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Video Games For Preschoolers – Good Or Bad?

Kids are learning to master technology at a younger and younger age all the time. Even infants can learn to push buttons on toys to get the results they want. Preschoolers can master electronic toys and kindergarteners are taught keyboarding in school. With kids embracing computer technology at such a young age, we need to channel their interests toward games that are not only fun, but educational as well.

Many people have the misconception that all video games are activities that have no educational value at all. They are viewed as brainless activities that are a waste of time. However there are many educational games available that allow kids to explore the world, learn about history, and improve their problem solving skills, all while playing a game that is fun and entertaining.

It is time to change our view of video games and kids and take a look at the games that are fun, interactive educational experiences that promote learning.

There are many companies that produce quality, education games and computer programs for children. Preschoolers can learn the fundamentals of reading, math and science by playing games that they find fun and entertaining. Leapfrog and Knowledge Adventure are two companies that are in the forefront of creating educational technology for kids.

Leapfrog – This is one of the most innovative companies out there. They produce educational videos, learning toys and games geared toward kids of all ages. One of their products is the Tag Reading System. Remember the books on tape we enjoyed as kids? Well Tag is like those on steroids! Using an electronic pen, kids can enjoy reading. The pen not only reads the story, it has sounds, words or music for all the pictures as well. You do need books that a specifically made for the Tag system, they can be purchased anywhere Leapfrog products are sold.

Knowledge Adventure – This is the company behind the Jumpstart computer programs. These programs are a wonderful way to prepare your kids for school. The games teach kids about problem solving while increasing their math, reading, and science skills as well. Knowledge Adventure also has great free games available for download on their website.

There are many other companies that produce quality games for kids. You can find great educational games for popular gaming systems such as the Wii and Xbox. With the Wii, kids can play fun games that also included physical activity so they are exercising the bodies as well as their minds.

Video games can be a great asset to your child’s learning experience. Research the games and find the ones that will best suit your child and then sit back and let the learning begin!

Celebrity Wedding $16M – Rolls Royce Phantom $246K – Video Biography, Priceless!

A video biography is a lot more than just videography; it is a personal documentary filled with interviews, photographs, narration, archival footage, home videos, and music that is produced and edited into artistic, television-quality documentaries. Think of your family scrapbook on steroids. It comes to life, it speaks, it sings, and it tells stories to you and to generations to come. It’s an awesome way to preserve and share memories. It’s one of those, “Just Gotta Have It,” kind of gifts, for which you will never experience a moment of regret.

In life we can expect some big-ticket items: college education, wedding, purchasing a house, buying a luxury car or boat, getting that much-needed facelift. These big-ticket items cause U.S. consumers to ask themselves, “Can I afford this?” Some folks are lucky enough to have disposable income for these kinds of purchases; some can only dream; while others, even in this lousy U.S. economy, embrace the notion that some items – even though considered “luxury” – are worth every penny… especially if they impact our lives in a positive way.

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, wouldn’t an entire video biography/documentary be worth at least several thousand dollars? Are your family memories worth as much, or more, than a sub-compact car? If the answer is “yes,” then you are the perfect candidate for a video biography.

Think about it this way. Education is of paramount importance, but you have a choice: state-subsidized or private university.

Weddings are matters of the heart, so standing before the Justice of the Peace is just as legal and binding (not to mention cheaper) as a $16 million extravaganza.

I suppose a 1,300 square-foot house is big enough for a family of four, but 6,000 square feet is even nicer, especially when you have more bathrooms than bedrooms, as well as heated Pietra Firma LuxTouch tile on the outside balcony to ensure your comfort on cool evenings.

When it comes to economy and ecology, we owe it to this planet to buy sub-compact hybrid cars with great gas mileage, but oh… the feel of that Rolls Royce car seat with its 400 pieces of German Bavarian bull leather on your skin is just too glorious.

Speaking of cars and skin – my face needs more than a nip-’n'-tuck, it requires a complete overhaul. Do I choose the cheapest plastic surgeon, or the guy who did Raquel Welch’s work? I’m going with the latter.

So, this brings us to the question: “Can money make us happy?” Maybe not entirely, but it can make the journey to find happiness a lot more comfortable and interesting. And once more it can finance extraordinary memories. I’m not talking about scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef or skydiving into the Haleakala Crater in Maui; I am talking about capturing a lifetime of memories and sharing them with family and friends.

Video Biographies

“What the heck is a video biography?” you ask. I can assure you, it’s not just videography. A video biography is a personal documentary filled with interviews, photographs, narration, archival footage, home videos, and music that is produced and edited into artistic, television-quality documentaries. Think of your family scrapbook on steroids. It comes to life, it speaks, it sings, and it tells stories to you and to generations to come. It’s an awesome and practical way to preserve and share memories.

