Remember the house hippo? The beloved mini creature who lived in Canadian homes? Or at least, that’s what we were told years ago as part of a Concerned Children's Advertisers campaign to help kids think critically about what they were seeing on TV.

Everywhere we turn, we’re hearing about artificial intelligence (AI). We already know AI is all around us – algorithms are suggesting what to watch and tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney are being used to generate the content we’re seeing.  But how many of us actually understand what algorithms even are? And if you’re a parent, guardian or teacher, are you prepared to teach youth how to use AI responsibly? 

I got my first smart phone in 2009. The iPhone 4 (with a home button and boxy, heavy feel) was a favourite of mine. Even after all these years, there’s something that I miss about that phone model. 

Now that we’re past the flurry of people posting about their January New Year’s resolutions (maybe some of them were realistic and easy to follow and some of them less so), it’s a good time to sit back and think about how we can start off a fresh year with intention, particularly when it comes to screen use.  

I’m at the age where I say, ‘when I was younger…’ or ‘back in my day...’ far more than I expected to and it’s often about technology. I don’t know when this transition happened, but here I am. It just started to come out. I now frequently regale the kids with stories of yesteryear as every generation before me has done.  

Guest blog by Patricia Kosseim, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario  

It’s that time of year again when parents (and kids) are either counting down the days until school begins, or feeling a sense of overwhelming worry that the summer hasn’t lasted long enough. Admittedly, I’m in the latter category. However, our family has begun to prepare for the new school year.  

It’s the summertime and if you have older kids and teens, you may be balancing a variety of schedules. Older kids make plans with friends by themselves, have jobs (and usually require some parental driving), stay up later than little ones do, and may be asleep long after your first cup of coffee or work email is done.  

With the summer upon us, a lot of families will have recently spent time celebrating the end of the school year – and in some cases there were also graduation celebrations! 

Being able to see our kids enjoy these special moments seems particularly poignant given how difficult, and at times isolating, the last few years have been for these students and families. 

Students and educators are already having to deal with artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications on schoolwork, assignments and lessons. When writing an essay, or when completing a school project, generative AI tools like ChatGPT can maybe speed up the results, save time and craft the correct response. Is that a good thing or are we causing more issues for our futures?