AI Literacy, iPad Kids, TikTok Ban, and Rediscovering Real Connections 

Words by
Jackie Baucom

MAR 14, 2024

AI Literacy, iPad Kids, TikTok Ban, and Rediscovering Real Connections 

From the ongoing debate over AI literacy in schools to the rising trend of teens embracing digital detox, each news story this week offers a unique lens into the evolving landscape of our society.

Join us as we delve into trending stories that have sparked conversations in the past week.

A Majority of Kids Think Schools Should Teach AI Literacy

A survey by the National 4-H Council found that most kids aged 9-17 have a basic understanding of AI and its capabilities. 

However, 72% say they would like adults to teach them how to use these tools properly and in depth.

Education Week | What Kids Say They Need to Understand How AI Works

Teens on a Digital Diet

A Pew Research Center study finds 40% of teens are cutting back on social media amid concerns over its mental health impact. 

Despite widespread smartphone access, teens report mixed feelings about their usage, with a third acknowledging overuse and its hindering of strong social skills.

Not surprisingly, 46% of kids report their parents are constantly distracted by their own devices. 

CNN | More than a third of teens say they spend too much time on their phones, new study finds

Gen Z vs. iPad Kids

Gen Z has taken to TikTok to criticize and shame parents for the excessive screen time of Gen Alpha (those born from 2010 until today), who they’ve dubbed ‘iPad Kids.’

Comments on these videos contain accusations of Gen Alpha lacking imagination, having bad social skills, and stunted emotional growth. Hundreds of TikTokers went on to promise never to raise an iPad Kid. 

Today | What Are ‘IPad Kids’? Why Gen Z criticizes Gen Alpha’s Screen Time

Pre-planned Distress Signal Leads to Teen’s Rescue

A Utah teen’s distress signal led to her rescue from sexual abuse. 

The family had recently discussed and agreed to change their voicemail message as a way to signal if something was wrong.

Upon calling the teen, a family member identified the danger and called the police. The teen was later able to share their location with family, leading to their rescue and arrest of a predator.

Fox13 | Distress signal credited with helping locate sexually abused Davis County teen

Entrepreneurs Battling Loneliness with Belonging

A 2023 Meta-Gallup survey of people from 142 countries found that more than half of the respondents said they feel a little lonely. 

Now entrepreneurs are addressing the loneliness epidemic identified by the U.S. Surgeon General with new ventures aimed at enhancing social connection.

Wall Street Journal | Can You Solve Loneliness? These Startups Are Betting On It.

Cyberattacks on Schools is a Growing Trend

In February 2023, Minneapolis Public Schools suffered a significant cyberattack. 

Initially downplayed as “technical difficulties,” it was later revealed to be a ransomware attack that compromised sensitive student data. 

The breach exposed personal and medical information of students, sparking nationwide concern over the increasing vulnerability of educational institutions to cyber threats. 

Not only have families had to deal with potential identity theft, but some students have experienced bullying and doxing by peers because of the information made public.

NPR | Hackers are targeting a surprising group of people: young public school students

TikTok’s Fate Hangs in the Balance

On Wednesday, March 13, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to compel TikTok to cut ties with its parent company (ByteDance) or face a ban. 

Time will tell if the Senate also passes the bill, but President Biden has been vocal of his support of it.

TikTok issued an immediate statement advising the Senate to consider the impact this ban would have on the economy, specifically the 7 million American small businesses that use the platform.

Tech Crunch | The bill that could ban TikTok passes in the House

Kate Middleton and the Photo Editing Dilemma

The prevalence of photo manipulation was front and center this week after an edited family photo featuring the Princess of Wales with her children was released. 

Media outlets were quick to point out some inconsistencies in the photo, going as far as pulling the image from their websites due to these edits.

Kate later admitted to altering the image and issued an apology, prompting widespread debate with thousands chiming in to discuss the fine line between appropriate enhancements and deceiving the public. 

The Wall Street Journal | When Is It Ok to Manipulate Your Family Photos—and When Does It Go Too Far?


If you’re new to our weekly news roundups then be sure to check back with us each week to get an easy way to stay in the loop on tech news that impacts families.

And if we missed any big stories this week, let us know in the comments.

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