More Than Half of Parents Told By Kids to Put Away Phones During Dinner

Recently, Comcast took a survey showing parents across the country are almost unanimous in their belief that disconnecting from devices during mealtime improves family bonding (98 percent), with nearly half (42 percent) not able to remember the last time their family had a device-free meal and some going so far as to disconnect their modems to stop their children’s Wi-Fi usage.

If this hits too close to home, check out the xFi app from Comcast.  The xFi experience can be controlled via a mobile app (iOS and Android), website, and on the TV with the X1 voice remote.  Chances are you have it as xFi is now available to more than 10 million Xfinity Internet customers with a compatible Xfinity Wi-Fi device, and comes at no extra cost.

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The Texts are Coming From Inside the House

“Some parents, spouses, teenagers … are finding that texting [each other inside the same house] can sometimes actually make a household run more smoothly,” according to a Boston Globe front-pager by Beth Teitell:

  • “Tired and hungry after a day of high school and sports, Isaiah Ramsey likes to collapse on his bed, grab his phone, and place a mobile dinner order. To his mom. In the next room.”
  • “Digital natives who are accustomed to summoning everything from their phones — restaurant meals, consumer goods, Uber — are lounging in their rooms and tapping out requests for service from their parents. ‘Can you bring my charger?'”
  • “Parents who were initially horrified at the seemingly impersonal communication mode have not only made their peace with it — they’re deploying it themselves. ‘It’s the only reliable way to reach them when they’re upstairs,’ said Remi Dansinger, a mother of three … They are always looking at their phones — at Snapchat or Instagram — so they can’t pretend they don’t see my messages.'”

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 Live.ly, 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.