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Everywhere I turn I see babies, toddlers and young children with tablets/ipads and smartphones.

The glow of the brightly colored illuminated device is attractive and alluring for people of ANY age.

But, at what age is it appropriate?

Consider the following product from Fisher Price and the differing perspectives.
Share your thoughts in the comments section at the end.

The Newborn to Toddler APPtivity Seat

On the other side

Natali Morris in Mashable responds

Opinion

As a technology reporter and mommy blogger, you’d think the Fisher-Price Apptivity Seat for newborns — an infant seat with a holder for an iPad — would be something I appreciate. But I do not. Nor, it seems, do a number of advocacy groups that want it pulled off the market because they think iPads and babies are a dangerous combination.

Fisher-Price insists its seat is a sign of the times and age appropriate. I have done enough homework on early childhood development to tell you that not only is this seat a symptom of lazy parenting, it is guaranteed to make your baby more stupid.

It Takes Effort

Those of us who are parents know that raising children takes much more effort than we had originally planned, and this just doesn’t sit well with some people. Does the Fisher-Price Apptivity Seat promote laziness? I’m not sold on that. The kind of parent that overuses baby seats and hardly holds or interacts with their children may find that the Apptivity Seat supports their lifestyle. But if it wasn’t available, they’d just use the TV.

What’s more, research suggests it might be detrimental to a child’s development.

The Wrong Stimulation

Tablets give off blue light, which has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns. This isn’t ideal for newborns, who are supposed to sleep every 90 minutes, according to pediatrician Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Patterns, Happy Child. Naps promote healthy growth, so why would you want to disrupt them?

In Your Brain On Childhood, developmental psychologist Gabrielle Principe outlines the way that an infant’s brain develops. Screen time can actually delay that growth. She says babies learn through eye contact and interaction with the world. In fact, humans are the only primates with the whites of our eyes showing, Principe explains, which means we teach with our eyes. When we say the word “apple,” our babies know what we mean because they follow our pupils to that object.

When babies look at a screen, they’re not following their parents’ eyes and movements; instead, they are staring at something that does not interact with them. Sure, apps may try to engage babies, but they don’t have eyes or limbs. Babies can neither make eye contact with, nor imitate an avatar — no matter how cute. Most developers of children’s apps know this; that’s why most apps are written for children over 2, who are far too big for the Apptivity Seat.

Screen the Screen

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time before babies are at least 2 years old. I admit that I did not abide by this rule, but I also avoided handing my children a tablet just to shut them up. I played carefully selected apps with them. I used the tablet as an interactive book — not as a babysitter. I made and still make efforts to limit screen time.

There will come a day when we have to tear electronics out of our kids’ hands. We will beg them to talk to us, look at us, interact with us. I am painfully aware of this. So why place them in front of screens almost from the moment they emerge from the womb?

In Brain Rules For Baby, brain scientist John Medina says there are two statistically significant ways to boost a child’s intellect: Talk to your baby, and nurse for up to a year. Not everyone can do those things, but do you want a tablet in your way while you try?

If you’re a lazy parent, you’ll come up with plenty of excuses to defend Fisher-Price’s $80 Apptivity Seat. But if you’ve done your homework, and read the research on early childhood and brain development, you’ll steer clear of it.

Source: http://mashable.com/2013/12/14/fisher-price-apptivity-seat/
Follow Natali Morris on Twitter @NataliMorris

“Fisher-Price’s Apptivity Seat Is Bad for Babies” was a Trending Topic on Twitter this past December

 

Read the Reviews in Amazon

There are many passionate reviews of the product on Amazon. Click the image to read.

amazon-reviews

 

From the American Academy of Pediatrics

aapMedia is everywhere. TV, Internet, computer and video games all vie for our children’s attention. Information on this page can help parents understand the impact media has in our children’s lives, while offering tips on managing time spent with various media. The AAP has recommendations for parents and pediatricians.

Today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. To help kids make wise media choices, parents should monitor their media diet. Parents can make use of established ratings systems for shows, movies and games to avoid inappropriate content, such as violence, explicit sexual content or glorified tobacco and alcohol use.

Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.

By limiting screen time and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children’s media experience. Putting questionable content into context and teaching kids about advertising contributes to their media literacy.

The AAP recommends that parents establish “screen-free” zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play.

Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

Source: http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx

Baby Brain Rules

 What do YOU Think?

 

MOBILE MOMENTUM GROWING

Mary Meeker has attained almost legendary status for her annual Internet Trends reports. The former Wall Street technology analyst, now a general partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, published her latest report on the state of the web on May 28, 2014. In it she highlights the aggressive momentum in mobile, the rapid emergence of new technology platforms, including wearable computing, and the staggering growth of the Internet in China.

The continued growth of mobile Internet usage is perhaps the most powerful theme from her INTERNET TRENDS 2014 REPORT.

What are the tools and skills students will need for the future?

Global mobile traffic as a percentage of total Internet traffic, which surpassed 15 percent this month, is growing at a rate of 1.5 times per year and is likely to maintain this pace or accelerate, according to the report.

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Desktop PC sales continue to fall, while the rate of tablets is growing faster than PC’s ever.

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Tablet growth has potential for the future, while there’s already more mobile phones than people on earth.

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Each new computing cycle typically generates around 10x the installed base of the previous cycle.

PC’s were 100 Million units, while Desktop Internet was 1 Billion units per user. Mobile Internet which includes Smartphones, Tablets, MP3 players, Cameras, and Home Entertainment devices are predicted to reach 10 BILLION units..

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 Question:

How will we transition to the exploding mobile Internet arena and what tools are available to positively impact student learning?

