Category Archives: tech

Photos allowed

If visiting a museum is on your family vacation list this summer, get ready to smile for the camera.

Although some museums still limit the size of backpacks and loud talking, an increased number are not only allowing visitors to take photos, but encouraging picture taking. Selfies and Instagram have changed museum-going forever.

Some museum conservators are still concerned that cell phone flashes cause artwork to fade. Other museum educators worry that selfie-focused visitors might accidentally bump into a relic or back into a priceless artifact.

But although some museum goers might spend more time setting up the perfect selfie than looking at an artifact, experience-driven visitors are arriving now at even the stuffiest site.

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The emerging summer space

With the end of the school year, kids power up for the tech-heavy time of year.

Because digital interactions are woven throughout their relationships, friendships become tech-dependent as face time at school decreases.

I wonder what unexpected trends will streak across social and chat platforms this summer? What new tech toys will emerge as winners?

In the driver’s seat

Children love to decide what happens in “choose your own adventure” books.

Some TV shows will be adding this element to children’s programming. Allowing children to create the narrative for familiar and beloved characters is a sure way to keep kids engaged in the story.

Sharenting

Children of early tech adopters are discovering that very personal stories about them have been available online for years.

Because some parents post information online even before a child is born, that person’s internet identity has been shaped completely without permission. Sharenting, or when a parent uploads information about a child, is triggering serious conversations.

How much veto power should a child have?

Should a parent have free rein to publicly share their child’s image?

Who determines where and how to draw the lines around a child’s digital presence?

These questions are merely at the tip of the iceberg.

How do kids learn best?

A local school district is working through the process of choosing new textbooks, but I’m not convinced they are making a good choice.

Regardless of what text is selected, researchers tell us that kids who have grown up on YouTube appear to learn some subjects more easily from videos and visuals than print-predominant resources.

As an author, I love books. Books are my life. I cherish them, but I think we need to look carefully at what appears to be a shifting preference for receiving information.

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!

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.