If it seems like robots are everywhere today, that's because they are. Less well-known but well-worth knowing is some of the fascinating new research that uses robots and robotics to teach children about technology and a variety of educational concepts.
My son told me the other day that what he wants to do when he grows up is be "the guy who reviews video games on YouTube." So not even the guy who creates the video games, but the guy who stays home all day, sits on the couch and videotapes himself playing them.
Technology needs to be navigated so that it's in its rightful place -- in service to the real and rich experiences of living our best lives, and not in a way that draws us away from nature, human interaction or the fleeting moments of family life.
"Is Daddy coming home tonight?" She usually asks this question at the worst possible time, like when we're in a crowded location like a mall or grocery store, where she elicits stares as people wonder why a 4-year-old would have to ask. Divorce? Affair? CIA agent involved in black ops?
The critical questions are: Is this bad for our children? Is it wrong to provide them the most up-to-date tools for both entertainment and teaching? Is it wrong to want to see our children smile and grin as they watch their favorite videos?
A series of experts suggested ways to navigate an unfamiliar landscape -- a place where changes in technology and culture make the job of parent feel like something newly created, rather than something humans have been doing for millennia.
With information, guidance and support, we can help our children develop habits of balanced screen use so they can benefit from them, without being swallowed into the black hole that these devices can become.