Infant,Parenting,Child development

Parental control: High-tech dolls introduce students to parenting

December 15, 2016

Hide caption Shania Herrera, a junior at Cummings High School, soothes her RealCare Infant Simulator by rocking it gently. PHOTO BY JESSICA WILLIAMS / TIMES-NEWS GRAHAM — Three of the boys in Kim Currie’s Parenting and Child Development class are rocking crying newborns. The babies are actually RealCare Infant Simulators — high-tech dolls that cry, burp, slurp, giggle, and send data to Currie to analyze for grades. Students wear wristbands that connect with a sensor on the dolls’ back, ensuring that only they can care for them, and care is required. If the dolls are left in a hot car, it’s recorded. If they’re shaken, it’s recorded. If they’re not fed, changed, or held correctly, it’s recorded. This makes them the most realistic babies Currie or her students have ever worked with. “This is my first experience with the simulators. The benefits are that the students are coming back talking, saying that they don’t want to have a baby, and that’s a benefit because we don’t want teenage parenting, we’d rather them wait until they’re out of school and established before they start having babies,” Currie said. THESE ARE NOT bags of flour. After taking the dolls home over the weekend, many of...

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