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Summer Fun with Technology

Summer is almost here! We know that many families have lots of devices (phones, laptops, etc) at home. 

Often times those devices are used to  “zone out” or they seem to isolate us from each other. So today we want to inspire you to use those tools *with* your children, as opportunities to have fun together as a family (and share some great summer experiences with a wider audience).

Here are a few ways you can encourage (and even collaborate with) your child to create, connect and share this summer:

3 Ways to Create, Connect & Share

#1  Blog for Reflection

Create a (or use an existing) blog as a space to reflect on their experiences over the summer, to publish posts about topics that are interesting to them, to write their own stories, to share ideas and resources they find interesting. Your children might want to:

  • Share stories of their travels;
  • Upload a picture a week, and share a story that relates to that picture;
  • Free write their own story, or collaborate with a friend to write an interconnected story using links;
  • Embed videos they create or videos of places they’ve been;
  • Read other student blogs (or other blogs that are interesting to them) and leave comments; or
  • Write posts related to the comments they’ve made on other blogs, or inspired by comments on their blog;

The bonus is, any time they spend blogging is time reading, writing, thinking, and connecting.

#2  Collaborate on a Family Vacation VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a fantastic tool for sharing images (or video, presentation slides, or .pdf documents) and recording several voices talking about each image. You can create a VoiceThread account for your family for free. Once you have an account you can:

  • Create a VoiceThread about a summer trip with everyone in the family collaborating to choose the photos and record their thoughts;
  • Create a VoiceThread about what you did and where you went in your hometown;
  • Make a book or movie trailer; and/or
  • Create a project idea, like: finding math in everyday life, or teaching how to do something that you’re passionate about.

You can create a VoiceThread about anything! The exciting part is that other people can watch and add their comments too! VoiceThread is great for starting conversations.

#3  Create a YouTube Channel

Almost every child today wants to be a YouTube star! You could spend some time together this summer to figure out what it all means. You might want to start by exploring some of your child’s favorite YouTube channels first, to see what they like about each “star” and then come up with some ideas for creating fun video projects all summer.

Creating a multimedia project with a theme is a great way to keep a project going for the whole summer. You can even share out the “jobs” of creating a channel to the whole family: one person is sound design, another is camera-person, another writes scripts or thinks of scenes to film and share, and another can edit it all together and upload to YouTube.

Here’s a very simple (and fun) example of a “regular guy” named Matt, who made dancing around the world his job:

As you can see, there are many ways to be creative and use all those devices for fun, engaging and entertaining ways this summer! Creating something unique uses tons of essential skills like critical thinking, project-planning, innovation, and collaboration.

One More Important Thing

Have fun! And don’t forget to spend some time outside, talking, reading, running and playing too! It’s a great idea to have technology-free days as well!

What do you think?

What do you think of these ideas? Did you try any of them? Please leave us a comment below. We would love to hear what you think and we’d love for you to share some of your experiences too! 

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“Managing Devices At Home: Conversation Starters (& Family Media Agreement)”

#HeyLookUp

Are you struggling with setting screen time limits with your child?

Is your family having a difficult time managing the many devices in your home?

What if you could balance your family’s digital life in 6 weeks?

We know how challenging it can be to find time to figure out how to make sense of all the technology children are using.

We wrote a free 6-week email series called #HeyLookUp to help you make sense of it all!

Blog Post Feature Image Attribution: LoveToTakePhotos from Pixabay

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