Tech Habits Resources

Starting Point

"What we call our experience is almost entirely determined by our habits of attention." - William James

Our goal in transforming our unconscious tech habits is to regain perspective about what is important in our lives that we wish to pay attention to. Establishing clear values for our families makes that easier. Read the resources below for studies to support your choices, strategies and tactics to bring your life back in alignment, and stories of transformation for inspiration to stick the course.

Recommended Books

Wired Child: Debunking Popular Technology Myths by Richard Freed, Ph.D.

START HERE. This book is a great place to get tried-and-tested tools and talking points for working with families struggling with tech addiction/obsession.

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ScreenWise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner

This is an excellent book! Devorah clearly empathizes with the challenges of kids and offers supportive tech-positive parenting recommendations.

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Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford

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The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter Ph.D.

From busyness to joy

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Understanding Waldorf Education by Jack Petrash

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Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a good life in the digital age  by William Powers

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Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload by Mark Hurst

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A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

A mainstream perspective on the value of holistic "right-brain" thinking. Waldorf without Steiner.

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Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherri Turkle

Recommended Articles

Life without a smartphone

The Hard Truth

Distraction/Interruption

Prioritizing "real" life

Parenting

 Habits

Effects of screentime

Apps

iPhone Apps

  • HeadSpace. A meditation app that introduces meditation in an easy way. Good for the tech obsessed.
  • Moment. An app that tracks phone usage, so you can see just how much you are on it.
  • Freedom. Block the Internet, Apps, and Websites to allow you to focus. Useful when trying to break a a habit of too much screen time.
  • Screenagers list of apps for parents

Desktop Computer Apps

  • Rescuetime (Free/Paid) - Tracks which apps you spend time on, can block certain categories of apps to keep you productive. I use this daily.
  • Getcoldturkey.com (Free/Paid) - Distraction blocker for desktop computers.

Family Resources

Parental Controls

Setting up parental controls is tricky, as there are many different ways to handle it. The two main ways are on the internet connection (for your home), or on the device (laptop and phone).
Many internet providers (ComcastATT) have features built into their modems that allow you to filter/control internet access. If you want to get something that's less tricky to configure, something like the Circle is good too, which connects to your modem and filters traffic. Kids may just jump on the neighbor's WIFI though, so I usually suggest putting something on all of the family's devices.
If you prefer to handle it on the devices, which is in some ways better because it's always on even when the device with not at home, Android and iOS both have basic parental controls, with iOS being the more detailed. If you want something more robust, I have heard good things about Qustodio, but have not actually used it myself. It allows you to manage their devices from your smart phone once you install the app on all devices.

Teacher Resources

Tech in education vs tech education

In the classroom

With the parents