Category Archives: tech

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.

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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: http://www.waituntil8th.org

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.

The heart of the year

Teachers call this the “heart of the school year.”

That’s not because Valentine’s Day is approaching, but because new content is being presented to students every day.

Fall is typically the time to review and catch up from content lost during the “summer slump.” The learning curve drops during the final weeks of the school year, after standardized testing. That’s the reason January-February-March are such important months.

For the first time, though, serious questions are being asked about how much screen time students have during the school day in these critical months.

The ed-tech grip has been exceptionally strong all year in schools. How much will result in better academic achievement?

Screens and snacks

The kids who played outside after supper all summer frequently end up as video gamers in the dark of winter.

And of course, screen time leads to snacking. Gamers – especially Millennials who play alongside their children – look for snacks to keep them mentally sharp and focused. Favorites are quick, not messy and convenient to hold.

Time to go shopping.

Upselling

Even preschoolers are comfortable using the touch screen kiosks that have popped up at so many fast food locations, but don’t be surprised if the bill is higher than expected.

According to some data, we spend 15 to 20 percent more at a kiosk than when ordering from a person. The transaction is private, so no one is judging our menu choices. And, unlike a cashier who might forget to ask, “Do you want fries with that?” a kiosk always asks.

Smart machine.

More than baby talk

Communication devices are the growing edge for expectant parents.

Although in later years technology might tend to divide families, before birth, pre-birth baby talk is the focus. Beginning with apps that allow moms to track and manage fertility to smartphone accessories that count fetal kicks, tech companies have discovered a hungry audience.

Parents-to-be, who grew up with digital tech, are welcoming these increasingly innovative gadgets.

One implication is clear: the cost of attending a baby shower just went up.