16 Stories About #DigitalParenting, 26/12/13

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

  • mhAILfwSanta in the Digital Age: Will He Survive?: I’m not saying that Santa is a bad thing (clearly I don’t think so), but he is a myth. And when kids are getting connected to the Internet at younger and younger ages, how long until the fabrication is impossible to keep going? How long until a YouTube video ruins the fun for hundreds of thousands of “connected” kids?
  • Introducing the Digital Dad: But other than being a digital enthusiast, I’m also a realist and the digital revolution is here to stay. Two thirds of UK 12- to 15-year-olds now have a smartphone, according to the latest Ofcom report – up 50% from the year before. Parents, if you haven’t already, you might as well join the online party.
  • How the Grinch Steals Christmas: He Follows Your Kid on Instagram: In Dr. Seuss’ timeless tale, the Grinch had to wait until all of Whoville was asleep, tie his dog to a sled and slink down a few too-tight chimneys in order to steal Christmas from the Whos. In 2013, all a savvy criminal needs to do is follow your kids on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Foursquare, Google+ and/or Snapchat to figure out when the coast is clear.
  • What Nonverbal Kids Can Gain From Technology: Many parents and teachers of children with special needs wonder if using technology to communicate is a good idea, or if it will stifle and get in the way of oral speech production. I’m asked this question almost every day in the office — I can feel their worry, I know their concerns. It’s a really good question that needs a full answer.
  • Do You Model Unhealthy Tech Habits?: From generation to generation, we teach our kids healthy habits. Eat right. Exercise. Brush your teeth. But when it comes to your technology habit, you could be setting a bad example — without even knowing it.
  • The Amazing iKid: My generation was the last to have had a childhood without a mobile phone. I got my first cell phone in my early twenties, and it was an archaic experience in comparison to today’s technology — no Internet, camera, Facebook, apps or texting, and it was just small enough to fit in my backpack. But I am grateful not to have been exposed to the seduction of the smartphone as a kid. I am sure I would have been just as tempted by it then as I am now. I am co-dependent with my mini-machine, and feel more lost if I leave the house without my phone than if I had forgotten to put on pants. It makes me wonder what is it like for these iKids growing up with endless access and distraction in the palm of their hands.
  • Holiday to-do list: Unplug with your children: While it’s fun to connect with family via social media, movies, and games — and believe me, there will be plenty of that going on anyway — it’s great to unplug for a while and enjoy some old-fashioned analog time together. You know, make eye contact, listen to each other’s voices, and engage in the physical world.
  • New Report Proves That Young People and Their Gadgets Can Co-Exist in the Great Outdoors: A new National Wildlife Federation report explores the positive benefits of technology and outdoor exploration. Friending Fresh Air: Connecting Kids to Nature in the Digital Age details how kids’ media habits can both positively and negatively impact health, learning and social development.
  • Babes in a Digital Toyland: Even 3-Year-Olds Get Gadgets: A recent survey of 1,000 parents with children between 2 and 10 found that more than half planned to buy a tech item for their children this holiday season. About two-thirds of those planned to give a tablet or smartphone, according to the survey, which was taken for PBS Kids, the brand of the public broadcasting network aimed at young children.

  • New York school all-in on all-digital textbooks: “We went to digital because it makes for better learning,” says Frank Portanova, vice principal at Stepinac. “This is the way kids learn today. And the online content is a lot richer. You’ve got assessments, you’ve got virtual labs, you’ve got blogging.”

  • Am I Crazy to Give My Tween a Cell Phone?: We have finally decided to give my old iPhone to our 11-year-old for Christmas, and I’m already concerned that this may end up being a big mistake. Quite a few of his classmates have a cell phone and he has been begging for one. I want to make him happy but I am worried that it may cause endless arguments. Am I crazy for giving him an iPhone?
  • 4 tips to disconnect from technology, reconnect your family: Rising to the challenge of parenting digital natives – a term commonly used to describe a generation of children who have never known a world without digital technologies – means that we have some important work to do. As a crucial first step, we need to both familiarize ourselves and keep up with technology. After all, the responsibility falls squarely on us to help our children learn good judgment and how to responsibly navigate the rapidly changing digital world.

  • Ella’s Kitchen targets tech savvy parents with digital weaning guide created by Delete: Previously Ella’s Kitchen had sent customers who signed up to be friends of the brand a printed guide to the weaning process. However, with its target audience increasingly demanding information on-the-go Ella’s Kitchen decided to make its guide fully digital and available for use on mobile, tablet and desktop.

