Thursday, January 26, 2012

Distracted Driving: Txting - It can wait....

Distracted driving kills.  Whether it is drinking and driving or texting and driving, if you are not driving and paying attention to the road and your car, you are not only endangering yourself, you are a danger to others on the road.

AT&T has been committed to bring awareness and helping prevent distracted driving.

Below is a link to a video that AT&T shot last week during a teen safety fair in Washington D.C., sponsored by a DC TV station and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) — a network of national associations and federal agencies focused on youth safety and health. (You may recall, last May AT&T announced a $1 million commitment in the fight against texting and driving. That commitment involves a contribution to NOYS to develop and train student ambassadors on anti-texting-while-driving education. The students then host summits on the topic within their schools and hometowns throughout the school year.)

As part of the D.C. teen safety fair, AT&T had a TWD Simulator on site to give teens a first-hand experience at just how much of a distraction texting and driving can be.  As you’ll see from the video, the simulator is a full-sized car. Kids get in the simulator, put on goggles and start driving, using a heads-up street display in their goggles. They then send a text message and the inevitable result is the kid crashes into a car or a pedestrian.

Link to TWD Simulator:

Background on our “Txting While Driving … It Can Wait” campaign:

While distracted driving is an issue for all motorists, teenagers are particularly at risk.  Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and the proliferation of distracted driving among teens is a huge challenge.
That’s why AT&T”s “Txting…It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is especially focused on educating teens about the risks of texting while driving and spreading the message that text messages can wait.  Not even red lights, professionals say, signal a “safe” time to text.

As part of its campaign, AT&T has developed a powerful documentary called “The Last Text” that examines the real world consequences of texting and driving.  Each of the eight individuals in the video — whose lives have been impacted tragically by texting while driving — volunteered their stories to help educate Americans — particularly youth — on the risks of texting behind the wheel.  The documentary can be viewed online on the AT&T “It Can Wait” website and on the AT&T YouTube page.

Texting is so dangerous because it takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds.  At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind.  Studies show a driver’s reaction time is doubled when reading or sending a text, and that motorists sending a text while driving are 23 more times likely to be in a crash.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cyberstalking: A Growing Problem

Anderson Cooper and Sue Scheff
Do you  know what a Google bomb is?

We are in 2012, if you don't, you should!

A Google bomb could cost you your job, your career, your personal life, and possibly your friends!

So what is a Google bomb?

Google Bomb (n) or “link bomb”: Internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to raise the ranking of a given page in results from a Google search. (Wikipedia)

Don't wait to be hit by one to realize what it means, like I did.

Anderson Cooper recently interviewed me on my experience with a Google bomb.  Like many of you reading this, I didn't know what one was.  Watch here.

It nearly destroyed me!  Especially in today's troubling times, people out of work, the competitiveness of jobs, businesses, etc - people are stooping to all levels to survive financially.  Even if it means ruining others with a few keystrokes!

Order today
Don't let it happen to you! 

To learn more about protecting yourself, order Google Bomb.  It offers tips and advice to help you maintain and polish your online profile.  Co-authored with a prominent Internet attorney, John Dozier Jr., Google Bomb not only offers my story, it offers sound advice that you will understand and use to help you and your kids keep your digital lives safer.

Remember, what goes online, stays online.

What you post today, can haunt you tomorrow!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Has Text Replaced Spelling? Online Games to Help Teach Kids to Spell

With this generation being the texting generation it’s more important than ever that they learn to spell words correctly.  There are many different ways to do this, but the most fun are online games.  It’s more fun than just rote memorization.

