TECH GUIDE FOR PAR­ENTS

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

THE ever-chang­ing na­ture of tech­nol­ogy can be con­fus­ing for par­ents, but a chil­dren’s book may be able to clear things up.

South Perth born and bred cy­ber safety ed­u­ca­tor and pri­mary school teacher Kim Maslin has writ­ten The Tweet­ing Galah.

Her step­fa­ther and South Perth res­i­dent John Field put to­gether the il­lus­tra­tions for the book, which con­tains four sto­ries fea­tur­ing Gabbo the galah as the main char­ac­ter.

Maslin said the idea for the book came af­ter she wanted to do more than run­ning cy­ber safety work­shops, which she had done for the past three years.

“The work­shops were great, but I didn’t think they were enough. I know that some par­ents are strug­gling to keep up with all the tech­nol­ogy,” she said. “The book is pitched at kids who are aged seven or eight and their par­ents read to them at night.

“At the end of each story, there are six ques­tions based on Bloom’s Tax­on­omy of higher-or­der think­ing, which al­low par­ents to dis­cuss with their chil­dren.

“Par­ents can also scan some of the pho­tos and use the free app Zap­par on their phones and the char­ac­ters will ap­pear and talk.”

Field said his ex­pe­ri­ence in putting il­lus­tra­tions to­gether came from 35 years work­ing for advertising agen­cies.

“I haven’t done il­lus­tra­tions for books, it’s usu­ally been brochures and mag­a­zines,” he said. “I was ini­tially reluc­tant to go ahead and do it but I’m glad that I did.”

Maslin said her ad­vice to par­ents was to look at the age re­stric­tions for dif­fer­ent so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

“There are seven or eight-year-olds us­ing In­sta­gram or Snapchat but when you look at the age rec­om­men­da­tions, they are for 13-year-olds,” she said.

“But re­al­is­ti­cally these kids are us­ing it so par­ents need to sit down and look at what they are do­ing, so per­haps fil­ter­ing soft­ware is a good idea.”

John Field and Kim Maslin have teamed up for a chil­dren’s book, which aims to help par­ents who are con­fused about the tech­nol­ogy their kids are us­ing.

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