The Upside of Digital Devices book: help kids be screen smart

As a digital family, trying to manage the when, how and how long your child has screen time is one of the most frustrating responsibilities. We all want to be good parents, but the reality is that our kids need guidance on how to use digital devices and technology.

Note: I received product sample for review purpose. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

This responsibility doesn't have to be a "bad" thing. Using technology can be a positive experience as show in Nicole Dreiske’s “The Upside of Digital Devices: How to Make Your Child More Screen Smart, Literate, and Emotionally Intelligent,” (HCI Books, $15.95, ISBN 9780757320477)


I liked that “The Upside of Digital Devices" offered parents a balanced view of helping kids use technology. While it did address some of the "scary" things that can happen, it also showed parents ways we can help kids see technology as a useful tool. Especially for bonding.

A few sections, I found very helpful included

  • Connecting Books with Movies
  • Short Films That Encourage Discussion

These sections helped me start conversations in a new and different way with my son. In ways that he could relate to. Which led to him not tuning me out, as saying the same things he's heard before.

And that's the point of the “The Upside of Digital Devices", to say thing in a way that our kids "hear" us and hopeful that will affect that way they live between the real and digital world.


“The Upside of Digital Devices" is the book that walks parents through what they need to know to prepare their children for success in the modern digital world. Subsections include:

  • How to have great talks with kids about what they are watching.
  • Simple steps that allow children to build their own “filters and controls”.
  • How to help children notice and understand their thoughts and feelings about their experiences with digital devices.
  • Ways to build a child’s literacy skills while watching Youtube, TV, movies or playing games.
  • How to enhance a child’s vocabulary, empathy, communication and critical thinking skills through talking about what they’re watching.
  • Family values and screen time—what most parents haven’t been told and need to know.
  • Turn mindless viewing into mindful viewing by teaching kids to approach screens with intention and focus.

“The Upside of Digital Devices" is available in books stores and online on Amazon.

About Nicole Dreiske

Nicole Dreiske has forty years of experience in developing cutting-edge educational strategies. She is an education innovator and one of the country’s leaders in the development of screen-based programs for educating children. Nicole is now Executive Director of the International Children’s Media Center (ICMC), an international organization dedicated to changing the way children, view, use and engage media.

To learn more about International Children’s Media Center, visit -


  • (1) The Upside of Digital Devices Book


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  1. This looks like a very informative read. Patricia

  2. With wifi and 5g rolling out, I'd like to know the positives.

  3. I want to learn more about the filters and controls.