Connected Parenting for a Connected World

Connected Camps was founded on radical but self-evident premise…

The Internet and online games are the most powerful tools for learning that humanity has ever had.

Connected Camps is about helping our kids tap this power to become engaged, creative, self-directed learners. It’s about recognizing that our kids are growing up in an era of abundance of access to knowledge, expertise, and creative expression. It’s about accepting that their experience is fundamentally different from our own growing up. It’s about embracing rather than fearing our networked world.

Our new blog, Connected Parenting, is a resource for parents who want the Internet and online games to be a force for good in the lives of their kids. With the right supports, all kids can do amazing things. We offer practical tips, expert perspectives, and parenting stories to help families realize their full potential and engage in today’s connected world.

Mimi Ito and I are girl geeks and longtime collaborators. Mimi is an educational researcher and a passionate advocate for interest-driven learning in online communities who has authored many books on the subject. She is also the smartest person I know. I am a game designer, educator, and founding Executive Director of Institute of Play. I led the team that created Quest to Learn, an innovative New York City public school, and have published widely on game design, learning, and play. Our experiences have shaped our perspective. We refuse to be paralyzed by fear over screen time and addiction. Instead, we fear our kids will be stifled by outdated beliefs about education, and miss out on the extraordinary learning opportunities of our connected era.

The mission of Connected Camps is to to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn from one another. The programs we’ve developed tap the power of youth tech experts to teach and mentor, and we have served thousands of kids through our online and community-based programs. You can read more about the ideas behind the company in Mimi’s boingboing post, or my article in The Atlantic.

The parents we’ve met through Connected Camps have inspired us with their faith in their children, their willingness to take risks, and their unwavering commitment to raising kids who are propelled by their own interests, curiosity, and desire to make a positive difference in the world. We’ve launched this blog in order to surface the new approach to parenting we see taking root in our community, and to synthesize and share the latest research and recommendations from learning, technology, and games experts. Our plan is to blog about the following topics:

1. Practical Tips
Minecraft servers, YOUTube channels, tech summer camps, coding programs for kids, game design apps — what are the best ways to tap kids’ online and gaming interests to fuel curiosity and creativity, all while keeping them safe and maintaining a healthy life balance? Together with our network of teen counselors, we’ll scour the Internet for challenging Minecraft activities, safe Minecraft servers, and awesome YOUTube videos. We’ll help you navigate the Internet to find the family-friendliest corners. And along the way we’ll package up a few parent guides to Minecraft and more.

2. Expert Perspectives
We’re academics and learning scientists that love to nerd out on what research has to say about the best ways to keep kids curious, happy, and engaged. What are the educational benefits of Minecraft? How best to teach your kids to code? What’s the deal with screen time? Our goal is to cut through both the fear and hype about new technology and stay grounded in evidence and reality about the best ways to support our kids in today’s digital world. We’ll synthesize and share the latest research on connected learning from folks like the Connected Learning Research Network and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

3. Parenting Stories
It’s not all about the experts and eggheads. We love to listen and learn from fellow parents on the front lines. The families in our community are forging new genres of connected parenting, and we will be featuring their voices and stories. And we’d love to hear from you, too, about how your are connecting with your kids’ interests, raising young innovators, and building a movement for connected parenting.

We’re thrilled to have this platform to share and connect with a world positive community committed to nurturing fearless, curious, and self-directed young learners. I invite you to explore our Activities and Guides sections — we’ll be adding to those regularly, so check back often. And stay tuned for more Parenting posts in the coming months. Onward!

Like what you read? Give katie salen tekinbaş a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.