A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

Read the full story »
Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Home » Archive by Tags

Articles tagged with: kids and technology

Learning the electronic birds and bees – the hard way
Wednesday, 30 Mar, 2011 – 17:33 | Comments Off
Learning the electronic birds and bees – the hard way

I still don’t think that “sexting” – sending a suggestive or explicit picture via cell phone – is crime that rises to the level of lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the key, particularly when the perpetrators all are minors.
But neither …

Extending the principal’s job to cover the world
Wednesday, 16 Mar, 2011 – 17:03 | One Comment
Extending the principal’s job to cover the world

I am not in favor of bullying.
I am not against school officials taking swift action against anyone who breaks the rules or laws on their campuses.
I am, however, opposed to making principals in charge of …

Whose Kindle is it anyway?
Thursday, 3 Mar, 2011 – 13:23 | Comments Off
Whose Kindle is it anyway?

As I unloaded a trunkload of guy goodies last week, a tiny chunk of petulant poutiness came sneaking up from my gut. It worked its way to my throat, where it stuck for the next …

In defense of gaming – or something like it – in the classroom
Wednesday, 23 Feb, 2011 – 16:50 | Comments Off
In defense of gaming – or something like it – in the classroom

Why is it that Boots can “die” endlessly on Mario and still go back for more, yet he used to get frustrated to near tears if he wasn’t the first to answer a question in …

Amazing toddlers who can make their own breakfast!
Wednesday, 26 Jan, 2011 – 17:05 | Comments Off
Amazing toddlers who can make their own breakfast!

I am an awful, awful mom.
Just like thousands of other 2- to 5-year-olds worldwide, Boots cannot tie his shoes. He can’t make breakfast, though he can make quesadillas or Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. …

You spent six months unplugged and you did WHAT?!
Wednesday, 19 Jan, 2011 – 17:11 | 3 Comments
You spent six months unplugged and you did WHAT?!

It’s an event almost as foreseeable as predicting that someone this week will call today’s kids “the dumbest generation”:
A family will “unplug” – shed all electronics for an arbitrary period. Let’s say, oh, six months. …

It’s not about the Net. It’s about decency
Friday, 1 Oct, 2010 – 17:04 | 2 Comments
It’s not about the Net. It’s about decency

I knew it was coming the second I heard that the Internet was tangentially connect to Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi’s suicide.
Yes, tangentially. The Internet did not kill Clementi. It wasn’t even a weapon in …

The toys have changed but the game’s the same
Friday, 18 Jun, 2010 – 14:59 | 3 Comments
The toys have changed but the game’s the same

These kids  just don’t know how easy they have it.
Back in the day when I was walking four miles to the bus stop, up hill both ways, I needed a radio, a tape recorder, cassettes, …

It’s not the medium. It’s what you put out there
Monday, 26 Apr, 2010 – 21:32 | One Comment
It’s not the medium. It’s what you put out there

Note to California State Sen. Ellen Corbett: Social networking sites do not post personal information about minors. The minors themselves do that.
That’s why Corbett’s bill, which The Sacramento Bee says would ban sites from posting …

What can we do to create 21st Century schools? Just look to Central California
Friday, 2 Apr, 2010 – 18:29 | One Comment
What can we do to create 21st Century schools? Just look to Central California

Forget all the discussion about where we’re going to live when Dad gets out of the Army. As far as I’m concerned, it’s settled. We are moving to Madera County.
Yes, that Madera County, the one …

Milennials aren’t harder to teach. We just don’t try hard enough
Monday, 8 Mar, 2010 – 18:57 | Comments Off
Milennials aren’t harder to teach. We just don’t try hard enough

It was, admittedly, a new take on the old “these kids and their short attention spans and self-absorbed natures are ruining the world” spiel.
Instead, a British education union leader blamed a culture of “instant gratification,” …

Google doesn’t make us stupid. Stupid makes us stupid
Friday, 19 Feb, 2010 – 19:06 | One Comment
Google doesn’t make us stupid. Stupid makes us stupid

If computer manufacturers wanted to do the world a big favor they’d include, not a shortcut to software,but a direct link to snopes.com on every box sold.
It wouldn’t end all the “Starbucks is anti-military” emails …

A SWAT for enticing kids with computers and then spying on them
Thursday, 18 Feb, 2010 – 19:50 | Comments Off
A SWAT for enticing kids with computers and then spying on them

Every time Big Guy’s class has a substitute teacher, his regular one says she’ll get a report about their behavior from her “spies” when she gets back.
She’s joking. In a certain school district in suburban …

YouTube safety mode is nothing special
Friday, 12 Feb, 2010 – 17:47 | Comments Off
YouTube safety mode is nothing special

