.Please see the bottom of the post for giveaway details (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)! Last Tuesday I not only had the opportunity to attend a preview of the movie “Insurgent” (released Friday March 20, 2015) but the location was in the San Francisco office … Continue reading →
I have always open about the dichotomy of being equally tech savvy and craft challenged. Even looking at the beautiful crafts on Pinterest makes me hyper ventilate..When I took the time to understand what caused my advanced state of craft issues, … Continue reading →
What factors and usability issues need to be overcome for consumers to adopt technology? I have a simplistic attitude towards consumer technology that stems from my background in programming, database design, usability testing and technical project management: the … Continue reading →
Because kids have access to browsers on many devices they can roam the internet which can result in kids seeing inappropriate content. The best defense for parents is to make sure they educate their kids on internet safety and have … Continue reading →
The hardest part about preparing to write this post was watching the previews because I CAN’T WAIT until the new Disney movies come out for 2015. Disney movies are a family staple that people of all ages can enjoy … Continue reading →
At CES 2015 this year we were excited to attend a lunch organized by Techlicious.com and work on a sponsored project to share all of the announcements for Lenovo at CES 2015. I have been following Lenovo’s products with great … Continue reading →
My favorite Consumer Electronics Show (CES) activity is roaming the showroom floor and seeing all the new technology. This year I was excited to work on a sponsored project for Panasonic and Techlicious.com that included video coverage of the CES 2015 … Continue reading →
Monday is not only a day of vacation from school, it is a day of meaning. “Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third … Continue reading →
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by LG Electronics. One of the key technology areas relative to families is home technology. LG Electronics invited a group of journalists covering family tech to a breakfast at CES 2015 Family Tech Summit to discuss … Continue reading →
There are so many different emotions that my friends and I talk about experiencing during the holidays. We feel the love of family and friends but at the same time the stress of holiday shopping, entertaining and then as parents … Continue reading →
I am thrilled to see organizations like Common Sense Media and Dr BJ Fogg of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab provide valuable information on safe social networking for teens including IMPORTANT information on privacy controls. So here are the links, parents take a look and learn:
I hope to go to the Facebook class for Parents at Stanford and will print out the Common Sense Family Media agreements for my kids. It is important for all parents to be proactive and help themselves and their families learn about/implement proper online safety.
"Latitude is a new feature for Google Maps on your mobile device. It's
also an iGoogle gadget on your computer. Once you've opted in to
Latitude, you can see the approximate location of your friends and
loved ones who have decided to share their location with you."
"Fun aside, we recognize the sensitivity of location data, so we've
built fine-grained privacy controls right into the application.
Everything about Latitude is opt-in. You not only control exactly who
gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they
So looking back on the Twitter conversation, yes – it may be teenager's who lie to their parents worse nightmare. For example, if a parent set up Latitude PRIVACY settings to only allow parents to track their teen's cellphone – then if their teenager said they are at the library studying when really they are at the mall shopping – they would be caught.
On the cool side, isn't some of being a teenager sneaking off with friends? On the non-cool side – maybe it is easier to be honest with parents to show responsibility (which teens need to have a phone in the first place). On the other hand, it may not be appropriate for parents to be online all day tracking where their teens are. Also, teenagers could always work around or disable the settings. Well then, what is the middle ground?
In the end, my question is what about parents access to that information? Standard cellphone plans do not have “monitoring” for children included. Child monitoring services are “add-ons”including Verizon Chaperone and Sprint Family Locator.
I have been looking into this myself because soon it will be time to purchase a cell phone for my older son. It is IMPORTANT for parents to realize that just purchasing a cell phone does not provide access to tracking systems. Obviously, there should be an immediate response from cell phone companies if a child is missing, but it may be worthwhile for parents to also look at having a tracking system for their own use. And one that only allows “parents” to track their children – and not open it up to strangers (security settings are an issue).
Here are some links to reviews of GPS tracking systems for Parents (other then the family locator plans):
I was interviewed for a video Tech reporter Kym McNicholas did for Forbes.com called “High Tech Babysitter“. This is relevant because beyond the moral issues of a child’s right to privacy, these days you can never be too safe. As part of the preparation for the conversation with Kym McNicholas (and what I learned from talking with her), a few products seemed the most interesting (but I have not tried yet):
IMSafer for letting parents know if their kids may be in a dangerous situation online.
Overall, I feel locator services should be standard in all family plans – but is that possible for reasonable prices? In any case, cell phone networks should be able to provide timely location information to any family that has called in an emergency. If upgrades to our networks need to be made to enable this, then that should be a priority. Or if privacy is an issue, let’s resolve parent’s access to their kids ahead of time – no matter what age their kids are.
And as parents we need to find the right balance for how we keep track of our kids, utilizing some high tech gadgets if needed with the good old low tech communication. That – or just injecting our kids with a GPS Tracking chip (when that is invented).
I was thrilled to be interviewed by Forbes.com Tech reporter Kym McNicholas for a video update on high tech babysitting (using technology to monitor your kids). The issue is a very complicated; with all the technology available to monitor your kids every move – where do you draw the "ethical versus safety" line.
Take a look at the video… I will be posting about this topic in the coming weeks.
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Beth Blecherman a.k.a “TechMama”
TECH BLOGGER: Shares straight talk on parenting meets technology across many social media platforms including blog TechMamas.com and Twitter @TechMama. She is well know for past articles in Mashable, Laptop Magazine and Cool Mom Tech. She currently contributes to Dot Complicated.
INFLUENCER & SPOKESPERSON: TechMamas.com media coverage includes Time.com, Forbes.com, PCMag, Parents.com, WorkingMother and more. Beth has represented many top brands as a Spokesperson online and on TV.
SPEAKER: Her speaking opportunities include SXSW, Web 2.0, BlogHer, 500 Startups MamaBear Tech Conference, Draper University and UC Berkeley Extension.
TECH CONSULTANT: Testing and focus groups for family tech products, websites and apps.
PAST: Senior Manager of Business Process Integrity at Deloitte, Co-Founder of hyper-local national mom blog network called Silicon Valley Moms Group - sold to Technorati.