Student ‘geek squads’ maintain school devices, help teachers
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo kindergarten teacher Maria Spurlock was still struggling after trying for more than a week to get a reading app working on all of her classroom iPads. When she learned...
Empty boxes top high-tech toys on doctor-recommended list
Skip the costly electronic games and flashy digital gizmos. Pediatricians say the best toys for tots are old-fashioned hands-on playthings that young children can enjoy with parents — things like...
Docs tout blocks and boxes over high-tech toys
Families make online videos a job but few rules protect kids
PHOENIX (AP) — A trip to the grocery store. A little league baseball game. A cute baby swinging from a tree. Millions of people have watched strangers do these everyday activities...
Don’t panic: How parents can deal with internet hoaxes
NEW YORK (AP) — The latest parental panic on social media — over a purported challenge for kids to complete harmful tasks — elevates the importance of establishing an open dialogue with children...
YouTube suspends comments on videos of kids
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — YouTube said Thursday it will turn off comments on nearly all videos featuring kids — potentially affecting millions of posts on the site — after reports last week that...
New sensors monitor sick babies without wires blocking hugs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Peek into any U.S. hospital's baby ICU, and you'll see sick and premature newborns covered in wired monitors that tear at fragile skin and make it hard for parents to cuddle...
Teen video app Musical.ly agrees to FTC fine
The operator of a video-sharing app popular with teenagers agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle federal allegations it illegally collected personal information from children .
Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Several companies, including AT&T and Nestle, are pulling advertisements from YouTube over concerns about inappropriate comments on videos of children.
For sake of pupils’ pupils, China to ban homework on apps
BEIJING (AP) — An eastern Chinese province plans to ban teachers from assigning homework to be completed on cellphone apps as part of efforts to preserve students' eyesight.
Money apps aim to help kids in cashless world
Facebook says Apple is restoring a key developer tool
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says Apple is restoring its access to a key development tool that the iPhone maker disabled Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, TechCrunch reported that Facebook paid teens and...
Koch group touts education push on curriculum, technology
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Officials with the powerful political network led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch said Monday that they are promoting a state-level education strategy that...
Tiny fingers tap into digital age in Japan
YouTube revises policy, bans dangerous prank videos
SAN BRUNO, Calif. (AP) — YouTube is trying to prevent otherwise bright people from doing dangerous things.
The video-sharing network owned by Google is cracking down on harmful or dangerous...
‘Hi, my name is ___, and I’m addicted to tech’
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — The young men sit in chairs in a circle in a small meeting room in suburban Seattle and introduce themselves before they speak. It is much like any other 12-step meeting — but with a twist.
"Hi, my name is," each begins. Then something like, "and I'm an internet and tech addict."
Limiting screen time for your kid? It’s harder than it looks
CHICAGO (AP) — It is Saturday morning, and 10-year-old Henry Hailey is up at the crack of dawn. Still in PJs, his microphone-equipped headphones glowing blue in the dim basement, he fixates on the...
Pocket money apps aim to help kids in cashless world
LONDON (AP) — For kids growing up in today's cashless society, the piggy bank is going virtual.
Father of two Roland Hall turned to a British startup's digital pocket money app because his kids were still too young to get bank cards from traditional banks.
With prepaid debit cards linked to the app, Hall's kids, aged 8 and 10, can spend their allowance and chore money by shopping online or by tapping at contactless payment terminals in stores. Sound like a recipe for splurging? Not so, he said.
Even tech execs fret about their kids’ smartphone addictions
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Like a lot of parents, Mike Herrick occasionally sees his 13-year-old daughter getting lost in her smartphone and wonders: Is technology messing with children's brains, even as it enlightens and empowers them in ways that weren't possible when his generation grew up?
Japan preschools using tablets to prep tots for digital age
YOSHIKAWA, Japan (AP) — It's drawing time at this suburban nursery school in Japan, but instead of crayons, tiny fingers are tapping on colors on iPad screens and taking selfies. Digital schooling has arrived in this nation long known for its zealous commitment to "three R's" education.
Coby Preschool, in a small town northeast of Tokyo, is among nearly 400 kindergartens and nursery schools in Japan that are using smartphone software applications designed especially for preschoolers called KitS.
Congressmen question Google over kids’ privacy on YouTube
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Two members of Congress are calling on Google to address concerns that YouTube might violate children's privacy.
Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Nebraska Republican, sent a letter this week to Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking for more details about how the service collects data.
