45 Family Media Literacy Activities to Grow Smart Brains in a Digital Age – Help All in One Place

What is “media literacy?” The word literacy connotes a high degree of competency and usually means that a person knows how to read and write. A literate person, on the other hand, is well read, using and applying high level thinking skills across a broad range of topics. Computer literacy means the capacity to use computers well. Media literacy, then, is the ability to use all forms of media well. A media-literate person uses television, movies, DVDs, computer and video games for specific purposes, just as a print-literate person reads a book or a magazine, a college text or a newspaper for specific, various reasons.

Using all visual screen technology intentionally is the first, and most important element in becoming media literate. Ultimately as parents we want children and teens to be in control of small screens and not be controlled by them. Research has verified and experts know that a child who mindlessly watches a lot of TV or plays video games endlessly is less equipped to develop the capacities for wise media use. A media literate child, on the other hand, would learn to self-monitor screen time-being able to take it in doses-rather than make a habit of it four-five hours a day ad nauseum. He or she would want to do other activities because thinking, creative children are curious beings and there’s a whole world out there to explore-screen technologies just being one small part of it.

While a print-literate person reads words; a media literate person reads images. Using analysis, evaluation, and higher level thinking skills, a media-literate person interprets the subtle messages and overt claims visual messages convey. This is where we want our children headed-in a direction of making it second nature to think well about all forms of media images.

If we boiled down media literacy for our children, I think we would find five basic skills that we would like them to acquire:

• Conscious, intentional, limited use of all forms of screen technology

• Ability to critique visual messages and understand their intent and intellectual and emotional impact

• Ability to communicate facts, ideas, and thoughtful opinions about media images

• A thorough understanding of media production techniques to fully appreciate how such techniques as camera angles, lighting, cuts, etc. impact the messages being delivered

• Ability to use all forms of screen technology purposefully, and eventually wisely

Children can enjoy becoming media literate. The 45 family media literacy activities are grouped as follows:

30 General activities that you can adapt and use with children or teens.

15 Activities for children, specifically designed for children, ages 3-6

30 General Family Media Literacy Activities

1. TV and books.
Keep track of the dates when a TV version of a book is scheduled to air and encourage your kids to read the book first, or follow up the program by suggesting they read the book afterwards. Great discussions can result from comparing the original book and the TV version.

2. Use TV to expand children’s interests.
Link TV programs with your children’s interests, activities, and hobbies. A child interested in crafts can watch craft programs for encouragement and ideas; after viewing a wildlife show, take the kids to a zoo and have them recall what they learned about animals from the TV program. How does the real life experience differ from the show they watched? Are there any similarities?

3. Time capsule.
Ask your child to imagine that he or she has been given the job of choosing five television programs that will be included in a time capsule, not to be opened for one hundred years. Discuss what type of society these shows might reflect to a child opening the time capsule one hundred years from now.

4. Different viewpoints.
All family members watch one program together. The TV is then turned off and each person writes a few sentences about their opinions about the show. Discuss and compare everyone’s opinions, pointing out to your child how different people will like or dislike the same program. Why are all opinions valid? Who had the most persuasive opinion about the show? Why?

5. Watch a TV show being taped.
Take kids to a television program taping either locally or as part of a family trip to New York or Los Angeles. To make the trip more meaningful, have your children draw the set, take notes on the format of the show, note the special effects, and talk about what it was like being in the audience. Is the audience important to the show? How? (It may be easier to visit a local TV or radio station. You could visit both and talk about the differences between them.)

6. Make up an alternate title.
When you’re watching a TV program or movie with your child, ask him or her to exercise imagination and think of another title. To get things rolling, suggest an alternate title yourself. All family members can come up with as many alternates as possible. Vote on the best. What makes it better than all the rest to convey the essence of the show or film?

7. Compare what you see with what you expect.
With your child, come up with a description of a show before watching it, based on what you’ve read in a TV schedule. Predict how the characters will act and how the plot will unfold. When the program ends, take a few minutes to talk about what you saw: Did either of you notice any differences between what was written in the TV schedule and what was actually shown? Were either of you surprised by anything you saw? Is the show what you expected it would be? Why or why not?

8. Which category does it fit?
Using a television guide, your child will list all the shows she or he watches, then divide them into the following categories: comedy, news, cartoons, sitcoms, dramas, soap operas, police shows, sporting events, educational programs, and documentaries. Which is her or his favorite category and show? Why?

9. Predict what will happen.
During commercial breaks, ask your child to predict what will happen next in the program. You can discuss such questions as: If you were the scriptwriter, how would you end this story? What do you think the main characters will do next? Is it easy or difficult to guess the main event in this program? Why or why not?

