Posts tagged ‘technology’

HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

Check out all my learning resources for the entire family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Subscribe to my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVUU3m8cCeBUr2wxHAQi6Lw

UNDER THE COVER…

SPIES, CODE BREAKERS, AND SECRET AGENTS: A WORLD WAR II BOOK FOR KIDS

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Alessandra Santelli

Author-winning children’s book author, Carole P. Roman has hit it out of the park with this nonfiction book. This book provides a comprehensive of about the importance of spies during World War II.

Chapter One begins with the background and causes leading to the war’s outbreak. The importance of spies in winning the war in both the Atlantic and Pacific spheres is the focus of the book.

Young readers receive a clear picture of the training, weapons, and tools used in spycraft. Secret armies and the intelligence organizations operations in each country are discussed. Illustrations provide visuals that provide greater insight.

I found the chapters featuring biographical portraits of the spies one of the most interesting sections. Spies worked in many professions. Chef Julia Child and author Graham Greene operated undercover. Roman discusses double agents and the Native Americans who broke the Japanese code. Before closing, the author explains how some wartime spy organizations still exist and how they have adopted modern tools of technology.

The Glossary explains terms used and provides more websites to explore. It also lists espionage monuments and museums that may be visited. For inquisitive minds looking to find out even more, Roman includes a bibliography of the resources she used in her research.

I would recommend this book to children who love adventure, espionage, and history. It’s a perfect read for middle-grade students, but an eye-opener for adults as well.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

B.D. BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t

Written by Veronica Kirin

This book is a fascinating study conducted by a trained anthropologist who became an entrepreneur. Kirin traveled across America to interview members of what she calls The Greatest Generation, Americans who were born before 1945. She wanted to discover what it was like to live before the advent of technology from the mouths of those who grew up living without it.

Kirin developed a list of fifteen interview questions which covered basic demographic information as well as the type of childhood, their occupations, and how technology has changed their lives and those who are growing up in a world dominated by technology. Her questions touched on poverty, economic issues, family, religion, safety, and community. Her conclusions discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing up with or without technology. Kirin provides a list of participants in an index.

I believe that millennials will find this study interesting and enlightening. As a person who grew up between these two groups, I found the information fascinating.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the Follow button or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

WITTY AND WONDERFUL

20 Degrees from Normal: Creative Poems for All Ages

Written by Anissa Ferris and Antonio Ferris
Illustrated by Fanny Liem

This brother and sister duo has put together a wonderful collection of poems that address a plethora of topics with skill and humor. Almost anyone can find several that will strike a responsive chord. Readers, young and old, will find themselves agreeing with the futility of getting rid of a fly that has entered the house and the annoyance of a leaky faucet. Teenagers will not be able to avoid laughing at the two poems presenting a teenager’s and a parent’s point of view. The importance of everyday objects like the wheel and a lighthouse are simple poems that point out the importance of objects used and seen every day. I really could not stop laughing while reading the poem about a pet spider and the smartest phone. On a more serious note, the authors strike a chord with the poem about a teacher’s real responsibility and the poem which encourages us to soar by realizing that each new challenge entails possible risks.

This collection is certainly enhanced by the double-page spread illustrations of Fanny Liem. They are big, bold and vibrant drawing the eye right into the text. I would highly recommend this collection for any family’s bookshelf. Students in the middle grades and older will be able to fully appreciate the messages of the poems.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

THREE TECHIE FRIENDS

Ai and Big City Adventure: New Age Pinocchio, Adventures of Ai, his new friends, and Old Man in the Big City

Written by Olga Go

 

Old Man Steve lives by himself in a small apartment in New York City and often feels lonely. One day he finds a smartphone and decides to try to fix it. He names the phone Ai. Suddenly, the phone comes to life. The next day, Ai leaves the apartment while Steve is sleeping. He plays in the park with a computer, a camera, and an i pad. They exchange information with each other. The new friends hatch a scheme to sell Ai to get some money. Ai is sold to Jack, but Ai feels guilty about leaving his friend Steve. They arrive at a compromise that makes everyone happy.

