Minecraft anyone? Yeah or Nay!

Minecraft is pretty popular around our house…. from the 6 year old to the 18 year old.  I do have to admit I encourage it.  There are several sites that review it… (here’s one)  For those of you that don’t know what minecraft is, It’s basically an online ‘world’ that allows you to wonder around interacting with the environment.   It’s very blocky and kids can build anything that they can imagine (including recreating architecture in the real world) Although there is no blood and gore, you do have to fight off monsters and hunt animals to survive. – There is a creative mode that prevents dying also.

One of my favorite things though is that there are a million and one things out there now to use minecraft educationally! (besides all the other products) You can learn to program minecraft – starting at 7 or 8 years old.  Modify it to be the way you want!  There are classes, books, and more all on this subject.

For younger kids there are chapter books and workbooks, math, science, and curriculum; all geared around learning and using the subject of minecraft.  Simple searches come up with anythign you might need!



An article with Math Worksheet Links

Minecraft Maze Printables

Minecraft activity and printables on Pinterest (a board to follow)

Minecraft Handwriting

Minecraft addition and subtraction

Minecraft Multiplication and Division


Please share anymore you find.  My son loves these!


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Facebook Cloning… Is that friend request really You????

Facebook cloning involves someone making a copy of your facebook account and then sending friend requests to your friends. For someone with a devious purpose in mind – whether it’s to bully your children, or spam your friends, it’s a really quick and easy way for identity theft to happen.

To help prevent cloning of your account, there are a few things you can do. By making your account more private it will be harder for others to make copies of your account and take your place in the world!

One important thing to remember (and remind your kids) is not to approve friend request of strangers. I set all my privacy that I don’t want to share with the world to friends only (you can never be sure who your friends share with, so friends of friends is a little too iffy).

priv10Set your privacy using the symbol in the top right corner. – Using the privacy settings you can determine who can see what things in your account.   I also have my account set up so that I can be tagged and have anything appear on my timeline (and to my friends) until I approve it.

Privacy can also be set on your friend list to “Only Me” or “Friends Only”.  To set privacy on your friend list, using the little pencil at the top right of the friend list box on your personal profile page.

If you receive a friend request from a friend that you think you are already friends with, verify that it is your friend.  That can be the first sign that it’s a cloned account.  The account will look just like the real account making it difficult to find the fake account after you have approved both accounts.

Facebook doesn’t currently have a lot of methods in place to deal with a cloned account.














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Facebook Groups (Part One)

If you are looking for a community of like minded people, advice, a place to sell things, a place to buy things, or so much more – facebook groups has the place for you!

Some of my favorite groups include:
1. A local coupon group
2. A free speech group ( secret group)
3. A boutique sellers advice group
4. A genealogy group
5. A group for parents of kid’s with autism
6. A blogging group
7. A free books group

And there are SO many more!

There are three types of groups: Open, Closed, and Secret. Open can be found and joined by anyone – and anything you post in them is open for anyone to see. Closed can be found and joined by anyone, but anything you post can only be seen by the members. Secret can’t be found and are only able to be joined by invite by a current member. Anything posted in a secret group stays in the group unless shared by a member of the group.

Anyone can create their own group too. While your group is small you can change the type of group around (and the name), but once your group gets bigger you are limited. You can only make the group more restrictive.

When joining a group, most groups require you to ‘request’ to join and be approved by the admin. The admins try to cut down on spam this way within the groups. Members can also be blocked and banned if rules are broken to ‘protect’ the group.

Groups though allow members to have a more personal conversation. Some groups are even made up of members that already know each other (my son’s school has a group of parents for the PTA). Questions can be posted in the groups and answers come up quickly.

There are groups for just about anything you can imagine, everything from homeschooling to helping a family that lost everything in a fire.

On the side of the screen – you get a list of other groups that migroup2ght be of interest to you.  They usually are in the same interest area as the group you are currently looking at.  I was in a homeschool group at the time of taking the screenshot (The Homeschool for misfits) and got these suggestions….  If you then want to join a group you can click the group name to find out more or just click join to request to be approved for the group.  None of these are secret groups since secret groups require an invite from a current member.

I belong to several groups, but this isn’t one of them.  I can request to join if I would like to pargroup1participate.   I do belong to several groups and most don’t allow screen shots from the groups so that the information is kept confidential.


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Lily – Drone Camera (Sports videos?)

The Lily camera is pretty cool looking…  It reminds me of the Go Pro cameras, but it doesn’t require you to wear it on your head or your bike.  Lily flys around watching you and the action and recording everything.  It always points at you (you wear a GPS tracker in your pocket) and Lily will stay within a safe distance to film. Of course someone asked in the FAQs if you can use it to spy on neighbors.

Lily is always pointing at you and less than 100ft from you (pro tip: best shots are in the 10-30ft range). Also, Lily’s motors make noise. So other people will most likely notice Lily and quickly figure out where you are. You are better off climbing up a tree and using binoculars.

I was surprised to read though that Lily does have sound.  Personally I’m not sure I’d pay the price for Lily but if I wanted to record and make action videos this might be the way to go.  Lily is almost like having your own flying camera man with you at all times and you are in the action.  Most of the other cameras allow you to film the action away from you showing what’s going on around you.  I do know a friend that will be interested in this and I’m sure will be one of the first in line.

Watch preview on Youtube

Lily is on presale for $500 until June 15th and will then increase to $999.  Shipping is in February 2016!  Educationally Lily combines video editing for kids with cool robotics to play with.  Anything that gets kids active too can be a good thing!  This camera takes kids outside for a while and gets them moving before pulling them in to view, edit, and share their action. – Still a hefty a price tag, but for video and sports enthusiast I can see this being a must have.  I can also see future sports events, especially school sports events, with dueling Lily cameras flying around in the game recording the action!  Do you think it will come to that? Will parents (or coaches) start recording players during games with cameras that hover in the game?  I can already see it now for my son’s soccer games!

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Rebrickable – What a cool site!

Do you have a huge collection of LEGO sets at home that are no longer together and are just being used to booby trap rooms? I know as I walk through a room I have a chance of stepping on a LEGO and that really hurts. We have tubs and tubs of LEGOs that came from sets that have long since lost their instructions – or at least no one wants to build the sets anymore.

The website rebrickable you can:

Reuse your parts to build other Sets

Save money on buying LEGO by mixing up your current sets to build others. Rebrickable uses powerful algorithms to calculate what other sets/MOCs you can build from your existing sets and loose parts. If you don’t have exactly the right ones, it will show close matches and can perform some fuzzy color matching logic.

In rebrickable you can create an account and enter all the LEGO sets you own… then get a list of creations you can build! So cool both for kids and adults.

Rebrickable will show you which LEGO sets you can build from the sets and parts you already own. You can choose from official LEGO sets or custom made MOCs (My Own Creations) by many different designers. All MOCs include building instructions, some of which are even better than the official LEGO ones!

I’ve always wondered if there is something that can be built with all the sets we have (and we have a LOT of sets).  The site does also let you look through possible creations.

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