#TechTuesday – Social Apps Your Teens Use

Teens will always find ways to use technology to socialize. Once upon a time, it was party lines, then chat rooms, and now apps.

In this week’s #TechTuesday episode on WTAM 1100 Newsradio, Bill Wills and I discuss a recent New York Times article on the range of new social media apps teens are using, including video messaging and anonymous sharing networks.

For parents who are not sure where to start with online safe behavior, I recommend bookmarking SafeKids.com and ConnectSafely.org.

In particular, consider printing out family contracts for online safety as a way to discuss the topic with kids and teens and ensure everyone understands rules and boundaries for their online behavior.

Every parent will have different approaches to their kids, but it’s important that you have these discussions early so that you can keep an ongoing communication about topics like cyberbullying and other unsafe behavior or threads online.

WTAM 1100 – Comic Book Apps for Comic Con

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – February 17th, 2015:

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioWizardWorld’s Comic Con finally coming to Cleveland, the birthplace of Superman. Running this weekend (Feb 20th-22nd) Comic Con Cleveland will feature comic book, sci-fi and fantasy genre stars like William Shatner, Bruce Campbell, and yes, the guy who played the Green Power Ranger.

Here are some smartphone and tablet apps to get you ready for the weekend:

  • Comics by ComiXology – One of the largest digital comic book stores with over 50,000 titles you can download and read on your iPad, Android, Windows and even Kindle Fire tablets. The app even has a special mode that pans through the comic panels to keep the action flowing as you scroll through.
  • Marvel Unlimited – Access to over 15,000 Marvel Comics for $9.99 per month. It’s like Netflix for capes. This is a great way to catch up on decades worth of backstory for your favorite characters.
  • CLZ Barry -This app allows you to scan the barcodes of movies, books, even comic books, to help add them to your collection database through the collectorz.com website. Other CLZ apps allow you to bring your database with you on your device for your next trip to your favorite store, so you don’t end up with duplicate purchases.
  • ComicBook! 2 – Create your own comic books with this iOS that comes with layouts, text and caption tools and comic stickers to make your own action. Android users can also check out the Comic Strip It! to turn photos into halftone comic book art. Be your own hero!

WTAM 1100 – Smartphone Snow Apps

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – February 3rd, 2015:

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioThis week has seen a lot of Winter storms hitting the midwest. While we’re still digging ourselves out from yet another snowstorm, here’s a list of apps that can be useful for dealing with Winter’s wrath:

  • Plowz and Mowz – Like Uber for snow plowing. It allows you to search for on-demand snow plowing (or mowing service during warmer weather) in your area, either through the website or the smartphone app available for Android and iOS.
  • First Aid – Protect yourself with step-by-step instructions first aid from the American Red Cross.
  • Waze – Get a head’s up as you head into work with traffic and road hazard alerts using this free GPS app that provides information from other drivers on your route.
  • Snow Day Calculator Looking to get your kid’s hopes up? Snow Day Calculator has both a web page and downloadable app that allows you to enter your zip code in and get a rough percentage chance that their school will be closed. The app was built a few years back by a middle school student who is now at MIT.

WTAM 1100 – Smartphone Emergency Alert Settings

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday – October 21st, 2014

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioEmergency alerts on your smartphone often surprise people when they go off, but often they’re one of the quickest ways to get rapidly changing news out to a local public. Enabled by default, these settings can be checked or changed within the settings of your device.

Android: Open your Settings app, then look for the Wireless & Networks heading. Tap More… and scroll to the bottom. Finally, tap Cell Broadcasts.

iPhone: Tap your Settings app, then scroll to select Notifications. Look for Government Alerts at the bottom of the list.

Windows Phone: Open Settings, then Applications. Select Messaging, then Emergency Alerts.

These emergency alerts will help provide early warning about imminent danger, but what if you want more information about potentially hazardous weather in your area? The Red Cross Mobile Apps provide can help with everything from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires. They also include general safety apps for first aid for you and your pets.

WTAM 1100 – Two-Wheel Technology for Motorcyclists

Play Audio – WTAM 1100 Newsradio – Tech Tuesday June 24th, 2014

WTAM 1100 Newsradio Cleveland OhioThis morning’s Tech Tuesday segment on WTAM 1100 Newsradio in Cleveland was about making the most of your motorcycle trips with technology. As an avid motorcyclist and fan of technology, I was glad to bring these two topics together.

During the segment on the Wills & Snyder Show in the Morning, Bill Wills and I discussed Bluetooth wireless headsets like those from Sena. Great for music and calls on the go.

We also talked about specialized standalone GPS units for motorcycle from Garmin and TomTom vs smartphone apps like Google Maps or Waze

For those looking to add safety to their ride, the CrashLight feature of the EatSleepRIDE app can alert friends and family if there’s been a crash. The app also ties into the motorcyclist social network provided at EatSleepRIDE.com where riders can post photos, favorite routes and write reviews of motorcycle products. I’m a member as, of course, Agent3012.

It’s always fun when work and play come together!