This story is a clever 21St Century Pinocchio story. The illustrations are modern, crisp, and colorful. Elementary school children will enjoy the clever characters and empathize with Steve’s plight. My only recommendation would be to make the print text bolder as it is sometimes difficult to read when placed against the illustrations.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE

The Innovative Engine

Written by Jim Gribble

Illustrated by Jack Gribble

This book is a unique tale combining technology, fairy tales, and student writers. The Innovative Engine grew up in New York City hearing the tales of the little engine that could. One day she received a letter from a teacher with a special request that she readily accepted. A group of student bloggers would board her at Grand Central Station. There they would begin a nationwide trip stopping at cities, farms, and lake country to learn about innovation and write about their discoveries.

After stopping at Washington D.C. and receiving a tour of the Capitol, the students travel west to explore old technology and experiment with new ideas. The Innovative Engine is then equipped with solar panels, the students learn about using magnets for transportation, and how to transform the engine into a vegetable garden to feed the hungry. At the end of their journey, the President greets them and thanks them for blogging about their discoveries.

Readers find a pleasant mix of traditional characters, a dose of upcoming technologies, and meet some student journalists of the future.  Illustrations and images that were drawn by the students for their blog entries are included. The plot is unique, fanciful and creative. Particularly recommended for middle-grade students, but an enjoyable read for all ages.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

TRANSFORMATION FROM WITHIN

Raywyn and the Golden Bow

Written by Angelos Ashes

Young Raywyn and her parents are journeying from London to Australia by sea when they are shipwrecked. Raywyn has washed ashore where she is discovered by beachcombers. When she wakes up in the hospital, she realizes that her parents are dead. Raywyn meets her uncle, Patrick Blake, who will become her guardian. She is whisked away to his home named Black Swan at the southern tip of Australia.

Once there, Raywyn is immersed in a totally different environment. Patrick and his friend Rollo introduce her to archery, philosophy, literature and meditation. Raywyn discovers how to meditate and transform herself from within. The reader participates in her spiritual journey to the netherworld, the City of Light and the Ganges. Raywyn discovers how and when to fight. Her spiritual journey takes the reader on a roller coaster ride immersed in fantasy, science fiction and reality filled with interesting characters and life lessons. Recommended for readers ages eight and older who enjoy these genres.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the right-hand corner of this post.

Selfies In the Wild Blog Tour

Blog Tour BannerCoverexp

About the Book

Title: The Adventures of Lovable Lobo – Selfies in the Wild

Written and illustrated by C.L. Murphy

Published by Peanut Butter Prose

Date published: August 1, 2016

Recommended ages: 3 to 7

Number of pages: 28

Summary: Lobo and his sidekick raven find a trail camera in their neck of the woods, and it attracts the attention of forest friends. Images captured have never been sillier or more candid. Just as their wild dispositions are exposed, the photo shoot comes to an unexpected end and they’re all left wondering why. The reason may be obvious.

My Review:

Lovable Lobo is one of my favorite animal critters. Having read his previous adventures, I eagerly grasped the opportunity to read an advanced review copy of his newest tale for this blog tour. Lobo and his forest friends find a trail camera in the woods and puzzle about how to operate it. The animal friends don’t know their colors or directions. They freak out when they see the word capture displayed. Young readers will laugh at the wild animals’ decision to “act naturally.” They have an important lesson for readers at the end of the story when they fear the camera is broken.

Targeted for readers in the three to seven year age bracket, this hilarious tale will have children and adults alike laughing over and over. Murphy provides a short glossary for the more difficult vocabulary words, a bonus of real life photographs of animals and an activity kit that can be downloaded to keep the fun going once the book is finished. Don’t miss this one and check out the other adventures of Lovable Lobo.

