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 →
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.”
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…
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.