While on a hunt for weekend maker activities for my 12 year old twins, I found a site called Camperoo which has weekend STEM workshops for kids. The event we went to was run by the team behind Tinkering … Continue reading →
Last year on a press trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, I had a chance to experience majestic mountains surrounded by a picturesque valley, plus a full set of fun activities, beautiful resort grounds, delicious restaurants and friendly people. The press trip was to … Continue reading →
Disclosure: Sponsored post. An important area of health that is also one of our biggest family challenges is dental health including making sure everyone in our family is brushing their teeth properly. No matter what I do, my tween boys … Continue reading →
Disclosure: Sponsored post. See below for special Shuddle discount code for Techmamas readers! One of the biggest challenges for families is the minute by minute, ever-changing scheduling of driving kids to and from school, after school activities and everything … Continue reading →
Starting May 22, 2015 “electrifying” new shows will premiere at Disneyland during a 24-hour party that inaugurates the Diamond Celebration, from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, until 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, 2015, local time. Best of all that … Continue reading →
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. See Giveaway details below. Now that smartphones have features above and beyond making simple voice calls, they have become the top “on the go” device. From productivity, notes, creativity (photo’s, videos), communication, calenders, business documents, music and … Continue reading →
April “1st” is my favorite day because it just brings out the best in everyone.. News is much more colorful on this day -which is why I wanted to share some of my favorite “April 1st” tech news. To start…here is … Continue reading →
.Please see the bottom of the post for giveaway details (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)! Last Tuesday I not only had the opportunity to attend a preview of the movie “Insurgent” (released Friday March 20, 2015) but the location was in the San Francisco office … Continue reading →
I have always open about the dichotomy of being equally tech savvy and craft challenged. Even looking at the beautiful crafts on Pinterest makes me hyper ventilate..When I took the time to understand what caused my advanced state of craft issues, … Continue reading →
What factors and usability issues need to be overcome for consumers to adopt technology? I have a simplistic attitude towards consumer technology that stems from my background in programming, database design, usability testing and technical project management: the … Continue reading →
Every Christmas Eve we have a family tradition that means the more to us then any gifts: cooking for a local homeless shelter. We work as a family to peel, cut and cook our famous sweet potato casserole (with pineapples and cinnamon) in big containers that we take over while still hot. We have a group that works together serving and the others cooking. It is a family activity that we do together and our sons get the gift of learning to give back to their community. We also make decisions on what charities we give to as another family activity.
With all the focus on holiday gift shopping it is important to take a break to think about ways you can give back this holiday season. Today is Giving Tuesday and many organizations and individuals are sharing how they are giving back. Here are some posts with links highlighting their favorite charities.
In November I went to a conference called Camp Mighty which was a wonderful weekend event offering inspiration on creating life lists. Part of Camp Mighty’s mission is charity, and more involvement in charity happens to be one of the top items on my life list. Lucky as it was, I had the opportunity to work on my charity life list item by participating in a program Camp Mighty partnered with AT&T on called Wish-A-Day. AT&T worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation to grant one wish a day for a month to underprivileged children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. To learn more about how you can make a wish come true, visit this link: Wish-A-Day Sweepstakes from AT&T. But I had the chance to make one local organization’s wish come true.
My task was choosing a charity to donate a generous amount of AT&T devices to. I was more then thrilled to pick an organization that is near and dear to my heart: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the pediatric programs at the Stanford University School of Medicine. I had my three boys at the hospital and received great care. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Child Life team of specialists work with the children throughout the hospital. They do everything from preparing kids for procedures, helping them understand their disease, to creating play opportunities in the Forever Young Zone playroom. Pictured left to right is Debbie Burkholder, Assistant Director – Children’s Fund, Colette Case, Director – Child and Family Life Services who met me at the AT&T store to pick up their devices and Beth Blecherman, TechMamas.com.
Theirwish was for tablets (such as the iPad) to help children staying in the hospital and (pay as you go) AT&T Go Phones to help parents of children. Here is information on how their tech “wish” devices will be used and the video of the fun event:
The Department within Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital that will be using iPads for the Child and Family Life Services Department. Certified Child Life Specialists use the IPads to prepare children, at their developmental level for procedures and surgeries, using photo albums, sounds (like MRI), miniature medical equipment, dolls, etc.
They explained” An example would be preparing a child for an MRI scan. We would show them the photo album that explains about their MRI, let them listen to the sound of the MRI, have them practice staying still and then deciding on a coping mechanism such as watching a movie, or thinking of a favorite place while they have the scan. If the child understands the procedure and can stay still, we do not have to give them anesthesia which then reduces the risk to the patient and costs less money to do the test. The child also feels a sense of accomplishment which can carry over to other tests, etc. they may have. We also use the IPads for distraction, so if a patient was getting stiches in their foot, we might have them play a game on the Ipad with them while the stitches are being put in.”
The AT&T Go Phones will be used by the Social Services Department within Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. They will let parents who need to stay in touch with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and their doctors but do not have a phones.
Holidays can be a special time to connect with loved ones. I have seen another side with 3 family members and friends that are bravely fighting Cancer. My family decided to live for the today, cherish the time together, let things go that don't really matter and make each moment count.
This is a big cyber hug to families dealing with Cancer. You are not alone.
The American Cancer Society's "More Birthday" campaign is an inspiring movement (their motto is "less Cancer – more birthdays"). Cool Mom Picks posted about the artists that are joining the movement. I hope everyone will check out the "More Birthdays" site and see the many ways to get involved.
Seriously, anytime you give to charity it is always in fashion. And what better time then the holidays then to teach your kids social responsibility by giving the gift of charity?
Here is information about Oxfam, the charity behind the video:
"Oxfam is…. an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. We are part of Oxfam International, a confederation of 14 Oxfams working in more than 90 countries. Together with individuals and local groups in these countries, we save lives, help people overcome poverty, and fight for social justice."
I exchanged emails with Suneet Bhatt of DreamVillage and met Efe Osagle from Lead Now Fellows at DEMO09, but missed the DEMO Social Entrepreneurship panel. Happily, I found the video at the DEMO video library and VIEWED IT. Social Entrepreneurship is a term used to describe "someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change".
As a mother, I think social entrepreneurship can provide great lessons to children/tweens/teens to show that businesses can also help with social issues to make an impact on society. Information on the Dream Village website gave an interesting explanation of their goal: "Our goal is to operate as a for-profit social enterprise, promising a
substantive donation to charitable causes, while also generating a
sound return for interested investors."
Suneet Bhatt will be emailing me more information about his organization for me to post on TechMamas.com. Moderator was Ami Kassar from Advanta and IdeaBlob. But for now, here are the links to the speakers organizations:
When I first found out that I had the opportunity to share the HP Magic with this giveaway, I wanted to somehow make a difference during a time that is tough for many. So after watching the CNN Heroes Tribute I set out to find mom and dad heroes! The tough job of picking winners was finalized – and we got one of each.
The runner up is a Mom Hero named Shellie, a mom who is trying to start her own business and had to share her computer with the rest of the family.
The first place winner is a true Dad Hero (named Hero Daddy). CLICK HERE to read more about him and how he is going to share the magic:
I am excited to announce that HERO DADDY is the winner of the TechMamas HP Magic Giveaway and will be sharing the prize with THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE ( http://www.rmhc.com/ ) and some other agencies in need!! More details on Dec. 14.
And to show that Hero Daddy is an extra Hero – he agreed to share the HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC with the Mom Hero Shellie – who had the second largest amount of votes. Shellie is a mom that will have her own computer now! So Shellie will be receiving the HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC.
Please click back to the original post and check out all the heroes. I hope that if others have technology to share, they will share it with them. Happy to pass any emails on to them if necessary.
When I found out that I was part of the 50 bloggers participating in the HP Magic Giveaway, I did not sleep too well for the next few nights. I had the chance to give away (US) $6,000 in amazing hardware, accessories and software that could really make a difference in someone's life (or a group ). I had so many ideas, so many people I want to share some magic with. Schools(teachers), charities, families and especially moms (parents) that all give so much on a daily basis. Then I saw the CNN Heroes show and was inspired. So I decided I wanted to award my prize package to a "MOM or DAD hero".
Here are the 20 picked at random: 1. Hero Daddy 2. Patricia Brick 3. Dee Dee Shaw 4. Christine 5. Trisha 6. Michelle Tjemeland 7. Dawn Greenfield 8. Shellie 9. Jennie Lindstrom 10. Lora Davison 11. Darrell Jackson 12. Linda Pettit 13. Maria 14. Matthew 15. Karen 16. Jill Caren 17. Sheila 18. mbayouvieux 19. Gwynne 20. Kristinia
"DonorsChoose.org is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. We believe this inequity is rooted in the following factors:
Shortages of learning materials prevent thorough, engaging instruction;
Top-down distribution of materials stifles our best teachers and discourages them from developing targeted solutions for their students; and
Small, directed contributions have gone un-tapped as a source of funding.
DonorsChoose.org will improve public education by engaging citizens in an online marketplace where teachers describe and individuals can fund specific student projects. We envision a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn."
This is a meaningful way to match donors with teacher's who really need the help. I donated to a project where a teacher asked to bring technology into her classroom. I hope that bloggers and their readers will logon to DonorsChoose.org and help public schools!
Here are some of the projects on the site:
In Silicon Valley a teacher wants to * needs 60 subscriptions of Weekly Reader to grab our students' interest while building the academic vocabulary.
In Chicago a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing kids in kindergarten and 1st grade needs a variety of hands-on science materials.
A school in New York City is facing a 1.3 million dollar budget cut and the TEACHER NEEDS ART SUPPLIES!
In DC Metro a techer has ""collected incredible resources such as PBS podcasts, blogs, and You Tube videos that would capture her students’ interest. These resources speak to her tech-savvy students in a way that an article or a book can not. She would love a LCD projector to use these resources to introduce lessons and engage my students".
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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.