5 Creative Uses for Hands-On Learning Aids in the FCS Classroom

It’s always fun to reflect on a school year and all of the great moments that have happened. We are in awe of teachers and the creative ways they find to incorporate hands-on learning and real-life experiences for their students to gain invaluable lessons.

5. Proving that Human Growth and Development class can encompass all ages with a great aging experience for these students.

4. Incorporating real-world safety training with the RealCare Baby for even deeper meaning with the simulation experience.

3. Working students through a pregnancy simulation prior to sending them home with a baby simulator brings these lessons full-circle.

2. When geriatric simulation meets fashion design, students gain valuable knowledge they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

1. Creativity + Simulation = Awareness
What better way to teach students this valuable lesson on the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome?

How do you incorporate our hands-on training tools in your classroom? We’d like to encourage you to share your photos, and your story, with other educators, too. Click here to learn how you can get a free Realityworks water bottle for answering a few quick questions about your program.

Summer-ready RealCare Babies in 5 simple steps

Its that time of year where most put their RealCare Babies away for a well-deserved summer break. Here are our recommendations for summer storage.

1. Give your Babies one final full charge.

  • Baby should be charged overnight, then unplugged – don’t leave Baby plugged in all summer. Ideally, your Babies should be charged for a few hours every 3 months. Haven’t used Baby since January or February? Now is the time to charge them overnight.
  • FYI: The batteries will gradually drain out on their own. Do not be surprised if the Babies start to make a popping sound while in storage. This is an indicator that the batteries are giving off their final amount of charge. Don’t worry; this is normal and the popping sound can last for a few days.
  • You can follow along with the “RCB Battery Maintenance” instructions here.

2. Wash the clothing and clean the Baby.

  • When cleaning the vinyl try any of the following to remove dirt stains from Baby’s vinyl:- Goop® Hand Cleaner with Pumice

    – GoJo® Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner

    – Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser*

  • For Baby’s clothing and supplies: Baby’s diapers and clothing can be machine washed in cold, gentle cycle. Tumble dry on low. We recommend line drying to prevent wear and tear.
  • Get more great cleaning tips here.

3. Place your Babies in plastic bags to protect the vinyl.

  • Be sure the bag does not have any print that can bleed onto the vinyl.

4. Store your Babies in a cool, dry place.

  • Baby should be stored indoors, in the plastic bag, for optimum conditions. If this isn’t possible, every attempt should be made to keep Baby dry and clean.
  • If Baby is stored in a very cold or hot environment, allow 24 hours for Baby to adjust to a moderate temperature before use.
  • Dramatic changes in temperature can cause water condensation inside Baby. Allow time for the condensation to evaporate before use.

5. BONUS TIP: Jump-start your fall lesson planning by downloading our free career exploration curriculum today!

We know how important it is to provide career exploration opportunities to students. That’s why we created the Using the RealCare Program for Career Exploration, which contains 6 lessons that use our RealCare products (Drug-Affected Baby, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby, Pregnancy Profile, RealCare Baby and more) as springboards to career exploration lessons.

(Don’t have all the products? No problem! They’re not required to use the curriculum).

Click here to learn more and download the curriculum yourself.

Learn more by watching our on-demand webinar: Packing up RealCare Baby for Summer Vacation

Additional Product Support resources like video tutorials, documentation, webinars and FAQs can be found in our online Product Support Center. If you need further support, contact our Product Support Team by calling 800.830-1416, option 2, or emailing productsupport@realityworks.com.

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 $50 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.

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!

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!

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.

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/

Back to School with RealCare Baby

By Nate Schlieve, Realityworks Product Support Technician

It’s Back to School time, which means it’s time to get RealCare Baby out of storage and ready for some new adventures! Here are some tips to get you started and back in the groove with your RealCare Baby program.

  1. Take the RealCare Program Health Assessment to learn how you can improve the health of your RealCare Program.
  2. Before deploying Baby each week, charge it overnight to ensure a full 7 day’s use.
  3. Number all accessories that come with each Baby to easily track parts.
  4. Review the many support resources available to you free on our website including:
  5. Give your students access to the RealCare Baby Guide app (available for iPhone and Android) so they can easily access “how-to” info, FAQs and video guides 24/7 to help them with their care experience.
  6. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, for news, updates, free downloads, product support tips, etc.

For more back to school tips and tricks take a look at this video, which reviews Baby’s components, programming, report interpretation, curricula, product support resources and more.

5 Key Steps for Preparing RealCare Baby® 3 for Summer Break

As we approach the end of another school year, it’s time to think about getting your RealCare Babies ready for the summer break. Here are 5 key steps to take so that they will be ready when you come back in the fall:

Step 1: Complete an inventory:

  • Gather up your Babies, accessories and supplies and take a quick inventory of what you have. Each Baby should have:
    • 2 diapers, one with a green patch and one with a yellow patch
    • Bottle and/or breastfeeding device
    • Student ID with wristbands
    • Infant Bodysuit
    • Sleepwear
    • Single Charger or 5-Baby Charger
  • Identify any resources that you need to order, like wristbands, so you have the items on hand when school starts in the fall.

Step 2: Place a resupply order: Visit our online store to quickly and easily order any consumables and resources you need for your program such as wristbands and student workbooks.

Step 3: Wash clothing and clean the babies:

  • For Baby: Disinfectant wipes, Goop® Hand Cleaner with Pumice, GoJo® Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner, Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser, or Acne Cream are all great for removing dirt and stains from Baby’s vinyl.
  • For Baby’s clothing and supplies: Baby’s diapers and clothing can be machine washed in cold, gentle cycle. Tumble dry on low. We recommend line drying to prevent wear and tear.
  • Get more great cleaning tips here.

Step 4: Battery maintenance:

  • Baby should be charged overnight, then unplugged – don’t leave Baby plugged in all summer. Ideally, your Babies should be charged for a few hours every 3 months. Haven’t used Baby since January or February? Now is the time to charge them overnight.
  • FYI: The batteries will gradually drain out on their own. Do not be surprised if the Babies start to make a popping sound while in storage. This is an indicator that the batteries are giving off their final amount of charge. Don’t worry; this is normal and the popping sound can last for a few days.
  • You can follow along with the “RCB Battery Maintenance” instructions here.

Step 5: Store Baby: Baby should be stored indoors, in a plastic bag, for optimum conditions. If this isn’t possible, every attempt should be made to keep Baby dry and clean. Note: dramatic changes in temperature can cause water condensation inside Baby. Allow time for the condensation to evaporate before use.

For more great tips and tricks on preparing Baby for summer break check out the video below: