It’s 10 P.M. Do You Know What Apps Your Children Are Using?

From the NY Times post:

A guide to what parents will (or should) be anxiously monitoring during this busy back-to-school season:

Video-Messaging Apps – Marco PoloHouse Party and FireChat

Yellow – which has been called “Tinder for teens” (swipe right if you want to become friends with someone; swipe left if you don’t)

Anonymous Apps – After SchoolSarahahSayAt.MeMonkey and Ask.Fm

Ephemeral Apps – Many adults have heard of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, but what about, a rising live-streaming app with a large teenage audience?


‘Schoolifying’ Minecraft Without Ruining It

Still from the game Minecraft (Photo courtesy of Martin Gee for NPR)

Teachers are using Minecraft, the popular game that allows players the chance to build a 3-D world out of “blocks,” in every imaginable subject, from literature to social studies to math. Build a 3-D diorama of an archaeological dig; retell a Japanese folktale; test bridge designs in different materials and build video games within the game. Read how teachers and developers are trying to bring Minecraft into classrooms without ruining the fun.

Teaching Kids Coding, by the Book

Here’s an excerpt from this nice article from NY Times article about the great organization, Girls Who Code:

“One sunny summer morning this month, a group of 20 teenage girls gathered in a conference room in the sleek offices of a tech company in Manhattan. It was their fifth week of coding camp, and they were huddled around laptops, brainstorming designs for their final projects. One group was building a computer game that simulates the experience of going through life with depression and anxiety, while others were drafting plans for websites that track diversity at companies and help connect newly arrived immigrants with local community groups.”


Reclaim Your Family Time With Xfinity xFi

Comcast introduced Xfinity xFi, an app especially for parents to reclaim control over wireless devices in the home. It’s easy for users to set up their home Wi-Fi network, find their password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls, and even pause Wi-Fi access on their home network during dinner or bedtime.

The xFi app lets me see who is on which device and be in charge of it.  As parents in a digital age, it is not always easy to know what the kids are up to, but with xFi you can at least set limits and boundaries very easily with a click on the xFi dashboard.

And, I can actually reclaim control and the kids attention since xFi lets me pause connection to all devices, which I know will get everyone’s attention without saying a peep.

Finally, because they’re always announcing new updates – Comcast also introduced its 1 Gigabit Internet offering in the Boston area to be able to handle dozens of wireless devices at once. New and current customers can visit to learn about the new service and request additional information.

Control and speed – now I feel better as a busy parent!

How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to be Media-Savvy)

From the Salon post:

“If you get your news online or from social media, this type of headline sounds very familiar. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s satire? Now that anyone with access to a phone or computer can publish information online, it’s getting harder to tell. But as more people go to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other online sources for their news and information, it’s even more crucial that all of us — especially kids — learn to decode what we read online. (Learn more about how kids get their news and how they feel about it in Common Sense Media’s report, News and America’s Kids: How Young People Perceive and Are Impacted by the News.)”