Teens and Choices
By Scholastic on August 14th, 2008
So one of the things that we do as part of our work is seek out people in the company who can represent Scholastic and speak on a variety of subjects. Lucky for us, there are experts everywhere, from early childhood to professional development. I’m very excited about our latest “find” Bob Hugel, the Editor of Scholastic Choices classroom magazine since 2001. Bob has actually worked with Scholastic’s classroom magazine division since 1992!
Choices is a “life skills, health, and family and consumer science publication” (back in the day, consumer science = home economics), but it’s really a magazine for teens and tweens about the stuff that’s important to them.
I was talking with Bob today about an article in the September issue about how much of teens’ lives are on the Internet, and how they can safely navigate this new social landscape. Lots of teens think that the Internet is completely secure and, ironically, private, but the bottom line is that once you put something out into cyberspace, you lose control of it. We know that, but do they? It’s important to remember that just because we think everyone under 20 is a digital native and can use every tech tool out there, doesn’t mean that they know how it might impact them, or what behavior is appropriate online.
Since the dawn of puberty, teenagers have done things that confound their parents, at parties, in cars and now, online. Teenagers still make rash decisions, and parents and adults still need to be there to guide them. Bob made another point that parents shouldn’t ignore technology just because they’re intimidated or don’t understand it. Now more than ever, parents should try to stay to connected to their kids.
I really enjoy Bob’s point of view and it carries over into his editing style, which doesn’t condescend or lecture, but rather empowers teens with information to make the right choices.
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