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A Silicon Valley Expert (and Mom!) Shares the Best Ways to Use Technology with Your Kids

By Lindsay Pinchuk

Selina Tobaccowala may not be a household name but she is an entrepreneur to know. Selena is the co-founder of the fitness app, Gixo (check it out in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide), which offers live and on-demand fitness classes with certified trainers. Selina spent 6.5 years as CTO at SurveyMonkey and during that time she had both of her kids (currently 8 and 5.5). She was so busy that she made no effort to exercise at all during that time. That inspired her latest venture, with a simple mission of getting people to move. Classes aren’t a huge time commitment – you can choose to take a quick 15 minute class or a full 60 minute challenge. There is amazing music and themed workouts like Boy Band Mania and Funk and R&B.
For Selina, she really wanted to find a way to use her background in tech to improve quality of life. So often we sit on our phones mindlessly – how can we use technology to get healthier?

Selina’s other passion is how we can make sure technology is a tool for our kids and not a hinderance so we asked her for some advice on how we can make sure we are using tech properly with our kids. Here’s what she shared:

  1. It’s a question of how, where and when you let kids use technology. Yes, there are tons of educational apps on the phone but you can get that same level of education not on a physical device. What are the things you can do with technology that you can’t do with technology?
  2. I’m a big fan of Code.org and Scratch.  They both help to teach a child to think about coding with a computer or iPad. That’s a great place to allow your child to use tech and engage in some of the early concepts and frameworks of computer science. Coding is great because you are building something. You are building out stories. I believe strongly in exposing boys and girls to coding. (Code.org even has a Frozen activity!)
  3. What are you doing with your phone? I believe children mimic behavior. What are you doing with your devices when you are with your kids.

We loved Selina’s advice. Any other ways you are managing technology with your kids?

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