Posts Tagged Education
Educators face a common plight, regardless of what they teach: how to inspire their students to be interested in the subject matter. Perhaps it’s down to human nature, that anything that must be learnt is immediately dismissed. I’m as guilty as many others, only truly appreciating the works of Shakespeare when it came to having the choice of reading his work. I’ve got a feeling, though, that if apps such as Explore Shakespeare were around when I was learning, it would have helped.
The Explore Shakespeare series has recently been released by the Cambridge University Press, offering users the chance to read the full play, listen to an audio performance of it (featuring the voices of actors such as Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale) as well as explore and analyze the content.
But how does it actually fare with its core market? Headmistress of St. Mary’s school, Cambridge, Charlotte Avery explained to us that the students were immediately enthusiastic during their time with the Romeo & Juliet app, she particularly enjoyed “the ease with which the students can find out the meaning of a word or phrase by simply tapping on it as they read,” as well as a “diagram of all the characters involved in a particular scene,” reducing any confusion that can come from understanding complex fight scenes in the play. The girls themselves explained that they appreciated the color photographs of professional productions “so that you can imagine what is going on” and that it was “fun to use.”
Given the school’s policy of “Bring Your Own Devices” into school, the Explore Shakespeare series looks set to be quite the hit there and hopefully elsewhere, too. Charlotte Avery explained it best that “bringing iPads into the classroom is the way to go!”, pointing out that it helps to “bridge the ‘disillusionment gap’ between what young people experience with technology inside and outside of school.”
It’s an interesting move for education and one that I’d heartily recommend. Anything that brings classic literature to life for a new generation has to be a good thing. The Explore Shakespeare apps are available now. They’re usually priced at $13.99, but currently on sale at $8.99 each.
Released: 2012-10-10 :: Category: Education
The summer break might be over but the quest to find new and exciting ways to entertain the kids continues on. We all want to make sure the kids near to us, whether they be our own kids or nieces and nephews, are suitably entertained while also instilling useful knowledge within them. DIY.org wants to do both and succeeds with aplomb.
The app helps kids build a portfolio of all the different things they make, whether they be fun drawings, technological creations or simply garden based projects. The app and accompanying website gives them a place to show off their talents as well as gain skill badges depending on what they’ve made. As a form of achievement, these badges focus the kids’ aim while also giving them a sense that they’ve gained something. We checked in with CEO, Zach Klein, to learn more about the site/app that has garnered around 20,000 users so far.
Zach explained to us that their main source of inspiration has come from the kids themselves and the “unique qualities” that the youngsters offer. “They’re simple people who are often passionate and capable of complex creativity,” he explains. “There aren’t many options for kids to contribute this special power to world. That’s what motivates us.”
Summing up what some of the best creations out there are, Zach demonstrated the sheer breadth of imagination from the kids using the service. Kids through DIY.org have made their own version of the popular game, Operation, a Stomp Rocket and a stop motion Nascar crash film. It’s great to see such variation, right down to the sweet tooth fairy pillow created for someone’s sister.
Each project can be assigned a positive comment or sticker with categories such as Awesome, Beautiful, Favorite and Genius ensuring that kids feel good about what they do. Zach explained that there are future plans afoot: “We plan to add social features to DIY so our members can make friends more easily. This will make it easier for them to share feedback and hopefully collaborate to make together.”
It all sounds quite exceptional and a great idea to keep the kids happy and stimulated. Why not try it out for yourself? The app is available now and it’s free.
While many parents are at least a little bit happy to have kids returning to school, a new school year also means new volunteer jobs for parents and volunteer coordination from the schools themselves. A new iPad app, Clipboard by VolunteerSpot, offers PTA members, coaches, fundraisers and class moms and dads a way to keep track of their obligations to their local schools.
The idea behind the app is to skip the sign-up sheets and mass emails in favour of directly accessing the necessary sign up information and then to let parents communicate efficiently with the right people to get the job done, be it planning a homecoming celebration or spending time as a classroom aide.
VolunteerSpot boasts that their coordination tools, which are primarily located on their website, ”boost administrative and management efficiencies by up to 85 percent and increase parent participation by 20 percent.” If you or your school use the service or the app, we’d love to know what you think in the comments.
