Family Games & Technology

Social

Social media sites may pay the price for cyber bullying

Matthew Knott The federal government is considering fining social media sites over cyber bullying in an effort to protect young people.

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Games

Teens make tampon video game to destigmatise periods

Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser created Tampon Run during the Girls Who Code summer immersion program.

Hannah Francis Two teenage school girls are tackling sexism in the gaming industry with their own video game that features tampons instead of weapons.

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Father films daughter taking selfies in the backseat

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Dennis Green Kids these days - they're just obsessed with taking selfies.

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Talent

Teen builds replica K-9 'Dr Who' robot between cello practice and final-year exams

A school project, volunteer aid, Dr Who tribute: K-9 as developed by VCE student Adam Lloyd.

Katie Cincotta A young Dr Who fan is regenerating an old character.

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Why we need to stop 'fakebooking'

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Kristie Bradfield How honest are you about your life on social media? Why we fake it and the real impact it has on other struggling parents.

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Apps

The app that stops teenagers ignoring their parents

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Rosa Prince A mother who became frustrated by her teenager's failure to answer her calls has created an app that disables youngsters' phones if they refuse to respond.

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App to change the way you connect with your contacts

Humin's app allows you to add context, such as where and how you met, to your contacts.

Karissa Bell After months of hype, Humin, the free app that promised to completely rethink the traditional phone and contacts app, has finally rolled out to Apple's app store.

Games

Micromon; finally a good Pokemon-like mobile game

Monster encounters are better animated and detailed than you might be used to in Micromon.

Tim Biggs REVIEW: Micromon is the first successful attempt at bringing a Pokemon clone to mobile devices.

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The next 'Skylanders' full game is also tablet-sized

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Chelsea Stark The next entry in the Skylanders franchise, which brings plastic toys to life in video game form, will also be playable on tablets when the game is released this holiday season.

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New study links video gaming to "well adjusted children"

Study reveals video games can actually be beneficial for kids.

Catherine Rodie A new study from Oxford University has found that playing a video game for a short amount of time could have a positive impact on children.

Schools monitor students' locations through truancy tracker app

Kids ditching school could become a thing of the past.

Jo Hartley Is wagging school about to become a thing of the past? A new app is helping parents and schools monitor the whereabouts of their students.

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These kids have hilarious reactions to using typewriters

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Neha Prakash The Fine Bros. sat down with a gaggle of precocious children of the 21st century to teach them about typewriters for the YouTube channel's "Kids React" series.

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Toca Boca's Hair Salon games challenge Disney in kids' apps

Toca Boca's Hair Salon tocaboca.com

Adam Ewing If you're wondering why a preschool science app is eating your iPhone battery, you probably have Toca Boca to thank.

Internet

Tweens good at keeping internet activities hidden from parents

Report finds tweens and teens good at hiding online.

Esther Han Children admit to creating fake social media accounts and fudging browser histories in an attempt to keep parents in the dark about their online activities, a new report finds.

Who's responsible for tackling cyber bullying?

Illustration: John Spooner.

Phillip Heath Protecting our children from cyber bullying should begin at home and in the classroom.

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Kids think parents have too much screen time

Is this a familiar scene in your house?

Catherine Rodie As parents grapple with questions such as "is my child having too much screen time?" and "should my child own their own smart phone?" experts are warning that we are becoming a generation of hypocrites.

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6 apps to make travelling with kids easier

Exploring the world with kids made easy.

Karen Andews Travelling with your kids can be a stressful time but it can be made a whole lot easier with these six essential apps.

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Why we should not be looking at pictures of dead children

A Palestinian carries a wounded boy in the emergency room of Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 20, 2014.

Kerri Sackville The online world can be a confronting and distressing place especially when images that should be kept off social media find their way into our newsfeed.

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Smartwatch companies take aim at kids

Is the humble watch no longer enough for kids?

Selina Wang With smartwatches drawing lukewarm interest from most consumers, some technology companies are trying a fresh approach: market them to kids.

Why it's okay to brag about your kids

Mother and Daughter

Sarah Macdonald Life with a child is a triumph of hope and a tonne of struggle. Celebrate while you can.

