The Kids Beat

Vermont PBS Teaches Parents to Be Media Mentors

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Vermont PBS has designed an online workshop, Become a Media Mentor, to help early educators and caregivers find creative and practical ways to use technology with young children. Created by educational consultant Heather Duhamel, the self-paced course includes links to articles about digital literacy and suggestions for online videos and activities that support kids' learning. It also directs caregivers to a site where they can create their own family media plan, considering options like screen-free zones or times, device curfews, balancing time online and off-line and digital safety. There are two versions of the workshop: one for early educators, which can be counted for professional development credits, and one geared to parents of 2- to 8-year-olds. Many families attending Vermont PBS events have questions about how to safely use digital resources with their children, said Duhamel, a longtime early childhood educator and mom of two. The online course aims to provide answers. "Technology is always better together," she said.

The cost of the "Become a Media Mentor" workshop is $60 with the code PBS-CARES. Sign up at vermontpbs.org/kids/learn/mediamentor/.

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