Best of the Web – getting kids to sign a first phone ‘user agreement’, and more…

Why a mobile phone 'user agreement' for kids will help them be responsible digital citizens, why 'parenting' should be on your resume, how reading science fiction strengthens resiliency in young people, and more.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web, on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

How to help your kids be responsible digital citizens, from a tech exec (and mum)

(Lauren Schenkman,

When the time came to give her daughters, aged 10 and 11, their first smartphones, technology executive Jennifer Zhu Scott drew on her experience in business. She knew how companies used personal data. She also knew the value of a ‘user agreement’, so she got her kids to sign – and understand – a 15-point one, which made it clear that the phone wasn’t a toy. If used wrongly, it can be a weapon that puts their safety or future reputation at risk. ‘You’ve always been a great kid, and we want to make sure that you continue making smart choices,’ the agreement says. There’s good advice for young and old smartphone users alike.

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Why can’t I list parenting on my resume?

(Stephanie Murray, The Guardian)

This is a compelling case why people should be able to include ‘parenting skills’ on their resume. It’s written by a mother of two who gave up her job as researcher for a small nonprofit organisation. When she returns to seek paid work, there will be a gap in her working history. It’s frustrating, she writes, because as a parent, she’s sharpened her skills in a range of areas: patience, adaptability, multitasking, communication, budgeting, and problem solving. As a result, she’s more hireable. The case is further strengthened when we look at the extra responsibilities taken on by parents during lockdown.

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Science fiction builds mental resiliency in young readers

(Esther Jones, The Conversation)

Kids reading science fiction often gets a bad rap – its a genre for geeks and those who can’t cope with reality. Not so, argues the author, a  professor with research interests in the social, ethical and political messages in science fiction. She specialises in examining how science fiction promotes human differences and ethical thinking. Science fiction, she writes, allows kids to see young people ‘grappling with serious social, economic, and political issues that are timely and relevant, but in settings or times that offer critical distance’.

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When tutoring becomes school, and school becomes revision

(Jordan Baker, The Age)

The author of a new book highlights what appears to be a reversal in the roles played by schools and tutors. Christina Ho interviewed students for Anxiety and Aspirations, and according to this report, discovered that for some students, tutoring is becoming more important than school, teaching them concepts well ahead of the curriculum and leaving them bored in the classroom.

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