10. The guessing game.
Turn off the volume but leave the picture on. See if your child can guess what is happening. To extend this into a family game, have everyone pick a TV character and add his/her version of that character’s words.

11. Letter writing.
Encourage your child to write letters to TV stations, describing why s/he likes and dislikes certain programs. Emphasize that giving factual and specific information will be helpful.

12. Be a camera operator.
Have your child experiment with a video camera to learn how it can manipulate a scene (omission-what it leaves out; selection-what it includes; close-up-what it emphasizes; long shot-what mood it establishes; length of shot-what’s important and what’s not).

13. Theme songs.
Help your child identify the instruments and sound effects used in the theme songs of his favorite shows. Have her sing or play the music in the show and explain what the music is doing. Does it set a mood? How? Does it tell a story? How does it make him/her feel?

14. Sequence the plot: a game.
To help your child understand logical sequencing, ask her to watch a TV show while you write down its main events, jotting each event on a separate card. At the completion of the program, shuffle the cards and ask your child to put them in the same order in which they appeared during the program. Discuss any lapses in logical sequence.

15. A time chart.
Your child will keep a time chart for one week of all of her activities, including TV watching, movie watching, and playing video games. Compare the time spent on these activities and on other activities, such as playing, homework, organized sports, chores, hobbies, visiting friends, and listening to music. Which activities get the most time? The least? Do you or your child think the balance should be altered? Why or why not?

16. Winning and losing.
Tell your child to watch a sports program and list all the words that are used to describe winning and losing. Encourage a long list. You can make this into a friendly competition, if you like, with two or more children collecting words from several sports programs and then reading them aloud.

17. TV and radio.
While watching TV coverage of a sports game, turn off the TV sound and have your child simultaneously listen to radio coverage. What does your child think about the radio coverage? About the TV coverage? What are the strengths of each? The weaknesses?

18. Quiz show comparison.
Compare and contrast the wide variety of game and quiz shows with your child. You’ll see shows that test knowledge, shows that are based on pure luck, and shows that are aimed specifically at children. Which are your child’s favorites? Why?

19. TV lists.
Assist your child in making lists of all television programs that involve hospitals, police stations, schools, and farms, and all television programs that contain imaginative elements, such as science fiction shows or cartoons.

20. Television vocabulary.
Challenge your child to listen for new words on TV and report back to the family on their definitions.

21. Critical viewing survey.
Ask your child to watch one of his favorite programs with you. Afterwards, you will both fill out the following survey. Then compare your answers. Are they different? Why? Are there right or wrong answers, or is much of what was recorded open to individual interpretation?

Critical Viewing Survey

Program watched:
Characters (List three to five and describe briefly):
Setting (Time and place):
Plot (List three to five events in order of occurrence):
Story theme:
Logic (Did the story make sense? Would this have happened in real life?):
Rating of the show (from one to ten, with ten being the highest):

22. Body language.
Observe body language in commercials and/or TV shows and films. Notice head position, hand gestures, and eye movement. How does body language affect how you feel about the intended visual or verbal message? Children could cut out postures and expressions from print advertisements (magazines and newspapers) and see if they can find those postures and expressions on TV or in movies. How important is body language to convey persuasive visual messages?

23. Variations on a story.
Look at how a particular story is handled differently by different channels. Use videotaped shows to compare. What are the differences? What are the similarities?

24. Quick problem solving.
Point out to your child how quick problems are solved on many TV shows. Discuss the differences in dealing effectively with challenges in real life. You may want to include in your discussion what processes you go through to identify, confront, and resolve problems.

25. Put words in their mouth.
As a family watch a favorite program with the sound off. Try to figure out what each of the characters in the show is saying. Discuss why you believe that based on past knowledge of the program and how the characters are behaving. Encourage your child to think about how he or she would write the script for each of the characters. What are the important things that they say? Why are these considered important?

26. Make your own family TV Guide.
Gather your child/ren and ask them to make a family TV Guide for the upcoming week. What programs would they include? What programs would they make sure not to include? Ask them to give reasons for their choices.

27. Thinking ahead to predict what might happen.
This is a great activity for school-age children who may need guidance in watching their favorite programs while you can’t be there with them. Give your child a written list of 3-5 general questions that they can read before they watch a TV show. Consider such questions as: “What do you think this program will be about? What do you anticipate the main character’s troubles will be? How will he/she resolve them? Why are you watching this show and not doing something else?” Instruct your child to think about the questions while viewing-no need to write anything down-just think. As your child watches, he/she won’t be able to stop thinking about these questions-it’s just how the brain works. Intermittently, ask your child to discuss the TV program with you, along with how this activity helps to think about the program!

