CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Techie Mommy

Techie Mommy is a blog designed to discuss children, parents, and the technological world surrounding them. You’ll see articles that reflect on topics from screen time to STEM, toys to education, along with many others, written by parents.

There’s an App for That!

Posted August 02, 2018 3:51 PM by Reese

My son’s early education child care center uses an app that relays data regarding lesson plans, daily activities, nutrition, and even pictures of him and his classmates having fun and learning. I find this information engaging and endlessly useful, but I’ve heard comments from other parents with children in centers without the app along the lines of “That’s great, but I’d rather that teacher play with my child.”

I do understand the thinking on the other side of this topic, but what those parents may not realize is using the app actually ends up being a timesaver, making it so that teacher can teach and play with the children more. The facts and figures appearing via the app would need to be captured by the teacher and passed along to the parents regardless. Before this app, I would receive hand-written comments, which certainly take a lot longer to prepare, and sometimes weren’t as understandable. Through this technology, teachers are able to quickly summarize the necessary information with a few taps of the tablet and then refocus on their students.

I’m already thinking about how much I’ll miss being able to access this real-time data once my little man enters kindergarten in the fall. Grabbing my phone for just a moment (when I have a spare one) during my work day to take a quick peek into his – it’s something I love to do. This techie mommy is going to miss her tech!

18 comments; last comment on 08/03/2018
View/add comments

Building Robots from Tin Cans

Posted July 19, 2018 10:38 AM by Reese

Did you know there’s a kit that gives kids the opportunity to build their very own robot starting with nothing but a simple tin can? With a price tag of less than $15, this affordable activity introduces scientific and mechanical principles in an extremely fun and imaginative way.

The tin can robot seems like a great hands-on pastime for children who show an interest in building things, taking things apart, or inspecting how things work. It has the added advantage of teaching them how to repurpose household items in a creative and useful manner. While still a few years under the recommended age of eight, I feel like my little STEM-aholic would enjoy working with his techie mommy and daddy to build a robot capable of taking over his imaginative little world.

And talk about a fantastic, two-fold rainy day activity! Not only does building the robot offer delightful time spent, but then your kiddo has a brand new toy to provide gleeful entertainment and hopefully prevent endless pronouncements of “I’m bored.” Sounds like a win-win to me!

26 comments; last comment on 07/25/2018
View/add comments

The Great Screen Time Debate

Posted June 28, 2018 8:45 AM by Reese

I am a Techie Mommy. I love all the gadgets and gizmos offered today, and look forward to what will be offered tomorrow. But not all parents feel the same way regarding technology.

Little brings such vast debate amongst parents of young children as screen time. Should it be welcomed? Should it be forbidden? Or is the real answer simply creating a balance?

We live in a world filled with technology. Isn’t there value in teaching our young ones how to use that technology on an appropriate level? Some schools introduce tablet use as early as pre-K as a tool to enhance other learning methods. Students practice skills such as letter recognition and early math in a way that’s both fun and different, but complements more traditional approaches such as workbooks and flash cards.

If we send our kiddos off to school never having touched a device, are we putting them at a disadvantage? On the other hand, too much screen time could also put them at a disadvantage because it takes time away from socializing or reading.

While there are certainly two definitive sides of the argument, I believe the most important variable should be to know your child. If he or she would rather skip other important activities such as socializing with peers, playing outside, or reading books to sit for hours on a tablet, then perhaps it would be a good idea to set clear time limits. If he or she shies away from technology because they’re unfamiliar, then perhaps some time spent with an adult and some age-appropriate apps is in order.

If you’re lucky enough to have a child who self-regulates, then they’ve already done the hard part for you. They’ve created their own comfortable balance of the time-honored childhood activities so important to their growth, along with expanding their knowledge and skills in the realm of technology to prepare them for their future.

And if you’re not the parent of a self-regulator, well then…let the balancing act begin!

15 comments; last comment on 07/19/2018
View/add comments

Show all Blog Entries in this Blog