“My Parent Plan” is available on Amazon (CLICK HERE to buy).
About “My Parent Plan”:
“Implementing a family plan is a very interesting premise, and Beth’s book provides a very excellent way to do it.” Guy Kawasaki, author of ...
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 ...
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for a campaign with AT&T.
For today’s teens, texting is their natural and persistent form of communication. I realized just how deeply integrated texting is to my older son’s communicat ...
Guest Post: If you are a parent and are thinking of starting a company, I have good news – you already have the world’s best entrepreneurial experience: you are running a family without any previous experience or a manual! Do you remember t ...
When people recently asked me why I am not going to a yearly social media conference (going on this week – that I had been going to for years), I could only share what was really going on: this week I am going to a memorial service f ...
Public WiFi is like good piece of cake. It’s hard to resist but has inherent danger (to your privacy, not your diet). As someone with computer security experience I am concerned that many public WiFi spots have inadequate security, making t ...
It’s ironic that I am writing a post about unplugging while on a week-long vacation at the beach, a place best appreciated without electricity or social network. Beach vacations are the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the wired worl ...
While the online and offline world are buzzing over Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance, I wonder where everyone has been for the last year. The performance by Hannah Montana’s alter ego was shocking – and not in a good way – but ...
As a family tech journalist one of the most exciting trends I have seen is the combining of education and technology to inspire new ways of learning. My kids have grown up using technology for communication, entertainment, and yes… learning ...
As my 9 year olds become more interested in sharing media with family and friends, I have started to look into family friendly social platforms that are appropriate for 9 year olds. Just recently I received a brief demo of the family centric social platform called Kazaana (was called PixyKids). I appreciated the beautiful graphics and the ability for everyone to create their own space – and then share with family and friends. But most of all, I appreciated that the parental controls would allow me to approve every friend (or family) that my 9 year olds would invite into their space. Now that the Beta is live I can’t wait to take a test drive with my 9 year olds to learn more about Kazaana.
Below is the press release I received with more info:
Join Sarah Auerswald of Sarah & Sons / MomsLA and me (Beth Blecherman of TechMamas.com) as we discuss kids’ online habits with PixyKids, the soon to launch interactive and engaging social media platform where kids 6-12 can create, share, learn, and have fun through their personalized digital space. We’ll be on Twitter Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10am PST with Hashtag #PixyKids – and we’ll also be live at the Digital Kids conference taking place in Pasadena.
I always enjoy when I get to blog about something that is already popular in my house. A few weeks ago, I took my son to the bookstore to see if Book 10 of the 39 Clues series was out yet. He had already read all the other books in the series. The good news is he goes through books quickly. The bad news I am constantly looking for new series for my son to read. I was excited when my son started reading 39 Clues because it was published by Scholastic. I did not see Book 10 at the bookstore so I checked online for the release date (August 31, 2010).
The day after a trip to our local bookstore with my son, I received an email about the 39 Clues Blog Tour, asking if I wanted to join in the fun. Of course I said YES! The Blog Tour is a 39 Day Countdown to book #10 and I am the first stop (see a full listing of Blog Tour stops below).
My stop is for 39 Clues Book 1. Here is an exclusive video from Book #1 Author, Rick Riordan:
Sadly, my son will still have to wait for Book 10 to come out. But – the good news is that I am doing a giveaway to my readers to share the adventure love:
GIVEAWAY: One winner will receive the (one) complete 39 Clues book series (PLUS book #1 will be autographed by Rick Riordan).
Today I received this press release that announced Disney is going Digital in yet another away with Disney Digital Books. I will be finding out more details and will add them to this post:
“Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com) officially launched this morning. This vast library is Disney’s first-ever collection of digital children’s books – and the browser-based service is PC- and Mac-compatible, and does not require a download.
The new portal is the brainchild of a team of young, tech-savvy, creative folks at Disney Publishing Worldwide (the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines), which has been around since 1930.
Over 500 Disney picture and storybooks will come to life with animated illustrations and authentic character voices. Classics include more than 60 Winnie the Pooh books and such popular titles as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Disney Princess, Cars, and Hannah Montana.
Key features include:
* An age-appropriate dictionary that lets children click on any word to hear it read aloud;
* Reading certificates to encourage readers;
* A “Story-Builder” feature so kids can create their own stories;
* Books are separated into three reading levels: (1) for beginner readers and a companion, (2) for independent readers, and (3) for readers ready for chapter books;
Monthly subscriptions are only $8.95 – and annual and gift subscriptions are available as well. A free trial of the service is available today.”