Gone are the black lick-’em-and-stick-’em photo corners, plastic hold-your-photos-in-place film, and the tower of archival photo boxes marked by years. What can I say? Things change. Just think about what we did before zip-lock plastic bags – we used waxed paper! With the incredibly strict air travel rules today, can you imagine having to wrap your allowed items in waxed paper to take onboard with you? Crazy, yes? Well, in a way, so is keeping your prized memorabilia stuck between sheets of paper, crammed in shoeboxes, locked in the safe deposit box, or left to self-destruct on cassette tape (audio & visual).

Enter the world of professional video biographies, also known as:

  • Celebration videos
  • Corporate videos
  • Family history chronicles
  • Funeral and memorial tribute videos
  • Genealogy videos
  • Legacy videos
  • Living tribute videos
  • Personal and family history documentaries

Whatever you want to call it, it’s the here-and-now wave of technology that will let your memories ride to the next millennium.

Some of you artistic types who are adept with multi-media gizmos and video/audio technology may tackle the project yourself, but for the other 98% of us, we will more than likely choose a professional company that offers the expertise and the equipment to render our family memorabilia into an A&E-quality documentary. There are several companies that provide video biography services – some are more comprehensive than others, a few offer higher-end technologically, some are more artistic, some cheaper while others are more expensive. Here are just a few to whet your whistle:

DAC Video Productions. Based in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, DAC serves clients nationally, offering video biographies and photo montages. It also provides transfer and conversion services.

Family Legacy Video. Arizona-based Family Legacy Video offers custom-crafted legacy videos, audio CDs, and photo books. It also offers guides and webinars with video biography tips and tricks, as well as royalty-free music.

Legacy Multimedia. This Houston, Texas, company covers the gamut of services, as well as offers a blog post.

Reel Tributes is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and produces what it calls “Documentaries of a Lifetime.” It offers full, high-end service, including initial consultation, planning, production, and editing. A single producer is responsible for each project.

Save Their Story is located in San Diego, California, and offers basic to extended interviews. Interviewers are located throughout the U.S.

Your Story Here handles projects mostly in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, but is extending locations in the U.S. The company specializes in video biographies, veterans and genealogy videos, and ethical wills (aka spiritual or legacy letters). It also works with Alzheimer’s patients to coax memories by using “reminiscence therapy.”

Whatever your budget is; whatever your celebration, tribute, or memorial may be… a video biography is one of those “Just-Gotta-Have-It” kind of treats we allow ourselves in our lifetime and never have a moment of regret. It’s not just for today, it’s for generations to come.

Promotional USB Drives and Education – Did You Know There Are Multiple Streams to Explore?

As any student will tell you, promotional USB drives have become an essential part of a student’s supplies, right up there with a calculator, pens and paper.

And with good reason. They are inexpensive, highly portable and extremely powerful. They allow students and instructors to share a lot of information back and forth, reducing the need to put everything down on paper. This not only saves time, but natural resources.

They are also extremely versatile. For instance, colleges, universities and even private schools can use promotional USB drives for recruitment. They can hand them out or mail them to prospective students, pre-loading the school’s course catalog and enrollment forms onto it along with lavish video tours of the campus, classrooms and surrounding community.

Not only does the student receive a well conceived and superbly executed marketing pitch, but they can use the promotional USB drives to store their own files, music, videos and data, ensuring that they continue to see your branded promotional USB drives and messaging every time theyuse the devices you gave them.

Instructors love promotional USB drives, too. It makes it so easy to hand out lesson materials and upload and grade homework without even needing to waste a single piece of paper. School supplies are a big cost center, but promotional USB drives available for purchase through the school store can be used in every class. All the student’s homework and assignments are in a single place, ready to be completed and turned back to the instructor digitally.

Not only do they reduce the amount of paper required, but they can do something traditional paper-driven homework assignments can’t. Students can now hand in assignments that include video, slide shows, music, PowerPoint presentations and other interactive pieces. Try to do that with a piece of paper.

Of course, custom drives are also the perfect way to brand your educational institution. You can have your promotional USB drives produced in your school colors and add your school crest, logo or other marketing messages. Drive additional sales by creating promotional USB drives with the individual graduating classes on them, such as “Class of 2010″ or “Class of 2011″. You could even create promotional drives with different colors, one for each type of course – i.e., English, Science, Math, Art, etc. to increase sales. And, sincethe drives come in many sizes, you can sell drives at different price points, ensuring that every student can afford to have a drive. Add in the drives in custom shapes or with accessories such as key chain fobs and lanyards, and you have a real sales and branding machine all rolled into one.

Custom drives are the perfect school supply for students, faculty and administrators, allowing you to share information quickly, efficiently and affordably.