RealCare Baby’s Unique Care Schedule

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

When programming RealCare Baby for a simulation do you ever wonder what the five numbers under “Schedule Order” mean?

RealCare Babies are pre-programmed with 15 different care schedules. The 5 numbers in the schedule order correspond to the numbers found on your care schedule table which can be found in your program materials, on our website, or on the link here. The care schedule table indicates how much time will be spent caring for the Baby during each hour of a schedule. It will not tell you what care event will be requested or at what time care will be needed, and it will not indicate how long the care event will last.

Below is an example of Schedule 1 found on the Care Schedule Table. As you will see the Baby does not need any care during the 2:00pm and 3:00pm hours, but at 11:00pm most of the hour will be spent caring for the Baby.

Baby will switch to a new schedule at 6:00am the follow morning. You can use the chart to get a sense of how busy a participant’s simulation will be. You can also use the chart to select schedules you feel are appropriate for your participant.

Check out the video below for more great tips on getting started with RealCare Baby.

What in the world is an Xstick?

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

Did you know that the Xstick is not a memory stick?

xstickIts technical name is the Xstick Wireless Communication Adapter, and even though the Xstick looks like a memory stick it is actually a communication device. This device sends and receives data between the Control Center and RealCare Babies.

The Xstick does not contain any software for you to install. In order for it to function, you will need to first install the Control Center software from our website. Click here to go directly to the RealCare Baby support page. Once there you can click on the box for either Windows or Mac to install the Control Center.

For more information on getting started with RealCare Baby, take some time to watch the support video below!

5 Great Ways to Bring Soft Skills into the CTE Classroom

Soft skills, employability skills, people skills… however you refer to them, soft skills are critical to career success. Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge.

So how can we ensure that skills are being taught in every CTE class?

Realityworks created its own program: the RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program. Through our research, talking with educators and confirming information with business owners, we found a lot of great ways to not only engage students in this topic but to help them carry these skills on in life.

We know that adding additional topics to your curriculum can be scary. We also know educators do not have a lot of time and sometimes are unsure how to start incorporating this topic into their program.

Use the 5 ideas below to incorporate soft skill development into your classroom without stress.

Keep in mind, these ideas could work for different CTE areas, including engineering, nursing, Family and Consumer Sciences, welding and business. The goal is to start addressing these skills in your classroom!

  1. Create Conversation Cards. Write a variety of conversation topics onto note cards: “Describe the last book you read,” “Discuss the previous assignment and how you handled the questions,” or “What do you want to do after high school?” Then take 5 minutes of each class to pair students up with one conversation card and have them discuss the topic. Use this activity to teach communication skills and show your students how to converse with their peers.

Great for: ANY PATHWAY!  Make your cards about topics in class or make them generic!

  1. Bring in guest speakers. Ask community members in your area of education to speak to the class on soft skills topics. Recommended questions include: “What soft skills are important to your profession?” “What soft skills have you used in the last week at work?” “How can working on soft skills get me a job?”

Great for: ANY PATHWAY!  Invite someone in that has a career your students might want someday.

  1. Take time to reflect. If you are working on specific soft skills, make sure you give students a few minutes at the end of class to write about what went well, what could be improved on and what they noticed. For example, if they are working in a group, they are developing the ability to work on a team. Have them reflect on what it is like working in a team. If they just presented on a topic to their classmates, have them reflect on how they felt presenting, what could have made the presentation go better and what they did right.

Great for: ANY PATHWAY!  Reflection time is working on critical thinking – one of the big soft skills needed in today’s workplace.

  1. Create responsibility in the classroom. This could mean:
    1. Having students use day planners to help with time management (encourage blocking time for homework)
    2. Having students take care of a plant for the semester – plant it, water it, feed it and care for it. While simple, this is great for responsibility!

Great for: ANY PATHWAY! No matter what class you teach, your students need to show up on time, prepared and ready to listen and participate in class. These are all soft skills.

  1. Get the RealCareer Employability Skills Program. This program is filled with activities that hit on the KEY soft skills needed to succeed. It includes a full curriculum, workbooks, scenario cards and presentation slides. This out-of-the-box program makes it SIMPLE to incorporate soft skills in ANY CTE pathway.

We have also recently added pathway/occupation-specific workplace scenario cards for Agriculture, Child Care, Culinary, Geriatrics, Nursing and Welding careers.

We’re also excited to be celebrating CTE month. Make sure you click here to download our free CTE infographic today!