It’s ironic that Google rolled out Safety Mode parental controls for YouTube in the same week that it made gmail unsafe for some folks in its careless rollout of Buzz.
Some of the early things I’d …

To protect and serve and get you to put down the controller
Wednesday, 23 Dec, 2009 – 20:09 | Comments Off
To protect and serve and get you to put down the controller

Angela Mejia had had it.
Her 14-year-old son had been camped at his PlayStation for hours. When the dulcet tones of “Grand Theft Auto” – that a junior high kid was playing that game to begin …

Of course kids are interested in social media. So what
Monday, 2 Nov, 2009 – 22:44 | Comments Off
Of course kids are interested in social media. So what

Big Guy is an active, curious, loquacious – Lord, is he loquacious – kid who loves zipping around the neighborhood on his bike, playing with friends and torturing his brother.
He also loves SuperPoke Pets on …

The answer to marketing to kids: Parents
Monday, 28 Sep, 2009 – 23:09 | Comments Off
The answer to marketing to kids: Parents

I’ll admit it: The commercial where stoic, pseudo-intellectual teens take turns replacing body parts with Fruit by the Foot is funny.
I’ll also admit that it started the guys clamoring for Fruit by the Foot with …

See, mom? Video games ARE good for me!
Tuesday, 1 Sep, 2009 – 21:35 | Comments Off
See, mom? Video games ARE good for me!

Turns out that all those hours I spent at my brother’s house staring goggle-eyed at a screen, cursing the little blocks that wouldn’t fall into place weren’t a waste of vacation time at all.
In fact, …

Two months and a needless lawsuit later, Internet access restored
Monday, 8 Jun, 2009 – 23:08 | Comments Off
Two months and a needless lawsuit later, Internet access restored

It’s right chivalrous of Education Networks of America to take the fall for officials in two Tennessee school districts that were sued after they banned students from accessing Web sites with information about lesbian, gay, …

Digital text books a great idea, but by this fall?
Tuesday, 2 Jun, 2009 – 20:30 | 4 Comments
Digital text books a great idea, but by this fall?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s push to put free digital textbooks in Californias high schools by this fall is so enticing on so many levels, the biggest of which is in the fewer number of trees that …

Why sleep at night? Isn’t that what school’s for?
Wednesday, 27 May, 2009 – 20:00 | Comments Off
Why sleep at night? Isn’t that what school’s for?

Multitasking ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Particularly for this generation of teens, which learned the art of the overload practically from the cradle.
Take a few electronic gizmos – say, a computer and a …

A SWAT for wasting money – for the children
Friday, 22 May, 2009 – 0:55 | Comments Off
A SWAT for wasting money – for the children

You just gotta love California, though I suspect the state’s predicament is more amusing to residents of the other 49 than it is to those of us who live here.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature …

The question is how, not if, technology will change classrooms
Thursday, 7 May, 2009 – 1:11 | 4 Comments
The question is how, not if, technology will change classrooms

I’m a Mean Mom with old fogey leanings. It’s the worst possible combination.
Just ask Big Guy, who’s reduced to bartering Batman stickers for Nintendo DS time because I won’t buy him one.
Just ask Boots, whose …

Reach out and text someone – 20,000 times a month
Friday, 10 Apr, 2009 – 23:16 | Comments Off
Reach out and text someone – 20,000 times a month

Dad, you are forgiven for consistently running up overage charges even though you swore for months that you’d quit yapping and there was no need to go to a more expensive plan that would save …

The era of the 14-year-old sex offender
Friday, 27 Mar, 2009 – 22:18 | One Comment
The era of the 14-year-old sex offender

Coming to a town near you: The arrest of a teen on child pornography charges for taking pictures of herself.
It happened again this week in New Jersey, when a 14-year-old was arrested after posting nude …

Are school Web ads like being a little bit pregnant?
Thursday, 19 Mar, 2009 – 1:01 | 3 Comments
Are school Web ads like being a little bit pregnant?

Scholastic Inc.’s effort to push toys and trinkets on kids in the name of reading: Bad
Chuck E. Cheese’s generous offer to give schools 15 percent of the take from fund-raisers held at its restaurants: Tempting, …

Nintendo DS is kiddy crack
Sunday, 1 Mar, 2009 – 0:46 | Comments Off
Nintendo DS is kiddy crack

There’s been a new celebrity in Big Guy’s class since school resumed after Christmas break. Every morning before the bell, three or four kids cloister around him, in awe at his status as a cool …

RU going to jail over TXT IM?
Thursday, 19 Feb, 2009 – 0:51 | 2 Comments
RU going to jail over TXT IM?

Rule of thumb for the guys: You won’t get in nearly as much trouble for what you do as you will for lying about it.
That’s what a 14-year-old Wisconsin girl found out last week when …