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!

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

Making a Difference through Family & Consumer Sciences: A RealCare Baby® User Spotlight

by Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

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Finance. Housing and interior design. Food science. Nutrition. Personal wellness. Human development. The life and career skills that Family and Consuner Sciences (FCS) educators equip students with can have a significant impact on their lives. In the two decades since RealCare Baby® first made its debut, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many dedicated FCS professionals who were using RealCare Baby to help prepare young people for their future. One such person is Amanda McGovern, FCS teacher at Battle High School in Columbia, MO.

Since September 2013, McGovern has used Baby to provide her Child Development 1 & 2 students with authentic, hands-on learning experiences as they discuss human development. As a result, McGovern’s 14- to 18-year-old students leave the classroom more prepared for children in the future and for careers related to child care.

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“The Babies have become so much more than just a project for these students,” said McGovern, who has 11 RealCare Baby 3 infant simulators and one RealCare® Pregnancy Profile® Simulator. “They have really become a great discussion piece for choosing to parent or building their resumes for jobs.”

Now, McGovern incorporates these experiential learning tools and the accompanying curricula regularly, sending Babies home with students for the weekend and also using them during in-class “Baby Bootcamp” sessions. During these sessions, McGovern turns all 11 Babies to demonstration mode and students practice changing their clothes and getting them in and out of car seats while addressing their frequent needs.

“I love the authentic learning, and the reports are incredible,” said McGovern. “I use the provided curriculum frequently to engage students and provide multiple means of learning. It’s easily integrated into classes and provides a great variety of activities. Students are challenged to do this project and take of this Baby for longer than most have ever cared for a real child. The experience takes them out of their comfort zone, and the learning is authentic. It really makes an impact on students now and in the future.”

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences has declared July 14-21 “Making a Difference with Family and Consumer Sciences” week as part of their efforts to advocate for FCS programs. To learn about more inspiring FCS professionals and what you can do to advocate for FCS, visit the AAFCS website here

Incorporate Infant Toy Safety Into Your Family & Consumer Sciences Classroom This Season

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

In the next few weeks, children around the globe will be gifted with toys of all shapes and sizes. Since December is also Safe Toys & Gifts Awareness Month, a lesson on the importance of selecting safe and age-appropriate toys for infants and children might benefit your parenting, child care career or child development class. Keep reading to learn more about this awareness month and to download two free toy safety handouts.

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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2014. Of those toy-related injuries, an estimated 84,400 (34 percent) happened to children younger than 5 years of age.

Infant and child safety is an important part of the curriculum that accompanies RealCare® Baby. Our Basic Infant Care curriculum includes two lessons that touch on various aspects of toy safety. Lesson 1.2, Infant and Toddler Development, includes a robust activity on identifying age-appropriate and safe toys for infants and toddlers of various stages. Lesson 3.4, Safety, First Aid and Infant Health, includes information specific to Riding Toy Safety. Students are even given a lengthy stack of flashcards with toys on them, which they must identify as safe and appropriate, and unsafe and inappropriate.

  • Click here for your own free Toys & Toy Safety download.
  • Click here for your own Riding Toy Safety download.

Celebrate this special month by integrating these free resources into your child development lessons this month. Together, we can make this season even safer for the infants and young children in our lives now and in the future.

For more information about this organization and tips for purchasing safe toys, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

How are you incorporating infant and child toy safety into your FCS program? Share your thoughts in the comments below!