  • Breaking the digital habit: Whenever I enter a restaurant, I’m presented with the sight of diners who, having ordered their dishes, are now hunched in the same position – heads bowed as they immerse themselves in their smartphones or pads. While the death of the art of pre-dinner chitchat at the hands of our electronic companions may be a blessing as well as a curse, depending on the dinner company you keep, more worrying is the increasing amount of time our children spend bewitched by these digital devices. (This is a BEHAVIOURAL problem, right?) 
  • Parents buying tablets for children urged to look out for hidden costs: The regulator urged parents to talk to their children about the costs involved in using mobile devices and tablets, and issued tips for consumers to help them avoid nasty surprises. These include looking at the small print when downloading apps and ensuring you know how to unsubscribe from any paid-for service.

and an interesting story about teaching your children to fail, questioning whether time with Dad has to be video time, whilst in the US/Canada children could receive a personalised message from Santa.


11 Stories About #DigitalParenting 17/12/13

Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news… and I love this piece about a ‘tech-deprived childhood‘:

News on digital tablet.

  • Link between cyberbullying and teen suicides oversimplified, experts say: One of the threads tying their deaths together is a cause-and-effect link made by the media, politicians and parents between persistent bullying and the victim’s decision to end their life — a phenomenon that generated its own buzzword — “bullycide.” It is something Todd and health experts say oversimplifies teen suicide and cyberbullying at the expense of recognizing the complex set of mental health issues that are usually at play in many cases. (In another article, teens speak out
  • Left to Chance With the iPotty: Snarkiness aside, I think we need to reflect loudly about how we make choices as parents and consumers. Corporate America and big box retailers may not have your back in this regard. As these baby human beings’ brains are rapidly making connections (young children make 700 synapses [connections between brain cells] per second during birth to 2 years), they are simply learning how to think. Do you really want the iPad doing the instructing?
  • I Might Be Mediocre, But at Least I’m Honest: So why is it that we parents feel the need to hide our realities from the world, especially social media? Check any mom’s Instagram or Facebook feed, including my own, and it looks like we are running a regular Montessori. The kids are smiling and sun-kissed. There’s paint and Legos and fresh fruit dripping from their chins.
  • Why You Need to Get Involved in Your Child’s Digital Life: Responsible parental screening of a child’s behavior has always been a good idea. But in today’s age of increasingly advanced technology, parents face unique challenges. While there certainly are advantages to instant access of virtually any kind of information, there are also formidable risks associated with our digital age that can be quite damaging to kids if parents don’t exercise appropriate levels of control. Put another way — damage can be done if parents don’t do their job.
  • Weston man faces child porn charges: Microsoft regularly uses automated scanning tools to monitor photos and other content uploaded to SkyDrive to ensure that users’ accounts do not contain illegal files, according to the company’s website. Suspected child pornography is automatically reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • Tarter: Author touts printed page in the digital age: The author also suggests that e-books have their place. “The e-book is here to stay,” he says, pointing to savings in time, space, trees and student spines (replacing heavy textbooks). But Trelease isn’t afraid to point to shortcomings in new technology, as well. “Research clearly shows that we read more slowly (6 to 11 percent) from a screen than from paper,” he said.
  • 7 Practical Tips for Parenting Digital Natives: “What are your recommendations for balancing technology use with socializing face-to-face?” This question was directed to a panel of psychologists at our recent high school PTA meeting. A universal parenting dilemma in our social media landscape, if ever one existed post-1999.
  • Drawp: Imaginations Soar With Inventive Art App For Kids: With this release, Drawp is launching a collaboration with talented artists from around the world who will create coloring pages exclusively for the Drawp app. The objective is to provide children with a constant stream of high quality art and to expose them to different styles in order to stimulate their creativity.
  • Europe Children Between 4 and 12 Spend Almost 3 Hours a Day in Front of TV: Children watch, passively, television, computers, mobile phones or ipads. Given this reality, a team of British pediatricians asserts in a research released in the medical journal “Archives of Disease in Childhood” that children under three should not be in contact with so many digital displays. For kids between 3 and 16, they suggest that a maximum of two hours a day should be set. The experts argue that spending more time in front of screens can cause damage to the physical and cognitive growth of children and overweight, heart problems, attention deficit or lack of empathy.
  • Internet a safe place for those who play safe: “Although the majority of kids are doing good things there is still a small percentage of people doing bad things and those predators are the people we need to protect our children from.”
  • iPad holder seat for babies sparks outcry: An advocacy group has called on toy maker Fisher-Price to stop selling a baby seat designed to hold an iPad at the front, saying the product encourages parents to leave infants alone to watch screens that could be harmful.

and BT offers a parental control filter, a Mum talks about finding another mum of a child with a rare condition, whilst programmes in New Zealand seek to diminish the ‘digital divide’.