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Should books be replaced with digital versions?

What is lost when you have no pages to turn.

Alison Bradshaw What would our children really be losing if we replaced all books with digital versions in schools and the library became a thing of the past?

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Google attempts to attract girls to computer science with jewellery

Google attempts to attract girls to computer science with jewellery.

Catherine Rodie Google have launched a new program aimed at getting girls interested in computer science but there is one problem.

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Technology to blame for kids' poor spelling?

What impact is texting having on spelling?

Catherine Rodie Could texting and auto-correct be having an impact on the way children write and spell?

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Has social media blurred the lines between parents and friends?

How much of your life should your kids and their friends see online?

Kerri Sackville - Essential Kids With all this 'friending' and 'following' has social media eroded the traditional boundaries between the generations, and does this undermine our ability to parent?

'LittleBigPlanet 3': Imagining new possibilities in co-op gaming

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Anna Washenko The current trend in multiplayer games is to focus on online experiences, but sometimes you just want to crash on the couch with your favorite people for some co-op play.

Rip-roaring app to teach kids about nutrition

Toilet humour helping kids with nutrition.

Rachel Clun Getting children interested in nutrition can be tricky, but thanks to a new Fart Code app kids will be begging you to learn more before every meal.

7 ways to get your life organised

Let these apps help you organise your life.

Karen Andrews If you always feel like you are struggling to keep on top of all you have to get done in a day here are several apps that will make your life that little bit easier.

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Are smartphones really robbing us of life-altering moments?

'Look Up' is a spoken word video written, performed and directed by Gary Turk.

Amber Robinson This spoken word video piece about the moments we miss while using our smartphones delivers a powerful message but is it really as bad as we are led to believe?

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Tech

A GPS watch to track kids

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Cosima Marriner Anxious parents are using technology to monitor every movement their children make, hoping to keep them safe while giving them a semblance of independence, but for a child to develop a sense of independence they need to feel trusted and for their parents to have confidence in them.

Boys and gaming: finding the balance

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Maggie Dent Sometimes, enforcing balance might make you feel like you’re being a mean parent. But it's important we try to get the balance of gaming and real-life right.

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Is posting bath time pictures ruining your child's future?

What is the future impact of the pictures you post?

Jamie Krug There has been so much put out in the world lately about how the future will look for our children, now growing up in the age of Instagram, Snapchat, YikYak, and Tinder.

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Apple offering refunds for in app purchases made by kids

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Livia Gamble Have you ever had your bank account unknowingly drained by your child? No Problem. Apple is now offering refunds to customers on in app purchases.

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Games

Microsoft rewards 5-year-old boy for finding Xbox security flaw

Kristoffer Von Hassel: The world's youngest white-hat hacker?

Brett Molina A five-year-old boy has helped Microsoft discover a security flaw on its Xbox One game console.

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Best apps based on board games

Board games for kids on tablets

Karen Andrews Here are some of your favourite board games that have been transformed into apps.

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Kids need to experience being bored

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Dave O'Neil By using a smart device as a tool to keep the kids quiet we are "spawning a generation of children with dulled brains and negligible social skills." Children should get bored and they should learn how to deal with their boredom, writes Dave O'Neil.

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Parents urged not to post photos of their children online

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Rachel Browne Proud parents could be unwittingly putting their children at risk by posting images and information online which give away personal details such as where they go to school and which parks they frequent.

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Mobile devices causing parents to ignore their kids

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Livia Gamble While a lot of focus has been on the effects of the “digital playground” on children, a new study found the use of smart phones are causing parents to ignore their kids.

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Kindergarten kids can learn to code and here is why they should

Play-i's founders want to teach children to control technology by learning to program from an early age.

Matthew Hall Coding and computer science is a fundamental skill that should be taught to children as young as five, according to a start-up team developing programmable toy robots for kids.

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5 new apps for primary school kids

Best of the new apps reviewed

Karen Andrews We review five of the best new apps for primary school aged kids.

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Social

Student ordered to pay teacher $105,000 for defamation on Twitter

Christine Mickle

Michaela Whitbourn A NSW school teacher has made legal history with the first Twitter defamation battle to proceed to a full trial in Australia.

