Technology for parents & kids: Hints, tips, online safety strategies & more.
The family that indulges in tech together, stays together. All right, no guarantees. Still, technology is such an important part of our day-to-day life that it makes a lot of sense for the family to herd together and enjoy what’s on-hand as a group. But electronics are expensive, so you need to narrow down your choices by asking, “What’s the best tech out there for families?”
It’s kind of a personal question since every family’s needs varies depending on budget, size, and need. Nevertheless, if you have a passel of dependents, there are some basic choices that you should consider making up-front.
AppleTV/GoogleTV – Streaming technology is hot news, and both AppleTV and GoogleTV are big parts of that news. Both services feed digital video content to your television through a handsome box that takes up very little room in your den. GoogleTV, which is powered by Android, lets you surf freely through the Internet in addition to streaming video content. AppleTV lets you play back media from your iTunes account. Both services have advantages and disadvantages, but are worth considering if you have a video-loving family.
Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 – The current generation of consoles goes beyond playing video games. You can use the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 to access apps like NetFlix and YouTube, or stream video from your PC to your TV. The PlayStation 3 also has a built-in Blu-ray player, and if your family likes to get up and move, the optional Kinect add-on (Xbox 360) or Move remote accessories (PlayStation 3) is a good exercise option on rainy days.
HDTV – If you don’t have a high definition TV (HDTV), you’re going to want to pick one up for your family as soon as you possibly can. Granted, those may sound like words out of a fairy tale if you’re on a budget, but remember that the HDTV market is constantly at war. Prices drop all the time, and sales are rampant. Even if you can’t afford a set right away, always keep an eye open. Moreover, take some basic shopping advice with you to the store.
Multi charging station – So many electronics, so few available plugs. Eliminate the risk of a kid-sized civil war with a multi-charging station so that several electronics can be charged up at one time. The Aviiq Portable Charging Station is a decent affordable option, as is the Joy Factory.
Kid-Friendly headphones – Kids don’t like to go anywhere without their music. That’s fine. What’s less fine is that all the thud-thud-thudding might be damaging their sensitive ears. Consider giving them a pair of cool-looking kids’ headphones with self-adjusting volume levels, like the Aerial 7 Arcade Headphones. Your kids may grouse at first, but they’ll thank you some twenty years down the line. Just be patient.
For more great family tech suggestions, visit:
Best Gadgets for Kids at Pocket Lint