11 Stories about #DigitalParenting 11/12/13

Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news:

  • Breaking News ScreenDo children need pencils or tablets?: The results of a new survey by an online guide to nurseries,, show that parents should protect their young ones from what has been termed as “technology creep” which sees devices such as tablets being used in nursery schools.
  • Children own 6 digital devices by 13: That’s the findings of a new survey by IT firm Logicalis, which also reveals that 84% of children polled own a smartphone, 78% own a laptop, and 51% own a tablet device.
  • Family Time: Moms champion traditional toys even in a digital age: While there is no denying the benefits of digital devices and it is becoming commonplace for parents to pass their tablets to Junior, research shows many want to limit the time their kids spend on screens, large and small. Parents also actively encourage their kids to play with toys that may help them reach critical developmental milestones. So how have traditional toys stood the test of time?
  • Making Good Digital Stuff for Kids Is Magic: For kids being digital is like breathing oxygen — it’s just something that you do. For the makers of quality kids digital media it’s like being a grand puppeteer. You’re best if you’re unnoticed. You want kids to believe in the magic that you create for them.
  • How Technology Is Warping Your Memory: Technology changes the way we live our daily lives, the way we learn, and the way we use our faculties of attention — and a growing body of research has suggested that it may have profound effects on our memories (particularly the short-term, or working, memory), altering and in some cases impairing its function.
  • A growing need for teaching digital citizenship to younger children: A recent report from Common Sense Media indicates that it is increasingly more common for kids under the age of nine to frequently use iPods, iPads or tablets, and mobile phones. In our schools we are witnessing these changes. It is becoming more common for younger students to have a Smartphone in their backpacks to be able to communicate with their parents and friends.

and opportunities for children to learn computer programming, contacting Santa, and an app that uses neuroscience to improve children’s maths scores.

Academic Digital

Memory Failure Detected @timeshighered

Memory ( coalition of the willing is battling legal, logistical and technical obstacles to archive the riches of the mercurial World Wide Web for the benefit of future scholars. Zoë Corbyn reports

It is 2031 and a researcher wants to study what London’s bloggers were saying about the riots taking place in their city in 2011. Many of the relevant websites have long since disappeared, so she turns to the archives to find out what has been preserved. But she comes up against a brick wall: much of the material was never stored or has been only partially archived. It will be impossible to get the full picture.

This scenario highlights an important issue for future research – and one that has received scant attention. How can the massive number of websites on the internet – which exist for just 100 days on average before being changed or deleted – be safeguarded for future scholars to explore?

The extent to which content disappears without trace from the web is worrying, says Kath Woodward, head of the department of sociology at The Open University and a participant in the British Library’s Researchers and the UK Web Archive project, which aims to involve researchers in building special collections.

Not enough academics, she believes, are engaging with the topic. “We are taking it for granted that such material will be there, but we need to be attentive. We have a responsibility to future generations of researchers.”

Read full story, and note that the British Library’s giving it a go! In many ways this is a shift, but in others a continuity of issues that historians have battled with for years (e.g. the National Archives only archives about 3% of government papers, so we’ll never get the full story). See also Ann Mroz’s take.


A story from @transpositions on #RoyalWedding memorabilia

Read the story here. An extract:

I start with the obvious. Memorabilia primarily serves as an aid to remembering. I start here because memorabilia is often judged as being aesthetically deficient, which then levies judgment upon the person who purchased the item. Rather, an item’s capacity to call up memories of an event, a shared moment, or a life-changing experience is surely its purpose and how it should be considered. For example, the screen-printed tea towel that I now own will not only remind me of the day of the Royal Wedding in years to come. It will also serve to conjure up memories of friends and my overall experience of being at St Andrews. Secondly, memorabilia provides a means by which we can intentionally make a claim on a particular memory or experience. The decision to purchase memorabilia is an intentional decision to remember the moment attached to the item. Perhaps we are just victims of good marketing in our purchasing. Or perhaps good marketers realise that we want to remember our good experiences and they have capitalised on those moments.


Rosie the Riveter: We Can Do It!

Rosie the Riveter: Modern Day“Rosie the Riveter became popular during World War II when women joined the work force in support of troops serving overseas. The most well-known Rosie icon came from J. Howard Miller’s We Can Do It! propaganda poster. Created for Westinghouse, the Pittsburgh-based artist’s Rosie appeared on magazines, newspapers and posters encouraging women to join the work force. Six million women replaced the men who left for war in the factories, shipyards and industrial plants.  Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle modeled for the poster art in 1942.” Read about the modern day competition, and another’s thoughts on how this poster feeds into the ideas of work ethics.


Why Keep Calm and Carry On Now?

Keep Calm and Carry On

An article on household decorating highlights the current popularity of “Keep Calm and Carry On”

Alain Samson, a social psychologist at the London School of Economics, says that people currently find the poster’s words “positive and reassuring in a period of uncertainty, anxiety, and even perhaps of cynicism”.

Read more in this interesting article, which also explains (obliquely) why Cath Kidston has just opened a new store in Winchester (which always seems to be teeming with people coming out with bags!)