Disclosure: Sponsored post The combination of being a busy mom driving my kids around with visiting clients and going to press events in San Francisco mean that I spend lots of time driving in my car. When I drive … Continue reading →
Let’s face it, being a parent leaves little time to think about gifts. Yes, there are some very organized people that plan months in advance to order the perfect Father’s Day gift for their husband/Dad and organize the perfect brunch … Continue reading →
This weekend (June 6 and 7) is one of my favorite community events: Sunset Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park, CA. Sunset’s absolutely beautiful seven-acre campus is being transformed into an “interactive showcase for the regions most exiting lifestyle inspiration and freshest flavors“. … Continue reading →
With summer around the corner, I already am wondering how I can keep my kids engaged in learning over the next few months. They enjoy learning from videos so I thought, “Why not find some cool videos for them to watch?” The … Continue reading →
While on a hunt for weekend maker activities for my 12 year old twins, I found a site called Camperoo which has weekend STEM workshops for kids. The event we went to was run by the team behind Tinkering … Continue reading →
Last year on a press trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, I had a chance to experience majestic mountains surrounded by a picturesque valley, plus a full set of fun activities, beautiful resort grounds, delicious restaurants and friendly people. The press trip was to … Continue reading →
Disclosure: Sponsored post. An important area of health that is also one of our biggest family challenges is dental health including making sure everyone in our family is brushing their teeth properly. No matter what I do, my tween boys … Continue reading →
Disclosure: Sponsored post. See below for special Shuddle discount code for Techmamas readers! One of the biggest challenges for families is the minute by minute, ever-changing scheduling of driving kids to and from school, after school activities and everything … Continue reading →
Starting May 22, 2015 “electrifying” new shows will premiere at Disneyland during a 24-hour party that inaugurates the Diamond Celebration, from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, until 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, 2015, local time. Best of all that … Continue reading →
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. See Giveaway details below. Now that smartphones have features above and beyond making simple voice calls, they have become the top “on the go” device. From productivity, notes, creativity (photo’s, videos), communication, calenders, business documents, music and … 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 and tips on tech, lifestyle and travel 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 and 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: Consults with businesses and tech startups on UX design, mobile app testing, growth marketing, social media strategy, marketing automation and online branding. Led social media campaigns by working with brands to reach their marketing goals.
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.