Archive - October 2015

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10 amazing sites with the best tech recources for digital parents
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The updated recommendations for screen time for kids

10 amazing sites with the best tech recources for digital parents

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These days more kids can consider themselves ”techy” in comparison to their parents. It’s not surprising – they are born into a world run by technology and learning these things seems somewhat natural to them. Sometimes their parents lag behind: for some of them grasping the technological intricacies takes time and is a slow process. However, it is essential for adults  to keep up with their kids in order to recgonize opportunities and threats of the digital world. How can parents learn about tech and keep updated with the latest news in a fast and painless way? In today’s post we are featuring 10 great sites that will make tech not so sophisticated any more!

 

1. Connect Safely (http://www.connectsafely.org)

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You will definitely spend a lot of time on this site as it contains dozens of valuable resources: the latest tech news, guides both for parents and educators, research-based safety tips and advice on several topics such as smart cellphone use, GPS-location sharing etc. 

2. Common Sense Media (https://www.commonsensemedia.org)

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Common Sense Media editors definitely have their finger on the pulse of kids’ media. On their site you can browse through different media for children starting from movies and games, ending on apps and music. You can pick the age which makes the search even more specific and adequate if you are looking for media for your child. Apart from that, you can take a look at their top picks and read reviews.

3. Stay Safe Online (https://www.staysafeonline.org)

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If you would like to know how to stay safe online, whether you are using your laptop, mobile phone or any other device, visting Stay Safe Online is a great choice. It also has a special section for parents with tips on how to raise digital citizens.

4. Tech Savy Mama (http://techsavvymama.com)

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This blog will help you easily navigate the technological world. Stop by to read about gadgets, online safety or browse through quite frequent giveaways.

5. Media! Tech! Parenting! (http://mediatechparenting.net) Marti blogs about digital family life including digital parenting issues. Among many interesting posts you can read reviews of the books dealing with the digital life. You can also find links to contracts & agreements for digital kids. The blog’s mission is to provide valuable tips and advice for adults as well as help them deal with the problems they may encounter in digital world.

6. Digital Mom Blog (http://www.digitalmomblog.com)

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Who can talk about tech better than a fellow parent! Molly, the owner of the blog, talks about different aspects of technology: gadgets, apps recommendations, internet safety tips. All of them mixed with a blend of great sense of humor, which makes her posts truly entertaining!

7. Envolved Mommy (http://www.evolvedmommy.com)

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Evolved Mommy features tech and gadgets and trends that relate to digital family life. Bonus: blogging moms can also discover some awesome social media tips. 

8. Scraps of my Geek Life (http://scrapsofmygeeklife.com)

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Michele consequently proves that technology can enhance one’s life. On her blog she frequently relates to her personal experience and proves that embracing digital lifestyle is not a hard thing to do.

9. Ellie Petrov (http://www.elliepetrov.com)

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Ellie  is a total Minecraft fan so you will find lots and lots of posts on that topic as well as free Minecraft printables. But not only! Pay a visit if you are looking for cool apps for your collection, ways to manage screen time for kids and much more!

10. Well Connected Mom (http://wellconnectedmom.com/blog/)

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About section perfectly summarizes the purpose of the site: ”Are you an over scheduled mom with little time to figure out technology? Or are you a technology guru who loves sharing tips with others? We cover different ways to make technology work for you without spending hours researching & learning how to do it on your own”. Indeed, the site is packed with extremely practical tips, information and ideas that will help busy mums figure out technology. If you are looking for reviews of tech for kids, tips how to handle online dangers  written in an easy-to-digest style, this site is for you.

 

We hope that this post helped you get some new inspiration in the digital world! Thanks for reading 🙂

Magdalena | Appetite For Education

P.S. You can always subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest posts straight to your inbox. Sign up here:  http://appetiteforeducation.com/dqnb

 

The updated recommendations for screen time for kids

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Until now AAP’s recommendations had been quite specific: no more than 2 hours of screen time for children. When it came to kids under 2, this time was not advised at all. For some parents these numbers were too general and vague, and they couldn’t help but ask: Is ANY screen time counted in the same way? Is tech really harmful for little kids? After more than 15 years American Academy of Pediatrics has taken these concerns into acount and decided to change these restrictive guidelines.

In the new raport from media research symposium APP recognizes the unavoidable presence of tech in kids’ lives.

Following the previous guidelines might have been difficult, if not impossible in the increasingly digitalized world. These days living screen-free is really tough as we stumble upon technology almost everywhere you go. Indeed, the AAP brings up two studies that show common presence of tech in kids’ lives. The 2013 Zero To Eight study commissioned by Common Sense Media has presented the following findings:  38 percent of infants younger than age two use mobile devices like smartphones. 2015 Pew Research Study reports that 73 percent of 13-17-year-olds have smartphones and 24 percent admit using their phones almost constantly.

APP motivates their change with the following statement In a world where ‘screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete. The public needs to know that the Academy’s advice is science-driven, not based merely on the precautionary principle.”

It has been agreed that optimized media can be beneficial for young children, but parent’s presence is essential to make this screen time ”quality time”. 

 

Overreaching themes

1. The AAP is a trusted translator – the participants of the symposium recognized APP as a trusted translator of research on digital media  for kids

2. Parents should model responsible media use and establish family media plans that support balance, boundaries, and communication. – APP puts an emphasis on parents’ presence in kids’ digital life, especially when it comes to setting limits 

3. Content matters – safe technology is not only about strict screen time, but the quality: the content that a child consumes is extremely important as well. Some digital media has a potential of decreasing social interactions (e.g. background TV), while other ones promote them (e.g. Skype)

4. Diversity matters – tech should embrace the diversity of cultures. AAP notes that screen media has a potential of teaching kids about the world

5. Growing up digital presents opportunities and risks –  parents should be aware of how they can seize the benefits of tech while knowing how to avoid the dangers

6. Gaming, gamification, and m-Health can be powerful learning tools. – on the contrary to some believes, games and gamification can be extremely effective in the learning process of children

7. Screen media can adversely affect sleep – one of the dangers of tech overuse  (especially for kids) is poor sleep, which leads to obesity and poor academic performance

8. Screen media has the potential for overuse – excessive media use can lead to addiction. A child addicted to media demonstrates classic addiction behaviors (like withdrawing from the community)

A formally updated, more extended set of guidelines will probably come out in 2016. 

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena | Appetite For Education

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