At the recent launch of Office 365 Home Premium in New York City’s Bryant Park, I had the opportunity to experience the new features of Office while talking to some very exciting people (keep reading to find out who!). The Microsoft ...
This has been a busy time for the Women’s Movement. Today happens to be International Women’s Day 2013 which has “thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements“. The d ...
**I have doing research on educational environments for my own kids and found out about Six Seconds.org. Their about page explained “Through 15 years of global experience and extensive research, we’ve found that the scientifically-bas ...
With my busy life as a working mom, I am always on the move. This requires my technology to be flexible, fit my lifestyle and be available for the kids especially when it’s homework time. Finding the right technology tools c ...
Our busy family of five keeps organized as long as our schedule is managed and under control. A messy schedule results in a messy family life. I use technology to create a workflow and make sure everyone understands their res ...
With a background in project management I can say with experience that managing a family is the most challenging project I have ever taken on. Like me, other working parents I know don’t have the time to sit ...
Time goes by so fast, and as a Mom and the family historian I want to make sure I am keeping track and sharing family memories. The first step in this effort was learning to copy all digital pictures from numerous cameras to my PC i ...
Last week, I shared information on my trip to Book Expo America NYC to announce the revised version of my book “My Parent Plan: How to Create a Family Project Plan to Organize Your Life and Kids” . At the Book Expo book signing, ...
As a technologist that writes about setting rules for technology limits with kids, I am always on the lookout for events and activities that inspire invention and creativity.
The Maker Faire is one of those events that will inspire kids and adults to show their creative side. It will be at the San Mateo County Events Center, CA Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday 10am – 6pm. Here is a link for more information.
The Maker Faire About Page explains: “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” It is a fascinating event that we look forward to each year!
I was thrilled to receive an email that gave me the opportunity to offer a (flash) GIVEAWAY for three families to win tickets for their family to attend the Maker Faire this weekend. Maximum of 5 tickets per family.
Update: Winners of tickets were randomly choosen -Sabz Moscon, Lizz Porter and Sandy Gram.
TO ENTER – PLEASE FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW. *FLASH CONTEST* Contest ends 5/17 at 8pm winners will be notified by 10pm.
I am also excited to see the latest electric car from Toyota (RAV4 EV) will be at the Maker Faire. We hope to convert our cars to electric as we replace them moving forward. Here is the press release information about the new Toyota RAV4 EV:
“The new Toyota RAV4 EV, the latest electric car from Toyota only sold in California; it’s a family-friendly car that’s piquing the interest of environmentally-conscious Californians. Attendees also have the exclusive opportunity to ask questions directly to people who helped develop the new electric car at Toyota.
Some of the activities in Toyota’s area will include:
· Explore the RAV4 EV and speak with Executive Program Manager Sheldon Brown
· Participate in the bicycle-powered slot car track (photo below)!
UPDATE : CONTEST CLOSED 1/4/2013 Winner is shopgurl Thanks to everyone who entered!
When I was contacted to participate in the #HPFamilyTime campaign I was excited for the opportunity to use the HP Envy 23 TouchSmart All in One for many reasons. First of all, now that my kids use touch screen tablets, they demand a higher level of interaction that “non touch” computers don’t offer. Second, after covering the Windows 8 launch, I could not wait to try it out at home (other then the many times I played with Windows 8 at the Microsoft store). Third, I had a desk in our family room that I set up with the plan of putting a PC with a big screen that could be used for entertainment and for schoolwork. I already decided that an all in one would be the best form factor because it would be compact enough to move into the living room if one of my kids needed a quiet place to work. So does the HP Envy Touchsmart All in One fit my needs?
Yes, not only did it fit in as the perfect family room computer, but the new Windows 8 operating system combined with the beautiful and intuitive touch screen made it also a family favorite. After I set up the security and Microsoft accounts for each user, I installed Microsoft Office. The only challenge we had is that I had to activate the security software I installed on each account on the computer separately (but it was quick). Our kids that are not easily impressed by tech were not only impressed – but quickly learned how to use the new Windows 8 interface (using a Touchscreen as well as a keyboard/mouse).
Here is a video I made of the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart All In One unboxing. The set up was so easy (unwrap and a “one plug” in!).
3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3330S quad-core processor and 6 GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB) means fast processing and multitasking.
