Friday, August 28, 2009

Family Web Monitoring Service

Every now and then I come across something that catches my attention because it is different. The new web filtering software from Norton Anti Virus that they have made for families definitely qualified as different.

It's called OnlineFamily.Norton and here is what makes it different. Most web filters prevent people from accessing certain types of material (violence, videos, music, adult content). The filter acts as a fence that keeps children safe. The sad thing is that the filters tend to be hit and miss. Not only will they not stop things that they should, but they also tend to block a great deal of acceptable material. Norton has taken a little bit of a different angle. Their web filter won't necessarily block anything, but it does keep a record of all the sites that have been viewed as well as how long different users spent online. Thats still not what caught my attention.

Parents are given control over how much time students are allowed to be online for homework or for fun, and also lets them set parameters for what type of content is ok to access. When a restricted website is accessed, the filter will notify the parent by email, and let the student know that a guideline has been broken. At that point the student can include the reason the rule was broken in the automated email that will be sent to the parent. The whole goal of the software is to all parents to be aware of what all their son our daughter is into. I think they are doing it in a unique way. Check it out because it looks like a great resource.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Millennials Multitasking Capabilities

Stanford recently published their findings from a study they did on a group of 100 students. The study focused on whether or not America's youth can do more than one thing at a time and be more effective. For example, on most days in the office I will be listening to music and working at the same time. Studies have shown that I can't focus on both the music and my work at the same time. I end up switching back and forth from actually listening to my music and reading emails or whatever I am doing at the moment.

The reason Stanford did the study is that there has been a line of thought that young adults and teens might have developed the ability, because many of us are always texting, checking out facebook, and watching TV at the same time. The results they found though, showed that nothing has changed. We still can only focus on one thing at a time.

So as school starts back up and people just keep being so busy, we need to make sure we approach things one at a time. Its pretty hard to have a conversation with the TV on or while updating your facebook status. Stanford's study really brings home the truth taht in order to achieve something we are always going to have to be focused on it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Article in the Paper today

I read an awesome column by Paul Daugherty today from click on this link to check it out yourself:

Who You Are is What Counts

Paul shares a story that has just been put into a book about a guy who goes from being a 7th grade teacher to playing in the Super Bowl in the course of 7 weeks. The crazy thing is that its totally true. On top of that, winning the Super bowl is not even the point of the story. The book is written by author Jeffrey Marx and is about Brian Kinchen who won the Super Bowl with the 2003 Patriots. Here is an excerpt from Daugherty's column that explains more what the book is about-

The Long Snapper’s weight comes from the other game Kinchen plays, the one with his spirit. He joins the Pats thinking a return to the game will validate his life. He leaves after the Super Bowl with a new definition of success. It’s not at all what he believed it to be. Said Marx Monday, “We as a society have arrived at some fairly destructive definitions of what it means to be a successful man: How much money you have, what car you drive, how big your house is. This book is an exploration of the real differences between success and significance.’’

I have not yet read this book, but I am definitely going to check it out. I have read another book by Marx that goes along the same lines. Its entitled Seasons of Life and is about a former Baltimore Colt player who goes on to be a minister. The book focuses on what it truly means to be a man. I loved it. I know several High School Football coaches who use the book with their players every year. I think it also reminds us of the role we all play in the Kingdom of God.

We all have tasks that we do here on earth. We have hobbies and passions too. However that isn't what we are truly doing. I have heard a professor describe tasks, sports, hobbies etc as a bunch of head fakes. We play sports because they are fun, but they teach us character. We do a task to get things done or make money, but we learn valuable lessons along the way. What Marx has said several times in Seasons of Life, and Daugherty references in his column is pretty much the same thing. When we start getting our identity or meaning from a headfake (sports, job, hobby) we are truly missing out.

I am going to try to track down this new book, because it looks pretty good. Below I have included links to both of Marx's books I have mentioned. Go buy them form amazon and read through them yourself or with your son or a group of guys. Too many of us get so wrapped up in the task that it becomes who we are. The task isn't what matters. To borrow a phrase from Paul Daugherty, "Its who we are that counts."

Seasons in Life by Jeffrey Marx

The Long Snapper by Jeffrey Marx