28. Ask: “What will happen next?”
This is a simple, yet effective activity. Mute the commercials while your family watches TV together and ask each child and adult what he/she thinks will happen next. There are no right or wrong answers! This gives everyone a chance to engage in creative interplay and then to test his/her “hypothesis” when the show resumes. Children may learn just how predictable and mundane a lot of programs are and soon improve on the scriptwriters, adding their own creative ideas!

29. Record your child’s favorite show.
Then play it back during a long car trip or around a cozy fireplace on a dark winter evening. The purpose of this activity would be for your child to hear the program, without seeing the visuals. Talk about how the characters and their actions change as a result of only hearing the show. Does your child have to listen more intently? Why or why not? What are some crucial distinctions between watching and listening?

30. Encourage your child or teen to be a media creator.
Ultimately what we want is for our children to find ways to creatively express who they are. You can encourage a child to use a digital camera and make a photo collage of a family trip, for instance. Older children and teens can create websites, blogs, even podcasts. Screen technologies are powerful tools and when used intentionally, with specific purposes, our children become media-literate in the process of learning more about their own creativity and unique skills.

15 Media Activities for Children, ages 3-6

Screen Violence

1. Talk about real-life consequences.
If the screen violence were happening in real life, how would the victim feel? In real life what would happen to the perpetrator of the violence. Compare what’s on the screen to the consequences of what happens when someone hurts another person in the real world.

2. Violence is not the way to solve problems.
Emphasize that hurting another person in any way or destroying property is wrong and won’t solve a person’s problems. Point out to your child that many of the violent cartoon characters never seem to solve their problems from episode to episode, and that to use violence is to act without thinking of the consequences. Tell your child it’s powerful and smart to find peaceful, creative ways to solve problems with other human beings. Choose a problem your child encountered recently such as another child taking a toy away and talk about the reasonable way the problem was resolved or could have been resolved-without hurting.

3. Anger is natural.
Talk about the fact that we all get angry, that it’s normal. It’s what we do with our anger-how we cope with it and express it-that’s important. When screen characters hurt people out of anger, it’s because they have not learned how to deal with their anger. Your child could make a list of screen characters who know how to deal with their anger in positive ways.

4. Count the number of violent acts.
While watching a favorite cartoon with your child, count the number of actual violent actions. Point out that these are harmful to others and you would never allow him/her to do such things to others. Total the number of violent actions at the end of the program and ask your child if he/she thought there were that many. Decide not to watch cartoons or any shows with such violent actions.

5. Talk about real and pretend.
If your child is exposed to a violent movie or video game, it is especially important to talk with him/her about the fact that the images were pretend-like when your child plays pretend and that no one was actually hurt. Make it a common practice to talk about the differences between real and pretend with any TV programs, movies, your child watches. Understanding this concept basic to becoming media-literate!

Screen Advertising

6. Blind taste test.

Show your child how she can test the claims of commercials. Have her do a blind taste test. It can be done with a wide range of foods such as three or four kinds of soda pop, spaghetti sauce, cereal-your child’s favorites. Are the products as great as the commercials claimed? Can she tell the difference between a generic brand and a famous one? Can she identify products by name? Do the commercials make products seem different than they really are? Why or why not? This is a fun activity to do with several children. Have a taste test party!

7. Draw pictures of a feeling.
Suggest that your child draw a picture depicting how he feels after watching two different types of TV commercials. What are the differences between the pictures? Discuss your child’s feelings about the different commercial messages. Picture the buyer. Younger children can watch a commercial and then draw a picture of the type of person they think will buy the product. After discussing the child’s picture, explain how various audience appeals are used in commercials to attract specific audiences.

8. Cartoon ads.
While watching cartoons, your child can look for specific cartoon characters that appear in popular commercials. Explain the differences between the commercial and the cartoon: In the commercial, the character sells a product; in the cartoon, the character entertains us. The next time she watches TV, have her report to you if she sees any cartoon characters selling products.

9. The toy connection.
When visiting a toy store, you and your child can look for toys that have been
advertised on TV or promoted by TV personalities. Point out to him how the toys advertised on TV initially seem more attractive than those he hasn’t seen advertised.

10. Invent a character.
Your child can pick a product, such as a favorite cereal, and create an imaginary character that can be used to sell the product. He/she could draw a picture or role-play the character. Or, using puppets, stage an imaginative commercial for a made-up product. Afterwards discuss with your child what she or he did to tell people about the product. Watch a few commercials and point out basic selling techniques such as making the product looking larger than life, repeating a jingle, and showing happy children using the product.

Screen News

TV news contains elements that may not be appropriate for young children. As much as possible, watch news when your child is in bed or not in the room. Protect your little one from graphic images and topics that she/he is not ready to handle cognitively or emotionally.