Source:

INTERNET TRENDS 2014 – CODE CONFERENCE
Mary Meeker May 28, 2014
http://www.kpcb.com/InternetTrends
Complete Report PDF available for DOWNLOAD

 

This page continues to be a work in progress

FUTURE OF MOBILE LEARNING

The advances in technology really beg the question as to whether “mobile learning” and “elearning” can be separate entities. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet and increases in connectedness in both people and the environment make learning possible in many ways that are mobile and without the devices we typically think of needing for “education”.

Consider for example the educational implications of this recent example:

A friend had just purchased a Google Watch and we were talking about his favorite baseball team (RedSox), when the phone instantly displayed their schedule and latest score.

How is that possible? The phone LISTENS to its environment. (Other devices do this now too: XBOX, Facebook mobile app, amongst others)

Technological advances provide information, interactions, connections and LEARNING opportunities–as convergence continues to accelerate–in ways we’ve never thought possible.

What is the Future of Mobile Technology and Learning?

This page is a work in progress and an opportunity to share with others the power, potential, and developments in technology related to mobile devices and mobile learning. Future separate posts will share my thoughts on the moral/ethical implications, concerns and other thoughts I have on these developments.

For now, share the page and your thoughts in the discussion! Thanks

GEO-LOCATION LEARNING

Information and experiences that are presented to individuals in specific places.

  • WikiMe (iPhone App) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wikime/id286865365?mt=8
    Description: WikiMe is a fun and interesting way to find Wikipedia articles for your current location or a postal code of your choice. By default WikiMe uses the current location found by your device to search for geotagged Wikipedia articles near you. It’s unlike the experience you have when browsing to the Wikipedia website, because of the geotagged articles WikiMe searches for, you get articles related to a location.

AUGMENTED REALITY

Definition: Technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

My favorite video related to Augmented Reality’s power and potential: SIGHT [7:50 min]

Sight from Robot Genius on Vimeo.

WEARABLE

sensor-enabled wearable technology
dick-tracyI was an early backer of the Pebble Watch on Kickstarter back in May of 2012, which received over $10 million dollars in backing (their goal was $100K). It was arguably the first watch to bring us closer to the 1930’s comic strip Dick Tracy.

The success of Pebble ushered in many more similar watches by other companies, with increasingly greater powers and wearable technology only continues to increase.

Wearable technology continues to expand in other areas. I’m a big fan of my FitBit for fitness, sleep, and diet monitoring. Future wearable technology won’t be something you’ll have to remember to put on because it will be embedded INTO people.  [A] [B]

Find below a list of wearable technology:

AMBIENT INTELLIGENCE (AmI)

In computing, ambient intelligence (AmI) refers to electronic ENVIRONMENTS that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people.

Ambient intelligence is a vision on the future of consumer electronics, telecommunications and computing that was originally developed in the late 1990s for the time frame 2010–2020.

In an ambient intelligence world, devices work in concert to support people in carrying out their everyday life activities, tasks and rituals in an easy, natural way using information and intelligence that is hidden in the network connecting these devices (see Internet of Things).

As these devices grow smaller, more connected and more integrated into our environment, the technology disappears into our surroundings until only the user interface remains perceivable by users.

The ambient intelligence paradigm builds upon pervasive computing, ubiquitous computing, profiling, context awareness, and human-centric computer interaction design and is characterized by systems and technologies that are (Zelkha & Epstein 1998; Aarts, Harwig & Schuurmans 2001):

  • embedded: many networked devices are integrated into the environment
  • context aware: these devices can recognize you and your situational context
  • personalized: they can be tailored to your needs
  • adaptive: they can change in response to you
  • anticipatory: they can anticipate your desires without conscious mediation.

Ambient intelligence is closely related to the long term vision of an intelligent service system in which technologies are able to automate a platform embedding the required devices for powering context aware, personalized, adaptive and anticipatory services.

[Definition Source: Wikipedia]

Internet of Things (IoT)

Started in 2008, it is simply the interconnectedness of THINGS (as opposed to people).  Connect the physical world to the Internet. the planet and everything on it will be the Internet of Things (to observe and control)–EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING. And PEOPLE will be part of that Internet of Things .

I can’t help but think of a couple dystopian Science Fiction movies I grew-up with that I think apply here [1] [2] but, will save my in-depth personal thoughts for later posts.

Watch these two video to learn more about the Internet of Things:

The Internet of Things (IoT, also Cloud of Things or CoT) refers to the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing like devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid.

Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. Current market examples include smart thermostats such as the nest and washer/dryers that utilize wifi for remote monitoring.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of connected objects in the IoT, an unprecedented number of devices are expected to be connected to the Internet. According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.  ABI Research estimates that more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020. Per a recent survey and study done by Pew Research Internet Project, a large majority of the technology experts and engaged Internet users who responded—83 percent—agreed with the notion that the Internet/Cloud of Things and embedded and wearable computing will have widespread and beneficial effects by 2025. It is, as such, clear that the IoT will consist of a very large number of devices being connected to the Internet.

[Definition Source- Wikipedia: The Internet of Things]

 

Google’s PROJECT TANGO

A very new and unique mobile phone that gives understanding of space and motion as it tracks your 3D position with millions of calculations per second.  Localization and mapping provides interactions with one’s environment like never before.

Students Using Cellphones To Cheat [INFOGRAPHIC]


Mobile Learning Infographic
More on Mobile Learning

How Consumers Use Mobile Devices [INFOGRAPHIC]


Mobile Learning Infographic

More on Mobile Learning

Major EdTech Trends for 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]


Mobile Learning Infographic
 

Source: http://www.onlinecolleges.net

More on Mobile Learning