Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Kewl Kid Pick this week: the Ruler Pen

Hats off to Gizmodo for this great item! I definitely want to find this for my kids. I know $40 is a bit but it would be so very handy. (Unless you needed to make tick marks AND measure at the same time!)

Ruler Pen: "This one goes to eleven! Who needs a ruler, measuring tape, stylus, pencil, and pen when you have this magical conglomeration of classy coolness? It costs a mere $40...

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Family Calendaring Made Easy: Cool Cat Kidcast #2

Our family has been testing a new service on Airset for managing our family calendar. In this kidcast, we talk about :

  • How the family calendar works
  • How mom synchronizes it with her Palm pilot
  • How it reminds us over cell phones and e-mail when we have appointments
  • How kids and parents can put things on each other's calendars
Mom rates Airset a 10+. It is the first thing that can synchronize my palm, remind my husband over e-mail and cell phone for me and he can put things into the family calendar and check the family calendar without having to find me. We love how it e-mails the kids their schedule every day and automatically appears on their google start up page when they log in the Internet.

We hope you'll enjoy the Cool Cat Kidcast Volume 2.

If you want the details, I'll write how I set it up on my cool cat teacher blog.

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Cool Cat Kidcast Edition #1 -Gmail

Today we have learned how to podcast. The easiest way is to use Odeo.

We had trouble getting the "studio" to load, so we set up a free account and then dialed into it using our telephone to record our podcast. We talked about gmail in our Cool Cat Kidcast Edition #1.

We use gmail as the way we e-mail. Gmail stands for Google Mail. In today's podcast we discuss:
  • What we like about Gmail.
  • Our experience today with Google Text and the results of our speed experiment! (Which reaches the office first, Princess or the text message?)
  • Making G-mail appear on our startup page
  • Some technical notes from Mom.

We hope you enjoy! If you do, leave us a comment!

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Monday, March 06, 2006

How to customize your design

Anne at one of my favorite teaching blogs today wrote about cool cat kid and my cool cat teacher blog. I was so honored! Here is what she says about cool cat kid:
Isn't that the coolest thing! Check it out. It is fantastic.I love the design. The kitten is adorable. I want some lessons on how to design like that. As soon as my grandkids are a little older , I will jump in that arena. I know Vicki will blaze the trail!
So, Anne, here is your lesson on how we created the design for Cool Cat Kid:

1) My daughter and I searched for free blogger templates.
2) When we found the one she liked, I downloaded and copied and pasted the code into the blogger template page. (Each one has their own set of instructions, I printed it out and followed it as I checked it off. This modeled the behavior I want to show to my children.)

3) I set up a free account on photobucket and uploaded the free photos that came with the template.

4) I customized it some with that old HTML knowhow (but not too much!). I added a counter from statcounter and claimed the blog on technorati to add those links.

All this is with one caveat: Do this before you customize your template. If you have already made changes to your blog and added technorati tags, bloglines, etc. you will want to set up a new blog or be very careful with your changes. I suggest doing this first on a test blog or a new one. I wouldn't attempt one of these with one of my existing blogs and I've been HTML coding for a while!

To learn more about blogging read my Ten Habits of Bloggers that Win. It will get you jump started!

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Online Websites for Kid Internet Safety

Myspace and Xanga are not inherently evil just as books or computers or paper aren't. It is not the medium that is the problem but what is done with it.

When I was growing up the issue was "the mall." Kids were getting 'snatched' from "the mall." What a bad thing "the mall" was.

It wasn't the mall that was bad, it was the fact that kids were hanging out at the Mall unsupervised. Neither is Myspace or Xanga inherently evil. The fact that parents allow their kids to have accounts without providing any oversight -- that is the problem. Go to myspace or Xanga and search for your child. Ask them to show you what they are doing.

Predators lurk wherever kids congregate. Parents who love their children supervise their children.

In the meantime, I've compiled a great list of resources for Internet Safety for you!

Wired Safety

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Playing it Safe
A webquest about Internet Safety for 6th Grade Computer Literacy

NetSmartz Workshop


FBI Publications - A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

The Police Notebook - Kid Safety on the Internet

KidsCom - Tips for Internet Safety and good manners!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006


My rating is ten on Zathura!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The movie is about two brothers one is Danny the other is Walter. Walter [the oldest] who doesn't want Danny [the youngest] around anymore. The boys can't lay off their father for one second!

So their dad goes to a meeting and Danny hits Walter with a baseball. Danny hides in a square box that leads to the basement and Walter lowers him down to the basement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then Danny finds a game called Zathura and Walter doesn't want to play the game.

But Danny won't listen he turns the key and presses go then a card pops out and Walter reads the card to Danny. The card said METEOR SHOWER GO IN THE FACE OF ACTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Soon meteors came falling in the living room.

So they went to tell Lisa to tell her what happened to the living room but Lisa doesn't belive it. Later they meet an astronaut from the game they were in. He helped them with the Zorgons by setting a couch on fire. But they come back and have the game and the living room. The astronaut tries to get the game but there were to many Zorgons in the basement.

They decide that Danny will go to get it but that wasn't the right one! Danny finds out it is in the Zorgon ship and is about to be burned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Danny has to get it before that happens. On the way to the rescue he saw a goat with four eyes and stepped in Zorgon poo which glowed and gave him tracks to be found by Zorgons. Danny escaped though and they started again and Walter got a shooting star and wished for a football signed by a famous football player. But Danny won the game and they found out that Zathura was a BLACK HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa and Walter fell in it but everything came back to normal and Lisa and Walter came back home too. The brothers got along and they lived happily ever after.

I recommend this movie for kids five and up. There is a robot that is a little scary for my four year old brother.

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