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.”