5 Secrets to Engaging Today’s Generation Z Students

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Communications Specialist

Born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, Generation Z students have been occupying your classroom for 4-5 years already, and this year, they will make up 32 percent of the global population. You’ve probably noticed that there are some unique differences between today’s students and their Millennial predecessors, the oldest of whom have been in the workforce for more than a decade. Today’s students are even more tech-savvy; they can multi-task even faster and they have even shorter attention spans. Generation Z students read less than 20% of text; they think in 4D, not 3D; and they are used to immediate feedback. How do you engage learners who demand connection, who will disengage with the discussion if they don’t see the relevance, and who wish to not only hear about a topic, but see it, touch it and feel it?

Adapting your teaching methods to meet the needs of today’s Generation Z students and keep them engaged is not only vital to be an effective 21st Century educator, but can help transform your students’ education. We know that the standard classroom model, where an educator stands in front of the class and lectures, no longer works – at least, not all the time. In this post, we’ll share tips we’ve learned from educators across the globe that can help you grab, and keep, your students’ attention.

1: Avoid lengthy PowerPoint presentations. We know that avoiding PowerPoint altogether is impossible – there’s a time and a place for this presentation format. However, you can incorporate quizzes, activities and hands-on demonstrations every few slides to break up your students’ attention – and help keep it.

Get more PowerPoint tips in this blog by Concordia University – Portland.

2: Use multiple teaching modalities. Videos, online activities and group work are great additions to textbook work. The key here is variety, which will not only help keep the attention of your Generation Z students, but appeal to a variety of learning needs. 

Learn more about using video in the classroom in this Common Sense Education article.

3: Create an active learning environment by using innovative learning tools. Generation Z students’ desire for social, hands-on learning experiences make interactive simulators and models a vital part of 21st Century classrooms. Our simulators and models – which include resources for Welding & Trade Skills, Agriculture, FCS, Health Science, and Anatomy and Physiology – engage students with realistic details, removeable parts and, in the case of our simulators, truly immersive learning experiences.

See all the learning aids and resources we offer for Career & Technical Education here.

4: Remember that “why” is as important as “what.” Generation Z students need to know that what they’re learning is relevant. By answering the “why” question with evidence-based reasoning before teaching the “how,” you’ll assure them that the concept you’re about to teach applies to real life.

5: Incorporate soft skill development whenever possible. Your students will come to you with a varying degree of these skills, but you know all employers will look for them. Remember that collaborative work helps build communication skills; assignment tweaks and activity changes help build flexibility; open-ended questions help build problem-solving skills; and reflection activities help build critical thinking skills.

Need more help teaching soft skills in your classroom? Our Employability Skills Program can help.

You’re already working hard to equip your students with technical and academic skills. By creating an interactive, hands-on learning environment where Generation Z students can engage in active learning opportunities, you’re setting them up for even greater success.

Spring Webinar Schedule Announced

We’re excited to announce our spring webinar schedule!

Each fall and spring we offer a series of free webinars that revolve around the Career and Technical Education world. These sessions are presented by our product managers, product support team, and even some of our account managers get in on the fun.

If you see a webinar that you’re interested in, but can’t make the time or date, make sure to register for it anyways! We will send you a link to the recording along with any presentation materials once the webinar is complete.

Take a look at what we have planned for the spring so far:

Explore Welding Career Pathways with Hands-On Training Methods
Monday, January 21st @ Noon CST

Learn More

Meet the Realityworks Barnyard Animals
Thursday, February 7th @ 11 am CST

Learn More

Create an Interactive Health Science Program with Wearable Simulators
Tuesday, February 12th @ 11 am CST

Learn More 

The Ins and Outs: Using Simulation to Teach Bovine Artificial Insemination
Thursday, February 21st @ 2 pm CST

Learn More

Cool Tools for Teaching Transferable Child Care Career Skills
Thursday, February 28th @ 3 pm CST

Learn More

Enhance Agriculture Student Learning through Bovine Simulators
Tuesday, March 12th @ 11 am CST

Learn More

The Art of Scenarios: Using Real-World Scenarios to Teach Employability Skills
Wednesday, April 10th @ Noon CST

Learn More

Packing up RealCare Baby for Summer Vacation
Tuesday, April 23rd @ 3 pm CST

Learn More 

Learn more today by checking out our webinar page, and while you’re there make sure to check out the archived sessions we have available to you as well!

