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


When Is a Child Instagram-Ready?

From the NY Times article:

“Spend some time introducing your child to social media, the same way you introduce them to your neighborhood,” advises Dr. Sherry Turkle, author of “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age” and an MIT psychologist. “It is simply now part of parenting.”

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.”

Watching the Winter Olympics Online with the Kids

Tablettoddlers plans on watching the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony with the kids tonight at 8:00 pm EST.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking full advantage of all Comcast Xfinity has to offer in ways of watching both online and off.  They’ve made it easy to personalize our viewing experience on X1 and the streaming app.  We’re fans of using the voice remote for EVERYTHING.  For the Olympics, just say “Olympics Home” to get started.  Ridiculously easy.

There are 50 virtual channels on X1 including dedicated ones to hockey and curling.  For quick updates, just press the “C” button, or as my kids call it, the “sports” button, or say “sports app” on the voice remote and you can get updated on specific competitions, athletes, country medal counts and sport specific video clips to binge.

Instant On Demand ensures you won’t miss a moment of primetime action.  Just select or say “restart” and you’re all set.  Otherwise, all competitions are available next day On Demand in high def or 4K.


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Experts Pan Facebook’s Messenger Kids App

From the great Axios newsletter:

Child development experts and advocates are urging Facebook to pull the plug on its new messaging app aimed at kids, AP reports:

  • “A group letter sent [today] to CEO Mark Zuckerberg argues that younger children — the app is intended for those under 13 — aren’t ready to have social media accounts, navigate the complexities of online relationships or protect their own privacy.”
  • “Facebook launched the free Messenger Kids app in December, pitching it as a way for children to chat with family members and parent-approved friends. It doesn’t give kids separate Facebook or Messenger accounts. Rather, the app works as an extension of a parent’s account, and parents get controls such as the ability to decide who their kids can chat with.”
  • The letter, signed by psychiatrists, pediatricians, educators and the children’s music singer Raffi Cavoukian: “Messenger Kids is not responding to a need — it is creating one … It appeals primarily to children who otherwise would not have their own social media accounts.”
  • Facebook’s response: The app “helps parents and children to chat in a safer way.” Parents are “always in control … [T]here is no advertising in Messenger Kids.”

Kids and the Future of AI

Friend of Tablettoddlers Cory Treffiletti has a great column today on MediaPost about kids and the future of AI.

What really caught my attention was the part about how advertising resonates with his kids because watching commercials in a world in which everything is on-demand is almost like a rare treat.  Tablettoddlers was just having this same conversation over a delicious Chinese food lunch today with friends Joanna and Glen.

When it comes to our kids and AI, I agree wholeheartedly with Cory’s closing line…”it’s going to be an interesting 20 years ahead, that’s for sure.”

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