Digital to-do lists for you and your children

Digital To-Do Lists for you and your children

66: Digital to-do lists for you and your children

 

Although there is nothing wrong with using paper “to-do” lists, digital to-do lists can be so much more convenient and flexible. Using them can help you and your children organize your lives.

Here are 3 different options to consider using:

1. Notes on your phone

When you are on the move, using the notes app on an iPhone (and something similar on other phones) is an easy way to see what you need to do. On the iPhone, you can even turn your list into a check list. Other options would be to delete items as you complete them.

2. Todoist

Todoist is available both as a website and an app.

Here are some features I really like about it:

  • Set up projects with tasks – and even sub-tasks (80 projects)
  • See the calendar view
  • Can prioritize tasks
  • Can set recurring tasks
  • Collaborate with up to 5 people
  • Extension to set up tasks right from your email(outlook/gmail) or to turn a webpage into a task (Chrome/Firefox)

3. Trello

Trello is the tool I use to organize my life and we also use it to set assignments for our Science Olympiad team. Listen to the episode for more details but here are some highlights:

  • Available os a website or an app
  • Unlimted personal boards and 10 team boards
  • Boards are divided into lists (ie ways of grouping tasks) and then lists are divided into cards. An example, you could have lists for each day of the week and then cards detailing tasks for each of those days.
  • Set up checklists on cards to keep tabs on when things are completed by your children
  • 1 free power-up per board – recurring tasks is the one I usually choose
  • You get a unique email that lets you add cards to boards when you send an email to them ie you can easily forward something that needs action straight from your inbox to your Trello board.
  • As long as your kids have access to your computer they can use it – even if they don’t have their own emails

You can find examples of Trello boards used for to-do lists on the show notes for our episode 5 Ways Homeschool Parents Can Use Trello.

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Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Digital To Do Lists for you and your children

Free Online Anatomy Games

Free Online Anatomy Games

65: Free Online Anatomy Games

 

Here are the online anatomy games mentioned in the podcast.These games were shared with me by the authors of 3 of FundaFunda Academy’s anatomy unit studies. And right now until 15th January, you can get 50% off all their regular-priced web-based unit studies with code JAN2020

Golden Hour Game
Be part of a medical response team to someone with a head injury and learn about the brain.

Code Fred: Survival Mode This is a game that teaches about the endocrine system and how our bodies react to danger.

Time Zone X: Immune System – Put in the correct order various historical events related to the immune system

Whack a Bone – players first progress through 3 levels which get progressively harder to identify and “whack” the bones.
Poke a Muscle – this is similar to Whack a Bone but relates to muscles.

Not quite as fun as these last two, but the game at Realbodywork covers the organs of the body – It is basically just a “match up” game. Similarly Purpose games has a number of games where you get a list of items and must click on the correct location in the body.

Digestix – this is a cool game about the digestive system

Solve the Outbreak – this is a game created by the CDC about diseases and epidemics.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

New Years Resolutions for Digital Habits

New Years Resolutions for Digital Habits

64: New Years Resolutions for digital habits

 

The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on our lives – including our digital habits. Here are some ideas for New Years Resolutions for Digital Habits.

Bad tech habits we can change

  • Track your online time for a week to see where you are wasting time online
  • Sign up for the Infomagical challenge to take a close look at your habits.

Consider signing your teens up for FundaFunda Academy’s Computer Applications class next year as it includes a module on Digital Habits and has them do the Infomagical Challenge.

Good tech habits

You need to make sure you are keeping up with tech. Try to learn something new each month – make a plan now. Here are some ideas:

  • Create digital birthday invitations
  • Use an online tool to select a meeting time
  • Do online coaching with a tool like Zoom
  • Try out educational games to use in your homeschool
  • Learn to code
  • Learn to use Google Drive apps or if you already use them, find ways to use them for projects in your homeschool
  • Create online quizzes for your kids (episode on this topic coming up soon)
  • Learn to use Trello

Bonus idea for a New Years’s Resolution

Use tech to connect intentionally with people. Once a month review a podcast, leave a comment of a blog post, message someone to thank them for what they do, reach out to someone you haven’t seen for a long time etc.

I would love to know what your plans are and how they turn out this year so be sure to join our Facebook group where we can share with each other.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

New Years Resolutions for Digital Habits #digitalhabits #homeschoolingpodcast #newyearsresolutions

Planning the holidays with tech

Planning the holidays with tech

63: Planning the Holidays with Tech

 

Here are some ideas for planning the holidays with tech

Gifts

 
I covered the topic in detail in Episode 10: Christmas Shopping the Techie Way
You might also find this blog post about using Trello for gift shopping helpful.

