Parenting tip: Tots and tech

Children and Technology

The world is so full of electronics these days that as many as 40% of 2-4 year old children use electronics daily, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Before you go running to take away the electronics from your toddler, consider this: not all of these media devices are bad.  It is important to note that no matter the quality of the media, without parental interaction, the media wont have much learning value. While there is no rock solid evidence showing the exact learning value that these media devices and electronics have on our children, there are some tips to help you get the most out of it.

Monitor content

This means that you should carefully select which types of media your toddler uses.  It also means that you should be interacting with them while they are using it, helping them to connect it to other things that they see/ do on a daily basis.  This will help them to remember what they are learning as well as create lasting connections with real world items or actions.

Set limits

Use your parental instincts and your best judgement to decide how much time your child spends on the media devices. You should also be monitoring them for any signs that the device is taking precedence over outdoor play or socializing. It is important as a parent to encourage outdoor play, exercise, and communicating with others. Too much of these media devices can stunt your child’s physical and social development.

Be the role model

Remember that your are the role model of your child.  If they see you using your electronic devices during every hour of the day, they will naturally assume that it is alright for them to do so as well.  Try to maintain a balance that shows them the value of the devices as well as the value of real social and physical interaction.

 

Related posts: Tech tip: Battery Basics

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Tech Tip: Battery Basics

Extending the life of your Batteries

Electronic devices are everywhere in today’s society.  With them becoming such a huge part of our lives, maximizing their life span becomes important. Everyone wants to prolong the life of their batteries for their computers, smartphones, and tablets. But did you know that some common practices may be doing the exact opposite?  Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your batteries.

Unplug your device

Leaving your devices plugged- in when they’re fully charged is detrimental to the battery’s life.  Although inconvenient, try to remove the battery when it’ll be plugged- in for extended periods of time or keep the plug-in time at a minimum.  While this is inconvenient for some and impossible for others, there is hope. Newer laptops will sometimes stop charging the battery before it reaches full capacity, increasing its life.

Keep it cool

Leaving your device in a hot car or in direct sunlight where it can heat up won’t extend the life of your battery at all.  It puts extreme stress on the battery and causes permanent damage to it.  Try to keep it below 86°F to maximize your battery’s effectiveness.  Using a cooling pad for your laptop and refraining from using wireless charging for your phones will help to keep your devices cool.

Charge it just the right amount

The lithium- ion batteries used in most of today’s electronics don’t need to be drained and charged from 0 – 100% every time.  Unless you need to calibrate the battery’s charge gauge, your battery will last longer if you keep it between 20 – 80%.   While storing your device for longer periods of time, it is recommended that you charge it to 40% to extend its life.