Lifescoop Blog: Kid Desk 2.0 Upgrade – Enter to win $250

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?

Take a look at my post on My Life Scoop blog titled "Contest: Kid Desk 2.0 Upgrade – Be In It To Win It": the winning comment/solution will be awarded $250.00 gift card.

I am in need of a kid desk upgrade 2.0 – please share your ideas and enter the contest!

Disclosure: I am being compensated to write the post on My Life Scoop – but am in desperate need of a desk for my tween so I can't wait to read the comments!


Join Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

As a child growing up in an East Coast city we were tight on money and did what many families did to save money by trying to cut food costs. I also did not have a regular way to exercise. When I came out California I started riding my bike to school and got wrapped up in the wave of “healthy” eating that was part of the California culture. As a result, I lost weight and put myself on a healthier track in life. Although now as a busy working mom I find it hard to find time to exercise enough, I always try to keep healthy eating and exercise in the forefront of my families life.

Jamie Oliver is a chef from England that saw the way kids were eating (badly) and wanted to do something about it – by passing the word about healthy eating. He did that by showing how easy it is to cook healthy meals that kids actually like to eat. Now he is taking his revolution to the United States with his show on ABC titled “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”. He also has a website with recipes and information. I decided to try one of his recipes (Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry) after watching the show and my boys LOVED it!

Here is the link to the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution show website.

He is trying to pass on his the word about Healthy eating by creating a petition (CLICK HERE TO SIGN).

I threw this post together as I get my twin boys dressed for their first coach pitched Little League game. Understanding that other then unconditional love, kids need exercise and healthy eating to set them on the right track in life! A few initiatives that have caught my attention recently in regards to exercise (other then the fabulous local sport leagues)  has been the Tony Hawk Foundation to build more skate parks and KaBoom to build more playgrounds. I am always looking for more organizations promoting healthy eating and exercise for kids – so I will add more as I find them!!


Are Kids Search Engine Savvy? – 2009 Edition

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.

User content sites like Wikipedia are also helpful but parents should get involved to make sure results are valid. Yahoo also has a website for kids called Yahoo Kids. allows the user to input a question such as “What are the names of the US Presidents” then an answer is returned. Common Sense Media has a section with website reviews by age.

This made me think back to my post from 2008 titled “Are Kids Search Engine Savvy?” where I included links to some kid friendly sites. In that post I had found a site called “Kid Safe Search sites” that had a site made by Librarians called “Kids Click“.

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..


Parents Texting and Tweeting – The Commercial

I was sitting on the sofa, using a lapdesk and my notebook to blog, Facebook and Twitter after the kids went to sleep tonight. When what happens, I turned on the TV (so I could add another type of media to my night) and this commercial came on. It was a Verizon commercial where the KIDS are lecturing their texting and tweeting parents about their lack of online social networking etiquette. The commercial represents the new modern world: it is well known parents are as addicted to online social networking as their kids.

Geek Sugar also found the commercial amusing..

Mobivity posted 2/09 on a related note "Text Messaging is not just for kids anymore". That post included the following excerpt from Ars Technica:

AT&T conducted 1,048 online interviews with parents  to get a feel
for their usage patterns. They found that 76 percent of parents feel
that their children are more likely to keep them abreast of their
activities through text messaging than other methods. 73 percent said
that their kids were more likely to respond to a text message than
other methods of communication, and a full half of parents feel that
text messaging with their kids makes them “cool.”

So now I can add feeling "cool" to my activities tonight.


WINNER – Back To School Giveaway: Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop & Accessories

WINNER of Dell Inspiron & Accessories: helped us randomly pick commenter: Amanda Hellen

We contacted Amanda and here is what she said:

"I cannot wait to use this!!  This Dell
is going to help with school and work!  I am enrolled in school and can
work from home and work with a database for my job so this is perfect!!
I want to pinch myself.  My current laptop is so slow.  Yay!"


When PR for Walmart contacted me with some information about their back to school technology offerings – I asked if they had anything to giveaway to readers. They said yes, so here is all the info. Note – this is not a paid post, but it is something TechMama likes doing: giving away products to her readers! Here is the information from the press release and details about a giveaway:

PRESS RELEASE INFO:"Student needs are rapidly changing and Mom has a greater focus on affordability than ever before.  That is why Walmart is making a commitment to provide students and parents with a wide variety of laptops at unprecedented savings. Walmart worked closely with brands like HP, Dell, Acer and Toshiba to find the best laptops for students and offer them the best prices.   Starting at 8am on Sunday, July 26th Walmart started offering first-ever $298 Compaq Presario Notebook with 3 GB Memory and an Acer Notebook with an 8-hour battery- perfect for back to school.  In August, Walmart will offer an HP Netbook and Toshiba Notebook with a 17-inch screen, among others.”

Last month Walmart introduced a new colorful assortment of  the Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop at $498 in black, blue, pink, red, purple and aqua to match Walmart’s Back to College color pallets of furnishings and accessories for dorm room décor. "


GIVEAWAY: One TechMamas reader will be randomly choosen to win ONE Pink Dell Inspiron 1545 PLUS the accessories listed below in pink (except for the Western Digital Hardrive which is red).

Also available in a variety of colors, the computer accessories for this giveaway include:

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