Posted in cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, electronic communication, iPhones and iPads, parents and technology

Keeping Gadgets Working When the Power Goes Off

Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

How does one keep mobile devices working during some type of emergency?

It’s been an eventful week here in Northern Virginia. On Tuesday we had an earthquake, 5.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, shaking lots of things at home and work to the floor. Almost immediately, on Wednesday, we began making preparations for Hurricane Irene, the largest of its kind to move up the east coast of the United States in more than 50 years. In both cases, it’s been harder than usual to count on gadgets like mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and laptops.

For more than an hour after the earthquake, making mobile phone calls was difficult, though I found I was able to text easily. Now, during hurricane Irene (I am sitting by a window watching the rain fall in sheets), I worry about maintaining the battery charge of each gadget as long as possible, since the power is sure to go out at some point. Of greater concern is that, with millions of people losing power, it may take some time to get the power restored. Preservation becomes even more of a concern.

Continue reading “Keeping Gadgets Working When the Power Goes Off”

Posted in digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, electronic communication, parents and technology

Summer Camps and Technology

Have fun reading this Chicago Tribune article, Welcome to Camp Tur-Ni-Toff, describing the lengths that sleep-away camps are going to preserve “their bucolic bubbles.” It sounds like the luckiest camps are those that do not have cell reception in the area. NOTE: The reporter points out that parents have more difficulty with the gadget prohibitions than do the campers.

My favorite quote:

The essence of camp is to rise and fall on your own … not to call your parents because you’re homesick or having a bad day,

My second favorite quote:

Even letters home are done with actual stamps and paper … a first for many of our campers.

Read the entire article.

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, electronic communication, parents and technology, social media, teens and technology

7 Ways Today’s Teens Communicate — Some Surprises

Check out this cool graphic from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

These graphs (click on the image to go to a larger picture at the Pew site) depict the various ways teens communicate. Notice how low e-mail ranks among the electronic forms of communication that today’s teens use. The data come from a survey of teens age 12 – 17 conducted as a part of the research for Pew’s report, Teens and Mobile Phones.

From the Pew Website

The graphic below shows daily use of a variety of communication technologies – and suggests that while text messaging as a daily activity for teens has grown astronomically over the past three years, other communicative technologies have remained relatively stable or have declined slightly, suggesting that the increase in texting has layered on top of the other modes of communication that teens employ.

Other Interesting Pew Internet Reports include Social Media and Young Adults and Teens and Sexting, both released in 2010.

Thanks to Pew for reminding me of this research via Twitter (@PewInternet).