Posts Tagged “parenting”

Kids & Technology

Last weekend our son came home with the school quarterly bulletin. As always we familiarised ourselves with everything that was coming up in the next few months, asked him what events he would like to go to and made sure there was nothing else that needed our attention. One last thing caught me wife’s eye though as she read through the bulletin. The school are looking for volunteers to help re-vamp their school website.

The next day I phoned the school to let them know I would be willing to help out. I got a call back a few minutes later with a date and time to speak to the assistant head teacher at the school who will be handling the website. All good so far.

The school’s website is okay as an information portal but it definitely falls short in terms of how it looks. Well, when the site says that the school kids contribute to the look and content of the site, you’re not exactly going to be expecting something that wins web design awards. Looking at other web sites in the area, and it’s clear that the school web site isn’t a primary concern for some schools. There is more an emphasis on getting the school children involved and that’s not a bad thing.

Today’s school children though are far different in terms of technology exposure than school children have been in the past. In the last ten years, mobile technology has become so engrained in day to day life that homes often have two or more mobile devices with kids often having their own tablet or even smartphone.

It got me wondering about the approach to take in getting the school children involved in the new school website. Is it better for them to know how to edit and update web pages by hand or will the kids be more interested in maintaining the school website through something like Wordpress?

I might be jumping the gun here a bit, but I’ve been keeping a list of questions like this to ask at my meeting with the school this week.

The main good thing to come out of this though is the chance to do something for an organisation in my local community. Yes, I’ll be doing the work for the school for free but with our oldest already a pupil there and our youngest due to start there in a few years, the chance to contribute something to their school can’t be a bad thing.

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Still There

Last night I took my oldest son to his coaching at the golf club. He had a great time. Chatting with his new friend, hitting some balls on the practice ground and getting some tips from the club’s new professional. I sat and watched him from the clubhouse, just making sure that he was keeping his focus for most of the session. At the end I met him on the practice ground, grabbed his bag and shoes and we headed home to catch the opening game of the World Cup. The conversation in the car comprised of who was playing in the football, the plans for a golf compeition on Sunday and the many epic shots that my son said he hit. A good night.

This week hasn’t always been this good though. I now understand why my parents frequently referred to themselves as being ‘broken down record players’. I finally get it. It’s just taken me to having a kid of my own to understand. Every day this week, my son has got himself into trouble for the stupidest of things. It’s been a frustrating week. It’s at the stage where you continually repeat yourself. My son does listen. I know he does, but in between him thinking about golf, football, food, gaming and getting outside, there’s only a small window of opportunity for the message to get through. I feel like I’m on repeat. I shouldn’t be too hard on him though. I was reminded yesterday thay I’m fortunate that I see him every day.

Last night I read about the sad news of Eric Meyer’s daughter, Rebecca. For those that don’t know Eric, he’s a noted expert in HTML and CSS. Eric is a respected member of the web community and many developers and designers are familiar with his work and contributions since the early days of the Internet.

Eric’s daughter passed away last week after a long fight against cancer. Yesterday was her funeral service. Eric has been writing about Rebecca’s progress on his blog. Reading his ‘Never’ post was especially difficult and put things into perspective. They are beautiful words for tragic circumstances. That’s the only way I can describe it. If you’ve got a few minutes I suggest you go and read it.

I started to think about my own kids. Their future is a mix of maybes, possibilities, and definites. A lot can happen, more to the point a lot will happen. For the many times that they get into trouble, do the wrong thing or play up, they’re still healthy kids and they have the rest of their lives ahead of them. As parents with kids or even as guardians to the kids in your life, we might not appreciate seeing these them grow up and the experiences they will go through.

That’s all been taken from Rebecca’s family. The chance to see her grow and all the experiences that she would have gone through in her life. I sincerely hope that the Meyer’s find some peace in the future. I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through but it’s something that no parent should experience. We take it for granted that our time will come before our kids, but that’s not alway the case though. Next time I get frustrated about repeating myself to them, I should remember that they’re still there in front of me, even if they are continually getting into trouble.

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