Screen Stereotypes

11. Not better, just different.
Children are never too young to start learning the message that differences do not make anyone better than anyone else. Point out how each family member has his or her own individual preferences, habits, ideas, and behaviors. Differences make us all unique and interesting. When your child sees a racist or sexist stereotype on the screen, explain that the writers of the script made an error in portraying the character in that light.

12. Change the picture.
Play a game with your child: When she encounters a screen stereotype, ask her whether other types of people could play that role. For instance, if the secretary is a young woman, explain that men are secretaries, too, and that many older women are very competent secretaries.

13. Girls, boys, and toys.
As you walk through a toy store, point out various toys to your child, asking each time whether the toy is made for a boy or a girl. Ask if any child could just as well play with the toy. Encourage your child to find toys that would be fun for girls and boys to play with. Then, when your child sees toy commercials on TV, point out whether only little boys or little girls are playing with the toys.

14. Play: Who is missing?
Often what children see on the screen does not represent all nationalities and the diversity he or she encounters in preschool, kindergarten, or on the playground. While watching favorite cartoons or movies with your child, discuss who is missing-such as an older person; a disabled person, or a person of a certain race or nationality. You can also discuss what types of people your child encounters more often on the screen-young, glamorous, happy white people usually take up the majority of the visual images with men outnumbering women 3 to 1!

15. Model discussion of screen stereotypes.
When your family watches a favorite TV program or a popular DVD, you can help your youngster identify stereotypical roles, behaviors, and attitudes by holding family conversations to involve your spouse and/or older children. While watching the program or movie, the adults and the older children take notes, tracking whenever they spot a stereotype of age, gender, or race. After watching, turn off the TV/VCR and discuss everyone’s observations. Using each family member’s notes, compile a master list of the stereotypical statements and portrayals that were noted. This discussion can be made more interesting if you taped the program (or replay the DVD in appropriate scene/s), so you can refer back to it as family members discuss the stereotypes they spotted. Your little one will listen to this family media literacy conversation and absorb important information while the others share their ideas.

6 Things You Need to Know About State Special Education Laws That Will Empower Your Advocacy!

Are you the parents of a child with Autism or other type of disability who receives special education services? Are you currently having a dispute with your school district related to your child’s education? Would you like to learn about State special education laws and regulations to use in your advocacy? This article is for you and will be discussing these laws,and information that you need to know to empower your advocacy!

1. Every state is required by IDEA 2004 (federal special education law) to have laws and regulations that will show how they will be complying with the law.

2. State regulations cannot “establish provisions that reduce parent’s rights or are otherwise in conflict with the requirements of IDEA and Federal Regulations.” Federal law “trumps” or is stronger than State law. State law can give a parent more rights but cannot take away rights.

3. Many States laws are not consistent with federal laws.

4. Some states have been told that they must change their state regulations to be consistent with federal law. For example: New Jersey stated in their regulations that school districts had the right to test a child in an area that they did not previously test—if a parent asked for an independent educational evaluation at public expense (IEE at public expense). Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) found this inconsistent with IDEA 2004 (300.502). They have required NJ to revise their regulations and until they do so make sure school districts are not evaluating children in an area not previously evaluated before paying for an IEE.

5. Other States regulations are also inconsistent with federal law but have not been told by the U.S. DOE that they must change their regulations. One example is New York who has a regulation that ESY eligibility is only for children with multiple disabilities and/or who show regression and slow recoupment. This is not consistent with federal special education law and may hurt children by denying them needed services. Another example is in my State of Illinois the parent guide states that parents must “request” an IEE before the testing is done. IDEA 2004 states that parents have the right to “obtain” an IEE if they disagree with the schools evaluation. A letter to the Illinois State Board of Education pointing out this inconsistency was answered with this statement “The office plans to review the identified guidance document and initiate any necessary revisions during the summer of 2012. Your information will be considered during the course of that process.” It is now 2014, and I will not be holding my breath for the State of Illinois to revise their parent guide.

6. OSEP policy letters often address inconsistent State laws and regulations! They are great advocacy tools and can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/index.html#topiclisting. I use them all the time to show special educators how the Office of Special Education Programs (at the U.S. DOE) interpret IDEA 2004 and inconsistent State regulations.

By understanding these 6 things about State Special Education Law, your advocacy will be empowered! Good Luck!

