As a parent of two young kids, I find myself often thinking, researching, and worrying about their education, both formal and informal. This is pretty standard for all new parents, but raising this next generation, now being labeled as “Generation Alpha,” comes with its own set of unique challenges.
Technology has significantly changed the world we live in, and parenting is no different. From Facebook groups to Instagram accounts, today’s parents can connect with others around the world, sharing questions and swapping advice. Another helpful resource for parents and educators is the growing world of podcasts. These are becoming a valuable educational resource, which will be explored in the panel, “Does Audio Work for Learning?,” and which is why we’re excited to bring the Podcast Stage to the 2020 event.
Given the current landscape, there is an increasing importance and urgency to teach skills like empathy and inclusivity at younger ages. Sessions like “Race and Representation in Children’s Literature” look at ways to talk about race in developmentally appropriate ways, while sessions like “‘Is that Your Mom?’: Supporting Multiracial Kids” and “LGBTQ Supports in New York City Schools” explore how adults can lend support and become advocates.
The saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” still rings true today. Community and parent engagement is incredibly crucial for young children to develop SEL skills and build a strong foundation for lifelong learning. Two sessions from the Early Learning track will dive deeper into these concepts: “Building a Learning Neighborhood” and “Nothing for the Community Without the Community.”
Though it feels like our kids are growing up in a much different world than we did, we are lucky to have an abundance of resources and communities helping us along the way.
SXSW EDU 2019 Expo photo by Amanda Stronza.