the child actors like Ryan’s toys reviews actually going to get when they’re older, like we don’t, we have no idea like the rules are different.

We don’t treat them like we treat a child actor right now in the United States. But maybe in other regions, we’re starting to do that, like these, these kind of things are coming. But they’re they’re definitely like, they’re, they don’t exist yet, because the technology is usually ahead of where we are in terms of Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: the legal practice. And I’m so excited that you mentioned that because I am in Paris, France, and just a few weeks ago, I’m just you know, with the pandemic, I didn’t ever remember if it was last week or last month.

But France did start the first law for child influencers.

18:02 - So here now, in France, if a child influencer is making money, so that’s kind of the only tricky part. But if they’re making money, then any of those revenues, that revenue has to be held for them until they’re majority age. And they also are treated like a child television star. So they have, you know, working hours, etc. And so I think all of that is really exciting. And I think it’s because other countries are looking to see what’s happening in the United States.

And they didn’t really like the idea that Ryan made what 26 million or maybe even more, and we have no it can’t be I’m not getting the who’s Anastasia as well as in Florida, and, you know, million dollar kids. And, and we, this is always down to children’s rights, right? And if the if the parents are, you know, taking care of business within already, I say that’s great, because that’s our role.

We are the guardians of our children, we are the digital guardians of our children. So yeah, I think it’s gonna be exciting to see what happens.

19:00 - Dr Ed Tse: Yes, I’ve said this before, privately, but I do really feel that, like France is going to be the source of our digital revolution, they’re they’re definitely pushing the boundaries a little bit sooner than other regions in the world.

19:12 - And I’m honored that, like, we’re learning a little bit more about what other regions are, are doing beyond just what we’re seeing in the United States, because we need reform, we need some thinking around this. And there’s a lot of language about switching existing things that we use for say, straight media production, and seeing how that might apply. Like even here in Canada. We’ve got like stuff in the News This Morning about like news outlets, and you’re gonna have to, like pay a certain amount, you know, because like even on social media, if you have news there, you will owe something to the news organizations, which is valuable because we have a news organization that is running like what is it like a fraction of their their previous capacity, so their ability to even do news is severely limited.

So we we definitely benefit from that. I’m going to go back to audience I was just Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: saying, Yeah, before you go back, so you see, you get me and then you get me talking. So you’re granted a little bit better.

20:08 - I was just gonna say yes, the the countries that I would say to continue watching France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

20:16 - That’s what I’m seeing here in Europe. And then of course, everything that’s happening with the European Commission. So that’s where you should keep an eye out just to see what’s going to happen in the United States.

20:26 - And if I, if I have any advanced knowledge I will share.

20:32 - Dr Ed Tse: Yeah, in particular, with the the GDPR, like the global data protection regulation, I do feel that much of that is already moving far ahead of what we can see in North America. And I think that, if anything, they’re they’re leading a little bit in terms of privacy regulation, I do think there’s a good sign as a good sign from that, because you have to make consequences that are financial, because a lot of decisions are going to be financial, and you won’t see any changes until it has an impact on the bottom line to that extent.

And so this is, we were talking earlier about how, like in the news, you know, some of the some additional individuals from the Google I think AI ethics team, were let go Just recently, and how it’s very difficult for our to police itself when it comes to ethics.

21:24 - Um, you know, it’s, it’s very, because it has to be a financial incentive. So we depend a lot on regulation. And we depend a lot on the law in order to provide this type of guidance. And hopefully, like we’re seeing are starting to see some trends.

21:39 - It’s a good time. Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: Yeah, I totally agree.

21:43 - Dr Ed Tse: So I’m stepping back into the, to the math side, remember, we were like recently talking about, like different ways of engaging with math. One of the things that Sherman said was Chinese New Year’s here, and social gambling is happening down here. So the game 21 makes them do lots of mental math. And so I mean, we all have really strong examples of this, and I’m glad to see it. And I think that, you know, having resources, like, where do you go, right? Like, what is the one place and I feel like, if anything, that’s what we are here for we’re trying to curate, you put those places together, because we need like, as parents to get together and say, like, yeah, we’re gonna figure out how to make this happen.

And so that kind of good opportunity to connect with the community.

22:37 - Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov: But yeah, I completely agree. And I feel like you just kind of just handed me like a baby to say, Hear, hear, hear, because that’s one of the things that I do with my digital parenting community on Facebook is that, you know, we just share the best practices, you know, I curate as much as I can. And because I’m in the academic space, because I’m working with governments, because I’m working with NGOs, because I’m even going into classrooms and talking to kids and Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

23:04 - And, you know, a couple years ago, it was even more fun because I’d go into a classroom and actually do all the fortnight dances with the kids and it’s just kind of crazy.

23:13 - Even last week, I was doing a call with some an international school in Lisbon in Portugal, and I was doing I had some of the students that speaking French and one of the girls was asking me what why do you know so much about these games about among us and Minecraft and Roblox? And, you know, how do you are you an adult? Why are you playing these games, and it was just really hysterical, because I wanted to, I had to reassure her that I do not spend all day playing games, but I talked to my children, you know, and so this is the this is the the big difference.

But anyway, what I was saying is that by using all of those different pieces, that’s how I’m able to pull it all together and really try to provide parents with a sort of holistic approach to digital parenting. .