What a Streaming Video Recorder Can Do For Your Child

Children are becoming more computer savvy than ever, it seems. By heading to their computers for entertainment and for education, they are able to access worlds of information at their fingertips: music, radio programs, and videos. But while this information is readily available, it is not easy to use. Since the media is generally transmitted only through the Internet, children can’t do more than just save the link and return to it when necessary. With a streaming video recorder, your child can begin to save the links they’ve found, helping to encourage their education and to enhance their entertainment.

Why Music Matters

Though many adults take music for granted, believing that it’s simply something for entertainment, children are different. When a child hears music, their brain is slightly altered by the experience, especially as they are maturing. Music children hear today will influence their choices tomorrow, as well. When a child is able to listen to a variety of music, they will be able to think more efficiently as well. Studies have shown that children who listen to classical music, for example, tend to do better on tests and in school. With a streaming video recorder, a child can record some of his or her favorite pieces of music. Later on, when their brain needs a boost, they can listen to these pieces of music without needing an Internet connection.

Radio Broadcasts for Children

The radio, while less popular, is far from being extinct in the media market. Radio programs on public access radio, for example, are filled with interviews with interesting authors and other great minds. Many radio programs also broadcast sports events and other exciting news. With a steaming video recorder, a child can record these exciting events and begin to see how they fit into the world and its events. Instead of being limited to the world around them, listening to the radio will expand the mind of your child. A child might want to listen to radio broadcasts from around the world, helping them to see what other countries are like and what they are experiencing as well. It’s too easy these days to limit one’s interpretation of world events, but with news broadcasts from different parts of the world, a child can have a more balanced outlook.

Internet Videos, Of Course

But the streaming video recorder is mainly for videos. Online, a child can find any number of videos for entertainment or education. Some of the best videos for children include those which are designed to help with homework. However, if the video is removed, your child will not have access to the file anymore. With the video recorder, they can download and record the video to watch anytime, no matter when their homework is due.

With a streaming video recorder, children benefit in numerous ways. Instead of simply being an observer of the world around them, they can begin to collect information of value and then apply it to their lives. In this way, children can advance their learning outside the classroom.

xBox Education & PlayStation Process Enhancement

Futurist and technology guru Dan Burres once observed that to play the average video game such as Halo or Sonic the Hedgehog, a child must learn and master no less than 70 new rules or skills. These 70 skills do not increase the player’s likelihood of success in the game, rather these 70 skills are the bare minimum to negotiate the first level of the game.

Dan also noted that in this virtual reality or immersion simulation environment, the child is monitoring no fewer than 100 individual incoming streams of data from 360 degrees in all three planes of three-dimensional space (X, Y, and Z axis). In addition, the most recent generations of these game systems provide text, audio, and video conferencing, allowing players to collaborate in real time with individuals not only within their country but across the internet in other countries.

These collaborations are not bounded by language differences. As a result, to work collaboratively within a given group and have that group work collaboratively against other groups, the players must learn a new language either one unique to the game or one utilized in common by all players within their team.

xBox Education:

But what does this have to do with education or business process enhancement?

What would happen if the much ballyhooed No Child Left Behind curriculum handed over to video game programmers and utilized as the rules, processes and systems of a series of role playing adventure video games?

What if the same level of mastery of scholastic skills were required achieve success within the various levels of these games?

It is estimated that the entire K through 8 educational curriculum would be learned and mastered within a short two and a half years!

Further, the remaining four years of high school would be completed within 18 months. Given that this sophistication of video games require a certain level reading and fine motor skills, students would not be ready to begin such a program until age seven or eight (third grade). These students would therefore complete high school by the end of seventh grade.

Military and civilian applications of immersion simulation and virtual reality training have found that application and retention of information and skills learned maintain greater than 90% recall and greater than 90% proficiency in real world application. This means that students learning in an immersion simulation / virtual reality environment would not only master their K through 12 education, but would recall it with over 90% accuracy and apply it with over 90% proficiency. This exceeds even the best educational programs anywhere in the world by over a two to one margin.

Given this level of retention and proficiency, these seventh graders would be able to augment their education with the first two years of college (Liberal Arts studies) which they would again complete within a year. A well-rounded education could be further augmented with Music and Literature, which of course would be part of the immersion simulation rather than separate courses, lending little or no additional time to the program.

In such a technology augmented education, by the time an average child graduates from middle school and enter their adolescent years, they would have completed the equivalent of two years of college in a Liberal Arts program, again with a mastery level greater than 90% or in collegiate terms, a Magna Cum Laude level of expertise.

