Ipads in Library?

Taking kids to library…where they play on Ipads!

Ipads in Public Library (Nashua, NH) (2013)

Dear Ms. Smartphone: Writing on behalf of my daughter. She questions why I take my grandchildren to the library every week, since they only play with the Ipads in the kid’s room. I suppose those Ipads are loaded with age-appropriate games and reading. When they do this, it gives me time to browse the shelves. Mora, Lexington

Dear Mora: It’s a generational thing- you and I may not quite get it. The skills for reading well and remembering content on digital media may be different than the skills for reading well and remembering content in print.

Many educators see the need to offer both. Check out this older podcast from Julie Coiro.I like the point that good readers and experienced gamers may differ in their reading preferences.

Here is a more recent story compiled by KQED radio. This Anaheim teacher is developing cognitive strategies that help to deepen reading comprehension (online?). We are at the infancy of our understanding the differences. Meanwhile, enjoy your weekly visit and encourage the grandkids to check out reading books, just like you do!

Simple Phones..Busy Life

Dear Ms. Smartphone: Do you think it’s a good idea to get a second phone, like a retro model that just does text and calls? I just heard about this and it intrigued me as a way to cut back my time online. TC, Tiburon

Dear TC: There was an extended story in the Wall St. Journal on minimalist phones. The idea is that you can be less distracted and more focused with a smaller gadget. Some time ago, I suggested provisional phones for pre-teens, a similar idea. Some of the new stripped down phones cost more than $300. – nothing basic there! However, you could opt for an old-fashioned clamshell model that costs under $50. Before you do this, take an inventory of the apps you ‘Must Have.’ For me, that’s GPS, plus Uber and Lyft. I could download music to a different device, and carry a pocket flashlight, but I leave modern society without GPS and Rideshare.

Families and Phones

Dear Ms. Smartphone: I would like to have better communications with my family. But it’s confusing. My mom seems to always be on the phone when I get home from school. When we have a family dinner, it seems like everyone has their phone next to them. But,I Skype my Grandparents weekly and I talk with my Dad, who lives out-of-state, almost every day. Ken, Penngrove

From Dear Smartphone: Smartphones Makes Us Closer to People Farther Away and Further from People Who Are Close?

Dear Ken: Your observations are pretty astute. It’s been said that the technology makes us closer to people who are farther away, and more distant with people who are close by. It varies by age too, so as you get older you might find a different set of experiences to share with nearby family .

When cell phones were fairly new (2008) Pew did a large survey and identified the blurring of work and family life but did not (yet) see an impact on parent/child relationships. Times have changed! Take a look at this 2018 advise from PBS Parents and a Harvard trained pediatrician.   She was fascinated (and alarmed) by the cultural change she saw as parents rapidly adopted mobile devices. You cannot change your parents, but you can set an example- communicate with them as you would like them to communicate with you.