Children and Technology

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shelley Pasnik, Director of the Center for Children and Technology, discusses how children are using technology and how technology is changing education and family dynamics. She looks at the advantages and disadvantages of children using computers, iPads, and iPhones. We'll find out what guidelines parents should follow in terms of their children's use of technology. And we’re taking your calls!

Do you use iPads or iPhones to keep your kids occupied? Are they a learning tool or a time-waster? Tell us in the comments section below!

Or call us at 646-829-3985 with a question or to share how you manage kids and technology in your home.

Can iPads help kids learn to read or do computers and games drive kids to destraction?


Shelley Pasnik

Comments [11]

Jane from Brooklyn

Excellent questions by Amy E. she must be a mother. The school work load on children today (certainly in NYC) is tremendous. They are now asked to accomplish four hours of homework in middle school using (in our case) school mandated laptops. A 12 or 13 year old does not have the maturity to self regulate homework time vs. searching for that new baseball mitt or i-chating with girls. I don't think technology is "bad," but I do think it contributes to the stress on kids and families. I'd love to see a serious national conversation on how families and schools can help children negotiate a technology that is clearly here to stay.

Jul. 20 2011 03:49 PM

Sorry I meant to say 'Rewire's the brain'!

Jul. 18 2011 01:00 PM
heather from west village

I decided when the oldest of my 3 children was 4 that the media offered very little that I wanted involved in the upbringing of my kids. I especially didn't like the fighting about access that I observed between my two boys. I banned all video games and network tv from the household, and did not make any exceptions until they were out of high school. At home they watched pre-approved videos and that was it. I didn't control what they watched at friends' homes. As a result they have many hobbies, are great readers, play music and interact very successfully with technology. They still accessed plenty of media outside the home and at school. Parents need to show more courage in making important decisions about who will raise their children. I am not a Luddite and have an masters' degree from MIT. This was the best decision I made as a young mother.

Jul. 18 2011 12:56 PM

I agree with the caller named Emily who put technology in a social context wonderfully. Facebook and other sites that network socially can become overly competitive and be overwhelming for anyone especially for teenagers. On the other side this new technology is a wonderful tool for learning, revolutionary even, but not so much in the way the previous person stressed. 'It resides the brain'. That is very abstract and it's only in a real social context that we understand and become aware.

Jul. 18 2011 12:53 PM
Michael Bengis from Hopatcong, NJ

Re: programon technology. It's too bad you cut of Francesco after just a few seconds. He was one of the more intellegent commentors you had on the air. His opinion about the horrors of FACEBOOK in my opinion were right on traget. He should been given the courtesty of a little more air time. M. Bengis

Jul. 18 2011 12:50 PM
BK from Brooklyn

Wow, this segment seems so out of touch. I am almost shocked that parents are calling in who think that they can prevent their 13 year olds from being on the computer, or using other technology. Chances are these children are using everything as soon as they get with their friends. If they aren't these parents are being very negligent. Board games, yeah they are quaint. But being educated and successful requires constant use of technology. If parents don't want children who only interact with their DSs, they should engage them in interesting conversation and model good social skills.

Jul. 18 2011 12:46 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The mention of how social media amplify natural desires to have more friends reminds me of dietary issues that are based on real nutritional needs that humans evolved with when the availability of food wasn't constant but aren't so advantageous in societies where foods are manufactured w/high levels of sugar, fat, & salt & are available all the time.

Jul. 18 2011 12:43 PM
Phil from Park slope

Adults need to take more responsibility for defining what the societal norms are going to be for social media. Even as an adult I get a lot of pushbafk from my peers when I let them know that I have privacy concerns about posting personal information and photos on the Internet. The society hasn't really thought through the potential consequences of social media, or about future-proofing their digital lives.

Jul. 18 2011 12:43 PM
Maude from Park SLope

That Dan Savage campaign telling kids "it will get better"? How can kids think it will get better when adults are behaving in such adolescent ways on facebook/twitter etc. I don't think there is any place kids can look to yet for a healthy mature way to use facebook because we are all trying to figure it out right now. I am a 36 yr old and all of my friends sounds like teenagers, I find it really tiresome.

Jul. 18 2011 12:39 PM
Catherine from Garden City, NY

As with everything, moderation is key. Technology should not be used to babysit your child, it should be used as a form of entertainment and even as a tool for learning. I have a 9 month old and a husband who is a technologist, so it is inevitable that my son will eventually use technology during his everyday routine. It is really up to the parents to moderate and control the frequency and uses of technology. I may also note that while we have plenty of hard copy books for my son, we also read children's books to my son via the iPad and the visuals are amazing. You can also interact with the stories and he gets a kick our of it. I also assume he will be required to have a laptop by the time he's in elementary school. This is nothing short of preparing him for the real world when that time comes.

Jul. 18 2011 12:19 PM
Larry from Brooklyn

All learning involves "re-wiring" of the brain (according to neuroscience research). Without brain changes, there would be no learning or memory at all. There is nothing fundamentally different about the brain changes that occur to video games than that which occurs to reading a book or interacting with another person.

Jul. 18 2011 12:13 PM

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