Richard Culatta, the state’s Chief Innovation Officer, said that a new focus on computer science (CS) also means
there are new issues for parents to consider.
Screen time: Culatta feels that parents should decide their child’s amount of screen time based on how they are using
the technology – are they learning and creating or simply passively consuming media? He said his own children are
afforded more screen time if they are using technology actively, but he limits screen time for passive use. “Build a
video game, don’t just play a video game,” he said.
Digital citizenship: Just as parents teach their kids how to behave in the real word, they need to teach them how to
behave online, Culatta said. For instance, teach children that they should speak up about bullying they see online as well as how they can keep themselves safe online.
Use technology for good: Given the wide array of information on the Internet, children need help to be “appropriately skeptical” of online data and learn how to discern when data and messages are being used
inappropriately. They also need direction on how they can use technology to do good things in the world, Culatta
said, noting how different it was when he was a child and hung up posters for events.
Learn CS with your kids: Parents may feel that their children are surpassing them in their CS knowledge, so
Culatta recommends learning along with the kids. He said he plays a game on www.lightbot.com with his young
children, and there are other websites that teach children of different ages. “You can learn the skills side-by-side at
home,” he said.