Archive | June, 2012

Tips and Tricks: Crashes, Freezes, and General Belligerence

30 Jun

From time to time, you might encounter a few problems while using your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Apps may quit unexpectedly, freeze, or the device may crash. This post has some tips for recovering from those little episodes and what to do to avoid them.

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App Review – Crayola ColorStudio

25 Jun

I’ve been wanting to have a look at Crayola ColorStudio for some time but after this review, I think I’ll pass. I think this post says it all.

25 Jun

Some thoughts about using interactive books with children. Although I have some good eBooks on my iPad, I think this post really sums up why they will never replace story time with “real” books with my children. At the very least, there is something so much warmer about sitting down with an old-fashioned book than with an eBook reader.

Acorns to Oaks Centre

Deadline News
Claire McKim
June 24, 2012

 

READING interactive e-books to under-threes could hinder their development and break vital bonds between parent and child, experts have warned.

Digital books, which allow children to physically interact with storylines, are becoming increasingly popular in Scotland, with new versions of classics such as ‘Peter Rabbit’ and ‘Alice In Wonderland’ including interactive elements for children to participate in.

But child development specialists warn that the interactive storybooks could have a damaging effect on the growth of under threes – and could even harm their eyesight.

JK Rowling offers an interactive experience of her Harry Potter books.

 

Some authors have embraced the digital books trend, with Scot JK Rowling offering an interactive experience of the Harry Potter novels on her Pottermore website.

But others, such as The Gruffalo author Julia Donalson, have refused to move to digital and spoken out about the importance…

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Guest Post: Math Formulas reviewed by Josh

22 Jun

This is my 50th official blog post and I’m handing it over to Josh, who previously reviewed King of Math for me.  I’m really happy for him to review this App as he is much more of an expert in Mathematics than myself, and you deserve an informed opinion.  Math Formulas is an App that will be handy for High School and Tertiary students studying Mathematics, and particularly Algebra.  If you are a Mathematics teacher, student, the parent of a student, or have a friend who is a student, put them on to Josh’s blog (mentioned below.)  Josh takes questions from students, provides tips and tricks for homework help, and occasionally hosts live streamed Q & A sessions.   Take it away Josh:

The Review

Hi, it’s me again!

By me I mean Josh. From Mathematical Mischief. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about, 🙂

Today, I’m here to talk about another of Oddrobo Software’s apps. Last time, I covered King of Math. Today’s review is of something a little bit more basic – the app is called Math Formulas.

Click the Link to go to the App Store!

Now, as a student, I’m constantly having to learn new materials. I remember sitting in high school on a few occasions, hoping that there was some sort of quick reference I could use to help me understand topics. Fortunately, there were some materials, or I was able to make my own. As time has passed, though, it’s become harder to find decent materials.

Now, Math Formulas is not a fix all. It will not tutor you – it does not have videos. But as a reference material, it is damn useful in finding stuff quickly. It provides over 100 different formulas for students (and teachers) to use. Continue reading

There’s a Bear in there – Play School Art Maker

19 Jun

Play School Art Maker for iPad The flagship of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has released an iPad App for children that is so good, I can hardly believe it is free.  Free in Australia, that is.  The App is also available in international iTunes stores as a paid app.  The name is probably not a good description, as Play School Art Maker is much more than the virtual sticker book it seems to be.  In reality, it is more like a virtual puppet theatre where children can create the scenes, control the actors and direct their stories.

Open the App and you’ll see a large scrapbook.  When you open the book, you can either watch the television show (only in Australia) or you can create pictures, movies and stories.  You can also view pictures, movies and stories that have been stored in the scrapbook. Continue reading

It’s Calculator Time! – Temple Run!

14 Jun

Good for hand-eye coordination, team-building, problem solving – I’ve heard all of these arguments from lots of kids over the years as they tried to justify the purchase of completely non-educational games. Perhaps they would have had more success if they had done what Josh has done, and turn a complete time-wasting, completely non-educational game into a really interesting Mathematics exercise. Off-topic, but I couldn’t resist.

Word games Part 1: Word Search

12 Jun
Wordsearch

Wordsearch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Playing games with words is not only fun but can help your children (and you) to practice spelling and to develop your vocabulary. Personally, I love word games and always have some on my iPad.  This post is focussing on just one type:  Word Search, a.k.a Find-a-word, Word Seek, Word Find and others. I think we are all familiar with these puzzles: highlight words hidden in a letter grid.  Since all the puzzles work the same way, I’m going to focus on features such as word lists and various options you might find handy.    Forgive me if I don’t mention the game that has Weapons as one of its word lists, along with others that had some dodgy spelling and grammar before you even got to the puzzles.  The ones here are some of the better ones. Continue reading

Guest Blog – King of Math reviewed by Josh

5 Jun

Today I welcome a review from my very first guest blogger.  Josh is an 18 y.0. student from Melbourne who is studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science (Mathematics).  His own blog, Mathematical Mischief (http://mathematicalmischief.wordpress.com/) is aimed at helping everyone to get a better understanding of Mathematics and is a great resource for students.  Do go and visit his blog.

And now, over to you, Josh.

King of Math

Well, erm… Hi. I’m Josh. 🙂

Now, if you’re wondering where I’m from, what I do – let’s just say you can find it all at Mathematical Mischief. Today, though, I’m not here to spiel about my blog, or what I do.

I’m here to talk about a game called ‘King of Math‘, made by the awesome dudes over at Oddrobo Games (they’re Swedish).
The first three level packs are available in game when you download the app (which is free), but to play the remaining levels, you need to buy the in game pack (which is $0.99, well worth the investment).

Click the logo to go to iTunes!

So you’re bored, slightly competitive, and really like math. You’re not quite sure what you could do, though. Here’s your answer, if you’re up for the challenge. Continue reading

Happi Papi Literacy Apps

1 Jun

Happi Reads and Happi Spells are two fun literacy Apps from Happi Papi.   Although I have the English versions, international versions are available in alternative languages, depending on which country’s iTunes store they are purchased (more information below.)

Happi Reads App iconHappi Reads

Happi Reads is a variation of a flash card activity where children read a word and then match it to one of three pictures.   Children are clapped and cheered, and receive a fruit token for correctly identifying each word.  Once six tokens have been collected, the game ends with children tapping a large picture if the fruit to “eat it.” The feedback for incorrect answers is an “uh-uh” noise.  Children don’t get a second attempt at the same word, but they move on to a different word without a penalty.  The logic behind this is that the designers thought that, if kids were to get a second chance at the same word and picture set, they would start guessing instead of really making an effort to read the word. Continue reading

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