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More children searching the web unsupervised

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Livia Gamble A new survey finds Australian children are surfing the web and streaming online content without adult supervision.

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Games

A video game to help children manage emotions

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Emily Bazelon The release of a new tablet game called IF has been designed to help children manage their emotions, cope with stress and conflict, even deal with bullies.

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Watch how technology from our past confuses modern kids

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Katie Carlin We hope you’re not already feeling particularly old today because these modern-day kids’ reactions to a phone we all used to use will take you there.

Why you shouldn't stalk your kids online

How much do you need to know about what your kids are doing online?

Emily Bazelon An American academic argues that parents need to loosen the reins when it comes to their kids' online lives.

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Safety

Parents not as uncool online as previously thought

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Nick Abrahams As a parent if you don't know your planking from your owling, then today is the day to get up to speed with all things internet.

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Why you need to know about the 'Geocaching' craze

Geocaching is a global treasure hunt your kids will love.

Bianca Wordley If you have school-aged kids and haven’t heard of geocaching then this post is for you. It’s one of our family’s favourite hobbies. I mean, who doesn’t love searching for treasure?

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Google Doodle competition for kids comes with interactive twist

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Samantha Murphy Kelly Google is once again encouraging kids to submit a logo design for its Doodle 4 Google contest, but this year the selected winner will see their work animated and interactive on the homepage.

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Walking and texting a health hazard?

Close up of young woman using smart phone.

Rachel Clun We know that texting while driving is bad, but a study has found that texting while walking can also be hazardous.

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How this image is meant to help keep your child safe online

The possible reality behind those emoticons your child is receiving online.

Staff writers A new ad campaign aimed at keeping kids safe online is using images of human faces distorted into giant Emojis to ask parents a very important question.

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New app allows parents to 'Ghost Call' their kids into submission

Ghost Call DX claims to change your child's 'consciousness'.

Kerri Sackville - Essential Kids Nagging your children into submission can be a thing of the past thanks to a new app that claims to make children listen.

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I screen, you screen: the rise of children using technology

Screen play.

Rachel Browne Spending hours on a computer is not all bad for children.

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FiLIP Smartwatch helps parents track their child's location

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Eva Recinos For parents thinking about getting their child a cell phone for safety, the FiLIP smartwatch and phone hybrid may stave off that need for a few years.

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All kids want is an appy Christmas

There is little educational value in apps that glorify violence, gambling, or one type of physical perfection to aspire to.

Joanne Orlando iPads again top kids' wish list, but juggling technology in the home is an issue for parents.

This 'Misunderstood' teenager in Christmas Apple ad will make you cry

Your teen might just surprise you this Christmas.

Katie Carlin For all those parents who complain their teenager spends too much time on their smart phone they might just be creating the most thoughtful Christmas present for the whole family you have ever seen.

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Review: Nintendo 2DS

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Surprises always go down a treat with kids especially when it is a Nintendo 2DS. As I handed the gift to my daughter I knew it was going to be what my husband likes to call “a family favourite”.

Nintendo 3DS review

Nintendo 3DS

Amber Robinson When my son first put a Nintendo 3DS on his Santa list I had no idea what it meant. We have a gaming console at home, but as he explained, "you can take a 3DS with you".

Game teaches risks of personal data exposure

A screengrab of the Data Dealer game.

Sim Sim Wissgott Sexual orientation, private debt, medical records, even your favourite ice cream flavour: do you know much of this personal information is out there and available for sale?

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Experts warn of app's hidden dangers

Kik Messenger

Cosima Marriner Police have described it as ''the No.1 social media problem involving teenagers'', but most parents would barely have heard of messaging app Kik before last week.

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Teacher proves point on social media

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Melody McCabe If you haven't seen this picture on your Facebook feed yet, it is only a matter of time.

Protecting your child from disturbing Youtube content

Children love watching their favourite shows on YouTube but precautions need to be taken.

Josefa Pete New research reveals that children on YouTube are three clicks away from landing on disturbing adult content and while supervision is good there are other steps you can take to protect children from seeing this content.

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