Tag Archives | children

How To: Record, Publish, and Manage “A Video a Day” of Your Child (Part II of II)

David Spark (@dspark) is a veteran tech journalist and the founder of the media consulting and production company Spark Media Solutions.  Spark blogs regularly at Spark Minute.

This article is Part II of a two-part series about how to record, encode, store, organize, and share via online and DVD a video of each day of your child’s life. The first part, over at Spark Minute, covers the basics of doing the recording and storing the video. This article covers the second part, which is the daunting process of organizing and sharing the videos.

A year ago I decided to take on a seemingly gargantuan task.

I began shooting a video of my son every single day of the first year of his life. As of today I’ve shot (with the help of my wife), produced, shared online, and printed on DVD over 400 one-minute videos (some days I produce more than one video).

When I tell people I’m doing this they can’t believe it, because they immediately think of how much work it must involve. But in actuality, given the tools we have, the cost of disk space, and just some good pre-planning and organizing (the most critical parts), it’s really not that difficult. You just have to commit to it, and do it. The trick is to not make it too difficult on yourself, so you can do it easily without it being a burden. If it’s too hard, you’ll just give up.

No matter how busy you are, there is a way to record  a video every day of your child’s life, and manage all that video. Just think how amazing it would be if your parents had recorded a video a day of you (heck, a video a year). Wouldn’t that be incredible? I’m hoping it’ll be the same for my son.

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Our Ever-More Electronically Connected Kids

Parents these days seem to complain more and more about their kids being online too much, and a recent study by by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that they may spend nearly a third of their day — which in many cases is probably half their waking hours — using some form of technology. Among those between the ages of 8 to 18, 7.5 hours is spend feeding their electronic habits.

This is up over an hour from five years ago, when the foundation suggested that media usage could not rise much further. Well, it has.

Add to this the 90 minutes a day kids spend texting, and another half-hour they spend on the phone that wasn’t included in that figure, and you must think they’re never putting their gadgets down.

Kaiser’s findings are sure to add to those who subscribe to the “turn on, tune it, drop out” theory when it comes to technology. Nearly half of the heaviest users )16 hours plus) had grades of C or lower — essentially failing school — and that number dropped to under a quarter among the lightest users (3 hours plus). We should note here that while these hours sound too high, most media consumption among teens is done through multitasking, requiring far less time.

“The amount of time young people spend with media has grown to where it’s even more than a full-time work week,” KFF president and CEO Dr. Drew Altman said. “When children are spending this much time doing anything, we need to understand how it’s affecting them – for good and bad.”

Is it really technology’s fault, however? I’d argue that it isn’t. Parents must take responsibility in limiting their children’s media usage. Arguably in many cases we’re using video games, television, and other forms to “babysit” our kids, and its forming these bad habits and addictions.

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