I’ve been blogging about ClassDojo enough over the past few weeks that I think it’s time for a quick recap before sharing some of the latest developments. I heard about ClassDojo being used schoolwide back in late July and started wondering what approach I should take as both a student’s parent and an edtech researcher. On Monday of this week, I talked to kiddo’s teacher about it and wrote up some thoughts the next day about teachers’ diminished agency in the realm of edtech.
I hate myself for creating a ClassDojo account, but kiddo’s school is going all-in, so not sure I have the choice. First observation is how confident the app is that it can make me pay extra for free software I don’t want to use in the first place.
I really will get back to blogging on other subjects sometime soon, but here’s an email I just sent to kiddo’s principal raising some concerns I have going into the school year. I’m not sure what will come of this—and I’m not at all sure this was the right email to write—but in the off-chance it’s helpful for someone, I thought I’d post about it here.
Dear Principal [so-and-so],
Kiddo starts at a new school on Wednesday, and I’ve been putting off signing the Acceptable Use Policy and Chromebook Policy because I want to read them carefully. I don’t know how much I can do about anything that I’m really concerned with, but I’m a tech researcher when I’m not being kiddo’s dad, so I feel an obligation to be informed and raise a fuss when something is fussworthy.
Kiddo is encountering face cards for the first time and is incensed that Kings rank higher than Queens. “Why can’t they be equal?!” Proud that she recognizes sexism at her age.
Kiddo starts at a new school this year, so we got the chance to all go as a family today and get introduced to everything. Kiddo got to meet teachers and other kids while we filed into a meeting to fill out a ton of paperwork and learn about how this school does things. For years, I’ve been wondering when my research in educational technology (and, increasingly, critical research on social technologies more broadly) were going to become relevant as a parent with a kid in school, and it looks like it’s going to be this year.
Trouble is a dumb game, and I will never own a copy, but if it kills some time with kiddo at Grandma and Grandpa’s when I’m too tired to play anything more imaginative, I guess that’s fine.
I will never grow tired of hearing kiddo say “sand hanitizer.”
I have been making efforts to introduce kiddo to both Mario Kart and ABBA, so I am very proud that she now makes the Koopa Troopa / Super Trouper joke on her own.
When I was growing up, our family had a three-VHS set of the original Wallace and Gromit shorts, and while “Wallace and Gromit fan” was never at the forefront of my identity, I have always loved The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. Naturally, things that I loved as a kid are near the top of my list of things to introduce to kiddo. I showed them to her a couple of years ago—probably near the beginning of the pandemic—but she had no memory of them, so this weekend, I had the pleasure of reintroducing her to the series.
Saturday morning dad biathlon: Solo walk and run for latest couch to 5k session then 7 mile roundtrip on bike (kiddo on ridealong) to play at local playground.
One of the most prominent joys in recent parenting has been discovering that the same Jon Agee who was writing palindrome and wordplay books when I was a kid is still at it—and watching kiddo enjoy them even more.
Je suis deçu de ne jamais avoir réussi à enseigner le français à ma fille, mais je suis quand-même content que cette langue reste un moyen de communication secrète entre mon épouse et moi.
The biggest upside to my failed efforts to teach kiddo French is that I can still use it to communicate secretly with my spouse.
Kiddo and I are getting back into the “Magical Kitties Save the Day” TTRPG, and she keeps asking me when we can play next. Feels like a win!
A couple of weekends ago, I had my first experience with a Community of Christ Reunion camp. Kiddo and I only stayed for a long weekend rather than the whole week, but it was still a great experience. By far the best experience I had at Reunion was a Monday morning class for young adults and “90s kids” (which is not a label I’ve ever actively applied to myself, but it fit just fine.
The title of this post is a bit misleading. My wife and I aren’t really big on “Parent’s Day” celebrations: Years of Latter-day Saint “all women are mothers” (read: motherhood is the most important part of womanhood) Sunday services grated on us during our years of infertility, and even now that we are parents (and aren’t practicing Latter-day Saints—though my current denomination certainly isn’t immune from a cringeworthy celebration of parents either), it’s just not a thing we do.
Yesterday, we picked up a ridealong bike someone was giving away, so a daddy-kiddo ride is absolutely on the agenda for Father’s Day 2022.
I have some regrets about being a week late on this article review because I took my kid camping—but not a lot, to be honest.
Tomorrow morning, I’m leaving for 3ish days of camping with kiddo. This is the first time that I’ve gone camping for well over a decade, and I’m a bit nervous, even though I’ve got lots of (rusty) Scouting experience to draw on and even though we’re also going to be staying in a cabin at a semi-structured church camp. Probably not too much to worry about in terms of camping.