Special Education Schools: Meeting The Needs Of Your Child

Navigating the world of special education schools can generate feelings of frustration and confusion. Due to the wide spectrum of learning disabilities and the infinite number or specialized needs, each institution can be extremely different from the next. Some may focus on a single type of learning difficulty such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia, others might focus on students with physical disabilities, and some might be all-inclusive. Despite the differences in scope, each facility has a very common goal: to educated children. For each of these special education schools, the teachers and staff aim to promote student success, whether through adaptive teaching methods, intensive, one-on-one mentoring, or specialized assessments.

In the public education system, the main directive for special education programs is integration. Ideally, this means that children with learning disabilities will spend as much time as possible in general education classrooms with the rest of their peers. This means that students are often pushed to their limits and, consequentially, left behind academically. Rather than tailoring the system to meet the needs of the student, they push the student to barely meet standards and conform to the system. In defense of the public education system, their focus is on the population as a whole, which makes it difficult to satisfy the needs of individual students.

In special education schools however, the educators take the opposite approach. Instead, lesson plans are targeted on the needs of students, acknowledging and addressing their weaknesses. The same can be said for their strengths. Because a specialized facility is more in tune with the needs of your child, they are also more able to recognize their successes. In public facilities, students who do not integrate well are often mislabeled as unruly.

The classrooms and instructors found in special education schools are better able to satisfy the needs of special needs students. Colorful posters, calendars, decorations and other stimuli found in a public education environment can prove too much for those with sensory processing disorders. For these children, the rooms should be Spartan, limiting the level of distraction. Personalized environments like this can be found at many special education schools. In addition to the customized environment, the teachers are given more room to alter the curriculum and teaching methods.

In short, the classrooms, the resources, and the instructors are better qualified to meet the needs of your child. Keep this in mind when deciding where to send your child. Ask yourself these questions: will they be able to personalize the lessons to account for problem areas? Will they be equipped to distinguish and promote my child’s strengths?

School Backpack – An Important Backpack For Kids to Use

Every kid should be well prepared for school with the right materials that are needed for classes. A school backpack can be used to help with storing materials that are going to be necessary for school. One of these backpacks should be light in weight and should feature plenty of useful compartments for materials of different sizes. Having a good amount of durability is always important too.

A school backpack is a material that is important for kids to use. This is a type of backpack that is used for helping to store various different materials that are needed for school. This is a basic type of backpack in that it is one that works to help with storing materials like books, papers and utensils that are necessary for classes. This makes it one of the most important types of backpacks for kids to use.

One thing that should be found in one of these backpacks for kids is plenty of space for smaller materials. It helps to have enough small spaces inside of a backpack for materials like pencils, pens and rulers among other materials. This is essential because if they are placed alongside books and papers those materials can easily become damaged.

Also, the backpack should not be too heavy. School books and other materials can be heavy enough for any kid to handle so the backpack that is being used should not be too heavy either. Most backpacks that can be used for school purposes will weigh about two pounds on average. This is a light enough amount to where it will be easier for the user to carry it around with ease.

Durability is also important. A good school backpack should be made with nylon that is strong in build. This is so that it can handle being brought to school on a daily basis without being damaged easily.

Another important factor for these backpacks for kids is to consider the appearance of the backpack in general. It will be important for one of these backpacks to be bright enough so that it will be easier for people to see the user when outdoors. This is especially going to be important for kids who have to travel to school while it is still dark outside so that it will be easier for oncoming traffic to be able to see the user of the backpack.

Get Ready For a Make Over With an Effective Anti Aging Skin Product

Wrinkles, age spots and fine lines will plague you when you attain age. Sometimes however erratic lifestyle, excessive stress, over indulgence in smoking, alcohol causes the skin to rebel before time and the appearance of wrinkles are an outcome. Sometimes even after leading a healthy and disciplined life age spots appear. This is because we fail to provide our skin with proper nourishment and protection the result becomes obvious after a certain age. Skin care must be part of our routine. Every time we step out into the sun we must wear protection so that they do not appear dismal due extended exposures.

Simple daily skin care can preserve the elasticity and luster of your skin. If you start caring for your skin early you will not have to shed thousands on beauty therapies and anti aging skin product later on in your life. Here are few tips on how you can take care of skin. Pollution, bad diet and lack of exercise contribute to the ill health of your skin. As a result of living in an unhealthy atmosphere the body produces toxins. Water has curative properties and if you make a habit of drinking plenty then you can easily get rid of toxins. If stay exposed to pollutants your skin will start showing early signs of aging. So try to clean your face daily so that pores remain cleans and skin can breathe. Also avoid using makeup or skin care products that have chemicals in it. Use natural products as far as possible. Do not sleep at night wearing make up. Exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet plan. This will improve your metabolism and you will not need an anti aging skin product for a long time.

However, when the time does arrive to find a remedy for aging problem then study some of the products that are available in the market. The product must be effective on your skin type and must have natural components. If you hit the net with your query about the best skin care products you will get a spate of websites on various natural products.