Toaster or Technology:

The problem with the application of such a model within our current educational system is that for a preadolescent or adolescent, the xBox 360, PlayStation 3, or similar device is not technology, rather it is a tool not unlike a toaster. To those of us who provide education, either in the postgraduate or in the secondary school environment however, this self same device still represents significant technology with “cutting edge graphics” and “blazing speed.” For those of us raised in the Pong and Atari generation, the xBox 360 and PlayStation 3 were not only unimaginable, but had they existed in our adolescence, they would have cost tens of millions of dollars and been referred to as “super computers”.

The cultural clash between today’s educators and the educational technology represented by the xBox 360 and PlayStation 3 is a chasm almost too wide to forge.

Business Can Lead the Way:
Perhaps the trickle down of effect would be more readily accepted. Instead of revamping the modern classroom into an educational video arcade, what would happen if currently available technologies such as the xBox 360, PlayStation 3 or even Second Life were applied to immersion simulation training of employees?

Role-playing games designed around literary works, movies, or even fantasy could be modified or even built from the ground up to incorporate the new skills and processes needed in the business environment or even a manufactured environment. Fire safety, workplace safety, disaster preparedness, disaster response, or even such mundane activities as packing for trips, preparing for a doctor’s visit, or maintaining your own health could be incorporated into the mythical world of virtual reality role-playing games.

Modern-day Dungeon Masters could tap into the vast bodies of knowledge and work cooperatively with professional organizations and trainers, academic institutions, and advocacy groups to ensure that evidence-based processes were incorporated into the games allowing the games not only to maintain the laws of physics but the laws of business, Medicine, and even real world legal considerations.

Imagine entering Second Life online and “volunteering” at a hospital that is responding to an earthquake (or the attack of Godzilla). Nurses, doctors, administrators, laboratory technicians, x-ray technologists, healthcare providers, and professionals of every ilk could practice their cooperation, collaboration, policies, and even procedures in this virtual space until these skills became second nature in Second Life.

When a real event occurred, the self same individuals who trained in the immersion simulation / virtual reality environment would find that they apply these new skills with military precision and virtual reality realism. Life will truly imitate art.

Let the Games Begin:

So what would it take to move theory into practice?

The will to do it!

The technology exists. The programming algorithms exist. The procedures and best practices in each industry that could benefit from immersion simulation / virtual reality training exist. The only thing that is lacking is a simple collaboration between programmers who are masters of this new world and professionals who are masters of both the new and the old knowledge.

Perhaps like in the video game Cameo, these modern-day digital alchemists can come together with the wizards of ancient wisdom and forge a new world for all.

Musical Theater Thrift Store “Finds” – Offer Lessons For Less

My love for musical theater goes back to my childhood when my elementary school took our fifth grade class to see the original production of Fiddler On The Roof on Broadway. My addiction to second-hand shopping goes back even farther than that to when my mother took me shopping, as a very young child, in our local thrift stores. Then, when I was 10 years old my mom opened a consignment store of her own. She only owned it for a couple of years before selling it, but that was long enough to get me hooked.

In these economic times, I have found my thrift store shopping has provided me with a wealth of educational material, dancewear, dance shoes, electronic equipment, costumes and more, to use and to spread among my friends, who are involved in musical theater. Lately, I have been found more and more people are talking about how to go about paying for lessons, training, and basic education while trying to keep the expense at minimum. Realistically speaking, let’s face it, whether for your kids or yourself, being involved in musical theater can be expensive. Here lies one of my favorite suggestions for training on a budget…start shopping in thrift stores, thrift shops, charity shops, op shops, resale shops, consignment stores, and at flea markets, garage sales, tag sales, estate sales, swap meets, jumble sales, car boot sales or whatever they call second-hand shops where you live.

I have gotten some unbelievable bargains on items, which to a musical theater educator are real finds. This past weekend, for example, I found a brand new, still wrapped video movie of The King and I , a CD of the original Broadway cast of Oklahoma, a book on ballet for men, a video of tap dance technique, another instructional video of Swing dances(useful for some musical theater shows), and a DVD copy of The Nutcracker” with Mikhail Baryshnikov. I also found a gently used pocket-size video recorder that is perfect for recording voice lessons, acting instruction and the like.

As for clothing, I found a pair of barely used tap shoes (for the child of a friend), a purple leotard, and several pairs of brand-new flesh colored tights. I also found some colorful scarves and a vintage skirt to use in a show which I am helping to costume.

The best part about this whole adventure was that all the items were musical theater usable or educational, and they did not cost me a fortune. I spent less than $50.00 USD for the entire group. The selection was huge and I could have purchased more but I had set my budget, and I was determined to stick to it.

This brings me to an important point, if you decide to go out and make a hunt of your own, DO start out with a basic idea of what you want to purchase, and how much you are willing to spend. Sometimes the selection can be overwhelming. Just remember to keep your goals in mind. You’re be rewarded by many usable items sure to guarantee that your “thrifty” shopping will be worth the effort.