Family Games & Technology

Six organisational apps for parents

Karen Andrews The school and work year has resumed – and probably doesn't feel like it stopped all that long ago! If you want to start off 2015 by keeping on top of daily chores more efficiently or keeping important information just a click away, then these apps will help. I know because they help me. Let's take a closer look.

YouTube kid-safe app cuts out salacious, violent and crude material

The YouTube for Kids app uses an algorithm to pick out which videos are appropriate for children and which aren't.

Michael Liedtke YouTube wants to help parents control what their kids are watching on the internet.

Letting your kids play in the social media sandbox

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Nick Bilton When you break it down, there are essentially three social media doors that you can unlock for a child. The hard part is knowing at what age you unlock each door.

New Facebook policy allows social media immortality

Legacy account: Would you want someone to manage your Facebook page after your death?

Donna Leinwand Leger Death may take your body, but it doesn't have to extinguish your online persona.

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Sex texts mistakenly sent to six-year-old

Dayna Alldridge and her son Tyler, six, whose phone has been receiving texts from random numbers requesting sexual favours.

Isobel Ewing A six-year-old New Zealand boy with a new mobile phone has been receiving text messages intended for a prostitute.

Too much screen time illegal in Taiwan

Screen time: What's your limit?

Gabe McGrath Parents in Taiwan can be fined up to $2000 if their children spend too much time in front of the screen, but how would Aussie parents fare under such laws?

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Monopoly boards with real money made in France

High stakes: real money is hidden inside Monopoly boardgames throughout France.

The French Monopoly makers have created a handful of special boards which contain real money.

What parents need to know about Instagram

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Mary Ward Here's what you need to know to keep your kids safe when they're using Instagram.

When daggy dads become fashion bloggers

The daddy (fashion) bloggers taking Instagram by storm, one flannelette robe at  a time.

Mary Ward Fashion Dads is the Instagram account you need to follow - more for laughs than fashion advice.

Why our family went television-free

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Alison Bradshaw Could your family go television-free? Here, one mum tells you why she was the most unlikely to take on such a challenge, but now that she has, she's never looked back.

Monash University launches new educational app

Reading educational content allows children to unlock items for their own personal island.

Shaza Barbar Monash University has launched an educational app for children aged 8 to 12 designed to better engage students in their learning and improve literacy skills.

Underage girl who befriended 200 men on internet 'could fill a prison on her own', says judge

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A 13-year-old girl from Fife in Scotland is at the centre of a paedophile probe after contacting around 200 men online and exchanging indecent images

10 smartphone rules for my 12-year-old

Smart parenting: Give a contract with a smartphone.

Michelle Quinn My son knows he's getting a used iPhone for his 12th birthday. He's also getting a contract from his parents with rules, conditions and consequences - here's why.

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'Sexting' now banned in Victoria

Why social media laws will fail ...

So-called "sexting" without consent is now an offence in Victoria.

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Social media laws won't keep kids safe online

Kerri Sackville Passing laws that hold website and app creators to account for the actions of the user won't stop cyberbullying.

Snapchat not covered by cyberbullying laws

A new government body will talk with smaller social media firms, such as Snapchat, in a bid to make them take down offensive material when asked.

Snapchat and other "smaller" social media firms will not fall under the legal scope of the federal government's crackdown on cyberbullying.

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No likes for #drivingselfie

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Rachel Olding The police and government are issuing harsh warnings to young Australian drivers for taking part in a dangerous craze of taking "selfies" while behind the wheel.

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Man convicted for webcam sex with virtual 'underage girl'

A Terre des Hommes researcher starts a chat session in a public chat room where users solicit fake 10-year-old girl nicknamed

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai A 10-year-old girl from the Philippines, nicknamed Sweetie, has helped authorities convict one Australian on child pornography charges. But Sweetie isn't real — she's a virtual digital avatar created to lure predators as part of a global sting operation.

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How a boy with autism became best friends with Apple's Siri

Endlessly patient and predictably kind, Siri can make a great sidekick.

Judith Newman For a long time many of us wanted an imaginary friend, and now we have one. Only she's not entirely imaginary.

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Teens officially over Facebook but that might be a bad thing for parents

Facebook no longer cool enough for teens?

Caitlin Dewey Since children are the future, and no one over 21 really knows what they find "cool," researchers have devoted many, many surveys to the exact quantification of what it is teens do online.

Parenting as a Gen Xer: The first generation of parents in the age of iEverything

Allison Slater Tate Is this the trickiest parenting challenge you face as a Gen Xer? This mother believes so and here is why.

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Social

Social media sites may pay the price for cyber bullying

Tackling cyber bullying through fines?

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

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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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