Archive | May, 2012

Tips and Tricks – Battery Life in iPads and iPods

28 May
English: iPhone 3GS (left) and iPad 2

English: iPhone 3GS (left) and iPad 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the next few weeks I intend to publish a few tips to help everyone get the most out of their iPads, iPhones, and iPods.  The tips are meant for the newer users, but they are things that all users should keep in mind to get the best performance from their devices.  Today we are talking about batteries, with a few simple tips to keep your battery healthy as long as possible. Continue reading

Paint my Wings by Toca Boca

25 May

Paint My Wings by Toca Boca is a Painting and Creativity App where children paint the wings of butterflies in symmetrical patterns.  At first, there might not seem to be a lot to this app, but when you look closer you’ll see that, as well as being a fun painting activity, Paint My Wingscan also help children develop the early Mathematical and Scientific concepts of patterns and symmetry.

Continue reading

Happi 123 – A Maths Game for Kids by Happi Papi

23 May

Happi 123 – a Maths game for Kids by Happi Papi is an App designed to help children learn the basic Mathematical concepts of counting, addition, subtraction, number sequence and number patterns. I say learn rather than practice, as this App has some supportive features that can help a child learn about the concepts (as opposed to a drill and practice App that can help with speed and recall after a concept has already been learned.) Continue reading

You in Space

15 May

You in Space is a fun Science App that calculates your age and weight on different planets.  Simply input your age and weight into the App and then you can swipe through each planet, the moon, the Sun and Pluto to see how much you would weigh and how old you would be on each.

Weight can be entered as Kilograms, Stones or Pounds.  Age is entered in years.

Although it is a bit of fun, the App would be a good way to highlight the differences between length of orbit of the different planets.  It would also be a great way of introducing the concept of how gravity affects weight. Continue reading

Blue Quoll eBooks

14 May

Blue Quoll is a Queensland company that publishes beautiful picture eBooks. Currently they have two Apps in the App store, both written by Lucia Mascuillo and Vincenzo Pignatelli and both offering a twist on familiar traditional tales.

Stories

Both Apps are universal and can be purchased for $1.99 from the iTunes App store

Mr. Wolf and the Ginger Cupcakes - Red Riding Hood, kids storybook - Blue QuollMr Wolf and the Ginger Cupcakes – We are all familiar with the “Little Red Riding Hood” story.  The twist in this one involves Bingo, an entomologist, and a game of chess.  (Hope I haven’t spoilt it for you!)  It is very entertaining and made me laugh when I was reading it with my children.  We still giggle at the same spots when we re-read it.  The English narrator has a very entertaining style when she does the different voices.  Download the Lite version to preview the App before you buy.

Puss in Boots - The Great Adventure - Blue QuollPuss in Boots – The Great Adventure – In this version, Puss is helping a budding musician, and the twist comes about because of a surprise relationship between Puss and the Ogre.  I really love how this story ends.  It has some very touching and some very funny scenes and your children will love it (and you will too.)

Features

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Smart Pirate – First Adventure

11 May

You might recall I recently reviewed Fractions – Smart Pirate.  Smart Pirate has another App, this time looking at more basic concepts of colour, time, addition and subtraction

There is a game for each of the three areas, and all games are played the same way:   guide the pirate around the island to find as much treasure as he can before the time runs out.  Options are available to move the pirate to the North, South, East or West. Children select an option that matches an item in the direction the wish the pirate to go.  An arrow on the screen indicates the direction the pirate should go to find treasure.   Levels of difficulty are unlocked as the child progresses.  Continue reading

Off Topic – take a second to help families of children with life-limiting disabilities. It’s Free.

9 May

Hi Everyone,

This post has nothing to do with iPads, iPhones or Mobile technology, but instead a cause dear to my heart.  I used to work with children and families affected by these kinds of diseases, and I post this plea in the memory of particular students of mine who have died.  A national medical conference for families is coming up that could help families of children with severe life-limiting disabilities.  Respite is a huge problem, so usually only one parent can attend.  The organisers have been looking for sponsors to help fund activities and care for children so that whole families can attend the conference, providing much-needed respite for parents and important information at the same time.  So far, no sponsors have answered the call so the organisers have applied for a Sunsuper Dream grant and are relying on votes to help them win $5000. Continue reading

Using your iPad with Stylus

8 May

There are lots of accessories for the various generations of iPad, but catching my eye recently were the range of styluses available.  What is a stylus?  Basically, it is a pen for your iPad or iPhone (or finger-alternative perhaps?)  There are many models available and a quick internet search will show you more than you thought.  I simply went down to electronics and entertainment section of  my local Big W store and found a nice range there.  There was a blingy stylus for the yummy mummy or glamour iPad user, one that had a real pen inside, some attached to iPad stands, and styluses in various colours.  They all work exactly the same, so I picked two of the more basic varieties, each just under $20.  Shop around and you will find similar styluses at similar or cheaper prices.  Any of these styluses will work on any touch screen device, including other Tablets and Smart Phones. Continue reading

Schools A to Z – the Essential Homework App

1 May

I have been remiss in not reviewing this  App earlier as it is a must for parents of school-aged children.  It has been on my iPad for some time now, and it has been in my “going to get to ” list, however I’ve dipped into it a lot lately, so I really need to share it with you.  School A to Z is a free App from the NSW Department of Education and Communities.  Their School A to Z website aims to:

create an online community with comprehensive homework and ‘school life’ support for parents that is easy to use, relevant and engaging.”

The school A to Z App gives parents access to some of the content on the site and will be a welcome resource for any family of school-aged children. Continue reading

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