1TB hard drive so it has lots of space for programs, photos and video.
6-in-1 card reader, 2 USB3.0 (fast transfer speed), 4 USB 2.0 (to plug in more accessories) and audio (micrphone and earphones)inputs. HDMI input to connect to TV or external screen.
Optional TV to broadcast live TV from your computer. The full HD display enables viewing of HD content.
DVD burner that can write data to blank DVD – so Grandparents can get a DVD copy of their grandkids on video.
HP wireless keyboard and mouse with Win 8 keyboard (with raised keys for easy typing).
All in one form factor with edge to edge sleek and modern design that can be mounted on the wall with just one wire.
HP Quick Launch that has a fast boot up.and access to shortcuts.
Optional Solid State Drive.
HP Connected Photo allows you to sync photos across your PC, smartphone, and tablet.
HP TrueVision HD Webcam that works even in low light because of the “adaptive lighting to automatically adjust to changing light”.
Beats Audio offers premium sound. Just add some bluetooth speakers to extend the sound even further.
HP Connected Music to manage music downloads, streaming services and Internet Radio.
Windows 8 operating system (built for touch) perfectly matched with a intuitive touch with 10-point multitouch technology that enables swipe and tap using all 10 fingers.
More information and configuration options for the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO is available at the HP Store.
Here is a picture of what the Windows 8 start screen with “tiles” looks like after I installed Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Windows 8 site explained “Each tile on the Start screen is connected to a person, app, website, playlist, or whatever else is important to you. Tiles light up with the latest info, so you’re instantly up to date. In one glance, you’ll see that photo you were just tagged in, tomorrow’s weather, and messages from your friends“. Next – I can’t wait to configure what Windows 8 apps/live tiles appear on the start screen. There are ones that are pre-configured so I had a great start.
Searching for apps is easy, I just swipe from right to left and the bar below comes up. What was once “programs” are now apps that I can add as live tiles on my Windows 8 start screen:
I will be looking for family management apps while my kids can’t wait to try the paint apps and the Xbox apps.
One of the tiles on the start screen is called “Desktop” which allows me to easily switch to the standard (Windows 7) start screen view.
I can search for files the same way I did on Windows 7 if I want, but also switch back to the Windows 8 start screen by swiping on bottom left or right of the screen.
My kids enjoy using the bright, crisp and intuitive screen for the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO:
They immediately found the Fresh Paint program and with a “touch” started creating a digital art project.
Of course – a smile face was the first work of art that was created!
I will be posting next week with my test drive of the other features of the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO and Windows 8. For now – how about a GIVEAWAY that will enable ONE winner to have one for their own family. To Enter – use the widget below with all the details!
***Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a program on behalf of HP and received an ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO as a thank you for participation.
Giveaway: Timing – Giveaway starts Wed. Sept. 19 10:15 am pst and ends Thurs Sept. 27 10am pst. Prizes – One winner will be randomly chosen (by Random.org) to win the following prize package:
1. D-Link Day/Night Network Cloud Camera
2. VTech InnoTab 2 Learning Tablet & Camera
3. Switch& Go Dinos
4. SOUL SL100UB Headphones
1. Comment on this post with which of these tech gadgets you have been coveting and then what other tech gadgets are you looking to buy. For example, have your kids been coveting a tablet so you have been looking into the VTech InnoTab or your teen coveting cool ear phones? Please put a valid email in the email field of the comment (that is not displayed).
3. Winner will be chosen at the end of the contest, the email provided on the comment will be sent to the prize provider for prize fulfillment.
4. See below for contest rules.
Details on The Talk: CBS’s Daytime Emmy-nominated talk show THE TALK (airs Weekdays 2:00–3:00 PM, ET; 1:00–2:00 PM, PT)
features a panel of well-known news and entertainment personalities discussing current events, pop culture, contemporary issues, family, celebrity and the trending topics of the day. The daily one-hour series is co-hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler. The hosts swap stories, challenge each other on issues and engage the studio audience and viewers at home about events in the headlines and their own homes. Show segments include guest interviews with entertainers and newsmakers, musical performances, appearances from extraordinary people with stories that engage and inform as well as how-to demos and real-world advice and tips from the leading experts in fitness, diet, health, home, relationships, finance and fashion. The show was developed by Gilbert, who also serves as executive producer.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with the team and see a demo over at Striiv, a new Silicon Valley Start-Up that developed a portable fitness device for the “rest of us” (Please check out my post at Cool Mom Tech for more details).