Kiddo catches a glimpse of the ref list for the research statement I’m preparing for tenure: “Why does it say Greenhalgh so many times?”
Kiddo believes that Star Wars stormtroopers are robots, so she started singing beeps and boops to the tune of the Imperial March (which she learned from a yoga video??).
Kiddo was worried about today’s medicine because box described them as “tablets,” and she thought that meant chewing up something shaped and sized roughly like an iPad.
Today’s dadding: hidden pictures during Zoom church, making homemade muesli while kiddo’s chicken fingers were in the oven, and introductions to Bananagrams and the 1951 Alice in Wonderland.
Kid’s elementary school principal claims COVID is over, but pretty clear that’s not the case. Glad we can get her boosted now.
link to ‘Kids 5 to 11 get FDA OK for COVID-19 booster doses | Ars Technica’
Would like to give teaching the kiddo French another try this summer and would be happy to receive advice. Have an app and some videos in mind—may also add some light TTRPG elements to efforts.
There are A LOT of perks to working in the same unit as a Library and Information Science program, but ‘we keep getting children’s books delivered, please take some home’ is high on the list.
Behind on grading, but today’s victories include a thank you note from a high school English teacher for a book I sent b/c it reminded me of him and my kid’s insistence we read through a D&D sourcebook together (complete with beholder impression).
Our school district is surveying parents about moving their spring break to align with my employer’s, and I am SO on board for this.
Compelling case for asking about the tech environment adults are creating instead of hand-wringing about what kids are doing in it.
link to ‘How Far Can You Go to Resist Being the Subject of a Viral Video? - The New York Times’
Big parenting milestone today: kid’s first tabletop RPG character. Glad that there are game designers with this young an audience in mind because it was already hard to wait for this age!
Small parenting victory of the day is kid’s reaction to watching The Magic School Bus: “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever watched!”
No paper could sell me on Vygotsky (and sociocultural theories of learning generally) as much as being a parent has.
Missing teaching French today for a few reasons. First, my first time teaching FREN 102 began ten years ago this month 😱. Second, my kid insisted this morning on pronouncing “sept, huit” as “sept, tweet,” and even though that’s not really liaison, it’s close enough that I could have used it in a lesson. Third, this is the time of year where I could have shown Gad Elmaleh’s great “Happy new year!
Lunchtime conversation: “Daddy, how long have we lived in this house?” “Well, we moved in right before the sickness, so over six months now.” “No, Daddy, it’s been nine billion months. I’m right.” “… Yeah, you are.”
Pandemic parenting is full of frustrating moments—but also gems like this morning’s inventing games using the pieces to Ticket to Ride while listening to Indochine.
The more tired I am, the more easily I cry, so maybe staying up late last night and running 10k this morning were not great choices prior to introducing my kid to Up.
Not sure what I expected less today: To explain the concept of death to my kid or for my kid to grasp the concept well enough to burst into tears.
Was there a moral panic about radio? My kid is enjoying podcasts, and while parent-me feels like that’s somehow better than TV, tech researcher me is wondering about history.
Despite a really intense week (important work meetings, closing on a house), the 30 minutes where we thought we’d lost the kid’s beloved stuffed animal easily takes 1st place for stress level.
Attention thinkpiece writers: My young kid is now requesting avocado toast for dinner. I am now taking bids for the right to interview us and complain about millennials and their kids in your column.
Today, my kid grabbed a TPB of Ms. Marvel I had checked out from the library, hugged it tight, and announced that she loved it, so I’m feeling pretty good in the parenting department right now.
When it comes to macaroni and cheese, the spoonfuls I snitch from the pot while serving my kid lunch taste better than any of my own childhood memories of it.
Question for more experienced parents: is it normal for young children to believe they can make obvious falsehoods true simply by asserting them (and whining if I don’t play along), or is that a consequence of growing up in the context of this presidency?
They need “pairs well with” recommendations for children’s clothes so that you know what food stains will go with the intended color scheme.
I tried to explain to my kid the premise of “Guantánamo Kid” (a comic about the innocent 14-year old Mohamed Al-Gharani’s incarceration in Gitmo). Her response: “A little boy shouldn’t be in jail!”
My kid can’t name our street and thinks our city is called “UK” but does know that we’re on Earth in the Milky Way galaxy.
My kid just suggested cleaning something around the house so we could put off something she knew she had to do but didn’t want to. Looks like she’s developing valuable skills for grad school.
The cutest part of my kid’s being old enough to make Valentines this year is her insistence on mailing one to herself.
If anything helps you appreciate Vygotsky (and sociocultural theories of learning in general) more than being the parent of a young kid, I have yet to experience it.