Archive for the ‘ Kids ’ Category

Watch out: Angry Birds to be “a permanent part of pop culture”

You know that simple, silly little game your kids won’t stop playing on Facebook or on your iPhone? The one where you use a slingshot to fling birds and destroy pigs hidden in fortresses? In spite of the fact that it seems to have been created by an incredibly stoned couch surfer, the game “has been downloaded 700 million times and is the fastest growing game on Facebook.” The company’s estimated value? Oh, just around $9 billion. But apparently that’s just the beginning.

“We want to make Angry Birds a permanent part of pop culture,” Peter Vesterbacka told Reuters, comparing the brand to Sanrio’s Hello Kitty or Nintendo’s Mario. “We’re just getting started.” Rovio is teaming up with Wal-Mart to sell its games and is planning a series of themed activity parks in Britain (They’ll apparently feature Angry Birds-inspired swings, sandpits, climbing towers, slides and outdoor arcade games).

The goal is to be an “entertainment brand,” not just a company that makes games. Not that those are doing poorly – According to a recent report by Juniper Research, the massive growth in tablets are set to push total end-user games revenues on tablets to $3.1 billion by 2014, up from $491 million in 2011. The increasing size of smart phone screens will likely aid those numbers, as well.

As games like Angry Birds become more and more popular, not just on tablets but also on smart phones, you can down on cost by buying your children used cell phones. They won’t notice any different while they’re pelting the on-screen pigs.

Used Cell Phones Offer New Ways To Help Poor

You’ve probably participated in a drive for used cell phones before. You may have donated them so that the underpriviledged could dial 911, or you may have given your used cell phones to a battered women’s shelter, school drive, or drive for soldiers.

But besides the fundamental need to call 911, used cell phones offer the disadvantaged other free services. Many states offer subsidized plans to activate cell phones, and increasingly there are many health services that send free information to cell phones for those who sign up.

When you donate used cell phones to a battered women’s or to another similar charity, one of the services that becomes available is text4baby, a program that offers preganant mothers and mothers of young children free advice, tips, and encouragement to help keep them and their baby healthy.

Whether it helps educate them so they can take better advantage of the care available to them, or helps those who can’t make doctors visits as often as they should, text4baby is a sucessful program that should be available to all women: which is why donating your used cell phones is important.

Despite being a first world country, (and spending more money then anyone on child birth), the US has a horrible infant mortality rate, and even the maternal death rate has increased in recent years. Although some of that has to do with wealthy older women having babies past their body’s abilities, some of it comes from poorer women, especially imigrant women, who don’t have the resources to support a healthy pregnancy.

Used cell phones coupled with free services like text4baby are an easy way to reach these women, and a first step at decreasing mortality rates associated with birth.

Text4Baby is a helpful tool for all moms; to sign up just text BABY for english or BEBE for spanish to 511411.

Have you used text4baby? Let us know about it in the comments.

Don’t Fight Change: Use Of Cell Phones In Schools

There’s been lots of debate by school districts over how to handle the rapid change in technology as small electronics become fully functonal computers. Ban cell phone use in the school? Ban cell phones from all school property? Or embrace the technology and integrate into lessons?

More and more, school districts are realizing that students use cell phones regardless of the policies they put into place, and that it’s easier to get the desired results (no disruptions in the classroom) if they make policies that acknowledge the reality of the situation.

If you’re a parent who thinks kids shouldn’t use cell phones until they’re 16 (or 18!), here’s some of the helpful ways teachers have figured out to use cell phones in classrooms:

  • To supplement outdated textbooks
  • As a calculator
  • As a dictionary or theasaurus
  • To display maps, art, or other infographics
  • As a research tool
  • As a vehicle that can store books, newspapers, and magazines

Beyond supplementing older tools, by allowing cell phone use in schools teachers are able to teach kids proper use of such devices including good manners, internet safety, and how to get reliable information.

If your local school is instituting such programs, a great way to show your support is to donate used cell phones or pay-as-you go minutes and data. Not all kids can afford to use cell phones, and donating used cell phones in the hands of every child is a great way to encourage technology in the classroom.

Used Cell Phones For Low Income Families

52% of children between the ages of 5-8 have used a cell phone or iPad, but split that into two groups based on income level, and suddenly a disparity appears. Less than a third of low income families have a smart phone, while over a third have low income parents don’t know what an app is. That means a significant proportion of kids haven’t used cell phones by the time they start school.

Cell phones can be used as a diversion, as an educational tool, and as a way to introduce technology to kids. Low income kids who haven’t used cell phones, however, face a disadvantage.

Schools serving income-disadvantaged children have long since been taking measures to improve the technology available at home. Free dial-up internet (with instructions and school support to help parents), as well as refurbished computers have been supplied through charitable programs, but as new technology appears, not all programs are keeping up.

Used & refurbished cell phones are another step that schools will have to take. Schools have already begun using cell phones in class rooms, both letting kids participate through text, and introducing educational apps, much the way that educational computer games were played in the 90s.

