Weather forecaster Maria Quiban does more than track storm cells and high-pressure systems. Mom to a three-year-old boy, she’s also a co-founder of MommyLovesTech.com, a popular blog for moms who are passionate about technology. We sat down to talk with her about the tech that helps her balance meteorology and motherhood.
For Quiban, it all starts with a good smartphone. In fact, the most important piece to being a tech savvy mom, she said, is her iPhone 5S.
“I don’t go anywhere without it,” she said. “It’s my camera, my organizer, my calendar ― and it actually makes phone calls too. It even helps me do my shopping. Organization is definitely the key to being a saner mom.”
Quiban is the morning meteorologist for Fox 11 News and Good Day L.A. ― the operative word being “morning.” Most days, she’s out the door before 3:30 a.m.
“I actually work very early in the morning, so I miss out on what I think is a really cool part of [my son’s] day,” she said. “To stay in touch, I have a Phillips In.Sight ― a little webcam that I keep in the living room so I can check on him and make sure he’s OK. I can actually monitor it right from my iPad or iPhone.”
It’s the kind of device that wasn’t available when her older son, now 27, was growing up. Back then, the most sophisticated technology in most households was the waffle maker. Still, although tech is everywhere she turns, Quiban is careful to balance her family’s “screen time” with more active pursuits.
“I like to use the common sense approach when it comes to technology,” she said. “I balance my son’s time on the iPad with a lot of non-media time, which definitely includes outdoor activities.”
Technology, Quiban said, can have a healthy, positive impact on children. Many experts agree. The key, it seems, is introducing the right technology at the right time. So what does Quiban recommend for the preschool set?
“Fisher-Price has a lot of great learning apps that have helped my son learn his numbers and alphabet,” she said. “I definitely recommend the Fisher-Price iPad case, as well. It’s an activity case that slips right over your iPad and works with a number of specially designed apps for young children. But even if you don’t get that case, make sure you get some kind of case ― or you’ll be in trouble when you drop your tablet.”
She acknowledges that how you introduce and manage technology in your child’s life makes all the difference in how it shapes their life.
“The iPad in particular has been great for [my three-year-old],” she said. “I think that technology, when properly supervised and used in moderation, can be an awesome learning tool for kids.”
Read more from tech savvy mom Maria Quiban at MommyLovesTech.com.