Check out 10 online games that help kids spell.
  1. This is a great site with at least 25 games related to spelling and grammar.  This site allows you to type in your child’s spelling list from school and then it will use that list in all of the games.  There’s a straight spelling test that allows you to see if they are learning the words or not.  Then there’s a game like hang man, matching games, speed games and many more.  There are even crossword puzzles that you can play.  
  2.  Some very interesting and different games on this site.  There’s one called Farkle Frog that is just like Frogger and the frog jumps through traffic and onto logs and then jumps on the letters to spell the words.  There’s a city called Miaopia where balloons go when they are released by humans and you create your own character and then find letters and unscramble them to spell words.  This world is extensive and when you learn you earn coins and then you are able to go to the store and buy clothes and things for your online self.  This world is elaborate and has earth science, math as well as history lessons.
  3. This site does not allow you to put in your own list, but it does give your child various lists so they can just play and practice spelling.  Spellaroo features a kangaroo and you click on the misspelled words in the sentence.  When you get finished you can go to the land of the joeys and play.  This site has math and reading as well as other fun games on it.  The arcade games are particularly fun.
  4. This will challenge even an adult so if your child is a very accomplished speller this site is the place to send them.  Strange words are used such as zuuzuu and kraal. 
  5. There are 32 different spelling games on this site and there are a lot of different ones.  You can type in your own spelling list.  All of the games have to do with water so that is the tie in to the aquarium part of the name. 
  6. Eduplace.comFun, but limited on the number of games that it offers.  This site breaks apart words to help you spell them correctly based on the sounds.
  7. A totally different approach is taken on this site.  There are animated characters that go through lessons to teach the spelling words.  First the child is asked to spell a word and they can see it.  Then the next lesson they spell the word for a robot.  The following lesson the child writes the words on paper and then moves on.  The next lesson they are in a spelling bee situation.  A final quiz is given.  If any words are missed an e-mail is sent to the parents.  The kid cannot advance to the next lesson without scoring 100% on their test.
  8.  Some children learn better one way over another.  This site has a big wheel that the children have to click on the letter on the wheel and it spins as it spells the word.  Then you submit the word and see if you got it right.  When you get it right you move on and when you get it wrong you get another chance to spell it.
  9. Different than the other sites and has a lot of different choices.  All of the games are the same in that the letters are dropped from above because it’s called Catch the Spelling.  They differ in how hard the words are and how much help is given to the child.  You cannot enter in your child’s own spelling list so this would be a site to use when they just want to play and learn.
  10. Spellit: There are 42 different spelling games to go to on this site.  The games are linked to other sites.  Word turtle will allow you to enter in your spelling words and then it will turn them into a word search puzzle.  Critter Jumble is another fun game where you can use virtual fridge magnets to spell out the words.    

In reality this is becoming more of serious concern than most think.  Teenagers need to realize when they apply to colleges they need to type in full sentences and interview in person! Yes, in real life!
Be an educated parent, you will have smarter kids!

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today's teenagers.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sex Crimes and Stopping Child Abuse

Stacey Honowitz
“Sex crimes know no boundaries. It’s black, it’s white, it’s Catholic, it’s Jewish.” – Stacey Honowitz

Stacey Honowitz, who I consider a good friend and devoted crusader for children,  is a twenty-two year veteran of the State Attorney’s Office, seventeen years dedicated to the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit where she is currently serving as a supervisor.

She has written two books that target this sensitive and ugly topic of sex abuse and sex crimes.  As the fastest growing crime in the country, Child Sexual Abuse is a national problem. “My Privates are Private” and “Genius with a Penis: Don’t Touch” aim to help parents educate their children in a fun and comfortable way.  Both books Stacey Honowitz authored to help educate parents, teachers and children to better understand this ugly crime that is despicable.

She is also a frequent legal commentator who has provided legal analysis for CNN Headline News, Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, CBS News 48 Hours, MSNBC, CNBC, Dr. Drew HLN, Larry King,  as well as Fox News and Court Television. She has prosecuted several high profile cases in south Florida and is also a guest lecturer who speaks about child sex abuse, the sensitive nature of these cases, the navigation of the criminal justice system and the importance of frank and open communication with children about this important and difficult subject matter.

She has provided important information for several years to both parents and children on the issues of child molestation and continues to send the message that the importance of reporting the abuse is the first step in healing. To contact Stacey, email: .

Stacey is available for speaking engagements focusing on Child Sex Crimes, how to discuss sex abuse with your children, adult rape cases, investigations for child pornography, navigating the criminal justice system and the medias role in high profile cases.  Contact her – click here.

Learn more about Stacey’s books and don’t forget to order them today!  Her website is full of valuable information!