What does “rest of us” mean?
There are already great devices for runners but how about the “rest of us” that count running in and out of the grocery store or up and down the steps to their office as their only exercise? Striiv is a device small enough to hang on your keychain but is filled with big features that everyone can use to fit in more exercise into their daily routine.
The device follows your movement (including steps, cadence and more) assigning points to track personal goals, unlock rewards, progess steps in a gaming environment and best yet contribute to charity in what is considered a “walk-a-thon” in your pocket. Future features inlcude big plans for social.
The age range is from kids to adults, so the whole family can use the device. I will be testing a Striiv device very soon and can’t wait to share more details. For now, here is the press release for today’s announcement.
INTRODUCING STRIIV: A SLEEK PORTABLE DEVICE THAT MAKES FITNESS FUN; LAUNCHING THIS FALL Silicon Valley Start-Up Unveils Product that Motivates and Rewards Exercise through Games, Challenges and Donations
My kids and I enjoy Klutz books because they allow us to learn new and child friendly activities in a fun and engaging way.
The Klutz activity books also help me be the “craft/hobby” mom I always wanted to be! How else would I know how to make a solar car?
Because of my prior fun experience with Klutz, I was excited to be asked to host stop #5 (and a giveaway) in the Klutz Book of Animation – 16 stop blog tour. Blog book tours are fun ways to spread the word on interesting books. LittleTechGirl will be hosting the next stop on Monday – check it out to find another fun giveaway & video feature!
“Anybody with a computer, camera, internet connection and a little bit of creativity can create animated films for the masses. The Klutz Book of Animation is a how-to-guide for this art form. Step-by-step instructions show you how to create a variety of different classic stop motion special effects.”
Watch the real videos created here as inspiration to start making your own animation! My kids can’t wait to try making their own animation.
To enter to win the prizes listed above, please comment on the post below with what you would do if you won the books? Are you a mom or dad that wants to do projects with their kids? Are you an aunt, uncle, grandmom or grandpop that wants a fun activity to do with the kids are visiting? Are you a big kid that wants to try it for yourself?
–Only one comment/entry per person.
–A Valid email address must be entered in the private “email” section of the comment (not in the comment text). If a valid email address is not provided, another winner will be chosen.
–Winner must be located in North America (Canada/US). Shipments can only be made to Canada/US.
–We are not responsible for any lost packages or incorrect shipping addresses. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Approximate value of prizes may vary.
–Winner will be choosen via Random.org on Friday Oct 1 by 12pm pst.
Disclosure: TechMamas.com did not receive compensation in any form for this post. Techmamas.com did receive a copy of the Animation book to review.
The ever so clever Clever Girls Collective invited me (@TechMama) to participate in a back to school challenge on the My Life Scoop blog (powered by Intel). It was great timing because I was in the middle of a challenge of my own: how do I redesign my 11 year old's kid desk to get ready for middle school and to have enough room to hold his technology AND projects?
While reading the article I took a moment to look at what my kids were doing. Were my kids using any technology this morning?
So I decided to review the morning’s activities: After my 10 year old and twin 6 year old boys ate breakfast, they went into our living room (affectionately called the “bouncy room” because sofa pillows are used for forts and jumping) for some pretend play before school. They had rolled up paper for swords and were pretending to fend off the “bad guys”. A few nerf guns sneaked their way in, but had no bullets so they ended up being a prop as well. When it is was time to leave, my boys put on their little yellow rain boots and rain jackets and went to school.
All of this “pretend play” happened in our house that is full of technology. We have multiple laptops including my 10 year old that has his own laptop, iPod and Nintendo DSi. My twin 6 year olds have Leapfrog moblie gaming units and their older brother’s hand me down Nintendo DS’s. The TV in our family room may be 10 years old, but it still works great. We have Direct TV DVR’s and a Nintendo Wii. We have multiple Nintendo racing, sports and Mario Bros Wii games with lots of accessories and just recently purchased the Tony Hawk Thride game and accessory board. My 10 year old has a simple cell phone that is “Pay as you Go” with no data plan but ample calling and texting. His friends have the Sony Playstation and they enjoy playing Lego Star Wars. We only have one TV in our family room, but multiple computer screens in our house.