Google Calendar

 
Use Google Calendar to keep track of who needs to be where, who will be in for meals, who needs the car etc.

Doodle

Trying to work out the best day to hold a holiday party, get together with friends, plan an outing with others? Doodle is a great tool to do that easily.

Trello or Google Sheets

 
I like using Google Sheets to plan meals and who will help prepare and clean up. You could also use Trello for this.
And I like using Trello to create my weekly and daily ‘to-do lists’. You could use it to assign chores to your children. Listen to the episode as I give some suggestions on how to do this.

Anylist

 
I have been using Anylist for years and it makes grocery shopping so much easier. Once you have your menus set, add everything to the app and it sorts it into “sections” to make it easier to find items in the store. You can add all your family members to the app so that they can easily add items they need too.

Google Maps or Waze

 
Before you leave home to run errands, visit friends etc, check with your favorite GPS app to make sure that the route you usually take is the quickest during the holiday period.

Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy has some fun resources for families today on cold winter days. Play in teams and see who can solve Mystery of the Amber Room or Mosby’s Treasure first.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

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Planning the Holidays with Tech #technologypodcast #homeschoolpodcast #christmasplanning

Participate in the Hour of Code

Participate in the Hour of Code

62: Participate in the Hour of Code

 

The Hour of Code will be held during the week of 9 – 15 December 2019, BUT you can participate in the activities any time during the year.

The goal is not to learn to code, but to learn what coding is and that coding is fun and creative and anyone can do it.

Visit the Hour of Code website to find a wide range of options of short tutorials that will introduce children to code.

Here are a few you will find on the website that I tried out and enjoyed:

Candy Quest

This uses Tynker. The tutorial explains how to use coding blocks and then you use those blocks to solve each challenge.

Kodable – Build your own Fuzz

Start by creating your creature using code, them you use arrows to choose the path for him to move along. There are arrows that show you what to do the first time and it is all obvious. No reading required

The Little Artist In Your Computer Activity Pack

This is a pdf ie unplugged coding. Listen to our episode explaining what that is. You work through it solving each problem with code.

Code it! – Images and Animations

In this tutorial, you learn how to use code to draw and animate

Dance Party 2019

Use coding blocks to achieve dance moves

Banana Tales: Python Coding Game

This activity uses real Python code. You have to adjust it to solve each puzzle.

Minecraft

Use code to make your character move.

Our show sponsor is offering a Scratch Christmas Contest. Students will get access to basic Scratch tutorials and once they have worked through them will be able to create an interactive Christmas scene. Best submissions will win gift cards.

FundaFunda Academy also has an Intro to Game Programming self-paced unit study that provides a gentle introduction to the world of programming.

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes and tell your friends about it.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

 


Thank you to our Sponsor -The Star Movie

 

The Star Is Coming Back To Theaters for a Limited Time!

Experience The Star again December 7 and 8 in select theaters!
Back by popular demand, you and your family can celebrate the true meaning behind the season. Be sure to check out all of the great resources for your family to use this holiday season! There are discussion guides, along with tons of FREE downloadable activities! Don’t wait, get your tickets today!


Participate in the Hour Code #hourofcode #hoc #computereducationweek

Replay: 10 Techie Tools I am grateful for

10 Techie Tools I am Grateful For

This is a replay of episode 9. You can find the show notes here

Techie Tools #homeschooltech #technology #productivity

Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities

Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities

Episode 61: Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities

Here are the online educational Thanksgiving activities mentioned in this episode. Be sure to listen to learn more about each one.

Before you start, spend some time getting to understand what the first Thanksgiving was really like from sources like this one online and the book, Lies my Teacher Told Me.

1. A Virtual Thanksgiving Field Trip

Scholastic has a great website that allows you to take a tour of the Mayflower, cross the ocean on it, and see what life was like then through re-enactments and historical fiction letters.

2.Investigating the First Thanksgiving

Be a detective and investigate the first Thanksgiving in this online Thanksgiving activity. Wampanoag and a colonist
primary sources Read or listen
writing activity

3. Hyperdoc: Why did the Pilgrim and Wampanoag friendship go so wrong?

Hyperdocs lead students through a topic. In this one, they will watch videos, read articles, create a timeline and reflect on what they are learning.

3. Mapping the Thanksgiving Dinner

This is a unique map that shows where your Thanksgiving dinner components are likely to come from!

4. Thanksgiving challenge

Seat the people at this Thanksgiving dinner near things they like – a fun online logic problem.

5. Thanksgiving-themed digital breakouts

To learn more about digital breakouts, listen to episode 14. You can find a variety of free and paid ones on the Teachers Pay Teachers store.

6. Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is an easy way for people of all ages to collect oral histories as you gather with friends and family over the holiday. Download the free StoryCorps App and once the interview is done you can upload it to the Library of Congress!

And for some offline Thanksgiving fun, be sure to grab show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s Thanksgiving Draw game. If you listen to the episode you will get a coupon code that will allow you to get it free until the end of November 2019.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities #thanksgiving #podcast #homeschooling


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Teaching kids soft skills for digital communication

Teaching Kids Soft Skills for Digital Communication

Episode 60: Teaching Kids Soft Skills for Digital Communication – interview with Lisa Nehring

Lisa Nehring from True North Homeschool Academy and the Soft Skills 101 podcast is the guest on today’s show. She shares with us some of the soft skills for digital communication we need to teach our children.

Learn more about the importance of soft skills in this article by Lisa Nehring.

Some of the topics covered in this episode that you should be talking to your children about are:

1) checking and responding to emails/messages in a reasonable time frame
2) using good grammar in online communication
3) considering tone in emails, and knowing when to speak to a person rather than use digital communication
4) digital communication lasts forever
5) integrity in online communication

Don’t assume your children understand these things. I encourage you to listen to the full episode to hear all the wisdom Lisa shares with us as we discuss this important topic.

For more on this topic, read Lisa’s blog post on teaching effective online communication.

In this episode we highlight show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s, Art of Argument online class for teens. In this class they will learn about logical fallacies and pratice writing argumentative essays.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Online Personal Finance games and interactive activities

Online Personal Finance Games and Interactive Activities

Episode 59: Online Personal Finance games and interactive activities

Online personal finance games and interactive activities give teens the opportunity to practice their financial literacy skills. Here are the websites mentioned in this episode:

1. Online Insurance Games

Playinsure.com offers 2 games – one for home insurance and one for auto insurance. For both, you play for 30 virtual days and different events happen each day. Your decisions at the start of the game are important – try to make it through a month and have money in the bank at the end.

2. Stockmarket Simulations

How the Market Works is a free game you play as an individual. The Stock Market Game is played as a team against other schools in your area. It has a small fee associated with it. Both utilize the real prices on the stock market and students get a good idea of what it is like to put savings into stocks.

3. Payback game

The Payback game challenges players to attend university an not get into too much debt – or fail their exams. You learn that it isn’t easy to pay for college!. The game seems simple, but it isn’t easy to win.

4. Budget Challenge

The Budget Challenge costs $25 and students play over a number of weeks. Students compete against other students all over the US and have to manage a budget and pay bills on time during the period. At the start, they have to choose the type of bank account etc they want and these choices impact the rest of the game. It’s a good way to let teens understand what “adulting” is like. Parents will have to sign up as the teacher and that gives them access to teaching resources. Students take quizzes throughout the game which earns them points and checks that they understand the concepts.

These online games and simulations are used in sponsor FundaFunda Academy’s Personal Finance class so if you don’t want to go to the hassle of creating your own curriculum or adding these ideas into a curriculum you purchase, then check out their online class!

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Online Personal Finance Games and Interactive Activities #homeschoolpersonalfinance #personalfinancegames #homeschoolpodcast

How to teach your kids to identify fake news

How To Teach your Children to Identify Fake News

Episode 58: How to teach your kids to identify fake news


In this episode, I suggest a number of ways for you to teach your kids to identify fake news.

To start, it would be useful to listen to this Planet Money episode, Finding the Fake News King, in which they trace a piece of fake news back to the person who created it.

The ideas below are all taught in our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s Computer Applications class which covers digital literacy as well as computer skills.

These two articles are both good to read:

Quick Ways to Spot Fake News
How to Spot Fake News and Teach Kids to be Media Savvy

The main points in the articles above are:

1. Look for unusual URLs

2. Does it sound too good to be true?

3. Go to the source of questionable articles and see what else they are publishing. Look at their About Me page

4. Do a reverse image search for images used in the article to see their origin

5. Do they cite sources?

6. Grammar and spelling issues

7. How does it make you feel? If you are feeling extreme emotions, good chance it is fake news

If you think it is fake new – how can you check?


1. Visit these websites and check if the article is mentioned there: Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck

2. See if the website is on this list of fake news sites

Resources to teach your children how to identify fake news

  • Sutori has a quiz your children can take to see if they can identify fake news, and then lots of other resources on the topic too.
  • Factitious is a game where you swipe left or right depending on if you think the article is fake or not. There are different levels which makes it great for the whole family.
  • Newsfeed Defenders is a game from iCivics. Students play the role of editor and must decide which article to select for their newspaper each day. It will really get your children thinking. This is appropriate for middle and high school.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How To Teach your Children to Identify Fake News #digitalliteracy #homeschooling #wiredhomeschool