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SPARK Parent Podcast

SPARK Parent Podcast

By Colleen Kaplan
The SPARK Program (Supporting Parents and Remote Kids) is here to parents and caregivers not just survive remote and hybrid learning, but to thrive during it by providing free support and resources tailored specifically to what families need.

SPARK is a part of the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. The LTC is an Illinois State Board of Education program that supports all public K-12 districts, schools, and educators through technology initiatives, services, and professional learning opportunities.
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07: Talking Toddlers with Susie Allison of Busy Toddler
In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan sits down with Susie Allison, creator of the immensely popular Busy Toddler Instagram account, to talk about all things toddlers and preschool.  Susie, an early childhood education expert and advocate, focuses on bringing hands-on, play-based learning back to families and classrooms using simple activities, many with objects you can find around your home. During the episode, Colleen and Susie cover many topics especially important to parents of toddlers and preschoolers, such as: What is “Kindergarten Readiness”?  Is it something parents should be concerned about? How can an activity like sensory bins teach my child the skills they need to enter school? What can I do to encourage my child to play independently? Episode Resources Throughout the episode, Susie and Colleen share numerous resources, blog posts, and activities you can tackle with your family. For a quick infographic (with audio timestamps) of these topics, click here. Interested in learning more about Susie’s approach to education and parenting?  Check out her new book “Busy Toddler's Guide to Actual Parenting : From Their First No to Their First Day of School - and Everything in Between,” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org, and BookDepository.com.
01:02:38
December 10, 2020
06: Exploring Sharenthood with Leah Plunket
In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan sits down to discuss the intersection of parenting and social media with Leah Plunkett, law professor and author of “Sharenthood: Why we should think before we talk about our kids online”. Leah, a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and associate professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, breaks down the thin line parents have to walk when it comes to their use of social media and protecting their children’s data privacy. Questions tackled in this episode include: What data are we giving up when we accept the terms of service on free social media apps? How can we be vigilant about the data being collected about ourselves and our children? Can the data, pictures, and anecdotes we post on social media now affect our children’s lives down the line? Episode Resources Throughout the episode, Leah and Colleen share numerous resources for additional reading and listening. Check out the list below to dig even deeper into these important topics! For a quick infographic (with audio timestamps) of these topics, click here. To learn more about Leah Plunkett’s work, or to buy her book, visit www.leahplunkett.com. 10:52 - Book: The Connected Parent: An Expert Guide to Parenting in a Digital World by John Palfrey, Urs Gasser 20:05 - Website: California Consumer Privacy Act FAQ 21:42 - Website: Strava Privacy Policy “Nutrition Label” 27:55 - Online Article: How Photos of Your Kids Are Powering Surveillance Technology by  Kashmir Hill and Aaron Krolik 30:15 - Book: Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil 34:12 - Website: Fordham University Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP) Transparency and the Marketplace for Student Data  39:16 - Book: The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power by Joseph Turo 39:16 - NPR Fresh Air Author Interview: 'Aisles Have Eyes' Warns That Brick-And-Mortar Stores Are Watching You 39:16 - Online Article: The Internet Thinks I’m Still Pregnant by Amy Pittman 48:38 - Website: Illinois Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) One-page summary
56:55
December 1, 2020
05: The Principles of Well-Being during Remote and Hybrid Learning
Episode Description This is the third in a series of episodes loosely based on the book "The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents:  How to support your child's academic, social, and emotional development in any setting."  Want to dig deeper into what we are talking about in this episode?  Purchase a copy of the book here. "What is well-being and why is it important?" "How can I help calm and regulate my anxious child" "What can my family do to feel less isolated from family and friends?" In this episode, we tackle all this and more as we discuss topics covered in the third chapter of "The Distance Learning Playbook".  We cover the importance of making well-being and mindfulness an important topic in your home, how to promote mindfulness with even your youngest children, and how you, as a parent or caregiver, can make your well-being a priority. Our guest speaker in this episode is Sara Bates, Diagnostic and Behavior Supervisor for District 89 in Illinois.  Sara brings her extensive education and experience as a licensed counselor and therapist to the SPARK Parent Podcast to help parents and caregivers tackle these important topics. Episode Resources During this episode, we mention many resources that can help support families during remote learning. For a detailed list of these resources, including full descriptions and additional information, please click here. For more information on the LTC SPARK program, or to see other upcoming events, please visit https://ltcillinois.org/services/spark/ or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).
45:03
November 13, 2020
04: The Importance of Reading During Remote Learning
