Trying to police and protect a child from screen time is unquestionably one of the most confusing and frustrating responsibilities of good parenting. It's a tough job being a 'media monitor' all the time. Technology is at the center of everything we do—TVs, smart phones, computers, and tablets are no longer luxuries, they are necessities for navigating life today. But technology can also be detrimental to growing minds, and parents must master the necessary skills to help their children not only survive in this digital world, but to actually thrive.
Kids love smart phones, tablets, computers, TVs, anything that gives them screen time. They come by their dependence honestly—they learn it from us, the 'adults.' We've become a culture of screen addicts, and that's especially challenging for parents. But the solution is not found in constantly policing the time kids are glued to a screen or in protecting what they are being exposed to; it's found in how they are engaging and interacting with that screen.
Nicole Dreiske, founder and director of the International Children's Media Center, is one of the most respected pioneers in the understanding and cultivation of new techniques for transforming the way kids view, use and engage in electronic screens. In The Upside of Digital Devices, recipient of The National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval, she provides parents with simple, practical instructions as well as a variety of effective tools for creating meaningful moments and critical thinking skills that can mark a turning point in their children's lives and futures.
Nicole Dreiske (Chicago, IL) is an educational innovator and one of the country's leaders in the development of screen-based programs for educating children. As the Executive Director of the International Children's Media Center, Dreiske works with 5,000 students each year and develops groundbreaking approaches for integrating technology and media for 21st-century classrooms in ways that empower children. ICMC's acclaimed Screen Smart® program uses neuroscience-based techniques to improve literacy skills, critical thinking, and social emotional learning. Dreiske has conducted numerous workshops and seminars focusing on media and education. Her landmark methodologies and pedagogies for early childhood have been presented to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and numerous other organizations. She founded the first and largest international children's film festival in the U.S., the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. Dreiske consults with arts, education, and civic organizations on strategic and intentional arts programming and has launched numerous festivals nationally and internationally.