Reminding us that the iPad can be a great educational tool comes the rather impressively titled The Fun Way to Learn Algebra – FREE – Hands-On Equations 1 Lite.
The app, part of a series of educational tools from Hands On Equations, introduces the concept of algebraic concepts to children from the age of 8 upwards.
We’ve all experienced the difficulty of figuring out algebraic formulas at one time or another, while growing up. The Fun Way to Learn Algebra – FREE – Hands-On Equations 1 Lite hopes to make it fun!
An introductory video explains that users can move game pieces around a scale to represent the two sides of an equation, eventually simplifying and deciphering what’s going on. It’s a simple visual aid that should help those students who are struggling to understand it all.
The Fun Way to Learn Algebra – FREE – Hands-On Equations 1 Lite is free to download and use, while other products by the developer build upon the taster session. All are out now and priced between $3.99-$4.99. A small price to pay for unravelling the conundrum of algebra!
Released: 2012-08-07 :: Category: Education
Released: 2012-03-04 :: Category: Education
Released: 2012-04-25 :: Category: Education
Released: 2012-07-14 :: Category: Education
Fans of PBS Kids TV show Cyberchase will be delighted to see the arrival of Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader, an iPad app aimed at continuing the educational fun that the TV show is so famous for.
Aimed at 5-8 year olds, Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader offers a new story for fans to delve into, following an exciting problem that Hacker has left the Cybersquad with. Three hours of puzzles are promised as players set out to save Solaria from being transformed into a garbage dump.
Puzzles range from word hunts, spot what’s wrong with the picture, mazes, and create your own story sections. Topics that are taught include things such as alphabetical knowledge, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, as well as reading comprehension.
Together, it should prove an educational yet highly entertaining experience for kids.
Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader is available now for free, with an in-app purchase of $3.99 to unlock one story, or $5.99 to unlock both.
Medical students don’t always have access to cadavers, certainly not when outside of the classroom. This is a relief to many of us, but it’s far from practical for those students trying to study the human body. Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED aims to solve that problem.
Available for the iPad, Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED makes it possible to practice on a virtual cadaver, accurately replicating the cadaver dissection experience.
Five modules are available within the app, allowing for access to the skeletal and muscular systems, nervous system, cardiovascular, lymphatic and respiratory systems, digestive, urinary, reproductive and endocrine systems. There’s also room for body orientation, tissues, cells and chemistry.
Many different interactive slides, as well as detailed imagery, videos and animations ensure that this is a comprehensive package for medical students, along with a quiz facility. There’s even pronunciation tips for difficult to pronounce terms.
Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED might not be the cheapest of apps, costing $12.99 plus the same price again for extra modules, but for medical students, it should prove very valuable in giving them the extra edge in their studies.
Released: 2012-07-10 :: Category: Education
The Cozi Family Organizer has already given parents an easy, streamlined way to maintain their busy family lives. However, the back to school season is coming up and as usual it’s bringing a whole host of new problems to be dealt with. That’s why Cozi is lending another helping hand with their free, Back-to-School Survival Guide update.
The guide and its four main features are included with every download of the standard Family Organizer app. “What to Expect at Every Grade” is a list of educational and emotional milestones gathered from experts so parents can monitor their child’s development. It also has curriculum topics and school supply suggestions for smarter shopping. “Chore Guide” offers tips on how to handle chores and allowances while “Checklists for Kids” makes sure that once a family establishes a routine they stick to it. Finally, “Lunchbox Gallery” has ten lunchtime recipes for kids to try out.
Cozi is also offering a $100 back to school coupon pack to anyone who registers a new account online or through the app before August 31st. The Cozi Family Organizer with the new Back-to-School Survival Guide is available now for free on the App Store.
Released: 2010-12-21 :: Category: Productivity
I think there was a moment in my late childhood when my dad really wanted me to understand how cars work. I didn’t pay much attention, honestly, as I was generally lost in my own little world throughout my days of kid-dom. Today, though, there are times when I really wish I had paid more careful attention to the lessons of my youth. And that’s where How Cars Work comes in. Simply put, it’s an instructional app that teaches…yep…how cars work. From steering and suspension to powertrain and braking, pretty much all of the basics are covered in this tidy little app.
