Posted in Bookmark It!, digital parenting, resources to read, social media, web research

Keeping Track During a Disaster — A Helpful Kind of Tracking: Bookmark It!

Nixle helps to aggregate data sources during a disaster.

If you haven’t had enough of hurricane Irene, PC Magazine just published 10 Mobile Apps for Tracking Hurricane Irene. Some are free and others are downloadable for a small charge.

Applications come from government agencies like NOAA, but there are also some that are more survival oriented. One helps users develop and share a disaster plan.

Nixle, the application on the left, allows a user to set up connections with data sources so the information comes to you. Every app is not available for every mobile platform.

Check out the PC Magazine presentation, featuring something for every type of disaster tracking personality.

Posted in cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, electronic communication, iPhones and iPads, parents and technology

Keeping Gadgets Working When the Power Goes Off

Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

How does one keep mobile devices working during some type of emergency?

It’s been an eventful week here in Northern Virginia. On Tuesday we had an earthquake, 5.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, shaking lots of things at home and work to the floor. Almost immediately, on Wednesday, we began making preparations for Hurricane Irene, the largest of its kind to move up the east coast of the United States in more than 50 years. In both cases, it’s been harder than usual to count on gadgets like mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and laptops.

For more than an hour after the earthquake, making mobile phone calls was difficult, though I found I was able to text easily. Now, during hurricane Irene (I am sitting by a window watching the rain fall in sheets), I worry about maintaining the battery charge of each gadget as long as possible, since the power is sure to go out at some point. Of greater concern is that, with millions of people losing power, it may take some time to get the power restored. Preservation becomes even more of a concern.

Continue reading “Keeping Gadgets Working When the Power Goes Off”

Posted in Back-to-school digital reading, digital parenting, laptops and notebooks, parents and technology

Choosing a New Laptop? Back-to-School 2011 Digital Reading #3

Check out the Techlicious website to read Picking the Best Back-to-School Laptop, a post by Suzanne Kantra.

Important Factors for Parents and Kids to Keep in Mind

  • Weight
  • Enough memory to complete the required tasks — think about what your child will be doing
  • Processing speed
  • Attractiveness and/or design (a big deal for some kids)
  • Security at school if it a laptop travels back and forth between home and school
Other Links to Help You Learn about Purchasing a Laptop Computer
Posted in digital learning, digital parenting, parents and technology, teaching

The Virginia Earthquake: Oh How I Love Teaching and Technology

My upstairs hallway

Yesterday in the District of Columbia (my school) and Virginia (my home), we had an earthquake, the largest quake in our area in 70 years. At school things rumbled and doors slammed, so most of the adults, who were preparing for the start of the school year, headed outside for a bit. At my house I returned to find pictures askew. A few things fell on the floor at home, but my neighbor checked on the house and picked them up before I arrived.

But here’s an interesting observation. On a day in August, when teachers like me are getting ready for the start of school — and bemoaning the end of summer just a bit — I found myself wishing the students were already back in school, because I know how special “the day after” can be for young learners and for me, too. Continue reading “The Virginia Earthquake: Oh How I Love Teaching and Technology”

Posted in parents and technology

Cool TechTips from David Pogue

I’ve been carrying this May 18, 2011 article, The Ins and Outs of Using Gadgetry by New York Times tech guru, David Pogue, for three months. Actually, it’s worth carrying around so you can pull it out and get a few quick, and very helpful tips for whatever gadget you happen to be using.

Click to watch Pogue's 2006 TED Lecture.

Here are a few examples:

  • Skipping all of those irritating introductory messages on cell phones
  • Ensuring your digital camera focuses
  • Highlighting the address bar in your browser without taking time to grab the mouse
  • Using a few quick edit tips when you are writing
  • … and much more

I’ll admit to being a bit of a Pogue groupie. He always seems to have the answers, and if he doesn’t, he calls around (or messes around with the gadgets) until he does.

A Few David Pogue Links Continue reading “Cool TechTips from David Pogue”

Posted in Back-to-school digital reading, digital parenting, online security, parent education, parents and technology

Filters: To Install or Not to Install? That is the Question! Back-to-School 2011 #1

It’s almost back-to-school season, I’ve just been asked for my opinion about home network filters, and I’ve answered the way I always do: protective software programs are fine but limited.

Yes, filters keep a certain amount of inappropriate content away from children, but the problem of access is not solved simply by protecting home computers and networks. Over the course of a day or week, a child encounters many other connections to the world wide web — on laptops, smartphones, iPads, computers, in other people’s homes, and maybe even at a parent’s office. Not to mention all of the inappropriate advertising…

Continue reading “Filters: To Install or Not to Install? That is the Question! Back-to-School 2011 #1”