March 4

Jesse Miller Recap

On Monday, March 1st,  Jesse Miller of Mediated Reality came to speak to our students and parents.

I was lucky enough to participate in all three sessions, and it was incredible to hear how he adjusted the message to fit the age and stage of the group he was speaking to. I want to share my big take-aways, but don’t even know where to start!

There was an overarching theme throughout all three sessions…


We will never go back to a time when technology didn’t exist, so rather than fight it, we need to accept that it’s here and learn how to live with it. When speaking with the parents, Jesse shared a story from when he was a boy in grade 5, taking the bus from his elementary school in Westmount, QC, to McGill University where his parents worked. His parents helped prepare him for this responsibility by equiping him with the tools he would need in case of an emergency….a quarter in case he needed to use a payphone, a plan for what to do if someone unkind spoke to him, who the safe people were to speak to along the way if he needed help…

The online world may be new, but it doesn’t need to be that different. We need to teach our children how to navigate it safely. We need to equip them with the tools and skills to help lead a balanced life. We need to help them understand what is appropriate and what is not…and why!

  • Using your computer during class a really fortunate tool to have. Chatting isn’t appropriate because you may miss out on important information, or it can take time away from using your class time appropriately when the teacher is available to help you. Closing tabs or telling your friends you can’t talk is a life skill that will help you BALANCE your responsibilities.
  • Playing games and chatting with people online is fun and can help you build relationships, but if it gets inappropriate, there are people you can speak to, without punishment, who can help you. Choosing to be an upstander is a life skill that will help you BALANCE your relationships.
  • Sharing some information about yourself online can have value. Documenting your learning is clearly something we value at OJCS. Protecting our identity is also something we value. Being respectful is definteily something we value, both on and offline. Who you choose to be online is important – what are you telling the world about who you are as a person? Teaching our children how to safely share and behave online is a life skill that will help them BALANCE their reputation.
  • Just as we set rules and boundaries for when screens can be used and HOW they should be used in school, rules and boundaries can be set in the home as well. If you’re going to allow children to be online, make sure they are “participating with the screen, not isolating with the screen.”
  • And finally, we should meet our children where they are. Their interests may not be ours, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn. Jesse gave the analogy of the “hockey mom.” Some mothers (and fathers) never played a game of hockey, or even watched a game of hockey before their child started playing. After going to game after game, many of those same parents are now experts, yelling from the stands as soon as any player is off-side. If your child loves Fortnite or Minecraft…play with them! Learn what it’s all about, see what interests them about it, and learn the rules so that it can become something you share together, not something you don’t undestand and can’t relate to.

If you were part of any of Jesse’s sessions, what were your big take-aways? I’d love to hear your comments and feedback 🙂

Posted March 4, 2021 by melissathompson in category General Information

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