Now, in version 1.3.0, developer Aymen Alshawi has added a basic maintenance section to help those who may not know how to perform basic maintenance like changing a tire on their vehicle. It’s a handy and quick way to find information if it’s needed in an emergency, and while all makes and models are different, this app covers the basics that apply to pretty much every vehicle. And more is on the way in future update, including a guide to vehicle modifications.
Make up for those lost lessons of youth and learn a little more about your car with How Cars Work.
Thanks to advancements in technology, transportation, and communication, globalization is bringing the world’s populations closer together at an accelerating rate. As this continues though, it is important for us to stay aware of the hardships of those in places where safety is not guaranteed. UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, hopes to bring these struggles to light with My Life as a Refugee.
The game casts players as one of three refugees hoping to escape from any number of war-torn countries. As they attempt to find freedom they will be presented with the kinds of dilemmas facing actual refugees. How will they protect their families? What will they do if the smugglers become violent? Will they give up if they are caught by the army after coming so far? Through this virtual journey, players will start to understand why millions of people are so desperate to run, survive, and restart their lives.
“Every minute eight people are force to flee. What would you do?” My Life as a Refugee is available now for free on the App Store.
Released: 2012-06-28 :: Category: Games
This week at 148Apps.com, writer Carter Dotson explored all things Zombie with his Favorite Four list. He writes, “May is Zombie Awareness Month. While pop culture seems intent on making us aware of zombies on a regular basis, this is the special month for zombies. May is almost over, but that doesn’t mean there’s not just enough time left to celebrate with some zombie-themed apps.”
Released: 2012-02-27 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
Released: 2011-10-27 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, everything over at GiggleApps got dotty, as Amy Solomon reviewed Dot Collector, saying, “Dot Collector is a very nice universal app for the youngest children with simple game play, wonderfully bright colors and soothing sounds that babies will enjoy. This app is utterly intuitive to use as players need to simply drag moving dots into a black dot, clearing the board. A new dot is added to each additional level, adding to the game play.”
Released: 2012-02-28 :: Category: Education
Finally, Kevin Stout on 148Apps.biz reported on the increasing numbers of young children using smartphones. Stout writes, “There’s no such thing as to young when it comes to smartphones and tablets. When keeping in mind the younger audiences when developing apps, even the youngest of children have a high percentage of exposure to mobile devices. An infographic released by Schools.com has reported that 38% of 0-8 year-olds have used tablets or smartphones.”
That’t it for this Memorial Day week. Summer’s here, so keep your eyes on 148Apps.com, our Twitter and Facebook feeds to make sure you get the latest app news, reviews and contests. See you next week, tovarish!
It was Earth Day this past Sunday, so what better time to check out the second in the Painting with Time app series: Climate Change. The app has 17 pre-set images of geographical regions that have been severely impacted by global warming. If one has any reservations about the veracity of Earth’s rising temperatures going in, toying with this app should lay them to rest.
Each image first appears as a tracing. Users then pick one of eight brushes or pre-cut segments, but instead of painting with tubes of color, we brush on the effects of time. The consequences are jaw dropping. The app uses high quality photographs of each locale from two time periods. Some are decades apart, others like the Mississippi River only a year. Users can uncover the overlapping views one at a time by filling in the canvas quickly with broad strokes to compare, or get creative and paint or break up the image artfully. Each photo comes with information on the region and the impact climate change is having there. There is even a multi-media presentation on the issue in general.
For those who don’t want to be lectured, and prefer to see evidence with their own eyes, Painting with Time: Climate Change is perfect. For believers and even activists, it provides a useful teaching and display tool.
This week at 148Apps.com, two great new apps for kids were featured: AutisMate and Ruckus Reader. Writer Jennifer Allen had this to say about AutisMate: “AutisMate was designed by Jonathan Izak, someone whose younger brother and first cousin who have autism. It allows users to add their own pictures, videos and voice recordings to the app in order to create scenes that help promote positive interactions.”