Sneak Peeks and Presentations Coming Your Way at VISION 2018

We’re getting excited to see everyone at  ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018. This year we will be introducing new innovative learning tools as well as giving you a peek at products that will be coming in 2019. We’ve recently added new products to our Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Health Sciences pathways, including:

Bovine Breeder artificial insemination simulator with pregnancy palpation

Twin Pregnancy Model KitDiabetes Education Kit

Coming in 2019, Realityworks will be launching:

  • Bovine Injection
  • Child Care Center Design Kit
  • Cow Anatomy Flip Chart
  • Ostomy Trainer
  • New Anatomical models
  • and so much more!

Not only will we be giving attendees a sneak peek at new products, we will also be giving 6 presentations this year.

Make sure you stop by booth 723 and try out all of our interactive training tools for yourself!

For the Good of Family and Consumer Sciences

by Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

Good things happen when like-minded groups come together for a shared passion.Such is the case for Realityworks and the Alliance for Family & Consumer Sciences (Alliance for FCS), a coalition of 26 organizations representing academia, industry, professional associations and honor societies leading Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) efforts around the globe. For the past four years, Realityworks has partnered with the Alliance to assist them in enhancing the visibility and viability of FCS, and this year, I’m honored to have been made co-chair of the Alliance for FCS alongside Carol Werhan, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences Education at Purdue University.

In my new role alongside Werhan, I will have the opportunity to represent the field of FCS by helping the alliance move their agenda forward. One initiative that I’m particularly excited about is the development of messages that clearly communicate the value of the FCS. In fact, there are four key messages we’d like to share:

1. FCS is a field of study focused on the science and art of living well in our complex world.

2. Our primary areas of focus include:

  • Culinary arts, hospitality, and tourism
  • Food science and nutrition
  • Health management and wellness
  • Housing and interior design
  • Human development and family relations
  • Personal and family finance
  • Textiles, apparel, and retailing

Sustainable practices, consumerism, and leadership principles are woven throughout the content areas.

3. Through research, experiential education and technology, our professionals help people develop the essential knowledge and skills to:

  • Lead better lives
  • Be work- and career-ready
  • Build strong families
  • Make meaningful contributions to our communities

4. You will find our professionals in:

  • Academic education (at the early childhood, elementary, secondary and higher education levels)
  • Community education (for adults and youth, including Cooperative Extension programs)
  • Business and industry
  • Government
  • Health and human services

Realityworks has been a strong advocate for FCS since the inception of the RealCare Baby® infant simulator over 20 years ago; creating relevant and useful classroom resources and skills training tools for FCS teachers is a core part of our corporate identity. We’re proud to support FCS education by exhibiting and presenting at many state and national FCS conferences, working with a variety of national FCS organizations and of course, partnering with the Alliance for FCS.

You can learn more about FCS (and access a free infographic) below: https://www.aafs.org/about/about-us/what-is-fcs.

To learn more about the Alliance for Family and Consumer Sciences, go to https://www.aafcs.org/allianceforfcs/home

Getting Started with RealCare Baby

When you receive your RealCare Baby, the package will contain much more than just the infant simulator. You have in front of you a complete curriculum, a means of reporting and grading, and all the supplies necessary for the operation of the Babies.

You should begin with:

  • RealCare Baby includes: two-piece outfit (blue or pink), sleeper, outerwear (optional), bodysuit, one set of color-coded diapers (one green patch, one yellow patch), bottle, 5 wristbands, and ID
  • The optional RealCare Baby Accessory Bundle includes: diaper bag, blanket, and car seat/infant carrier with car seat detection kit
  • RealCare® Program Starter Kit: Control Center software, X-stick Wireless Communication Adaptor, curriculum access, participant care video access, single charger or 5-Baby charging station, and instructor key

Let’s get to know the back of your RealCare Baby!

Recessed button: the emergency stop button which can be used if an emergency comes up during a simulation. The simulation can be ended by having a parent/guarding insert a paperclip, or something similar, into that button and holding it in place until they hear 6 chimes. After the 6th chime, the Baby will turn off. By doing this you risk losing part of the simulation report, so it should be used only in extreme emergency situations. This process should never be released to your students/participants. You should only provide the information to a parent/guardian.

3 colored lights:

  •  Red is the battery light – if it is flashing, you need to charge the batteries before you send it out for a simulation
  • Green is the charging indicator – if the Baby is plugged in for a charge, it should be on
  • Yellow is the communication light – it should always be on solid when you are communicating with the control center software and Baby during simulation programming and retrieving report data at the end of a simulation.