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.


9 Stories About #DigitalParenting 06/12/13

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

  • n2lASIqEmotions in the digital sphere and the effect on future generations: We live in a strange age now where a large proportion of our daily interaction tends to take place online. This affects almost every generation, from children through to adults, most of whom are constantly digitally interacting with others, whether via business emails or social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Given how much time and effort we put into these digital portals, have you ever thought about how much they might be changing the nature of human interactions in general?
  • ‘Tis the season for marketers to think more like children: Technology has had a hugely liberating effect on the youngest in our society. Touch, gesture and voice navigation have opened up a whole new world of learning and possibility. And this has big implications, as technology has also liberated marketers to engage, excite and delight in new and profound ways. But has the marketing industry kept pace?
  • Making Kids’ Tablet Time More Meaningful: During busy times like the holiday season, many of us parents turn to our mobile devices to help manage our kids while we manage… everything else. Engaging the services of a digital babysitter is not something to boast about, but it doesn’t need to be anything to be ashamed of, either. So, how can we make the most of the time our kids spend with technology over the holiday break?
  • Tips on how to clean electronic devices when you have sticky-fingered kids: My two little angels (3 years old and 19 months) are obsessed with watching videos on my laptop and playing games on my phone. Unlike me, they are not the least bit concerned that their hands might be covered in some weird combination of chocolate and sand. Nor do they hear my pleas not to drink their orange juice in the vicinity of the keyboard.
  • New Selfie-Help Apps Are Airbrushing Us All Into Fake Instagram Perfection: Much as in real life, the only thing worse than looking zitty, wrinkled and tired is looking like you’ve sought help. If you get caught editing a photo, “it’s very embarrassing,” the 18-year-old said. “People are hyperaware of not wanting to seem fake in their pictures. As much as they edit them, it has to come off as natural.”
  • East Kilbride pupils experience the digi magic: The huge interactive touch screen table brings a whole new meaning to digital participation and makes the digital world a truly immersive experience. A key component of the Scottish Government’s Digital Exclusion agenda, the new digiTable is aimed at encouraging people to use the internet in new and imaginative ways.
  • In digital age, where do parents set boundaries?: “Technology has allowed me to do a lot of things my mother couldn’t do. My mother was gone from the house a lot. It was hard. Technology has allowed me to create my own schedule,” Shlain told But while Shlain praises technology, she acknowledges that she must set boundaries for her children, who are ages four and 10. Aside from the Technology Shabbat, she limits her children’s daily screen time.
  • Why Social Media Has Value for Children: First off though, kudos to the Academy for bringing to the forefront the debate about children and media in the digital age. We can’t avoid the topic nor should we, unless we want our kids to become the failed technology experiments perpetrated by our own fascination with all things digital. I think Dr. Marjorie Hogan, one of the co-authors of the policy, offers a valuable prescription by encouraging “a healthy ‘media diet’.” That’s a great starting point, albeit with the challenge to define what is “healthy.”

and Kobo wins acclaim from parents, too much technology for baby monitoring?, and see the technology that Santa requires these days.


8 Stories About #DigitalParenting 03/12/13

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

  • Creating responsible digital citizens: A CURRICULUM to teach children on proper and  responsible technology use must be incorporated into the education system to address social issues in cyberspace as an increasing number of children is spending  time on the Internet.
  • Personalized Book Reader Follows Kids As They Turn The Pages: The Sparkup Magical Book Reader works as an auditory add-on to paper picture books. You attach the device to the back of any book, press the “record” button, and read the story aloud. Once recorded, a child can later attach the device to the book, press the bright “playback” button, and hear your voice reading the story.
  • Study: Innovative game intervention increases at-risk kids’ physical activity levels by 39 per cent: The study took place in northern Ontario communities with some of the highest childhood obesity rates.  Findings confirm the effectiveness of an online game powered by kids’ daily activity, as a motivator to change sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity levels. Participants took an average of 12,312 steps per day during the game play period, representing a daily step increase of 39 per cent.
  • Are we taking too many photos of our kids?: My husband and I have a collection of tens of thousands of digital images. Most of these chronicle the lives of our three children. The first step. The first day of kindergarten. A summer weekend in Tahoe. an Easter egg hunt, actually many egg hunts. Of course, we took more photos of our first child and we’ve been less camera happy with our third, but nonetheless, like most modern-day parents, we have an unwieldy number of image files.

and a video baby monitor, dangers of accessing drugs online, developing an online (safe) children’s reading room, whilst computers are changing what is possible in developing countries.