Author Archives: beck@hamlin.org

Common Sense Media Parent Event – Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – “News and America’s Kids”

Common Sense Media Tip of the Week – 02/13/17

The glitz and glam of awards season is upon us. The 2017 Oscar nominations are full of family-friendly films, and celebrities who usually become popular for how they look. But some might say stars have an extra responsibility to show their fans how to change the world. This diverse group of role models is great for kids and teens who want their celebs to stand for something. Kids can visit the websites of their favorite stars to see how they’re giving back to the community and follow in their footsteps, or they may simply get inspired to explore local volunteer options.

And, remember, kids aren’t just passively consuming celebrity culture. Check out these kid YouTube stars who are creating their own media and fanbase.

Common Sense Media Tip of the Week 01/16

digital_citizenship-certified_school-med CS_supporter_school-BIG-300x62Let’s be clear: No one needs a robot. Or a rubber ducky that puts your baby to sleep. But it might be nice to have a gadget do your parenting work for you once in a while — especially after a long day. Now, with hundreds of new tech tools hitting the market, you can. But should you?

With WiFi, apps, GPS, speech recognition, movement tracking, and more, these new gizmos are programmed to interact with your kids, entertain them, and keep them healthy. For most parents, the idea of a device taking the parenting reins ranges from “over-my-dead body” to “I’ll take two.” Certainly research shows that warm interactions with a loving caregiver are best for children’s development. But just for fun, we consider who (or what) is better able to handle these parenting chores:

  • Getting Kids to Sleep?
  • Entertaining Kids?
  • Keeping Track of Kids’ Locations?
  • Keeping Kids Healthy?
  • Being Your Kid’s Friend?

Find out who wins when it comes to parenting chores – Man or Machine?

Common Sense Tip of the Week 01/09

digital_citizenship-certified_school-medCS_supporter_school-BIG-300x62Working out and eating right are at the top of most people’s New Year’s resolutions. But as tough as those are, nothing compares with the challenge of a healthy media diet. There are screen-time limits to manage, new apps to investigate, bizarre social media trends to make sense of, and, don’t forget, plenty more Pokémon to catch. It’s like a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet when all you really want is a carrot stick. But in a world where both parents and kids are racking up serious screen time, making a commitment to a healthy media environment is critical for family time, learning, relationships, and digital citizenship.

So whether you’re turning over a new leaf or trying to stay the course, our 2017 media resolutions can help you be more mindful, focus on what’s most important, get the most out of media and technology, and raise good digital citizens. And if last year was a rough one, past struggles with grades, organization, and friends are easy to carry over into the new year. Check out our Homework Help Apps, Time Management AppsNote-Taking Apps for Tweens and Teens for even more ideas on starting with a clean-slate.

Grade 8 Design Elective – Laser Cutting Project

Directive: design a piece that could be given to a loved one during the holidays. Students were allowed to look at websites like Instructables for inspiration, but if they chose to download a template they had to modify the design in a significant way.

View the results:

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Maker Integration: Grade 4 Aviation

Following Grade 4’s Stem the Gender Gap field trip to NASA, we launched the Wind Tube project. In groups of 6, students built a wind tube using wood, plastic, tape, and a fan. Next challenge = build and test flying structures!

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#STEMGenderGap 2016

Hamlin girls are learning with, playing, and creating with tech companies around the Bay Area today!

Learn what the #STEMGenderGap field trips are all about.


Thanks to all of our community partners in this innovative endeavor!

Where Hamlin students are visiting today...

Where Hamlin students are visiting today…

StGG v2 iv

How to Help Kids Spot Fake News

digital_citizenship-certified_school-med CS_supporter_school-BIG-300x62If you get your news online or from social media, this type of headline sounds very familiar. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s satire? Now that anyone with access to a phone or computer can publish information online, it’s getting harder to tell. But as more people go to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other online sources for their news and information, it’s even more crucial that all of us — especially kids — learn to decode what we read online.

Google and Facebook are starting to actively crack down on publishers of false or misleading news. But ad-supported networks are in somewhat of a bind, since they get money when users click on these stories — so the crazier the headline, the more money they make. Most kids and teens get their news from their feeds, so they need to learn how to view stories critically (and they should learn that skill anyway!). Even little kids can start to think about some key media-literacy questions. And as kids get older, parents can help kids become more sophisticated critical thinkers. Please click here to find the tips to share with both young and older kids to help them spot fake news.

Halloween Maker/Design Challenge

The students in the Grade 8 Design Elective were given the following directive: In teams of two, create a Halloween sculpture that interacts with the world.

Materials used: Hummingird Duo (arduino, motors, and sensors), cardboard, tape, paint, air drying clay, vinyl, tulle, leaves, paper cups, hot glue

Here are some of the results:

Common Sense Media Tip of the Week 11/14

CS_supporter_school-BIG-300x62 digital_citizenship-certified_school-medAs we are all trying to move forward from the vitriolic comments from the election, we hope this holiday season all families can start with a simple pledge!  Put your devices away at the table!  Families everywhere are pledging to put down their devices at the table. Why? The holidays are all about connecting with each other, not devices. Whether you’re going to dinner at Grandma’s or teaching the kids an old (or new) family recipe, those special moments deserve to be treasured. Take the #DeviceFreeDinner challenge this holiday season! Use these sample Facebook and Twitter posts and share the challenge with your friends and networks. Now, more then ever, we need to come together at the holiday table, and your dinner table, and talk to each other, face to face!

Twitter: Keep holiday celebrations focused on family, not phones. Create memorable moments w/#DeviceFreeDinner! Free tips: http://comsen.se/2fC7RUK

Facebook:
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to be together. This year, take the #DeviceFreeDinner challenge with the whole family, and focus on what you’re really thankful for: each other. http://comsen.se/2f7A9Wo