Kevin Stout contributed the following about Ruckus Reader: “When a child is in possession of a device as versatile as an iPad, it could be just as distracting as it is productive. A new series of apps by Ruckus, Ruckus Reader, has been released that help parents keep track of their children’s progress through Ruckus Reader books.”
Released: 2012-04-16 :: Category: Books
Meanwhile, at GiggleApps.com, Amy Solomon was investigating the hidden joys of Smash Your Food HD, “Smash Your Food HD is a highly entertaining app for iPad dedicated to the better understanding of the amounts of sugar, salt and oil found within foods that are commonly eaten. With five levels included, players are asked to determine the amounts of these substances by reviewing the nutritional facts of each food in question and then watching as these foods get pulverized – much to the delight of children.”
Released: 2012-03-20 :: Category: Education
And last, but certainly not least, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout reported on Apple’s recent change in policy regarding iAd revenues: “Before April 1st, developers earned 60% of the iAd revenue they generated within iAd-supported apps. Now developers will receive 70% of iAd revenues, according to Apple’s Developer Center. Developers will now receive this higher percentage for both app download and iAd revenues. This is likely to be a rather large boost in income for developers that use iAd as their primary source of revenue for their free apps.”
And, to paraphrase Cronkite, that’s the way it was. Keep track of all the latest happenings across the iOS and mobile universe by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. You’ll be glad you did. Until next time, watch out for the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!
LazyTown, the popular children’s show about health and well-being, now has an iPad storybook filled with interactive features. LazyTown’s Friends Forever BooClip is a digital book app that not only narrates a story but includes animations, video clips, music, and more interactive features all about the LazyTown TV series.
This particular LazyTown adventure follows Stephanie and the new play park she’s created for her friends. Stephanie competes with her rival Robbie, who entices the friends away from Stephanie’s park to an attraction of his own with the promise of fake prizes.
In addition to the interactive features that the kid’s will enjoy, parents will also feel good about this app. The development of the LazyTown’s Friends Forever BooClip app was supervised by psychologists, teachers, consultants, and linguists. So parents can be assured that their child’s experience is safe and educational.
Other BooClips include Garfield’s BooClips and The Bible BooClips. BooClips are “edutainment” apps that enhance the reading experience for children with interactive features, word for word narration, and more.
When a child is in possession of a device as versatile as an iPad, it could be just as distracting as it is productive. A new series of apps by Ruckus, Ruckus Reader, has been released that help parents keep track of their children’s progress through Ruckus Reader books.
There aren’t many Ruckus Reader apps available yet, but the ones that have been released include big names like Transformers, Crayola, and My Little Pony. The Ruckus Reader apps send weekly “Reader Meter” emails to parents (information is also available on the website) with information about their children on subjects like phonics, print awareness, fluency, alphabetic knowledge, sequencing, and story comprehension.
All of the three big name apps (Transformers: Ruckus Reader, My Little Pony: Ruckus Reader, and Crayola:Ruckus Reader) include features like word hunts, games, mazes, and “make-your-own” sort of pages (make-your-own stickers, make-your-own story, etc). All three apps are free.
Parents will receive “Reader Meter Progress Snapshots” for free with a Ruckus Reader account. For full “Reader Meter Progress Reports” and unlimited access to their entire Ruckus Reader iLibrary, parents can subscribe to a Ruckus library membership for 6 months at $24.99. Both types of accounts can support up to four children who may access the books across various app and devices.
Released: 2012-04-16 :: Category: Books
Released: 2012-04-16 :: Category: Books
SparkNotes have saved many a student in need of help as they study various pieces of literature. Figuring out the subtext behind some classic pieces of work isn’t always immediately obvious, and these notes can make all the difference.
That useful helping hand is now available through the SparkNotes iOS app. 50 pre-installed study guides are already available with the option of viewing hundreds of others online. These guides can then be downloaded for offline use if the user so wishes.
Numerous different works worthy of studying are included here, like Shakespeare and Orwell. Poetry and Philosophy is similarly covered along with short stories to appeal to all arts students.
Search functionality is extensive, making it easy to browse through different sections of the guides from thematic analysis to scene by scene breakdown.
There’s a social element, too, with users able to share their location and what they’re currently studying, thus encouraging friends to gather round for a study group session.