Affordable, and certainly donatable, used cell phones should be collected and distributed through schools so that young kids are introduced to technology early on, as well as able to fully participate and interact with their peers. If kids are communicating through chat, it’s easy to see how economic segregation might quickly occur.

Could Unlocked Cell Phones Give You More Control Over Your Kids?

Palm Pre, an unlocked cell phone with a great OS for kids.

Many parents are giving their children cell phones at ever younger ages, and it’s not uncommon to see a young child learning to use the device (as well as colors, numbers, and words) while playing with the many child-geared apps available.

But kids need to meet certain expectations for responsibility, as well as have a viable punishment when entrusted with cell phones. Unlocked cell phones can give parents that boost.

Unlocked cell phones work on any GSM provider, and more importantly, are super easy to use with prepaid plans from any company.

Pre-paid plans can be usd as allowance, as punishment if you want to take away kids data plans (or as a way to limit the functionality of the phones, permitting more uses as they age).

Because unlocked cell phones can be bought cheaper than carrier provided phones and without the contracts and fees, they also allow parents the ease of switching plans if necessary. As more kids use cell phones, carriers can be expected to add bonus features to plans (some already exist): being able to use the phone to keep track of your kid at all times, monitoring use, and with unlocked cell phones it’s easy to install thrid party apps for emergency situations (911 to mom with the bush of a button, for instance).

When every family member has an unlocked cell phone, it can help you to save money by finding the cheapest rates, and switching as need be (be sure to ask about the price of non-contract plans-they’re often cheaper).

 

Nokia Used Cell Phones Still Popular

10 years ago, Nokia phones were one of the most common sights, and they still are world wide despite fancier smart phones from Samsung and Apple being more popular in the US.

In terms of used cell phones, Nokia phones last forever. You’ll have to update to have your phone work on the next generation broadband before it will die, although it may not have the pizzazz of other phones, and it’s economical, before and after it become a used cell phone.

Now though, Nokia has found a way to spice up their ringtone to appeal to younger kids/teens (Nokia phones are a great first cell phone, whether a new or used cell phone, because of their price, and because they rack up a smaller bill that smart phones with tons of data use).

Introducing the new Nokia ring tone…the dubstep version. Dub step is both a musical style as well as dance style that has become popular over the last two years. The new ring tone was chosen through a competition.

I for one, love the new ringtone. It’s melodic, modern, and shows that Nokia still has tons of vitality.

Already have a used cell phone? You can download the ringtone if you like it.

Do you love or hate the new Nokia ring tone? If you love it, are you adding it to your used cell phone?

More Schools Move To Include Cell Phones In Classrooms

Computers are now used in most jobs, most homes, and, frankly most pockets. Cell phones can do what computers 30 years ago couldn’t, and many school districts are learning to use this tool to their advantage.

Teaching basic computer skills is already essential, and the most successful school districts are moving to teach more advanced lessons (besides the fact the computers are now a more efficient way for students to take tests and have them graded!). Affording computers, on the other hand, is far more of a challenge. But students have used cell phones for years by the time they reach high school, and teachers are taking advantage.

Want to help education, or support the education of your child? Donate used cell phones to a school district. Or, make having your kid own a cell phone affordable by buying used cell phones, and purchasing them pre-paid minutes (make it an allowance, reward, or responsibility lesson to add to learning).

Used cell phones are also often unlocked cell phones, so you they can be used on any network, which is useful both when donating and when helping your child choose a phone.

It could also be the start of a great recycling program: teaching students responsibility for e-waste, and understanding the consequences of the numerous gadgets in our lives. Encourage your local district to start an e-waste recycling program, using used cell phones as a jumping off point. They can even sell them, and use the profits for computer education!

Used Cell Phones Are A Great Option For Kids

Their are tons of great used cell phones for kids!

Today’s parents are raising kids in a culture where they want to know-and from an early age-when they will get their first cell phone! While parents can buy their kids toy plastic cell phones, most know that the real thing has bright colored games, fun songs and sounds, and the ability to call their cousins, aunts, and grandparents.

For most parents, the first consideration is price. The sooner you start a kid on cell phones, the sooner that price gets added to the monthly bill. Used cell phones are a good way to avoid some of the cost:

  1. Used cell phones can be bought cheaper that brand new top of the line phones, and the younger a kid is, the less they are going to care
  2. Used cell phones don’t have to be locked down to a carrier. If they abuse their priveleges, you can take away their service! Just take the used cell phones off your plan, or don’t buy more minutes.
  3. You don’t need a carrier at all: teach kids responsibility by giving them a used cell phone, then teach them about buying minutes, how much they cost, and how to manage them. They will either thrive, or give up!

Some parents worry that their kids may be too young for the responsibility of a cell phone. Used cell phones alleviate some of that worry since they are cheaper to buy and to replace. Further, there are tons of apps available to help parents manage and monitor their kid’s cell phone usage.

Whatever age you think is right for your kids, make the transition easier with used cell phones!

 
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