Digital mastery means more than being able to tap around on a screen and make a device respond. Digital mastery is the skillset required to achieve Pinwheel's vision. That vision is a future in which human beings are the masters of technology, not captive to it.
Part of digital mastery is digital wellness. The Digital Wellness Lab recently defined that as: "An intentional state of physical, mental, and social health that occurs with mindful engagement with the digital and natural environment."
The other part is digital literacy. The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as "the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills."
Digital Mastery is Digital Literacy + Digital Wellness.
Digital Mastery is both the mechanics of what to do, and the ability to know why you are doing it.
Kids who grow up to have Digital Mastery will almost certainly succeed better than kids who don't. Preparing kids for their future, for the way their generation will co-exist with technology, is an important part of modern parenting.
For many parents, it is also daunting to think about. Especially if they themselves aren't highly technical.
Three Non-Technical Skills that lead to Digital Mastery
We are developing tools to help support you in raising kids with Digital Mastery. The good news: most of the things your kids need from you to succeed on this journey are not highly technical.
It's easy as ABC:
Attachment. In order to learn to navigate the digital realm well, kids need to feel safe and loved and anchored in the physical world. Strong, secure attachment also sets them up well for good mental health and happiness in general.
Boundaries. The digital realm puts all the world's billions of people in your hand at one time. Children need to learn how to play in a fenced backyard with close friends before they can go be in Times Square by themselves and survive. Pinwheel gives you the tools to do that.
Conversations. Part of parenting is helping your children make sense of their experiences, all of them. We talk to our kids about interactions with friends and teachers and food and everything else. Technology is part of their experience. Because the digital realm is fast-paced and "hyper normal," having a kid operating in the digital realm increases the number of preparation and processing conversations they need to have with you. That's the nature of it.
Stay tuned with our upcoming resources as we dive into how to go about this. Meanwhile, take a moment today to simply look your kid in the eyes, smile at them, and let them know you are happy to see them. It all starts there.