SparkNotes is out now and it’s free to download.
Happi Papi, developer of education apps for kids, has recently started an App Evaluation Program for Schools where the developer makes Happi Papi apps available to educators for free. Interested educators can sign up for the program here.
Happi Papi has already started releasing free apps for the program. Over 100 schools have already received their first promo code links to Happi 123, the first game available for the program.
Happi Papi is an active member of the Moms With Apps (MWA) forum of family developers. Five other developers have joined the program created by Happi Papi. All developers in the program share the common vision of creating children’s apps without ads, in-app purchases, or links.
Happi Papi is a joint venture of two dads creating quality apps for children. They call their apps “edutainment.” They create learning environments for children between the ages of 2 and 8 that are both educational and fun. Happi Papi apps include Happi 123, Happi Spells, and Happi Reads.
Released: 2012-03-14 :: Category: Education
Released: 2011-10-14 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-06-06 :: Category: Education
It’s a little cliched to say but Starry Night Interactive Animation is utterly beautiful to look at and interact with.
Taking one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous pieces of art, Starry Night, iPad users can watch the creation move as well as interact with it themselves.
It’s positively delightful, both peaceful and wondrous with a similarly attractive musical score. Supporting multi touch, users can interact with Starry Night with up to ten fingers at once, making it an ideal app to use with others.
Using a finger to ripple through the artwork is a mesmerising experience, even despite the occassional moments of blurriness.
While I’ve yet to get a chance to see the real Starry Night, this app is a great substitution in the meantime. It’d be great to see other works of art implemented in a similar way in the future. It makes art accessible for the masses and brings it to life for children.
Check out Starry Night Interactive Animation now, priced at $1.99.
Fairlady Media just released a new educational game, Grandma’s Garden.
Grandma’s Garden features Granny and her gang of whacky veggies teaching preschool and kindergarten level skills via five included mini-games (many of which are vegetable-themed). Educational skills that are covered in the app include shapes, colors, letters, counting, and memory. These games are “Match the Vegetables,” “Color the Vegetable,” “Count the Vegetables,” “First Letters,” and “Shapes.”
Players are showered with positive words and funny, Granny-typical gifts. The players are rewarded with items from Granny’s purse including candy, toys, and other grandmother-oriented items (lipstick, perfume, and more). The goal of the game is to provide a pure and sweet experience for children to learn kindergarten and preschool skills.
Check out the video below that includes gameplay of Grandma’s Garden.
I think we all know by now that technology is pretty awesome, as well as a great educational aid. Thanks to the beauty of touch based controls, very young children can easily reap the benefits from certain apps. One potentially ideal app for children aged 3 and up is CookieCoo Dancing Star.
CookieCoo Dancing Star is all about teaching kids to sing and play along with a number of different educational songs from the Hokey Pokey to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes to other classics like Mary Had a Little Lamb and I Can Sing a Rainbow, available through an in-app purchase.
The songs teach kids some valuable tips and they also get to improve their motor skills as they have to match the rhythm on screen. Best of all, they’ll have fun doing it!
CookieCoo Dancing Star is priced at $0.99 for either the iPhone or iPad version. In-app purchases are then available to purchase extra song packs covering colors, animals, toys and numbers, each priced at $0.99.
Released: 2011-12-16 :: Category: Education
The non-profit Khan Academy has released an eponymous app for the iPad, which offers free educational how-to videos on many subjects. The app currently offers over 2800 videos, designed to educate in the fields of math, science, humanities, and standardized test preparation. Videos largely consist of screencasts that try to explain various topics, and go step-by-step through each topic, as explained by founder Salman Khan and others appointed by the foundation to help create content for other subjects.
The videos on iPad support AirPlay to a remote display, can be downloaded for offline access, and shared to Facebook and Twitter. The videos also offer scripts that correspond to the various points in each video, which helps with not just going back to repeat a specific part of a video, but also opens up accessibility to those with hearing-impairments. It is also possible to log in using a Facebook or Google account to synchronize progress with the Khan Academy website with videos watched. The app is available for completely free.
Released: 2012-03-11 :: Category: Education