iPad Crazed Kids? OK, but Are They Also Learning How to Play With Others?

I’ve just read a November 28, 2011 Bloomberg article, iPad Crazed Toddlers Spur Holiday Sales. OK, the title is a bit overly dramatic, but it’s an interesting read, describing the demand for tablets of all kinds and kids’ motivation to use them.

Seriously, though, the tone of the article makes me worry a bit. As a confirmed techie, gadget lover, educational technology specialist, teacher, and parent, I know that children also need lots of outside play time and plenty of experiences working/playing with others. We don’t know what the jobs will be in 15 years when these kids are looking for employment, but we do know that their superior technology skills will matter little if they don’t have great people skills — understanding how to share, take turns, and work collaboratively.

The article reminds parents about the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations about no screen time (or very little of it) for children under two years of age. And please — this is a plea from me — avoid, as much as possible, using these digital devices as electronic pacifiers, the term used in the article by Victoria Nash of the Oxford Internet Institute (England).

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Kids’ Cell Phones? Who’s in Charge Here?

Made at Wordle.com.

Read You Make the Call on Kids’ Phones in the Sunday, November 27, 2011 Washington Post. Written by columnist Michelle Singletary and aimed at the parents of digital kids, the article examines the practice of giving children cell phones at younger and younger ages. The author believes that, in reality, cell phones are simply playful gadgets that easily confuse children about the difference between needing things and wanting things.

Most Compelling Thoughts from the Article

  • If you give your children cell phones, each one should sign a contract that specifies your expectations about appropriate use. Check out the cell phone contract posted here on the MediaTechParenting.net blog. Continue reading

Redefining Public Relations in Our Digital World

Check out this article about social media at Wikipedia.

If you wonder about the still-new world of social media, and are continually amazed when a few comments on a social media site affect prompt change  (whether it’s a political movement, corporate policy, or an unsatisfied customer quieted down) this New York Times article, Redefining Public Relations in the Age of Social Mediaprovides helpful background. The article, by Stuart Elliott, describes the evolutionary and revolutionary changes in the digital public relations world.

A Few Interesting Thoughts from the Article

  • Internet and social media like blogs, Facebook, and Twitter are transforming the relation between those of us in the general public and the people communicating with us.  It’s no longer top down communication. Continue reading

Relying on a Resume? Think Bigger!

If you are a parent helping an adolescent get started on the first hunt for a job or internship, or if you know someone who is searching for a job right now, Business Insider has just published an unusual infographic to help you understand that a resume may not always be the best — or at least not the only — job seeker’s tool.

This infographic offers an overview about the personal characteristics that employers cannot discover just by reading resumes. Any individual who seeks a position in this day and age needs to think about how to expand a resume and more clearly demonstrate these additional traits to potential employers.  These include:

  • People skills
  • Grace under pressure
  • Integrity
  • Work ethic
  • Charisma
  • Ambition
  • Leadership
  • Positive attitude

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Communicating on Social Media: As American as Apple Pie?

Check out the full report at http://bit.ly/vNhmnw

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published new social media data, this time asking why American adults use social networks.

From my point of view, keeping in touch with people is a grand old American tradition, as traditional as apple pie. Over the years whether it’s over the backyard fence, via snail mail letter, postcard, telephone, or e-mail, Americans like to connect and communicate.

Interestingly, according to this new Pew data, adults become involved with social media — Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others — because of the ease of keeping in touch. People use a social medium  if it makes communicating with friends and family easy and fun.

Moreover, users like that social media now offers faster and faster ways to reconnect with the people from the past — something that was far more difficult in the “olden days.”

Texting Dictionaries for Parents of Digital Kids

Do you sometimes wonder about the meaning of all those shortened words and acronyms that arrive in kids’ e-mails and text messages?

Check out the Texting Dictionary of Acronyms, published by C.G. Publishing in 2011. I purchased mine at a gift shop, but it’s available on the web. I’ve fun pulling it out of my purse or book bag when someone mentions one the the lesser known shortened words that often arrive in text messages of people under twenty-five years old. And there’s even a family-friendly version.

You can also check out those unfamiliar words at NetLingo and at the Common Sense Media Digital Glossary.

The Global Economy, My New iPhone 4s, and Grandpa’s Voyage to America

If I had any doubt about the efficiency of the global economy, it was put to rest these past three days as I watched my new iPhone 4s traverse the world via Fed Ex, from Shenzhen, China to my front porch in northern Virginia, USA.

The iPhone began it’s journey on November 2nd, though allowing for time zones and the international date line, it was probably still November 1st where I live. Nevertheless, after it left China the package made intermediate stops in Hong Kong, Anchorage, Alaska, Memphis, Tennessee, and Dulles, VA, before being loaded onto the Fed Ex delivery truck in Alexandria, VA and arriving on my front porch in the early afternoon of November 4th. The package spent the most time standing still at the Fed Ex hub in Memphis, where packages accumulate all day and then fly out at night to destinations around the United States. Continue reading