Tag Archives: apps

Groceries Gone Digital

27 Mar

A few weeks ago, I tried the Peapod grocery service by Stop & Shop.  While it went well, it was a challenge to schedule the drop off window for a time I could guarantee to be home.  (Weekends are tough, since they’re “errand” time and I hate to be locked at home waiting for groceries for four hours.)  But I did appreciate the convenience of online lists and ordering.

This week while grocery shopping, I found a flyer in one of my Stop & Shop grocery bags that introduce the free Stop & Shop app for iPhone and Android.  The app allows you to view the S&S circular on your mobile phone, access your account and find the nearest store.  It also offers Peapod as a mobile service – which is what I’d most be interested in.  Might be a good way to place my grocery order while I’m waiting at the pediatrician’s office or running errands.

While I have a Blackberry, I’m considering purchasing an iPhone, and this is one app I’d definitely download.  Busy mommies take note!

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A Little Birdie Told Me…

7 Mar

One of the interesting things about the digital space is its impact on career paths.  I have several “early adopter” parent friends who’ve embraced technology and parenting and combined it into new ventures.  For all my NYC peeps, check out this parent discount site a girlfriend of mine is working on:  littlebirdie.com.  This daily deal and insider program is currently attracting members, so it’s not fully baked yet… And it’s only available in Atlanta and NYC, but will be expanding soon… 

Wish I could check it out, but sadly, my zip is not in the “served” neighborhoods just yet.  And the partners aren’t confirmed, so I can’t say how fantastic or family-friendly the deals are… But registration is easy, sweeps look fun, and hopefully my NYC-based  parent peeps can benefit from the discounts, once the program attracts a fanbase.  There’s no downside to registering, and hey, you just might win something!

Enjoy, all!  And thanks Birdiemamma for inspiring tech-savvy parents to find their own flight path…

iSchool. Are You In?

27 Feb

I’m interested in the iSchool concept developed by highschooler Travis Allen (now a college student and founder of the non-profit organization iSchool Initative.) Below is the YouTube video that launched Allen’s idea:

While I don’t subscribe to everything Allen espouses,  I think he’s definitely onto something when it comes to digital learning.  My munchkin’s generation will see a day when iPads, e-readers and similar technology will replace traditional notepads and textbooks all together. 

Teachers and schools embracing opportunities to incorporate interactive technology in the classroom are giving their students an advantage versus shools with more traditional educational approaches.  And students who learn and absorb technology at an early age will not only learn to embrace technology, they’ll also become more fluid learners and less resistant to change than kids who are limited to the physical world of paper and pencils. 

What you think about the iSchool Initiative.  Do you think this is where schools are heading?  Do you feel strongly either way about Apple’s role in the development of these platforms and apps?   How long will it be before you, as a parent, buy your kid their own iPhone or iPad for educational (vs. entertainment) purposes?

Empathy. Are You Feelin’ It?

23 Feb

As a parent, I tend to be down a bit on technology (hence my “late-adopter” status.)  But perhaps I’m slightly justified. This article, published by CNN and written by Gary Small, M.D. and Gigi Vorgan, discusses new research that suggests that high Internet and gaming use alters the brain, and could affect an individual’s capacity for empathy.  The authors cite the recent incident regarding Serene Branson covering the Grammys while having a medical issue as an example of our growing lack of empathy as a culture.  (Listen to the reaction of the person taping the video.  It’s laughter – not concern – for the reporter.  And many of the comments posted on YouTube along with the video are insensitive and rude.)

Now, I don’t want to fuel the “alarmist” fire, but I do think the authors raise a good point.  And that’s that in today’s media-saturated culture, kids (and adults) *could* be becoming more insensitive. 

As parents in a digital age, we should stop regulary and do “sanity checks” to see how our kids are processing everything around them.  Whether it’s video of a school bullying, images from Iraq, or a hurtful text from a friend, parents should to step in and ask our kids about their reactions.  Were they surprised?  Hurt?  Scared?  Angry?  Did they wish someone stepped in to help?  Would they have helped in the same situation?  Why or why not?

We might not have all the answers, but if we’re actively asking the questions and have an open dialog with our kids, hopefully we can help cultivate their empathy and kindess for others.

Cry Me a River…

17 Feb

On my journey to becoming more tech savvy, I’m *so* not down with this new tool I recently saw featured on a tech tool TV segment.  The cry translator app for smartphones is designed to help new parents identify and interpret the different types of cries a baby produces, and “translates” the cry into graphics representing an emotion a new parent can understand, e.g. “hungry”, “bored”, “overtired”, “wet”, etc.   The Why Cry Baby Analyzer is a machine designed to  do the same thing, but is an independent device.

As a first-time mom of a newborn with insanity-inducing colic, I would’ve given my right arm for a solution to stop my little scream machine at the height of our collective distress.  (My friends Jenna and Kristen who answered my pathetic 3 a.m. Facebook pleas for help can relate.) 

And at first, (and in theory) a “cry interpreter” would’ve initally seemed like a great idea.  In my sleep-deprived-panicked-mom state, if I knew about this app then, I would’ve been the first to download it.

But ultimately, part of being a parent  (especially a first-time parent,)  is the difficult-but-critical “trial and error” process.  If I’ve learned anything in the past six months, it’s that parenting  is about trusting your instinct.   It’s about guesswork.   It’s about course correcting.  It’s about asking your partner, your friends and trusted advisors for help, guidance and support.  And in the end, parenting is about communicating, watching, and working with your child, and learning the road…together. 

Relying on an interpretation tool is dangerous.  Do you stop trying to figure your cries out on your own?  And what do you do when your batteries die, or the child gets older, or the tool isn’t accurate?  What if the cry is gas or illness or something the cry interpreter can’t interpret?

Kudos for technology and parenting.  And “good on ya” for recognizing that new parents with super fussy babies really, *really* need help.  But profiting on their distress is not the answer.  And shortcuts aren’t either.

Let’s use technology to help us communicate with our kids, not for our kids.

From a Techno(t) Parent

3 Feb

As a techno(t) parent, I recently heard two bits of information that surprised me and became the driving force behind this blog.  They came from a Digital Diaries’ study from AVG  – an  Internet Security Company:

1) More kids aged 2-5 can play with a smartphone application (19 percent) than tie his or her shoelaces (9 percent).
 
2) Almost as many 2-3 year olds (17 percent) can play with a smartphone application as 4-5 year olds (21 percent).
 
Now, I think I have a smartphone.  (If a  Blackberry is, in fact, a “smartphone?”)  And I’m pretty sure I have a kid.  (She’s six-months-old and napping in the next room.)  But I’m embarrased to admit I don’t have any applications, except the partially-filled out one for daycare sitting on my desk. 
And to be even more honest, I wouldn’t know how to go about getting an “application” if I knew what, exactly, they were… Or how they could educate, entertain, or otherwise benefit me or my child. 

Merits of the study notwithstanding, (there’s some controversy regarding its validity,)  I quickly came to the realization that I need to up my “tech” game – if not for me, for my little munchkin.  Because if I don’t make the effort to get up-to-speed – and do it tout suite – I won’t be able to help my little girl navigate the technology-saturated world she’s growing up in.

I look forward to sharing my journey, in the hopes of helping other moms who aren’t brave enough to admit their six-year-old loads their iPods or they’ve never used a DVR. 

If you’re in the same boat, feel free to weigh in.  And if you’re “techno-savvy,” please share any tips, tricks, recommendations or suggestions that might help me along the way (in novice-friendly terms, please! No need to make me feel less behind than I already am, thank you!)  It should be an interesting read either way, as I try my best at parenting with technology.