Take a peek inside…

page1exp
page7expUnknown-1images

About C.L. Murphy

authorpic3

Cathy (C.L.) has been creating with and for kids for many years, and because of it she’s ever armed with crayons and not afraid to use or share them. She’s faster than a speeding turtle, more powerful than a newborn bunny, and nearly able to leap tall tales in a single bound. She’s in a position to use her unassuming powers in a never-ending battle for good and silliness while traveling to the deepest (sometimes dark) part of her imagination. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2012. She lives in a wonder-filled forest, amongst the wildlife with her husband and other untamed animals. They have two wildly perfect sons and a scrumptious new granddaughter.

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Google+ Goodreads Instagram

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

How to enter: Please enter the Rafflecopter HERE.

DISASTER IN THE DISTANCE

Sweetly The Dragon Dreams

Written by David Farland

SweetlytheDragon,ic

Novella is a a combination of sci-fi, fantasy, romance and technology rolled into one. The humans have lived for more than 100,000 years under the subjugation of a superior alien species. As the story opens, a young human girl named Tallori is gathering damselflies as an offering for the goddess known as the Holy Mistress. Humans must bring these offerings to the palace where the resplendent being resides with her skraals. When Tallori finds a dragon’s skull, she alerts her drunken father, Angar who gossips about his good fortune. Meantime Anduval who is gifted with four brains and favored by the holy maiden, is ordered to retrieve the dragon’s head. Angar has already split it with an axe; the magical lights from it arise, and Anduval catches and is blinded by one of them. The Holy Mistress realizes than an attack by the enemy is imminent and the entire kingdom is put to work to build a worldship on which to escape. The Holy Mistress urges Anduval to bring Tallori to the palace; he treats her as his sister, but Tallori falls in love with him. As the Holy Mistress prepares to give birth to her chrysalis, the kingdom struggles to put their escape plan into effect.

The plot is amazingly well developed considering the length of the tale; readers get a good taste of the characters. At the end of the story, I wanted still wanted more. Though this type of story is not my preferred genre, I felt compelled to read it cover to cover in one sitting. There are some veiled sexual references, but nothing objectionable for teen readers. Recommended for sci-fi, tech geeks, and even fans of romance.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the right hand corner of this page.

BOOK BLITZ – LEMON FESTIVAL FIASCO

Frankie Dupont and the Lemon Festival Fiasco (Frankie Dupont Mysteries Book 2)

Written by Julie Ann Grasso

Illustrated by Alexander Avellino

FrankieDupont2, pic

Frankie Dupont is a pint-sized detective who wears a fedora and is accompanied by his trusty dog, Sherlock. His dad, Inspector Cluesome, has provided the incentive for his ten year old son to follow in his footsteps. In his first book of adventures, Frankie solved the mystery of Elderby Manor. He returns to that setting in Book 2 to solve the mystery of what happened to the lemon orchard.

At the outset the reader meets Frankie and Sherlock attending the new composite class at Maizon Valley Elementary School. His cousin, Kat, and friend Amy will again use their smarts to help Frankie solve the case. Almost as soon as class begins, Miss Chestnut presents a lemon meringue pie to the new head teacher, Mr. Mulberry, who immediately becomes ill. Frankie is determined to find out why.

When Miss Chestnut brings the class to the lemon orchard at Elderby Manor to pick lemons for the festival, everyone living and working there is under suspicion, One by one Frankie and his friends interrogate suspects and use their detective equipment to eliminate the innocent and find the culprit. There are enough twists and turns to keep the plot interesting and the reader guessing, and the characters are believable and humorous. The illustrator, Andrew Avellino, presents charming pencil drawings for each chapter. Book length is just around 100 pages, perfect for the eight to twelve age group. Look forward to joining Frankie again in Book 3 when the science fair will be sabotaged. Available in kindle and paperback editions.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the right hand corner of the page.

%d bloggers like this: