Technology and Kids

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Kidz Newz #175 – 28th June 2019

Welcome to Kidz Newz, especially all new subscribers, including those from the Move to Learn PD and the ECE 2019 Conference, both held recently in Perth. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a product, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome. Don’t forget to stay in touch on our Facebook Page and watch out for our exclusive fan page competitions.

Technology and Kids

My favorite piece of equipment is my iphone. I just love the convenience of it, the fact that I can get my emails on it, contact friends, especially those overseas, via facebook, Whatsapp and WeChat, not to mention all the other apps, including – would you believe it? – actually texting and making phone calls! Who would have thought a phone could do all that! Yes, I’m being a tad facetious here. Everyone thrives on using their phones. How did we ever live without them?

I like kids using various apps for educational purposes too. For example, my grandchildren (aged 6 and 4) never have to be hounded to do their spelling and maths ‘homework’ as they enjoy using their ABC spelling egg and maths seed because those apps on Mum’s tablet are fun! Only about 10 minutes a day and they love it! And they are reinforcing their learning.

I am concerned though when technology is overused – particularly phones. I am staggered that the Australian state, Victoria, has just banned phones in all government primary and secondary schools. I am staggered that it needs legislation at all. Surely all schools already do this? Apparently not. Kids need to learn the art of conversation, the skills of discussion, of argument, of debate, of problem-solving and of social interaction. Where are they going to learn and practise these skills if not at school? Disengagement via phones is a serious issue.

Children learn to use their phones and think that it’s ‘cool’ to do so because they see their parents and other adults doing so. Spending inordinate amounts of time on one’s phone is not only unhealthy for the adults because of their disengagement with what’s going on around them, and often downright dangerous, but poor modelling when children bear witness to it. And what of the lack of interaction within families? That’s a tragedy. Schools can’t do it all on their own.

Phones are addictive. At the ECE State Conference last weekend, Claire Orange spoke on this topic and showed a picture of a mother feeding her baby with a bottle (wouldn’t have mattered if she had been breast-feeding – the bottle is not the issue here) while looking away at her phone. It is essential for a baby’s development to look at the mother’s face, especially the eyes (or the face of whoever is holding the baby). There is so much input for the baby through this simple action. For anyone who has ever fed a baby (and plenty of men have fed their babies with bottles) you will agree that the baby can’t take his or her eyes off your face. This is normal and essential for the baby’s development. Not only that, but when are you ever going to get such undivided attention and adoration? (Yes, being a tad facetious again.) Seriously, it is a beautiful bonding time for parent and child. I found the image so upsetting I had to look away. Perhaps the mother had not been told that her baby is only tiny for a tiny while and she needs to pay attention, that she can look at her phone another time. Perhaps she was unaware. How sad for her and for her baby.

Claire Orange also quoted the frightening statistic that in Australia (and I’m sure this would be true in other countries as well), by the time a child is eight years old he or she will have spent the equivalent of one year in front of some device or other. Food for thought!

This morning I went to a funeral service which lasted 1.5 hours. For the entire time, the young woman next to me was fiddling on her phone, hiding it in the service brochure! Clearly, she had things to do (I’m being kind here) so why was she even pretending to be ‘present’ at that funeral? This is how absurd it can get. What about the young woman who runs over a child on a footpath because she’s texting while driving, saying plaintively that she has tried to stop texting while driving but she just can’t. Oh please! Have you heard of putting your phone in the boot?

It is addictive for a lot of people. Children are even more susceptible so there’s even more of an imperative to not make phones so attractive that even young children just ‘have to’ look at their phones as often as possible.

If your school is not yet a phone-free school, then please make it so immediately. How many hours a day are they at school? Seriously, they can do without their phones. There are better things to do.


Winner ECE 2019 State Conference Perth 22/6/19

Winner of the kidz-fiz-biz prize was Robbie Haug. Congratulations Robbie!

Quotes of the Week

People whose main concern is their own happiness seldom find it. (unknown)

The shortest distance between two people is a smile. (unknown)

What you are becoming is more important than what you are getting. (unknown)

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.
Peter F. Drucker


What would you tell others about this presentation? – GESS Indonesia 2017

This is a good idea for having fun in the class. Echy Saragih – Preschool-Secondary teacher
Great! I want more presentations. It was EXCELLENT! SBB Assyafa’at
Ms Rattigan’s session is always inspirational.
It is very good.
The presentation was very hands on and FUN. Meiriezka Hasanah, K 1/2 and Elementary
Teaching with music is more fun.
It was a very informative and FUN presentation. I would like to know more about kidz-fiz-biz because I think the activities to do with the kids are so much fun. Meiriezka Hasanah, K 1/2 and Elementary
It was fun and insightful. Ms Rattigan’s session is always fun and inspirational. I always learn many new things from it. Martha Yohanna – Pre-Nursery level – Kinderland Pakubuwono Preschool.
This presentation has given me many experiences. I would like longer as I was so happy in this session. Paun Antrasita, Bukit Asam.


Installing Husband 1.0

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance – particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as Super 12 Version 5.0, Tri-Nations 3.0, Limited Overs 7.2 and especially Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?




Dear Desperate,

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.

Please enter the command: “http:// I Thought You Loved Me.htm” and try to download Tears 6.2 and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

But remember, over use of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.

Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).

Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.

You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance.

We recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at conferences. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892 Australia
T: +61 8 9355 4890 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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