SLS PA: Gaining Techspertise with Matt Bavone

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Last week, St. Luke’s Academic Technologist Matt Bavone shared with school parents how best to assist their children in navigating today’s temptation-filled technological landscape. This discussion was based on his five-week blended class for 8th and 9th grade parents taught in the fall. It was a great opportunity for parents to discuss best practices and to connect and learn from one another. The full course will run again for the whole parent body after spring break. 
Mr. Bavone gave an overview of current restriction tools, including routers, apps, Disney Circle and Qustodio, to block websites, track data, and turn devices and data on and off, among other things. However, he cautioned that controls will never be enough because we need to help our children build positive habits around technology, so they can manage social media on their own. Today’s kids do not value face-to-face social interactions as much as parents do, but they value asynchronous social interactions more than we do. Social media’s instant feedback causes a dopamine rush and can be addictive. The best way to fight this addiction is to have positive, focused social interactions at home and in school. Psychological research shows that parents are the strongest role models for their children, who often mimic their parents' behaviors, beliefs and attitudes. Mr. Bavone shared his annual 10th grade survey results about sleeping habits, smartphone and social media use, and texting and driving. He also described the social media outlets kids are using most today, including Snapchat, Instagram and VSCO. It was a very informative discussion, and we look forward to continuing it this spring.
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St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.