You are here

Just Can’t Get Enough

Nearly three-quarters of teens say they know social media companies are manipulating them into spending more time online—but they’re using apps like Snapchat and Instagram more than ever. According to a new survey, 70 percent of survey respondents say they check those apps multiple times a day, compared with just 34 percent six years ago. Despite their awareness, they don’t find it particularly harmful to their wellbeing. Check out what else the teens divulged about their digital lives.

Free Video Game App Teaches Students About Autism

College students in Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center have developed a free 30-minute video game called Prism that helps elementary-age students understand the experiences of their peers with autism. The game uses animal characters that demonstrate some of the challenges faced by individuals with autism. Prism is now available to play for free online, as well as in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The game takes about 30 minutes to play and comes with a downloadable discussion guide for teachers and parents.

Facebook is the Most Popular Social Site For Everyone But Teens

The number of Americans who use Facebook will reach 169.5 million in 2018, making it the most popular social site among all ages, except for teenagers, who prefer Snapchat, eMarketer reports. Some 16.4 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 will use Snapchat this year, compared with 12.8 million who will use Instagram, and Snapchat will remain the most popular social site for teens.

Should You Digitally Track Your Teen?

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while most parents don’t track the locations of their 13- to 17-year-olds, a full 16 percent do. Where do you stand on the issue? Before you make up your mind, you might want to read an article from The New York Times Family section entitled Should You Track Your Teen’s Location? that poses an interesting question: how do you learn to take care of yourself if you know someone else is always watching?

Apps for Back to School

Looking for guides to the best apps for back to school? An article of interest that has a broad range of apps, is Best back to school mobile apps for Android, iOS on the Znet site. Scroll left and right to see a list of apps that help with studying, staying organized, avoiding procrastination and more.

Creating Your Own Emojis

Did you know that there is a world of emojis beyond what comes on your phone or tablet? Both the Google Play store and the iOS App Store have a selection of emoji-making apps that guide you through creating your own characters. Some, like inTextMoji for iOS, can insert custom characters into messages through their own built-in emoji keyboards, while other apps create small images you can send, like pictures. As with any app, make sure to read its reviews and permissions requests first, as security companies warn that some third party apps allow access to a lot of personal information.

How to Turn Off Google Tracking

You may have heard recently that an Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on both Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

To their credit, Google is typically up front about asking permission to use your location information. An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to location if you use it for navigating. But what if you want to turn it all off? To prohibit tracking activity on your apps and other Goggle services, including location history, check out these step-by-step directions.

Does Snapchat Cause Body Dysmorphy?

Ever thought about how great everyone looks on Snapchat because of the photo editing capabilities? Now people are translating that to real life. Plastic surgery patients increasingly are requesting procedures to look more like the versions of themselves they see when they use Snapchat filters, according Boston University School of Medicine doctors writing in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. The doctors describe this phenomenon as a kind of body dysmorphic disorder.

How to Keep Facebook From Bringing Back Bad Memories

Facebook’s “Memories” feature is a cute way to reminisce on fun times and take a look back at how your children have grown over the years, but what about those posts (or people) you don’t want to remember?

To filter out someone you don’t wish to see in these nostalgia posts, point your browser to When you land on the page, click the Preferences button. In the box that appears, click the Edit button next to People and enter the names you wish to filter out. You can also filter out events on certain dates.

Useful Apps for the Classroom (and Home)

Are you interested in finding some good educational apps for your children?  The National Public Radio site recently offered an article titled iTeach: A Guide To The Most Useful Apps for Classroom that offers an array of highly reviewed apps for classroom and learning use. The list includes a variety of tools for the classroom, such as Kahoot! a quiz game creator app, and Seesaw, a digital journal creator, and highlights what experts think are the best apps for using at home, for home-school communication, or to suggest at your school.