Thursday, July 16, 2009, a leader in IT training

My son is busy carving out a career in information technology. He took his traditional college education to the next level by pursuing specialized career education. He completed IT certification in several areas, and now has skills that will help him survive the recession.

For the past ten years, has been offering computer training for people who want to stay one step ahead of the game in IT. The school offers a number of courses that utilize best practices in multimedia technology. Students can take advantage of on-demand video lectures, testing modules, hands-on lab simulations. Live mentoring is an added bonus.

When it comes to training, A+ certification can lead to a good job and increase your chances for promotion. This course is a must for employees seeking to demonstrate their proficiency as PC service specialists.

If you want to show off your abilities to design and implement IT infrastructure, MCSE certification fits the bill. Career Academy prepares you for rigorous Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer exams.

IT professionals are highly valued in today's global economy. With training at Career Academy, your dreams can become reality.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Education or political talking points?

A debate on what children should learn in the social sciences is looming in Texas, and it's not pretty. The Texas State Board of Education is weighing political and religious input for the social studies curriculum.

Meanwhile, Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd writes that teachers shouldn't have to contend with competing ideologies in the classroom. Students should be prepared for tests, not the voting booth, she writes.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Swing sets, timeless recreation for kids

My inner child is alive and well. I like the sound of children happily playing outside. Play areas are a source of great comfort.

I love taking little ones outside and letting them swing to their heart's content. Some of my best childhood memories occurred while I played on the swings.

My favorite three-year old, Sidney, is like me. He never seems to tire of swinging. For strong, active kids like Sidney, metal swing sets like the ones available at Swing Sets Depot offer a safe play environment. Parents can take comfort in knowing that their children are playing on high-quality equipment that's also affordable. All swing sets that you find at are ready to assemble. They also ship factory direct.

Various swing sets are available to meet the needs and tastes of different families. Parents can browse through the site to find the equipment that perfectly suits their children and their pocketbooks. All swing sets are designed with child safety in mind.

With a little bit of planning, parents can make play on the swing sets an educational experience. Swing Sets Depot offers accessories that encourage imagination and exploration. For parents, has a page with plenty of safety tips.

Get serious about play time. Browse the site for a wide selection of wood and plastic playhouses. These colorful playhouses are built to last. The Breckenridge model offers kids to use their imaginations as they check out their very own country cottage playhouse.
Meanwhile, the Kids Center toddler playhouse offers a colorful and safe environment for groups of children. It's ideal for day care centers and toddler playgrounds. All of the playhouses are built with durability in mind. They'll last through all the seasons, and they're easy to assemble.

I believe in good, clean fun for my kids and their friends. Summer is a good time to explore all the possibilities.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Reforms have been proposed across the country to make personal finance courses a requirement for graduation in high school or even college. The push is on to teach youngsters about the pleasures and perils of money before they're drowning in debt.

Companies are jumping on the bandwagon too. Websites and resources designed to teach young people about money are popping up all over the place -- and in some cases, in very unexpected places.

Each summer in the Austin, Texas area, kids between 8 and 18 gather for the Money Academy. More than a dozen weeklong camps take place at merchant locations. CNBC has the details.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Educating kids on personal finance

If this economy has taught us anything, it’s that poor fiscal management -- at the corporate and personal level -- eventually catches up with you and can have broad-reaching repercussions. People at virtually every socioeconomic level are impacted by the current recession.

The embattled economy can serve as a teachable moment to today’s teenagers. That generation will one day run this country. Even if kids don't end up on Wall Street, the Silicon Valley, or Capitol Hill, we adults need to teach them the basics of good financial management. After all, we Main Street folks need to know how to handle our money, too.

If we start kids off in the right direction, it could deter them from making mistakes that will cost them big-time in adulthood. That’s where Teen Financial Literacy comes into play.

This new initiative, designed for teens aged 13 to 17, offers practical lessons on personal finance. The program is operated by Nouveau Riche, which is set to host new classes this month. Participating students will hear from experts and utilize cutting-edge technology to learn basic financial terms. Teens will also discover financial management tools and how to use them.
Students will also learn two very important lessons:

- how to live within your means
- how to build and maintain good credit

As a parent, I’ve tried to teach my children as much as I can, hoping that they can avoid slipping into bad habits that have long-term consequences. While I believe parents are their kids’ first teachers, I also believe that having these lessons reinforced outside the home really drives the message home. There’s also something to say for sharing interactive learning experiences with one’s peers.

Teen financial literacy is always relevant. My father educated me on the basics. As a good mom, I’ve wanted to do the same for my children. I’m hoping that when I retire, our economy will be strong and that the country’s fiscal future will be in good hands.

School strip-searches

The Supreme Court's recent ruling on a strip-search case involving an Arizona teenager has captured national attention. The high court concluded that school officials violated the student's rights with a strip-search aimed at finding prescription-strength ibuprofen pills. However, the court added that school authorities can’t be sued in this case. The ruling clarified when such searches are permissible, as Education Week reports.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

ADT Home Security: For many, it's a necessity, not an option

There's something unsettling about having crime lab guys in your house, dusting for fingerprints. I had that experience a few years ago when someone broke into my home. They stole a brand-new appliance, my computer, and a few other items. While I am grateful that police showed up promptly after I called them, it was hard to settle down after they left. My sense of security was gone.

My next door neighbor never had this problem. For years, she had had a home alarm system. Both of us were single mothers. I mistakenly thought that alarm systems were for other people. It was only afterward that I realized that I had been living with a false sense of security.

Several of my close friends and relatives installed home alarms, and they have never regretted it. My brother-in-law Hal is a perfect example. He recently went to the neighborhood convenience store a few blocks away, only to return home to hear his ADT Home Security alarm sounding. Fortunately, nothing was taken. The would-be robbers sprinted away.

Hal is retired, and he travels a lot. He's smart enough to know that even though he lives in a quiet suburb, he still needs protection. For him, a home alarm system is a necessity, not an option.

iPhone app gives you full control of your security system

A new iPhone application allows you to monitor your home or business even when you're away. According to CNET, customers using the iPhone app can arm or disarm their security systems from a remote location.

The technology gives users full control of their systems. Home subscribers can even check on their pets or take advantage of a variety of other tools. The iPhone application is free to customers.

School website to allow students to anonymously report bullying

Hillsborough County, Fla., officials will soon launch a website that allows students to report incidents of bullying anonymously. The site is designed for students who are afraid to speak out publicly.

A school board member said the goal is to bring these incidents to the forefront to help students. Details from the Tampa Tribune.

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