Episode Description This is the second in a series of episodes loosely based on the book "The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents:  How to support your child's academic, social, and emotional development in any setting."  Want to dig deeper into what we are talking about in this episode?  Purchase a copy of the book here. "Why is it important for my child(ren) to continue reading during remote/hybrid learning?" "How do I pick the right books for my child(ren)?" "Where can I find good, quality, and free reading resources to use in my home?" In this episode, we tackle all this and more as we discuss topics covered in the second chapter of "The Distance Learning Playbook".  We cover the importance of reading with your children, dive into how to make reading fun for your children, and even walk you through how to talk to your children about what they are reading.   Our guest speaker in this episode is Holly Kelly, Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for the LTC.  Holly brings her extensive education experience as a former library media specialist and English teacher to the SPARK Parent Podcast to help parents and caregivers tackle these important topics. Episode Resources During this episode, we mention many resources that can help support families during remote learning. For a quick infographic of these resources, please click here. For a detailed list of these resources, including full descriptions and additional information, please click here. For more information on the LTC SPARK program, or to see other upcoming events, please visit https://ltcillinois.org/services/spark/ or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).
59:35
November 5, 2020
03: "The Basics" of Remote and Hybrid Learning
Episode Description This is the first in a series of episodes loosely based on the book "The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents:  How to support your child's academic, social, and emotional development in any setting."  Want to dig deeper into what we are talking about in this episode?  Purchase a copy of the book here. "How can I establish successful routines for my child(ren) during remote learning?"   "What elements of self-care are important for myself and my child(ren) to do on a daily basis?"   "Should I be listening in on my child(ren)'s Zoom calls for class?" In this episode, we tackle all this and more as we discuss topics covered in the first chapter of "The Distance Learning Playbook".  It's everything you need to know about being a parent or caregiver during remote learning, but were afraid to ask! Our guest speaker in this episode is Jillian Pettenuzzo, a guidance counselor at St. Francis High School, in Wheaton, IL.  Jillian brings her extensive education experience as an English teacher, special education teacher, and counselor to the table to help parents and caregivers tackle these important topics. Episode Resources During this episode, we mention many resources that can help support families during remote learning. For a quick infographic of these resources, please click here. For a detailed list of these resources, including full descriptions and additional information, please click here. For more information on the LTC SPARK program, or to see other upcoming events, please visit https://ltcillinois.org/services/spark/ or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).
42:12
October 29, 2020
02: Social-Emotional Learning: What is it and why is it important?
This recording is taken from a live webinar.  To view the webinar recording, click here. Episode Description Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) refers to the ability of people to recognize and regulate emotions, build relationships, and make responsible decisions. Now more than ever, the development of our students’ SEL skills are crucial to participating in the ever-changing world. This webinar will offer you an opportunity to identify opportunities to model and teach Social Emotional Learning skills in the remote learning environment Our guest speaker in this webinar is Abby Lyons, a Social Emotional Learning Coach in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. In this role, Abby uses a mindful approach to share Social Emotional Learning and brain-based information with kids and adults. When finished viewing the recording, please click here to submit our webinar evaluation form by clicking here. This event is part of the LTC SPARK parent webinar series. For more information on SPARK, or to see other upcoming events, please visit https://ltcillinois.org/services/spark/ or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).
48:49
October 2, 2020
01: The Impact of COVID-19: Patterns of Stress and Brain
This recording is taken from a live webinar.  To view the webinar recording, click here. Episode Description As a result of COVID-19, our world looks different. Your brain (and your student’s brain) have been impacted by the stress of this experience. This webinar will introduce brain-based concepts like the impact of stress on the brain and body, how to build resilience in stressful experiences, and how to support yourself and your student with tools during remote learning and beyond. Our guest speaker in this webinar is Abby Lyons, a Social Emotional Learning Coach in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. In this role, Abby uses a mindful approach to share Social Emotional Learning and brain-based information with kids and adults. When finished viewing the recording, please click here to submit our webinar evaluation form by clicking here. This event is part of the LTC SPARK parent webinar series. For more information on SPARK, or to see other upcoming events, please visit https://ltcillinois.org/services/spark/ or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK),
46:24
September 24, 2020
SPARK Intro
The SPARK Program (Supporting Parents and Remote Kids) is here to parents and caregivers not just survive remote and hybrid learning, but to thrive during it by providing free support and resources tailored specifically to what families need. SPARK is a part of the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. The LTC is an Illinois State Board of Education program that supports all public K-12 districts, schools, and educators through technology initiatives, services, and professional learning opportunities.
00:31
September 23, 2020