Category Archives: tech

A screenless world?

One of our grandsons speaks very naturally, and in a normal conversational tone, to Alexa. He growing up in fast-changing world I struggle to understand.

But I wonder about the long-term impact of digital tech on our five grandsons, as they grow up in a world of mixed realities, when offline and online morph together, and virtual reality and physical experiences merge.

Will all this tech help these little guys be more caring and compassionate? competent and efficient? happier?


The appy world of kids

As apps devour phone space, the use of apps for children is increasingly being addressed by tech educators.

Actually, the whole topic of media engagement among kids is going far beyond screen time, dealing with topics that include virtual reality games, interactive robots and artificial intelligence. Privacy continues to be a theme throughout realtime conversations on the ground between parents and kids and among researchers.

Educators continue to look for ways that developmentally appropriate apps can bring together children, their peers and their families. We’re on the front edge of a new wave of app engagement.

A duck that does more

The Aflac duck isn’t merely a brand mascot who’s a Facebook favorite (with 700,000 fans.)

He’s been transformed into a robot that comforts kids with cancer.

In one of the best-ever tech innovations, My Special Aflac Duck is on the way to medical centers across the country. Designed to distract and comfort patients during treatment, the duck is delivered without cost.

Screen alternative

Podcasts are trending.

Not just any podcasts: audio designed and directed to kids.

Podcasting opens the door to nonstop programming on demand, and that’s not only true in the adult world. Parents view podcasts as a guilt-free alternative to having children binge-watch YouTube.

Confiscate or celebrate?

One of the hottest topics among parents this school year: cell phones at school.

But the debate isn’t about phones for teens. The current battlefield is middle and elementary schools.

Some schools ban smartphones. Others allow middle graders to use them during lunch, especially in schools where phones have been incorporated into class instruction.

But whether smartphones are used as a teaching tool or banned as a curse, the debate continues. Stay tuned.

Wait until 8th

The question, “When should I give my child a smartphone?” has been a burning issue among parents who question why a ten-year old needs a phone. After all, 10.3 is the average age of phone ownership.

But a parent-driven movement, which started last year in Texas, has gained momentum.

When parents get together, they find it’s not true that “everyone has one”…especially if they’ve signed the pledge to wait until their child is in eighth grade before having a cell phone.

Check the site:

Video game addiction

An old problem has a new label: the World Health organization (WHO) is recognizing video game addiction as an official mental health condition.

Video game addiction is basically playing games for an unhealthy length of time, resulting in the feeling that you can’t stop.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) describes internet gaming disorder as similar to a gambling addiction.

However video game addiction is described or defined, prevention is best, especially for our kids.