An ideal anti aging skin product will rejuvenate your damages cells giving you a younger look. Now synthetic products which contain artificial elastin and collagen protein is hardly effective. Instead look for an anti aging skin product which will help produce collagen and elastin naturally from within.

Can the Average Person Truly Make Money Giving Away My Shopping Genie?

You’re looking for a way to make additional money.

You want to start you own business and earn money using the web.

You have heard good things about My Shopping Genie and it feels right. It makes sense. Because you can make money by just giving away a free price comparison shopping tool guaranteed to help people save cash. But what about all of the My Shopping Genie con claims you see? Is there any truth to them? Let us take a closer look.

My Shopping Genie is a free internet-based price comparison programme distributed by MyNet Universe, a 3 year old privately held company, that guarantees to help patrons scour the world wide web to find the neatest deals and lowest prices available for literally many thousands of services and goods. The app is certified to by spyware and adware free. It also doesn’t pass along your private information or your shopping trends. So if a person tends shop on the internet quite frequently ( I’m aware that I do ), then I’ve heard the program can basically aid you in saving north of $200 a month or even more. Which, I think, is a stretch… But maybe there are a few “extreme” shoppers out there. I don’t know.

My Shopping Genie Scam?

You can pick up and install this price comparison app, the “genie”, from MyNet Universe distributors. The app and potential savings are free. But if you’d like to enroll to pass out the genie it will cost you an one-time $199 fee and $29.95 every month to keep your license active. As a distributor, you can finally give away the app and earn a median of $3 for every app that is downloaded, installed, and USED. You are not certain to earn $3 per give away, but you earn a mixture of monies generated from PPC, pay-per-sale, and pay-per-offer commissions. So the final analysis is you could give away one hundred of these price comparison programmes and think you’ll make a solid $300 or so – but the actuality is you may not make a dime unless your new customers actually USE the app when they are in shopping mode.

Another way to earn money is to sponsor and hire new MyNet Universe distributors. The company pays $100 whenever you personally refer two new distributors, plus a $10 per month residual so long as your new team members stay active and continue to pay the $29.95 monthly licensing charge. You also will earn a twenty percent commission on all the free genie apps they give away that earn a commission. So the plan appears solid.

So are the “my shopping genie scam” claims true? No. Not in any way. However, like any real network marketing business, there are those few who will sign up and make plenty of money, many who will make a little money, and the majority who won’t even make enough to cover the monthly expense.

The difference that makes all of the difference is your capability to market your new business efficiently.

Think about it. Let us assume you fork out the $200 to start. The company gives you a nice site and a license to distribute the genie. Now what are you about to do?

First you’ll probably want to send an e-mail to all your family, friends, co-workers and associates. Then add a new update to your Facebook wall and, perhaps, send out a tweet or two to your peeps. Maybe you take part in a few internet forums you so can add your internet site link to your signature file and get a few hits that way.

Now what? While all that’s a good start effort – it is not enough to build a moneymaking business. Not even close. Because the final analysis reality is you’ll need to find a way to drive a steady stream of new leads and potential team builders to your site on a continuous basis over an extended period.

To build a rewarding business you’ll need to drive dozens, even lots of potential prospects and business builders to your website on a daily basis. Any clue how you are going to tug that off?

If not – you have just come face to face with the WHY most of the people fail to earn money on the internet. The question: Is My Shopping Genie trick or a real Opportunity? Isn’t the most important question to ask. The most important query is how can you promote the business.

Small Business Ideas in Which You Can Use Your Organizational Skills

Do you have superior organizational skills? If you do, you can put them to good use as the basis for a small business. Although you may take your stellar organizational skills for granted, people who feel unorganized and overwhelmed will be happy to compensate you for your skills.

Some examples of small businesses based on organizational skills are listed below:

o Personal organizer – Some people are unable to organize their homes and/or small businesses. They may simply lack good organizational skills; in cases like this, you can help them establish easy-to-follow systems for their various needs, including filing, storage, tasks, and so on. In other cases, they may face accumulations of materials collected over extended periods of time. In these cases, you will need to be the conscience and voice of reason to help them determine what should be saved and what should be thrown away.

o Organizational consultant – whereas a personal organizer generally works on a short-term basis, an organizational consultant would be available as needed, perhaps on a retainer basis. Companies may take advantage of the expertise of an organizational consultant when they need to rework filing systems, reorganize physical space, move into a new office setting, or restructure organizational personnel.

