Plant new seeds.

How can we begin thriving with technology?

Less fear, more intention
Less isolation, more support
Replacing helplessness with agency
Replacing stagnant debates with better conversations

Our resources

Our research and resources are designed to seed better conversations about tech. They help adults coach young people (instead of referee). They start with, “how are you?” and then, “how’s tech helping or hurting?” They are strengthened by evidence-based practices that support self-reflection, habit change, and well-being.

Swipe to learn more about our resources. (While our current versions are designed for teaching, they can be adapted to use at home or other environments.)

Centering values

We’ve found that some of the most helpful conversations about technology and well-being actually don’t begin with tech at all. Instead, they start with who we are, what we value, what we’re experiencing in our lives. The resources below set us up to clarify our values and start exploring how technologies support or undercut what we most cherish.

The Values Sorting activity invites youth to reflect on the values that are most important to them right now. It is designed to be done individually, and optionally discussed in pairs.
The Values Voting activity, which is intended to be used after the Values Sort, is an engaging way to spark group discussion about how our values connect to tech.
These activities are also designed as a lesson plan that we co-created with our partners at Common Sense Education.

Noticing design tricks

Technology companies compete for our time and attention; this is the “attention economy” that prioritizes our focus over our thriving. Design choices like autoplay, notifications, and algorithms can compromise our sense of control (our digital agency.) These resources start to expose what’s so often hidden and how design choices are not neutral.

Mind Control
This video, which we helped create, was co-produced by Common Sense Education and the education team at KQED, highlights examples of some common design tricks used by tech companies.
For a video discussion guide and to learn more about how to teach about Design Tricks explore this lesson plan we co-created with Common Sense Education.

Steering clear of thinking traps

Tech can intensify thinking traps that amplify anxious thoughts and self-doubt. Have you ever thought, “They haven’t text me back – they must be mad at me?” That’s a cognitive distortion, or “thinking trap”, that’s completely normal and also something you can steer toward healthier self talk. These resources help to identify common thinking traps and respond to them differently.

Explore our full list of 7 common thinking traps. Look at it together and consider which traps resonate with you or your class. Then, Dot Vote on which traps younger kids should know about before they start using social media, or play the Mind Shift Game, a fun and fast-paced way to generate alternative thoughts as a group.
How Your Brain Tricks You
This video, which was co-created and co-produced by Common Sense Education and the education team at KQED, showcases several traps alongside insights from a clinical psychologist who explains how thinking traps can contribute to negative emotions.
We also have a detailed lesson plan co-developed with our partners at Common Sense Education.

Tackling tech habits

When we start to think about our screen time and tech patterns through the lens of habits, we recognize how they’ve become second nature – but also that they change. These resources invite us to talk to each other in intentional ways in the service of rethinking tech habits and making meaningful change.

Use the Habit Interview Guide resource to interview someone about their tech habits, then let them interview you! This guide is also designed intentionally as an invitation for pairs of teens to interview each other.
Habit Challenge
Once you've used the interview guide to start reflecting on habits, formalize a personal Habit Challenge or short experiment to try out changing a habit! This resource is designed to help you get concrete and specific about mapping out a change.
These activities are also designed as a lesson plan that we co-created with our partners at Common Sense Education.

Upcoming resources

We are currently responding to what we’ve heard from young people about how technologies like social media affect their lives. Our next resource will focus on the "culture of needing to be productive all the time and, like, needing to be working all the time, and the grind… it’s so damaging" (as one of our teen collaborators put it). Tech indeed intersects with - and often amplifies - grinds that teens feel. Stay tuned for resources that help unpack grind culture, social comparison, body image, the ethics of Generative AI, and more.