When I started offering monthly TechTuesdays for the parents at The School at Columbia University back in January of 2013, it was kind of a bust. I wanted to use edcamp’s unconference style of crowdsourcing topics on the day of the event, so I was hoping that whoever showed up could/would decide what we were going to discuss. That wasn’t too successful. Less and less parents showed up, some only wanted a bit of tech support for their iPhone, and it became an awkward and humbling experience. Ultimately, I was ready to drop the whole idea of a parent coffee about technology all together.
But then, The School purchased a couple of Google Glass devices, and it occurred to me that I could choose a topic that might appeal to a lot of people: Wearable Technologies. So in March of 2014, I rallied a teacher who was prototyping with Glass in her class and two parents who were early adopters, and they agreed to guest star at the inaugural Tech Tuesday. It was a big hit! Lots of parents came and talked about wearables, and I got to share some of my conspiracy theories about devices and sharing and tracking. I gathered resources (articles/links) on a GoogleDoc and shared this out. At the end of the session, I asked those in attendance for possible topics for the next month. And so on and so forth.
This month’s topic is Safer Online Behavior, and I’m looking forward to parents sharing experiences and tips with each other, offering my own suggestions/hopes/fears, and providing many articles and resources for parents to read (and hopefully discuss with their children) via the GoogleDoc that I continue to add links to every month.