In addition to the above, excellent skills are necessary in some other small business settings as well. When combined with solid mathematical skills, good organizational skills can lead to small businesses such as accounting or bookkeeping. When combined with financial expertise, top-notch skills can motivate a person to establish a small business as a financial analyst. Finally, when combined with a love of knowledge, solid organizational skills can translate to a career as a writer or researcher.

Benefits and Drawbacks of HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)

Benefits of HDMI (high definition multimedia interface)

1. Industry manufacturers like HDMI because it uses a system of interfaces that stop media pirating. This system is called HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). This system works on encrypted (read copyright) DVD Video, DVD Audio, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

HDMI also carries both audio and video in one cable which will eventually allow manufacturers to have less connectors and just one standard in/out interface.

2. Customers like HDMI because there is less confusion in the connection process. Just one cable connects the DVD player to the receiver or television. Almost anything that uses digital audio/visual, such as game consoles, Blu-ray players, DVD players, etc. can connect in this uncompressed (faster) format.

3. One other good basis for The HDMI interface is CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) which allows a connected device to control another connected device when necessary. This is most obvious when you can use the TV remote to control all connected devices.

Drawbacks: HDMI (high definition multimedia interface)

1. Owners of older equipment may not have HDMI interfaces. Instead they will have separate audio and video interfaces. These customers will need to do workarounds to adapt to HDMI to their systems or buy new equipment. These workarounds could include buying cables that have an HDMI on one end and a DVI (Digital Video Interface) on the other end to send video to a monitor or television using a DVI connector. This would allow a user to send video from an HDMI source to a DVI receptor, even though it will not send the audio because DVI does not support audio.

2. To send audio to a non-HDMI audio/video component, the user will need to send it via previous methods such as s/PDIF (Fiber Optics) or RCA cables.

3. Some confusion exists due to the numbering system on HDMI connections. Starting with 1.0, the capabilities of HDMI cables and HDMI equipment varies. The standard has moved up to HDMI 1.4a which includes 3D and deep color. Each implementation of the HDMI standard in cables has a corresponding implementation in audio/visual equipment. If you are buying cables or equipment, make sure that the equipment matches the cables. Newer cables are backward compatible making it an easy choice – always go to the highest level (number) of cable. It may not help, but it won’t hurt.

In summary, review your audio visual system and see what connections work with your major pieces such as television, amplifier, disc players and cable/satellite connections. If you are buying new equipment, make sure the new equipment will work with the old equipment. Your Audio/Video system is like an eco system: change one thing and the rest will need to adjust. The most obvious upgrade path may be with your television. Be sure a new TV comes with HDMI connectors as well as the older connectors necessary to work with older amplifiers or disc players. The internet is a great place for quick information on what you need.

Finally, you may want to consult with your reseller. Take a picture of the back and front of all the equipment in your home theatre. Be sure that the connections are clear in the photograph. The reseller should be able to help you. But be careful of price. A good HDMI cable shouldn’t cost more than about $10 and a basic 1.4 cable should do everything you need, at the time of this writing, including Ethernet. If the numbers go past 1.4, just get the highest number, they are backward compatible and don’t cost much.

The electronics industry is now getting away form the use of numbers and advises customers to check the equipment they need to connect and match that to the cable they buy.

Don’t get sucked into “giant” this or “future proof” that – it’s just selling technique that could cost you a lot of unnecessary dollars. Even testers that take connections off and on test equipment rarely find any problems with the least expensive cables.

Manteno Illinois Healthcare History

Manteno State Hospital was for most of the twentieth century the largest institution for the mentally ill in Illinois, and one of the largest in America. Located in Kankakee County about forty miles southeast of Chicago and fifteen miles west of Wilmington hospital, Manteno State Hospital opened in 1930 and from its inception was in the forefront of technological and psychological advances in the treatment of the mentally ill throughout its history. For one thing, the 1,000 acres of grounds of Manteno State Hospital were landscaped, and the interiors of its 100 buildings were decorated (during the 1930′s, with WPA murals executed and installed by well-known artist Gustaf Dahlstrom to create a pleasant and salubrious ambience for both patients and staff.

The first of these murals, installed in the administration building lobby, depicted the legend of the Indian maiden Mantenau, for whom the town is named. With a population which ultimately exceeded eight thousand patients, the hospital was a community unto itself, with (starting in 1945) its own newspaper – the Manteno State Hospital News. MSH was also the first state hospital in Illinois to open its own synagogue, when it acquired a Torah and Ark for conducting Jewish services in 1953. Occupational and art therapy programs, such as the drum corps (instituted in 1955), were an integral part of MSH treatment. An annual Art-o-Rama exhibit and sale of patients’ artwork was instituted in 1957. The hospital even had its own Cinemascope movie theater, which opened in 1955, and its own bus line. Manteno State Hospital also had a farm colony worked by patients which produced over $30,000 in farm products in 1938, and provided the dining halls with fresh produce as well as earning spending money for the less-seriously ill inmates. A subterranean root cellar, completed in 1939, was used for storing vegetables.