This is a great time to teach kids about the election process. Even better – TAKE THEM WITH YOU TO VOTE!
Moms will be getting their news from multiple news sources. But here are some interesting sites:
The Motherhood has a circle where moms call in the vote if you want to share your story.
I will be following the election online and on Twitter (CBS News will be providing breaking news, news updates and state-by-state results on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cbsnews throughout Election Day and into the night) and their online website. On the CBS News with Katie Couric website, I found a video called "Campaign ’08 Inspires Kids".
When I received the Imagination Mover’s press kit (including the fact sheet and bios for Scott Durbin, Rich Collins, Dave Poche and Scott ‘Smitty’ Smith) in the mail from Disney, I decided to wait until all my kids (6 year old twins boys and a 9 year old boy) were home at the same time to play the music.
Well, they all liked it – and that is not easy!
What’s In The Fridge pretty much sums up what it is like having three Hungary boys – they are always heading to the fridge. Clean My Room (pick it up, pick it up NOW) is the song I decided to play to remind my boys that their rooms need a’cleanin. I think that will be a more effective way then screaming "clean your room" like I usually do. The medicine song can be used when the kids are sick.
"Mover Music" may be one of my favorites and inspired me to exercise also (I secretly played that over and over again while the kids were at school)!
"Are competent with technology, but notexpert searchers"
"They like to cut-and-paste" (plagiarism is a serious issue)
"They prefer visual information over text"
"They multitask all the time"
"Teachers, relatives, and textbooks are consistently valued above the Internet"
While I do agree with some of the points above, what is all this fuss about kids not being expert searches? So I decided to put my 9 year old to the test…
I asked him to pretend he was doing a report on a specific type of lizard, where would he search online?
He went to Google then typed "lizard". Next he looked at the links – the first was Wikipedia and he went past it to the link called "Kids Konnect – Lizards". He asked me what type of lizard and I said a "horned lizard". Then he choose the section on "horned lizards" which had a page full of information. From the url, it seemed to have come from the University of Texas. But that made me wonder, forget about being a good searcher – how do we know if the websites have correct information? From my unscientific test of one, it seems my 9 year was fine at using a search engine – but the information at the other end that seems to be the issue (instead of the information skills of children)…
So I decided to perform the same test on the Scholastic Children’s Encyclopedia to see if just using a text book can be quicker then some online searches… We tried to search for "Lizard" under "L", but it was not there. So we went to the index and found "Lizard" under "R" for "reptile". In the reptile section, there was great information on lizards – but nothing on "horned" lizards. I know that this encyclopedia is focused for children of a specific age – and is only one book. Maybe a set of encyclopedias would of had that information…. But – it was still faster to use a search engine and my son did just fine..
There are some websites that offer a safer or more direct experience for children to use a search engine:
Glubble states they offer "trusted surfing for children under 12 years of age enables
families to be sure they only see the best of the web they choose to
Kid Konnect states that they are a "safe internet gateway for kids".
Yahoo Kids is a great gateway for kids to not only perform searches but find links to jokes, movies, music and make ecards.
And it was in the Yahoo Kids site that we had the best search engine result. When we typed "horned lizard" in the search bar of the Yahoo Kids site, it had many relevant link results. One was a dictionary, that when clicked through provided us with one paragraph with all the info we needed on the horned lizard… All of this is something my son did while on the site.
So, in the end it seems kids can be expert searchers if they start at the right website. Maybe alittle help from mom and dad to get them there is not a bad idea…
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Beth Blecherman a.k.a “TechMama”
TECH BLOGGER: Shares straight talk on parenting meets technology across many social media platforms including blog TechMamas.com and Twitter @TechMama. She is well know for past articles in Mashable, Laptop Magazine and Cool Mom Tech. She currently contributes to Dot Complicated.
INFLUENCER & SPOKESPERSON: TechMamas.com media coverage includes Time.com, Forbes.com, PCMag, Parents.com, WorkingMother and more. Beth has represented many top brands as a Spokesperson online and on TV.
SPEAKER: Her speaking opportunities include SXSW, Web 2.0, BlogHer, 500 Startups MamaBear Tech Conference, Draper University and UC Berkeley Extension.
TECH CONSULTANT: Testing and focus groups for family tech products, websites and apps.
PAST: Senior Manager of Business Process Integrity at Deloitte, Co-Founder of hyper-local national mom blog network called Silicon Valley Moms Group - sold to Technorati.