Wednesday, 11 July 2012

My kids and I were watching a news show this morning (ok, it was just on the background - kids don't really watch the news) and they showed a brief clip of Cookie Monster singing to the song "Call Me Maybe". They were keen to jump up from the dining table and dance instead of finishing their breakfast so I told them if they finished eating and got ready quickly I would let them watch it on YouTube.

As soon as they were ready to leave I grabbed my trusty iPad and put the video on for them. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I found it in about 5 seconds flat.

This got me thinking to 'back in my day' (said in old lady's voice) when I would have to sit in front of the TV for hours waiting for my favourite songs to come on so I could record them on video or listen to the radio to record onto a cassette tape. (Wow - I feel really old!)

Kids are spoilt for choice these days. YouTube, iTunes, and millions of other websites out there mean that they have everything they want at their fingertips. Surely they don't appreciate a song as much as we did when it was so much harder to get.

How about you? Did you wait for hours or days just to record your favourite songs?


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Young kids using Facebook

I enjoy Facebook as much as the next person, so why shouldn't we let our kids use it? Aside from the obvious dangers of being cyberstalked by strangers, cyberbullying, and not understanding the true meaning of PRIVACY settings...they could also be targeted by advertising companies.

As if it is not annoying enough to be hassled by the kids when they see ads on TV, we now may have to contend with Facebook. 

OK, advertising in Facebook is not new, but Facebook allowing preteens to use Facebook is (or will be soon), and this is where the concern of advertising to very young kids comes in.

Facebook does claim that they are taking the issue seriously and listening to recommendations, but what if this changes in the future? How do we really know our kids won't have ads targeted at them everytime they login? It is so easy for them to click on those ads and be taken anywhere on the Web.

It is every parent's responsibility to teach kids about cybersafety, and marketing goes hand in hand with it. It may be simple enough to advise teenagers on the wrongs and rights of advertising, but how do you explain it to a ten year old, or nine, or eight, or seven....?

I believe that it is important to teach our kids about using social networks as they are very good resources if you know how to use them safely, but I, for one, will not be letting young kids use Facebook if there is advertising popping up next to status updates from their friends. The digital world is confusing enough at a young age....and mummy's credit card just doesn't stretch that far!

If Facebook starts allowing kids under 13 to use Facebook, will you let your kids sign up? What are your thoughts on Facebook advertising to kids?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Is your teen's Facebook status putting them in danger?

 Millions of teenagers around the world are using Facebook on a daily basis, but do they really know the consequences of their status updates?

Recently, an Australian teenager posted photos on her Facebook page of large wads of cash that her grandmother was counting. As a result, two masked men invaded her mother's home trying to find it. The money was not in the house but they got away with a small amount of cash. Fortunately, no one was injured.

This incident begs the question: do you know what your kids are really up to on Facebook?

As parents, we are responsible for bringing our kids up and teaching them right from wrong, but how many of us know what to teach them when it comes to the digital age? Everything on the Web is persistent and can follow us for the rest of our lives. It is up to parents to guide our children through their Internet footprints so they don't live to regret the choices they make in their digital lives.

The case above shows unawareness of privacy and trust issues on the Internet. We must teach our children that they never really know who is watching in our real lives as well as virtual.

Have you had a dangerous experience caused by Facebook use?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Google’s Project Glass

Have you seen the latest invention by Google? They call it Project Glass. Have a look at this video for more information and tell us what you think!

This type of technology gets me excited about the future. At first glance it seems to be the equivalent of having a personal assistant to follow you around everywhere. However, what are the consequences of technology like this?

Google already records every move we make on the Internet when we are logged into a Google account; can you just imagine the amount of information we would need to give up to them to use this type of technology?

There is no doubt that the semantic web (or Web 3.0) is coming but what happens when we give all of this information to one company? Granted, they use this information to enable us to take full advantage of their technologies, but what else are they using it for?

As technology moves us quickly into the future, let’s just stop, take a deep breath, and think before jumping in feet first. I am sure I will be one of the people eager to try these when they are released, but not before doing plenty of research on it first. Watch this space for more info when I do manage to get my hands on a pair. Google? Are you listening? Interested in a guinea pig?

Check this link out for a preview of how they look!

Can you see yourself in a pair of these in the not-too-distant-future? Tell us what you think.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I love technology

I love technology. There, I said it. My name is Lisa and I am a technoholic. Not that I have every little gadget you can imagine – although I would if I were rich – I have a few useful bits and pieces and they make my life fun, co-ordinated, and chaotic all at once.
My iPad is probably my favourite piece of technology at the moment. I have had the iPad 2 since the day it came out and it has been my best friend ever since. We often sit down with a coffee and have girl talk. Well not quite, but it does pretty much everything else for me.
Thanks to convergence of many different technologies, we are able to keep practically our entire lives in our pockets. Gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops are enabling us to carry large amounts of information with us everywhere we go. We can share photos and videos with loved ones the instant they are taken. We can store study notes, recipes, music, movies, and anything else you can think of, all with the touch of a button (…or screen!).
What is the downside to this? If we are unlucky, we can lose every piece of information we own in one fowl swoop. Well, thanks to synchronisation and cloud technology that is becoming less the case. The biggest problem I can see at the moment is the digital divide. Although it is gradually becoming easier to afford these technologies, there are still many who cannot. Are they being left behind? Are some kids at a disadvantage because their friends are able to store all of their homework on one device and easily read it wherever they go (yeah, sure they do that!)?
I cannot wait for the day when every kid at school is given an iPad. It sure beats carrying around all those heavy text books. The future of technology is very exciting, especially when you imagine how our digital life will be in 50 years from now.
Now, if only I could remember all my passwords!