Dear Smartphone: Needing Newest

newer phones are bigger
Bigger Better phones (WSJ-9/9/18)

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: THERE ARE LOTS OF NEW PHONES COMING OUT THIS FALL AND I REALLY WANT TO GET ONE. BUT MY FAMILY SAYS THAT I DON”T NEED ONE AND I AM JUST SHOWING OFF. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Jeff, San Jose

Dear Jeff: I concur-This season brings a lot of phone upgrades. In marketing there are people known as early adopters- they are first to try out a new product and spread the word. If that’s you, go for it! Your new phone will have better security, improved picture taking, and, with a bigger screen, you might download more apps (see this link). But, take a minute: is your family trying to tell you something? Before you get that new phone, consider the upfront cost and monthly payments, whether you will be spending more time on the phone and less time with family, and whether the size and shape are convenient.

Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I HAVE A SON AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN ARE AGES 3 AND 7. THEY GAVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN iPAD OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. MY SON SAYS THIS IS BETTER FOR THEM THAN WATCHING T.V. BECAUSE THEY CAN FOLLOW CARTOONS AND PLAY GAMES THAT ARE PERSONALIZED AND INTERACTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Susan, La Jolla

Dear Susan: This is a super interesting issue. There might be some advantage to the tablet or iPad because they are interactive and can be used for instructional purposes, say learning the alphabet or how to add numbers.
Unfortunately, many parents do not choose and monitor the content this carefully. Instead, they use the technology to keep a child entertained and quiet, whether that be in the car, a restaurant or elsewhere. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice”

Dear Smartphone: Homework or Phonework?

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: MY TWO GIRLS GO BACK TO SCHOOL THIS WEEK. ONE OF THEM IS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE YOUNGER ONE IS IN EIGHTH GRADE.   I AM WORRIED THAT THEY WILL NOT BE SO ATTENTIVE TO THEIR SCHOOL WORK THIS YEAR BECAUSE THEY SPEND SO MUCH TIME ON THEIR PHONES. THEY GET LOTS OF HOMEWORK. SoCal Mom, Los Angeles

Dear SoCal Mom: Almost every parent thinks about this issue when school begins anew. I recommend two books that help parents achieve a school/media balance. One is called “The Art of Screen Time” by Anya Kamenetz and the other is “Reader:Come Home” by Maryanne Wolf.  I  recommend that you prepare your students to be deep learners by insisting Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Homework or Phonework?”