Charging port: located below the lights, this is where you plug the charger into Baby

Battery compartment lock: only the instructor key ring will open this. You never need to go in here unless product support asks you to or you need to change the batteries.

That is a quick rundown of the basics of RealCare Baby. For a more in-depth look and for information on the Control Center Software, programming baby, using Baby in Demo Mode, and more, make sure to check out the video below:

For more information on RealCare Baby support visit our product support page here.

Trade Up & Go Green: How our RealCare® Baby Trade-In Program Impacts the Environment

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Communication Specialist

Here at Realityworks, we are constantly looking at the impact of and waste produced by our products and reevaluating as needed to determine where improvements can be made. Why? We believe that it’s our responsibility as a company to help make the world a better place, and we work to accomplish this through our programs and our everyday actions.

Those actions include redesigning products in the middle of a life cycle when needed, and rewarding customers who return old products to us for recycling.

For example, the latest generation RealCare® Baby 3 relies on rechargeable batteries for operation rather than alkaline ones. This redesign has not only saved customers money but also reduced the use and disposal of more than 192,000 C batteries per year.

Additionally, the design of new RealCare Babies allows programming to be done on a computer rather than a hand-held unit, reducing unnecessary plastic and electronic materials. This eliminated over 2,000 standalone boxes per year – a dramatic reduction of approximately 2,000 pounds of plastic and electronics waste annually.

Furthermore, our current RealCare Baby Trade-Up Program offers customers the chance to earn up to $100 in credit towards the latest generation RealCare Baby 3 for every old model they trade in. We even offer an additional reward for those who physically mail their infant simulators to us for recycling!

Through this program, we have recycled more than 250,000 pounds of materials to date – some of which has been used to make recycled lawn chairs! It’s definitely proven to be a successful way of collecting and properly disposing of unused materials that may have ended up in a landfill.

RecycleBaby-500wide

Our mission clearly states that “our community, country, and planet can look to us as responsible corporate citizens,” and our RealCare Baby Trade-Up Program is just one of the ways in which we strive to achieve that mission. Click here for details about our trade-up program and learn how your old Babies can earn credit and help you go green.

What do you do to help ensure your programs and actions are environmentally sustainable? Share your stories and ideas in the comments below.

Two Teachers Appointed to RealCare Advisory Council

Realityworks, Inc., is excited to welcome two new educators to our RealCare Customer Advisory Council. Northridge Middle School Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Teacher Cynthia Leonard and Catonsville High School FACS Teacher Christina DeSimone will bring over 22 years of experience using Realityworks’ RealCare Baby infant simulator to a council charged with guiding the popular teaching tool’s development, plus that of related learning aids and resources.

“RealCare Customer Advisory Council members play an integral role in our marketing and product development strategies. They truly help us shape the way our programs impact young people’s lives,” said RealCare Product Manager Denise Bodart. “The insight gained by educators like Cynthia Leonard and Christina DeSimone help ensure that our programs remain relevant. They help us continue providing the targeted learning opportunities today’s students need to develop job skills.”

Widely known as the “Robot Baby,” RealCare Baby is a programmable infant simulator that cries for care day and night, then tracks its caregiver’s responses. It is most often used in conjunction with curriculum and activities to teach middle and high school students about child care, infant safety, child development and teen pregnancy prevention.

An active member of AAFCS and former board member of MAFCS, DeSimone is a tireless advocate for FACS education who has grown her program from 55 students to 168 in the last 3 years. She currently teaches Child Development and related courses at Catonsville High School in Catonsville, MD.

Leonard began using RealCare Baby at Northridge Middle School in Crawfordsville, IN in 2004. Three years later Leonard, who holds a master’s degree in education and is a member of AAFCS and AAFCS Indiana, successfully petitioned the local healthcare community to award her 5 additional simulators, which she credits with helping lower the local high school’s teen pregnancy rate.

“I look forward to collaborating with other teachers around the US and hearing how their programs work,” said Leonard. “It will also be fun and an honor to work with others in the planning of products for the future.”

Realityworks established its RealCare Customer Advisory Council in 2012 to help make its programs even more beneficial to Career and Technical Education pathways. The council gives passionate customers and leading educators a voice in product development initiatives and the opportunity to provide valuable insight into best practices and marketing strategies for Baby and related learning aids. Members’ experience educating youth on these subjects is used to further guide and direct Realityworks’ product offerings.

For more information on Realityworks’ products and programs, visit http://realityworks.com/