I’m a Mom. (Sorry, I’m Not Sorry.)

Recently over brunch & Bellinis, a mommy friend of mine asked me about an article that I published here on LinkedIn, 7 Sanity-Saving Tips for Busy Mompreneurs. It wasn’t that she was curious about

Source: www.linkedin.com

This is not limited to moms in technical communication, but all moms that work. I don’t regret that I took time off to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) for a few years during my son’s early years, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have figured out his developmental issues and gotten help properly. It was because I was at home at the time that he’s doing well today. At the same time, family has always come first. I sacrificed growth in my career during those SAHM years, but it was worth it to see my child thrive.  

 

The author of this article makes excellent points that I completely agree with. Parents–both men and women–shouldn’t be penalized for being a parent. Women get penalized more severely because more often they are the primary caretakers of children, although I know there are exceptions. For the most part, a lot of the parenting responsibilities fall on the moms. Over the years, fathers are taking on more responsibilities than before, but there are many families in which the responsibilities are not divided equally (my own included, but I’ve had my husband step up more over the years). Somehow in a country that likes to try to promote family values, we’ve lost that in favor of corporate dominance. It goes back to identity–are you a person who works at your job, or are you a person who IS your job? When I work for a company, I can be loyal to that company and its goals, but not at the expense of my family to get ahead.  The author’s last paragraph is my own credo. And it really should be the credo of ALL parents, not just moms. 

See on Scoop.itM-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications

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What Happens When a School District Gives Teens Laptops

School officials at one Hoboken school thought it was a no-brainer to give every student a laptop. Now they’ve decided it was a terrible idea.

Source: www.wnyc.org

This article comes to me by way of my friend, GeekMom.com editor Andrea Schwalm. 

 

I actually feel outraged reading this. The US wonders why it’s behind, and when measures are put in place to provide tools to help kids keep up or get ahead, they aren’t working. In this case, it looked like the school district didn’t come up with a definitive plan before distributing the laptops out. Kids will be kids, but at the same time, I get the feeling that they haven’t been taught that laptops are not toys, but equipment or instruments, and need to be cared for. If a teenager had a high-end smartphone, you KNOW there would be consequences for needing to fix or replace one of those! 

 

My son’s small private school gives all the kids laptops–MacBook Air laptops, in fact. They distribute them in September, and take them back in the summer. Every year, parents have to signed waivers and such that say that if something happens to the laptop, especially if the kid is given permission by the parent to bring the laptop home, then any repairs or replacement is on the parent.  The same should happen with school districts as well. I guarantee that a lot more laptops would come back undamaged if parents knew that if something happened to them, they need to replace the machine. Many families can’t afford one, so it promotes responsibility. 

 

With a better plan in place on how laptops and tablets can be used in the classroom and for school work, with a written understanding that the device is not a toy but rather an expensive tool to be used and mastered, then perhaps there’s hope. The article mentions that other places have made it work. Perhaps the districts where this implementation did not work need to take few lessons from those where it did work. You can’t implement something like this without careful consideration and a plan. You need a strategy, and it doesn’t sound like Hoboken really thought it out. 

 

Perhaps rather than throwing all those laptops out, they should donate them to another school district who has a plan and be more appreciative of the chance to get kids up to speed in technology. 

 

(Oh, and yes, teacher/staff training is important and lacking, but I could go on about that too. That’s part of having a good plan, after all. )

–techcommgeekmom

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“Lucy, you have some ‘splanin’ to do!”: Considering your ESL Customers

Lucille-Ball-Desi-ArnazContent Rules Inc. was kind enough to extend their invitation to have me blog for them again. This time, it’s on a subject that’s near and dear to their hearts as well as mine.

This article talks about my own personal experiences in trying to use standardized language. Whether you use standardized language in your personal or professional life, it’s something that one needs to keep in mind as a writer, especially when writing for a global audience, and even more so if you are writing for a digital format that is easily accessed through the Internet. It’s not easy to do, but it’s something that should be tucked in the back of every writer’s brain.

Read the article for more:
“Lucy, you have some ‘splanin’ to do!”: Considering your ESL Customers

Many thanks again to Val Swisher and the gang at Content Rules, Inc. for the opportunity!

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What’s lurking in your content?

Fellow technical writers, admit it. You’ve all done it. You’re writing along, and you come to a spot where you need to insert place-holder text. Your creative juices are flowing, and a simple lorem…

Source: larrykunz.wordpress.com

Larry Kunz posted this friendly reminder about text filler. This is definitely proof that you need to remember to FULLY edit everything before it goes to print! Yikes! Read this article, and stay on top of your drafts and final copies before publishing! 

–techcommgeekmom

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Word Crimes

Weird Al Yankovic has released an awesome video from what is reported to be his last album. This particular track is something that every technical writer and editor will especially appreciate!

Enjoy!

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Tweet from @WembleyMatters

Admire this school. A child is more than a SATS score pic.twitter.com/tRuHPcMV6d

Source: twitter.com

I saw this courtesy of Colum McAndrew.  Oh, I really hope that more educators in the US get this message, because this is the message that we need to give our kids. My son is learning different, so he doesn’t usually do well in standardized tests, even though certain allowances are made (like extra time, etc.) so he can try to complete them. He’s actually a rather bright boy, and he has rather low self-esteem, so I’m constantly trying to remind him that he’s more than a test (just like adults are more than their resumes).  I, too, didn’t do well in standardized tests as a kid, yet I did well enough in school. (Never took the GRE for grad school, yet had a 4.0 GPA, which should say something!) 

 

US education system–please wake up, and read this, and learn from it! We need to bring up kids who are more confident in whatever skills they have, even if they are not measurable or conventional. 

 

–techcommgeekmom

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MBA Programs Starting to Emphasize Coding

Companies want to hire technically skilled MBAs, and business schools are finally starting to get it. MBA programs equip students with management techniques, accounting skills a…

Source: mashable.com

YES! This is something I’ve been saying all along. If not big programming languages, at least the basics of HTML so that they understand how websites are built and understand content strategy in relation to digital output, along with all that big data and analytics stuff. Education systems–please listen!

–techcommgeekmom

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