Is anyone out there as confused as I am about which pieces of the latest technology are vital to our existence and which are more or less conveniences or modes of entertainment? I admit it. I’m a techno-peasant. Thoughts of IPad and iPhone don’t generate much excitement for me. I’m also a bit old fashioned about how I communicate with people. Give me the good old land line or face to face every time!

I think parents are particularly confused about their obligations when it comes to technology purchases for their children. Do they really need their own laptop or will the home desk top do? Is texting a vital component of a child’s social life? What about an IPad? Will you stunt your child’s technological growth, not to mention their educational progress, if they don’t have one?

Most parents are bombarded with demands from their offspring for the latest and greatest piece of technology. It’s difficult for those of us who are easily confused by the use of tech-speak to really know what is necessary, what is nice to have and what will make your child the most popular kid on the block but do little to enhance their learning. I suggest talking with experts in the field who don’t have a vested interest in the outcome of your conversation. Find a retailer who doesn’t work on commission and get some honest feedback.  Teachers can also help guide you in determining what your child needs versus what they want. The bottom line is, many cheaper versions of the latest technology can do the job. Try not to be dazzled by your child’s dreams of being a technological superhero to their peers.