This morning I read an article in the New York Times titled: Helping Children Find What They Need on the Internet written by Stefanie Olsen. The article discusses that online searches are still challenging for kids even though there are many choices available such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and many others. Some of the challenges identified were the children finding the right keywords to use for the search.
To solve this challenge, maybe the search engine sites should hire Librarians, parents and kids to show their needs and have that reflected in the programming for the search engines. True to the points made in the New York Times article about children searching on the Internet, my 5th grader starts with image and video searchs and even has “voice” activation working on his MACbook – so the future needs of search should include a multi-platform approach. Bing’s Visual search, Google’s multiple search options and Yahoo’s advance video searches are good examples.
I will start to look at other new kid friendly sites as well to update my 2008 post. More to come..
Other than the obvious apps that come with the iPhone that save us in daily life like SMS, e-mail, Calendar, Maps, Weather, iPhoto, etc., here are ten great iPhone applications to download from the App Store that have good uses for moms (and dads).
1. ICE – In Case of Emergency – important app for emergency contact info including doctors, allergies, medications, etc. for you and your kids.
2. WebMD Mobile – Allows for quick lookup of symptoms and helps to determine when children need to go to the doctor or the emergency room.
3. LocalPicks – Great ideas for restaurants when your kids are about to have a meltdown – you can find out what’s close, fast.
4. Light – Turn your iPhone into a light in the dark when kids are scared or if you need to find something, like car keys.
5. Scribble Lite – A fun program for the preschool and Kinder set, they can paint and draw from your iPhone.
6. Bubbles – For the little ones, this is a great way to pass the time – you or they make bubbles and pop them.
7. Facebook – Stay in touch with mom friends or cyberstalk your kids and their friends; also good for comic relief when you need a break.
8. Pandora – Builds custom radio stations for you based on your preferences: drown out the kids or make them think you’re cool.
9. iChalky – Hours of silly fun, stretching a little faux chalk-like hangman type character (and don’t forget to try inserting your kids’ faces).
10. SitOrSquat – Last, but certainly not least, this helps locate nearby restrooms and identifies whether they are clean, safe, etc.
Sarah Granger, tech mom of one, has written for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Bay Area Parent, Playborhood, techPresident and Digital Landing.
One of the messages in the film was for children to embrace their true self/interests and for their parents to support them in that journey. So I decided to present the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1that I was given at that event to my 10 year old son (TechBoy) who has a strong interest in photography and video. When I handed over the camera to him, I told him that he could ask me any question he wanted – but that I would let him discover how to use the camera on his own. He learned how to use the camera quickly and started using functions that I would not have thought to use (like taking video and special effects). The only questions he asked me about were related to video editing.
Here is the example of some of the pictures he took with the Sony Cybershot. He has also taken some great videos with the camera (yes, you can take video with the Sony Cybershot). But those videos are in the process of being edited on his MACbook using iMovie.
Update: See the GoToMom.TV’s post to view a great example of taking videos with the Sony Cybershot.
TechBoy (who is now 10) took the pictures with no instructions from his TechMama, who is VERY proud. TechBoy likes to give me flowers. Now that he is
taking his own digital pictures he can also give me flower “pictures”
as well. All rights reserved of course!
TechBoy using his Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1to take a picture of his own hand and then use the camera’s special effects to add some images to the picture.
Disclosure: I attended the SonyMom in LA. At the event, we were told that whether we blogged (and what we choose to write about) was our own choice. We received the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 to take home with us. I decided to have my pictures do the talking and give the Sony Cybershot to my son.
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Beth Blecherman left her position as a Senior Manager at Deloitte for Family Management then decided to blog as a career 2.0. Her personal blog is TechMamas.com (@TechMama ), a platform to discuss technology, social media and her obsession with consumer electronics.
She is the Chief Technologist of Cool Mom Tech, the intersection between tech, parenting and style.
Beth Blecherman (a.k.a TechMama) has been choosen as one of the Nielson Power Mom 50 influencers, TIME.com 140 Best Twitter Feeds, Working Mother.com List of Most Powerful Moms in Social Media , PCMag twitter top 100 and Forbes Top 100 Website for Women.