Apple Debuts New Page to Help Parents With Screen-Time Concerns

From the CNN piece:

The new “Families” page — located at — is an attempt to help parents understand and use all the features that are already floating around on Apple devices. Many parents may not know that they have the power to track their children’s location, monitor and limit their purchases, and filter what content they can see on their devices.

It also covers privacy, health related settings like sleep mode, sharing between family members, and the use of Apple devices in education.

apple families page

The company also updated its support page for parental controls.


Why Your Kids Need You To Unplug (At Least a Little Bit)

Ninety-eight percent of children under the age of 8 have access to a mobile device at home, and all that time connected can have a negative impact on them. Kids spend a lot of time in front of screens – and need to unplug sometimes, writes Angela Roe in this MediaShift piece. She recommends making the upcoming National Day of Unplugging a family affair.

48-Hour Screen-Time Experiment: What Happens When Kids Have No Limits

From the Good Morning America segment:

“Every parent I know complains about the battle: Being the screen police with their kids. How much screen time? When can the kids have it? And how do you get them to power off when their time limit is up?

The dream is that kids will self-regulate their screen time and turn the devices off after a moderate amount of use. But how far from that reality are we?

The Harding family of Menlo Park, California, decided they would try to find out.”

PHOTO: The Harding family of Menlo Park, Calif., let their four children, 6-year-old Cooper, 9-year-old Spencer, 11-year-old twins Jackson and Kaitlyn, regulate their own screen time for 48 hours.

Your Kid’s Phone Is Not Like a Cigarette

Interesting editorial in today’s NY Times.  Here’s an excerpt:

A new national ad campaign, “Truth About Tech,” is designed to expose the ways that platforms like YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook are harmful to children and to “protect young minds from digital manipulation and exploitation.”

Organized by the nonprofits Common Sense and the Center for Humane Technology, it has been compared by its organizers to the “Truth” anti-tobacco campaign, which, beginning in 1999, rolled out ads — including images of body bags placed outside a major tobacco company to represent the number of people killed by tobacco each day — that are credited with helping to slash teenage smoking rates.

“Think of it like the Truth campaign for cigarettes. If you remember the 1990s TV ads, it was not saying, ‘Hey, this is going to have this bad health consequences for you if you smoke,’” Tristan Harris, the founder and executive director of the Center for Humane Technology, said in a February interview about the campaign with “The Truth campaign was about telling you the truth about how they design it deliberately to be addictive.”

But an anti-tobacco campaign is not an ideal model for the effort to make technology safer for children. Because while there’s plenty of concern about overuse of technology among young people, the actual evidence of addictiveness and harm is much more complex than it was in the case of cigarettes.

Is Tech Affecting Students’ Handwriting?

Increasing use of technology has affected students hand strength leading to difficulty holding pens and pencils, says Sally Payne of the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust. Activities such as cutting, playing with building blocks and pulling ropes can help students develop proper writing grip, Payne notes.

Check out this Guardian article for more.

Teacher and children

America’s Real Digital Divide

From an interesting op-ed in today’s NY Times:

“A group of former Facebook and Google employees last week began a campaign to change the tech companies they had a hand in creating. The initiative, called Truth About Tech, aims to push these companies to make their products less addictive for children — and it’s a good start.  But there’s more to the problem. If you think middle-class children are being harmed by too much screen time, just consider how much greater the damage is to minority and disadvantaged kids, who spend much more time in front of screens.”