Category: Achieve Written by Nick Chiles
Would you buy your kid a bulletproof backpack?
Apparently a whole lot of parents are answering that question with a hearty “Yes!” Since the ugly Newtown massacre in December, companies that manufacture bulletproof backpacks are seeing a huge jump in sales.
The vice president of one of the companies, Bullet Blocker, told the Washington Post that after Newtown, they went from selling 15 to 20 backpacks a week to selling 50 to 100 a day.
An Arizona-based company, Amendment II, says sales of its bulletproof backpacks— Avengers for boys, Disney princesses for girls — have risen more than 500 percent since Newtown.
What’s going on here is a ramping up of the tyranny of fear that retailers have been using for years to sell their wares to parents. From car tires to alarm systems, car seats to organic baby food, manufacturers understand the extreme paranoia of the parent brain: protect our child at all costs. And almost always, the parent brain is ruled by emotion rather than rationality. With our (sometimes) irrational fears invading every recess of the parent brain, we will plop down every last dime in our pockets to make sure our children are protected.
Cause let’s be clear: the bulletproof backpack is about as irrational as a fearful parent can get.
A few years back, the U.S. Dept. of Education actually calculated the odds of your child being killed at school. It was one in a million. For comparison sake, the odds of your child being hit by a car while walking is 1 in 23,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency.
So if you were really reacting to the odds, the more rational decision would be to never let your child walk outside. But there’s no retailer trying to sell a product that will protect your child in the street, so no one has yet to use the tyranny of fear to make parents afraid of letting their children walk outside. Maybe that product is on its way to market, but it hasn’t gotten here yet.
President Franklin Roosevelt once told America that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I think this thinking also applies to parenting. We can’t let this tyranny paralyze us, make us keep our kids locked in the basement, push us into buying something as crazy as bulletproof backpacks. Can you imagine the fear you would instill in your child’s heart with the instructions that go along with such a backpack?
“Okay Suzy, if a crazy man starts shooting at you, hold the backpack in front of you like this…”
My 10-year-old freaks out when she hears thunder. Instruction on using her backpack to stop a bullet would render her apoplectic every time she stepped into the school building.
Black Dragon, another bulletproof backpack manufacturer, advertised its product this way:
“Arm the teachers, in the meantime, bulletproof the kids,” Black Dragon said on its Facebook page.
It’s tempting to believe we can bulletproof our kids, but we can’t.
But we can’t let our parental fears do more harm to them than the crazed gunman we think is lurking around every corner.
Editor’s Note: Author Nick Chiles, a regular contributor to LivingWELL magazine, blogs on mybrownbaby.com. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestselling tome The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms, co-written with gospel legend Kirk Franklin. His book on Fatherhood, co-authored with Atlanta Hawks is on our must read list.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 14:43
Category: Achieve Written by Oretha Winston, elev8.com
Most medical professionals, as well as educators, agree that the ages of three to five are crucial periods in a child’s education and development. Enrolling a child in a pre-school program will help to lay the foundation for academics, social interaction skills, as well as build self esteem and self confidence in a child.
Children between the ages of three and five are ready to learn. Curiosity is high in this age group and pre-schools meet the needs of the child. If the child’s inner curiosity is not met with activities and answers, it could possibly diminish his or her future academic performance.Children in this age group have a wide range of interests. If these interests are discovered and encouraged at a young age, it will lay the groundwork for a love of learning. For instance, a child who has a love for scribbling and is encouraged will generally learn to write earlier than other children. Children who are enrolled in pre-school learn the importance of character through the praise and encouragement they receive through displaying hard work and responsibility. This leads to positive self worth, as well as fostering good study skills, in a child.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 11:37
Category: Achieve Written by Oretha Winston, elev8.com
Technology is, or can be, a good thing.There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks. Too much of any one activity makes for a lop-sided child (or adult for that matter).
Give children active games to play that promote focused attention and self control.
Model it–If we’re constantly plugged-in, how can we expect them not to be? Turn off your own screens and watch them turn off theirs. Kids need to see us calling people on the phone, meeting friends for lunch, reading books, and exercising without the Wii.
Create Screen-Free Zones– If you are having dinner, unplug. Set up a rule that during dinner time all electronics must be on a charger not with them at the table.
Parents with teenagers glued to the computer wonder if such large amounts of screen time is healthy for growing minds. While there may be no long-term research on the impact of digital technology on children’s attention spans and persistence, there is enough evidence to take this issue quite seriously.
Let me know how it works out!
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 13:28
Category: Achieve Written by Jason Evangelho
Catholic prep school St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida is one of more than 2000 schools to adopt Chromebooks for education according to Jaime Casap, Google‘s Global Education Evangelist. That number represents a healthy 100% growth spurt during the past 3 months.
In January 2012 Florida was among the first school districts to move their curriculum to the web, and in turn adopt Chromebooks as a teaching tool. Last week during FETC 2013 — Florida’s annual Technology in Education Conference — educators explained that this shift had a positive impact with three important advantages: “enabling tech support internships, allowing homebound students to collaborate remotely, and teaching students to become digital leaders.”
Why are Chromebooks penetrating school systems at this brisk pace? Price is one motivator. With 5 Chromebook models currently available including Acer’s bargain $199 C7, there are viable options for any budget. Google estimates that schools can save an average $4000 per deployed device over three years of ownership. This is partially attributed to lower IT department expenses, as Chrome OS is seamlessly and automatically updated. Web-based management consoles reduce the time it takes admins to deploy changes to users and apps across multiple classrooms.
Perhaps the most appealing draw is the security of Chromebooks. When Chromebooks boot up they perform a self-check to ensure no tampering has occurred, and there’s no need for spyware or anti-virus tools. Google’s Chrome OS relies on the company’s existing suite of cloud-based services like Gmail and Google Docs, in addition to many educational apps in the Chrome Web Store. None of these need to be traditionally “installed” and since they don’t run locally, Chromebooks can boot up in under 10 seconds thanks to the lightweight OS.
Add in 100GB of cloud storage on Google Drive, and the advantages begin to outweigh those of PCs and even iPads.
Chromebooks aren’t just excelling in schools, either. Acer‘s CEO recently revealed that they’ve sold more Chromebooks than Windows 8 devices in the U.S., and now Lenovo is applying their durable ThinkPad branding to a new Chromebook model which gets deployed exclusively to institutions later this month.
Are Chromebooks a threat in the consumer market? Not yet, but their budget pricing, growth in the education system, and ease of use will cause a notable uptick in mindshare and word of mouth in years to come.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 February 2013 10:37
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