Maybe It’s Time to Give Pokemon Go a Try

Tablettoddlers initially rolled our eyes at the Pokemon Go craze a few weeks ago and gave it a dismissive shrug.  After reading friend Jason Boog’s post, we may reconsider.  Here’s a sample of what the whip-smart Boog said:

“I loved playing the popular app with my almost 6-year-old daughter. The game turns your real life neighborhood into a digital map filled with creatures to discover. We walked around our neighborhood, photographed digital creatures in the bushes, captured Pokémon and met other kids playing the game. Best of all, we shared my smartphone for a couple hours–a truly rare experience.”

We especially liked his advice on how to supplement the app with a good old-fashioned book:

“Instead of criticizing kids for obsessing over apps like Pokémon Go, we should find books that compliment these digital experiences. I ordered our family a copy of Scholastic’s Pokémon Deluxe Essential Handbook. This colorful reference book gives kids a way to explore the Pokémon universe WITHOUT a device.”

Sounds like there’s no downside to at least giving it a try, considering how Pokemon-crazy Tablettoddlers’ nine and six year old are.  Will report back.


The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children

From the NY Times post:

“Reading and being read to open unlimited stories; worlds can be described and created for you, right there on the page, or yes, on the screen, if that is where you do your later reading. But as those early paper books offer you those unlimited stories, the pictures will move if you imagine the movement; the duck will quack if you know how to work your parent. It’s all about pushing the right buttons.”

Dad Time With The Olympics

Recently, I had the chance to sample some of the Rio Olympics TV viewing experience at a Comcast event in Boston.  Here’s what I learned…

For Rio, Comcast has created an Olympics destination on X1, offering customers a place to easily search, discover and access more than 6,000 hours of NBC’s Olympic programming available throughout the Games.  The Road to Rio homepage is accessible through the main menu, which Comcast has enhanced to offer easy, instant access to real-time Olympic coverage as well as Front Row to Rio and customized content.  Customers will also have the ability to personalize their Olympics experience by using the “favorite” feature on X1 to easily follow the athletes, teams and nations they care about most and navigate the entire Olympics experience with the sound of their voice using the X1 voice remote (in English or Spanish).

With the integrated X1 Sports app, customers can search and explore the latest medal counts, live results, and real-time stats for events, as well as browse all live and streaming programming schedules, select the specific event live stream they would like to view, and watch the latest highlights of their favorite events and athletes on demand.

Plus, X1 customers can also access GoldZone right on the TV or on their mobile device to watch any Olympics match that will result in medals for the winners.

And, there’s no worries about missing any of the action with real-time notifications around must-see moments, the ability to select from broadcast or specific online streaming coverage of individual events and catch up on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, or any edition of the full NBC primetime show, available the next day on Xfinity On Demand.

Tablettoddlers is looking forward to watching the Olympics with the kids.

What’s the Right Age for a Child to Get a Smartphone?

Very relevant topic for Tablettoddlers in this NY Times piece:

“The longer you wait to give your children a smartphone, the better. Some experts said 12 was the ideal age, while others said 14. All agreed later was safer because smartphones can be addictive distractions that detract from schoolwork while exposing children to issues like online bullies, child predators or sexting.”



Can ‘Minecraft’ Really Change the Way Teachers Teach?

From the Motherboard post:

“Not every teacher is going to have the creativity to create good lesson plans that incorporate Minecraft, either. That’s where plays a role. While it’s somewhat limited right now, the website already has a host of resources including lesson plans educators can use. Eventually, Quarnstrom told me that the website will be a hub for the community to share and vote on lesson plans, creating an endless resource for teachers who might lack an intimate enough understanding of Minecraft to develop their own.”

Parents Following Their Kids to Snapchat

Is coolness done for Snapchat? That’s what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to admit in 2013 as teens fled his social media platform for the Venice upstart once their parents started to join. Now Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel may have to face the same reality, as his ephemeral messaging app is growing in popularity among older demographics.

According to a recent comScore report, the percentage of Snapchatters among smartphone users age 25 and up has multiplied by seven in the past three years. Some 38 percent of older millennial smartphone users age 25-34 use the app, and 14 percent of those 35 and older do, up from 5 percent and 2 percent three years ago.