Poll: Teens say social media makes them feel better
NEW YORK (AP) — Today's teens are always on their smartphones, many check social media "constantly" and prefer texting over face-to-face communication.
But a new poll finds that these same teens also say that social media has a positive effect on their lives, helping them feel more confident, less lonely and less depressed.
Wired Icelanders seek to keep remote peninsula digital-free
HORNSTRANDIR, Iceland (AP) — The passenger boat arrives at the bottom of Veidileysufjordur, a short inlet with a long name, to drop off backpackers for a multi-day trek. A weather-beaten group that's completed the trip waits to board, eager to get back to a part of Iceland where they can reconnect with the world via Wi-Fi.
From penny press to Snapchat: Parents fret through the ages
NEW YORK (AP) — When Stephen Dennis was raising his two sons in the 1980s, he never heard the phrase "screen time," nor did he worry much about the hours his kids spent with technology. When he bought an Apple II Plus computer, he considered it an investment in their future and encouraged them to use it as much as possible.
Boy, have things changed with his grandkids and their phones and their Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
Study: Many teens - and parents - feel tethered to phones
NEW YORK (AP) — Parents lament their teenagers' noses constantly in their phones, but they might want to take stock of their own screen time habits.
A study out Wednesday from the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens, while more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time.
Is Santa real? A version of Alexa skirts some kid questions
NEW YORK (AP) — A version of Alexa won't tell kids where babies come from or spill the beans about Santa. It also won't explain some things kids might have heard on the news — like what Stormy Daniels does for a living.
Amazon updated its voice assistant with a feature that can make Alexa more kid-friendly. When the FreeTime feature is activated, Alexa answers certain questions differently. Asked where babies come from, for example, the kid version tells youngsters to ask a grown-up.
For many kids, summer means powering down for camp
NEW YORK (AP) — If teens are so attached to their phones and all things connected, why do so many of them wind up in no-device summer camps with smiles on their faces?
Thirteen-year-old Daniela Blumenfeld of Scarsdale, New York, just finished her fifth summer at sleepaway camp with no devices beyond a simple iPod. "I didn't really miss my phone," she said, especially given camp distractions like banana boating — that is, riding a yellow, banana-shaped inflatable towed by a motorboat.
Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online
CHICAGO (AP) — Children's advocates want the American Psychological Association to condemn the tech industry's practice of using persuasive psychological techniques to keep kids glued to their screens.
Goo-gle gaga: Parenting in the age of Alexa and her ilk
Hey parents: What if there was a machine that could respond to your kids' every command, never tiring, even if they ask it to tell jokes for two hours or answer all their homework...
Schools eye facial recognition technology to boost security
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) — The surveillance system that has kept watch on students entering Lockport schools for over a decade is getting a novel upgrade. Facial recognition technology soon will check each face against a database of expelled students, sex offenders and other possible troublemakers.
Do you really know what your kid’s doing on that device?
CHICAGO (AP) — Ayrial Miller is clearly annoyed. Her mother is sitting with her on the couch in their Chicago apartment, scrolling through the teen's contacts on social media.
Science Says: What makes something truly addictive
CHICAGO (AP) — Now that the world's leading public health group says too much Minecraft can be an addiction, could overindulging in chocolate, exercise, even sex, be next?
The short answer is probably not.
The new "gaming disorder" classification from the World Health Organization revives a debate in the medical community about whether behaviors can cause the same kind of addictive illness as drugs.
Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem
GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing.
Sleep mode? Tech giants’ kids’ ‘fixes’ amount to baby steps
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is adding a "sleep" mode to its Messenger Kids service to let parents limit when their kids can use it.
It's the latest concession that tech companies are making as critics question whether they should be targeting kids at all. Among their chief concerns: The effects on kids are not yet known, and companies might not have children's best interests at heart when tech for kids is such a lucrative market.
YouTube overhauls kids’ app after complaints about content
YouTube is overhauling its kid-focused video app to give parents the option of letting humans, not computer algorithms, select what shows their children can watch.
The updates that begin rolling out Thursday are a response to complaints that the YouTube Kids app has repeatedly failed to filter out disturbing content.
Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook's financial support of some advisers who approved of the app.
4 robots that aim to teach your kids to code
LAS VEGAS (AP) — You've seen apps and toys that promise to teach your child to code. Now enter the robots.
At the CES electronics show in January, coding robots came out in force. One convention hall area was packed with everything from chip-embedded, alphabet-like coding blocks to turtle-like tanks that draw on command.