Category Archives: tech

Fight that phone!

Parents looking for good models of healthy phone use for their kids need only look as far as NBA teams.

Some teams require players to mentally declutter by putting away phones when eating together as a group. Appreciative parents welcome support for helping their kids manage phone use time from any source!

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Good night, Alexa

This was the first holiday season in which a wave of parents invested time in programming kid routines into voice assistants.

From a child development perspective, Alexa can become a helpful add-on for busy parents, especially when offering personal messages during the bedtime space. Potential problems come when tech becomes a substitute for parental involvement.

Not even Alexa can kiss a child goodnight.

Manners go wireless

Do you want your child to say “Thank you” to his voice assistant?

While some parents like to hear kids respond politely to their artificially intelligent tech toys, other parents think it’s a slippery slope toward a universe of non-human celebrities.

Scary thinking.

Mom gamers

Moms who are gamers is a new initiative on the diversity front.

Networks that encourage women in the gaming industry to share their experiences are helping to even the playing field among parents.

Girls and boys who grow up as gamers might not understand that a concerted effort has been needed to insure gender diversity for their moms.

Linking to wish lists

Did your child forward a holiday wish list to your phone?

Sending links to coveted Christmas gifts is coming naturally to the current generation of digi-kids. And marketers are responding.

Holiday ad budgets are being spent on Snapchat, YouTube Kids and other mobile apps targeted to kids. Many of the ads are personalized with customized messages.

The shift to digital ads makes sense: nearly half of 10-12 year olds have their own smartphones.

The big “t” in STEM

Holiday shoppers looking for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) toys will discover interactive playthings have shifted in a couple of ways.

As the STEM market has matured and competition has increased, prices have gone up. Buyers will spend more, because many view STEM products as more than a toy. Developing core skills is seen as an investment in a child’s future.

Second, there’s a stronger overlay of technology. Science and math are still primary. However, because many parents anticipate that future jobs will require some tech aptitude, look for a stronger emphasis on games and toys to enhance technological skills.

Growing up with Alexa

How would you describe your child’s relationship with Alexa?

That will be a key question as today’s children are the first to grow up with artificial intelligence (AI). Whether it’s Siri, Alexa or others, educators are beginning to gather data on how AI is impacting infant language development and patterns, plus relationships with personified technology and humans. Heavy stuff.

The future has arrived.