Archive | February, 2012

Moo Media goes Mobile – Four Picture eBooks your children will love

29 Feb

Moo Media book opening screenToday I’m sharing not one but FOUR children’s picture ebooks that have been beautifully translated into the eBook format by Loud Crow Interactive. Four of Sandra Boynton’s beautifully illustrated stories are now available as eBooks for iPod, iPhone and Android. The series is perfect for young children.

Features

Sometimes you come across an App that does everything you want it to do.   The features of each book read like a list of everything I could wish for in a quality children’s eBook. Continue reading

Save the Solar System (and practice your Math skills at the same time)

23 Feb

 Arithmetic Invaders is a collection of arcade-style apps that can help children practice various Mathematics strategies.  These drill and practice games have a kind of retro-Space Invaders feel.  As I’ve mentioned before, this kind of activity is not going to help a child learn their facts, but they can definitely help the child to learn to recall their facts quickly, which is an important skill when progressing to higher Mathematics.

Unlike other similarly themed apps (e.g. MathBlaster HyperBlast), one does not need a lot of gaming skill to play Arithmetic Invaders.  The controls are very simple so the child can concentrate more on the real task:  defending the Solar System.  Sorry. I mean practising their Mathematics skills.  Children need to calculate the sums shown on the alien spacecraft and then shooting the one that matches the number on their laser gun.  They move the gun by tapping the right or left buttons.  As they progress through the levels, children collect space pilot insignia as a reward. You can set the length of the game to 2, 3 or 5 minutes. Content covered at each level is clearly stated, although you can’t pick levels at random but must unlock each in sequence.  Unlocked levels can be revisited. Continue reading

Making Music practice sound less like fighting cats

14 Feb

violin scroll

My girls are learning violin and need to practice often.  The problem arises when their violins are out of tune and that learning-to-play-the-violin sound turns into a several-half-dead-cats-fighting sound.  Pianos or electric keyboards are really handy, but if you don’t have one of them, there are Apps to help you tune just about any stringed instrument.  They all work the same way:  Just tap the strings on the virtual instrument to hear each note, then tune your instrument’s string to match.  Most have in-app advertising, but that tends to disappear if you turn off wi-fi.  Other apps such as virtual metronomes can also help.  I’m only mentioning free apps in this post, but there are many paid apps that claim to help students with music theory and practice.  Feel free to mention any music apps you use in the comments section. Continue reading

Helping Children tell the Time with MathTappers: ClockMaster

10 Feb

Mathtappers clock master opening screenMathTappers: ClockMaster,  designed to help children tell the time on both analogue and digital clocks, ticks nearly every box in my criteria for a good educational App.  The designers are Math educators and have designed the App to be used as part of a wholistic approach to teaching time skills.  To that end, they have included a lot of information for parents and teachers. Their motto is Play, Explore, Understand! and this is certainly reflected in the MathTappers: ClockMaster App.  As they state in their accompanying information,

Children do not learn about mathematics from the quick ‘just do this’ solution – rather they learn by playing, exploring and understanding concepts and then by practicing skills to build fluency.” Continue reading

Making eBooks on your iPad: 10 ideas for Parents and Teachers

8 Feb

There are several Apps available that allow you to create your own books.  I’ve already posted about Keynote, Picturebook and Book Creator, but there are others.  Later on I’ll even cover a few ways of creating eBooks on your computer, but now we know these apps exist, the next question:  what to write?  Here are 10 ideas for parents and teachers to use to create eBooks with children. Continue reading

Publish yourself with Book Creator

6 Feb

So your child goes up to their teacher and says “I’ve done my homework, Sir.  You can download it from the iTunes Bookstore….for a small price!”  Okay, selling homework on the iBook store is a little far-fetched at this stage, although it is possible, but how cool would it be to email your creative writing project to your teacher to be read using the iBook App and stored in your class/school iBook library?

Book Creator does exactly as its name suggests:  it creates books (with a little help from the authors, of course.). With Book Creator, you can quickly create a standard or audio iBook that can be read using the iBook App.  The amazing thing is that you can pack so many features into a free App.  With Create Books, you can add your own illustrations, text, narration, or sound track to your iBook. Continue reading

Making illustrated eBooks the easy way with Picturebook

5 Feb

Picturebook is an App that allows children to create their own illustrated eBooks that can be shared with friends (who also have the Picturebook App).  It has a very simple interface so would be suitable for young children to use, but would also be useful for older students.  The app comes with a choice of two book covers and some basic clip art, but you can add extras with in-App purchases.  A school edition that includes all the extras is also available.  The App is universal, which means you can use it on both iPad and iPhone/iTouch devices.

Continue reading

Everyday Maths: Top It Addition

1 Feb

Top It is a two-player addition game by McGraw-Hill that adds pairs of numerals from 0 to 9 and looks at concepts of greater than, less than and equal.  Players take turns dealing two cards each and then adding the values of each card together.  They get points for correct answers and then also for identifying if values are greater, less than, or equal to each other.  McGraw-Hill also has a second version of Top It for subtraction available on the iTunes store (Link below.) Continue reading

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