Help keep your kids' online experiences positive and productive by learning the truth (and ignoring the rumors) about what really makes them safe.
If you believe everything you hear about kids online, you might think pedophiles and cyberbullies are around every cyber-corner. Yes, there is bad stuff out there. But the truth is, there's a lot of good, and some experts are arguing against a "techno-panic mindset" that worries parents unnecessarily. The bottom line is that we can't keep our kids safe if we don't know the facts. Here are the five most popular myths about Internet safety -- and the truths that can set your worries free. Read More
Can a small child build a computer and learn to code on it? Well, probably, but it depends on a few things. First, ease of building; a DIY computer aimed at children should be easy to put together. Second, attention span; if the computer doesn’t react as expected, then all interest might be lost. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the user interface has to be as interesting and engaging as the learning tools.
The fact that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler are counted among the backers for the Kano project gives some indication of what a great idea it is. Read More
When my 8-year-old son typed “epic headshop at 31;65” into the command prompt, I realized the Minecraft I knew was dead. In its place something new had emerged. If I wanted to keep using it as a vehicle for advancing learning goals, it was high time for a serious reevaluation.
“Minecraft is not a game.” If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that since first learning of the worldwide phenomenon in Spring of 2011 at the Games For Change Festival... well, I’d have enough to run my own Minecraft server. My wife asked me, when she saw me writing this, “Isn’t it just like Legos?” I see her point. Legos are not a game. They are a toy. Minecraft offers little in the way of points to earn or levels to beat. You can’t really lose. It can look to an outsider like a giant digital sandbox. So yes, I get how understanding Minecraft as a toy can be of value, even accurate. It’s just less useful. Read More
As a parent, you always try your best to share your values with your children. Sometimes, to implement those values, you set house rules that they need to abide by if they want peace. Some rules may be flexible, like eating dinner together, and others more rigid, like a 9 o-clock curfew during school nights. Some of these values were taught to you by your parents, while others you learned the hard way.
More often than not, you try to teach your children those values so they aren’t slapped in the face by reality once they leave the nest. That being said, you know why you’re setting those rules, but do your children understand? Will your children implement those rules when you have your back turned, or will they just sneak past them? Read More
With over 100 makers, performers, speakers, and educators, Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is this city’s largest show-&-tell for all ages.
Meet Make.Family.Fun, a Vancouver family of five who like to make things and want to inspire other families to dare to get a little messy. Parents, Sarah (an elementary school teacher) and Julian (a software developer) both love to create, and now with their three kids, Tristan,11, Liam, 9, and Xavier, 4, they can often be found in the middle of creations, wires and chaos. Whether it’s a potato launcher, crafts or a catapult, Make.Family.Fun is always working on some kind of Maker project. Read More
Virtue. Not so much a ‘value’—as if it’s something we can swap for something else if we change our minds. Virtue in the sense that it becomes ‘part of our DNA’—part of who we are. Something solid and indivisible from us. Something people associate with us when they think of us.
This habit, worth nurturing, comes at a cost. But the trick is (1) to see things rightly, so you know you are doing the right thing, for the right reason. That way the cost is justifiable. The other aspect to it, is (2) to endure.
I am of course speaking of fortitude. Though, as I said, it’s not a word we commonly use, now. Sometimes we think of it as courage, or bravery. But it’s not quite either of these. Read More
The research seems to confirm that especially during their teenage years, girls are more focused, disciplined and collaborative than boys in the classroom. Further, they exhibit higher degrees of self-regulation—of planning work and completing tasks. There is evidence, too, that suggests girls are better than boys at following guidelines, directions and instructions. In short, they are more attentive.
As I’ve already noted, girls are certainly competitive (highly so); additionally, research tells us they currently possess much higher literacy levels (they read more deeply and more widely than boys), and they’ve higher expectations of themselves, and bigger aspirations than their counterparts. Read More
A few weeks ago, my family and I were fortunate to head south and spend six days in Tennessee for Spring Break. To say that it was relaxing and rejuvenating would be an understatement. I disconnected from my email and social media for several days, not to mention my iPhone. I decided before we went on break that I needed to do this for my sake, but mostly my family’s sake.
On the second morning I was sitting in the living room of our vacation house when a tidal wave of little people flooded the room.
It wasn’t easy, but, I loved it. For the first time in many months I was able to “unplug” from the usual hustle of work and life and just be in the moment. On the second morning I was sitting in the living room of our vacation house when a tidal wave of little people flooded the room. They jumped in my lap and wrapped their tiny hands around my neck. For the next 30 minutes I snuggled with them on the sofa and waited for daybreak.
Priceless! Read More
Empowering the Next Generation of Innovators
In a world where technology touches every aspect of our lives, it is crucial that our children become active creators of technology, not just passive users. Tynker's mission is to help kids master the programming and critical thinking skills in a fun and intuitive way that will prepare them to become the innovators of tomorrow. Read More
Whether they need some help making healthy choices or are interested in learning more about how to maintain a healthy body, kids will get a kick out of these wellness-focused standouts. Read More