Category Archives: tech

The IoT comes home

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming to a home near yours. Perhaps your home.

In their continuing search for efficiency, moms and dads are becoming some of the earliest adopters of smart technology. And once the newest tech gadget is applauded on a mom network, those good words spread quickly on social media.

Time is currency, and no one knows that better than busy parents.

Sleeping with a Smartphone

Researchers have validated what many of us experience: technology is making it harder to be a good parent today.

Portability makes tech totally invasive, if we allow it.

Seven in ten parents say they sleep with their phone next to them.
It’s not surprising then, that 82% of teens and more than 70% of tweens take their phones to bed.

Technology hasn’t changed everything. The traditional truism is still valid: “like parent, like child.”

Cord “Cutter” or Cord “Never”?

Both “Cutters” and “Nevers” are cable-free households, but kids in all kinds of households are glued to screens this summer.

Looking at screens, not reading books, have become the default activity. Research shows children are spending an average of five hours on electronic devices everyday.

Five hours: just imagine how many trees a child could climb, pictures she could draw or times he could cannonball into a pool in that amount of time.

Binge effect downaging

The teen trend of hunting for binge-worthy TV is aging down to tweens.

Entertainment execs have used serialized storytelling to fuel the summertime activity. Longer stories result in deeper engagement by viewers.

And of course, digital tech means those screens go everywhere.

Game-based learning

If your kids are spending the summer gaming, take a tip from your child’s classroom teacher: suggest game-based learning.

Game developers have learned how to weave a fictional story-line underneath facts. Although some content takes liberties with history or other facts, gaming can expose kids to people and places they’d never discover on their own.

After playing, perhaps they’ll even want to dig deeper about Ancient Rome or the Pony Express!

Camp connections

Real time updates on new platforms mean parents have more ways to hover over their camper.

Both day and overnight programs have upped the number of quick updates that go home.

Photos and videos of campers and their activities sent home throughout the day are easy to forward to long distance friends and relatives, too.

Disrupted Dinner

Research consistently supports the importance of family mealtime. Benefits include healthier eating and children who learn vocabulary, have fewer behavior problems and lower substance abuse.

But dinnertime disruptions – in the form of sports and/or tech – continue to impact this important time of day.

If kids are active in sports, attendance is mandatory at games and practices. There aren’t a lot of options.

But there are real choices when it comes to tech. Do your kids a favor: turn off the TV and leave the phone in another room. Researchers have documented that even the mere presence of a phone diminishes the quality of conversation.

Devices remain an unwelcome dinner guest.