As new psychiatric techniques for treating mental illness were introduced, they were quickly adopted as part of Manteno Illinois healthcare. For example, treatment trials of the Metrazol shock therapy for treating certain forms of schizophrenia and depression were begun in 1936, shortly after the technique was invented. Insulin, electro pyrexia, and electric shock therapies were also employed. A tuberculosis sanitarium was opened at Manteno in the fall of 1937. As new psychiatric drugs, such as chlorpromazine, reserpine, and other drugs used to treat schizophrenia and epilepsy were invented in the 1950′s, their effects were carefully studied at MSH. Since most voluntary admissions were patients with chronic alcoholism, a pioneering Alcoholics Anonymous program was instituted at MSH in 1958.

Manteno State Hospital was also closely associated with area educational and research institutions. In 1939 an outbreak of typhoid fever resulted in sixty patient deaths, which caused the authorities to issue a quarantine and a moratorium on new patient admittances for six months. As a result, Monteno State Hospital became a center for typhoid and malaria research; and later on research programs in steroid treatment of breast cancer were introduced. In 1947 the hospital became associated with the University of Illinois Department of Psychology, which offered its students two-month residencies at Manteno as part of their training. In 1950 the Manteno State Hospital bacteriological laboratory became part of the Illinois state Department of Health.

In the 1970′s Manteno State Hospital was rocked by several scandals, including the revelation of experimental surgeries which had been done on patients without their consent in the 1950′s, as well as charges of sexual abuse and a high percentage of patient deaths. The hospital population by this time had fallen to three thousand and continued to fall, and it was increasingly difficult to obtain competent staff. The hospital began to receive “undomiciled patients”: when a homeless person with no family ties showed up at any Chicago or Wilmington Illinois hospital, they were automatically sent to Manteno. Although Manteno was never designed to deal with violent patients, more and more mittimus patients – felons who were more intelligent and violent than regular patients – were sent to the hospital. Walkaways – escapees from the hospital due to inadequate supervision – caused fear in the community. By 1983 Governor Thompson decided to close MSH, which shut down operations on December 31, 1985.

Can You Get A Culinary Arts College Degree Online?

The culinary arts field is an up and coming popular choice for new high school graduates and for those who presently work in the food industry and who want to make culinary arts their profession. As a result, many who choose the field of culinary arts are seeking to get a culinary arts college degree online. The question is, can your entire culinary arts degree be completed online?

The simple answer to this question is “no”. There are culinary arts colleges who do offer a combination program of online classes and hands on, brick and mortar classroom work. The reason a culinary arts college degree cannot simply be completed online alone is because of the practical nature of what is being offered. A true chef in the making will not be satisfied with virtual cooking. It’s great to watch a video on baking a wedding cake and take a test on it, but it is a totally different story to have to prepare that same wedding cake in the real world.

In addition, there are many stresses that the chef in the making will encounter while being in a hands-on environment. There are sights and sounds and deadlines to meet. There are waiters and waitresses calling out their orders and who are in a hurry to please their customers so they can make good tips. There may even be a staff for you to manage and their problems will become your problems. You need to have the hands-on experience to achieve a culinary arts college degree so attending a college that strictly offers online courses will not be good enough.

As a result, schools like the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Le Cordon Bleu offer a combination of hands-on and online courses. For example, most college degrees whether two year or four year degrees require a certain amount of credits that do not have anything to do with your field of study or major. Those might be courses like English, Math, Science or History which are required as basics. These types of courses can be successfully accomplished online. However, when it comes to mixing eggs, flour, water and sugar with a mixer, that requires a hands-on classroom environment.

You will want to visit http://www.culinaryartscollegesite.com for a great deal of information and a video of a culinary arts chef in action.

Culinary arts is a popular field and the job opportunities are becoming more abundant. If you have a goal in mind of becoming a top chef, for example, you will want to talk to the chefs, the owners or the personnel managers in some of the better restaurants or restaurant chains first to see where most of their employees come from. Perhaps they have a favorite school that provides the kind of training programs they like, be it an online college degree or a culinary arts college degree from a brick and mortar school. This may help you decide which college to choose.

If you do find an online college degree that offers a culinary arts program that is strictly all online, be wary. If you use common sense, it would only be reasonable to believe that it is better to learn something as hands-on as culinary arts by doing then to learn by watching or hearing. Bake your own cake and you will have much more of a chance of succeeding and being proud of your culinary arts college degree.