Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Kids Can Operate an iPad but Can’t Tie their Shoelaces

January 27, 2014



Adults that marvel at how confidently kids can navigate the web or use the iPad should consider holding off their applause.  It seems that our tech savvy kids have let some fundamental skills go to the wayside whilst perfecting their technological prowess.

Kids in my generation knew how to fold, make the bed, wash and dry dishes properly (yes, both sides of the plate!) and of course, we quickly developed skills in tying our shoelaces.

But the same doesn’t apply to the kids of today:

TECHNO KIDS can use iPads but increasing numbers of children are unable to tie their shoelaces in time for the first day of school.

Shoe retailers and experts have revealed children as old as 10 were yet to learn the skill and opting for the easier velcro option.

“We notice more and more that younger kids can’t manage the laces as early on anymore,” Sophie McLellan, podiatrist and co-owner of Little Big Shoes at Kenmore, told The Courier-Mail.

“Certainly there are more and more kids wanting velcro and not laces. Usually when kids enter Grade One most schools want them in a lace-up shoe. However we’re finding lots of kids in Prep, (grade) One, Two, even going into Grade Three are still having trouble with laces.


Perhaps they should develop an app that teaches kids how to tie their laces … and clean the dishes … both sides.


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Top 10 Math Apps for Children

August 21, 2012

Courtesy of


iDevBooks – Educational Math Apps, by Esa Helttula, are par excellence when it comes to educational tools! This suite of apps are a must-have for any school using mobile devices, as well as for parents who want to encourage mastery of math concepts for their children. This collection of 16 iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad educational math apps are easy to use and offer intuitive interfaces. The iDevBooks math apps are used by schools, parents, and students worldwide. They are also popular in special education.

Jungle Time, Jungle Coins & Jungle Fractions!, by Andrew Short, of Jungle Education – We still need to learn to tell time, utilize money, and understand fractions. These three essential concepts are not easy to teach and harder to learn. Lots of hands on practice is needed and Andrew Short has got the “lots of” covered. All three games offer five levels of challenge, they start with the rudimentary concept and gradually progress over several grade levels. A MUST HAVE!

Motion Math: Hungry Fish, by Motion Math, is another MUST HAVE math game! Mental math is such a key component for success in building a strong foundation in math, and building on this early on helps all other math concepts fall into place with relative ease. Our students were enthralled by this simple, yet brilliant game – and they were polishing up on their number skills with smiles on their faces! Brilliant job Motion Math!

Math Evolve, by InterAction Education and Zephyr Games, has really pushed the envelope. This app introduces a revolutionary “video-like” gaming app for practicing math facts. One of our students called it, “The Call of Duty,” of math games. Adam Coccari, teacher and creator of Math Evolve, sums it up best when he says, “Achieving success in all levels of math starts with having a solid foundation in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.” Mastering these facts takes time and lots of practice, Math Evolve has taken care of all of that in an enormously engaging format.

Operation Math, by Spinlight Studios, is sizzling with excitement! The mission is possible with this new app, which grabs kids attention immediately and keeps them engaged on their quest to do good. The goal here is to help destroy Dr. Odd and practice your basic math facts along the way. In order to open the series of locked doors, you must perform either addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or any combination of operations. You can first train in the infinite Base10 Training Room, where your performance will be tracked. When you are up for the challenge, you choose a mission.

Sums Stacker, by Carstens Studios Inc, is an amazing app. It incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, and strategic planning skills, all while you’re “playing” with math concepts, with great gaming style! Carstens’ says this about math, “It wasn’t until after my school years, that I became a lover of math. I managed to slip through all of those classes, text books, and homework assignments, without learning one of the most important math lessons of all – math is fun!” This app challenges your reasoning, your number sense, your addition and subtraction facts, and your knowledge of coin values, and oh yes, reading, if you so desire.

  iTooch MATH Grade 5, by eduPAD, is a terrific app that covers a lot of ground conept-wise and shouldn’t be limited to just fifth graders. This app combines a no-frills approach to content while still providing the user with an exciting learning experience. The mascot is adorable and keeps kids on task with lots of encouragement and there is a lesson summary available when needed. iTooch MATH now has grades three through five available.

Oh No! Fractions, by di Luna, came recently to our attention, but if a colleague hadn’t said, “It’s tough for kids to grasp fractions”, it may have slipped through the cracks. Luckily, it didn’t and we are here to sing its praises.Oh No! Fractions is as simple as it gets. This gorgeous app lets the user decide whether the given fraction is less or greater than another fraction. After the child has decided and chosen less or greater, it asks ”I’m Sure” and then “Prove It” where a visual representation of the two fractions is shown and manipulated by the child.

TallyTots, by Spinlight Studio, is a simple yet invaluable learning app to teach youngsters number concepts. The intent of the app is to teach your child number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, and how to count to 20 – all while having a delightful time. When the app starts, you are taken to a screen that has all 20 numbers. Your child chooses the number they want and the counting begins. Each number is outlined as it is counted up the number line.

KidgitZ, by TapDream Arts, is the second in a series of mental math challenges for kids of all ages. Addictive, it is! Students were so engaged that they never even heard the bell ring… and the next period was lunch and recess! Several students came looking for me and my iPad to continue playing during extra help. Their responses were all similar, with mentions of how hard it was to stop playing this AWESOME game!

Click on the link to read Maths is a Very Poorly Taught Subject

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The Toy for Children Who Can’t Keep Their Hands off Your iPhone

July 9, 2012

It’s very hard for parents to find time with their iPhones and iPads because children have a habit of getting to them first.

It was only a matter of time before manufacturers invented a toy that will give your children yet another reason to run off with your phone:

Any parent knows that irrespective of what engaging and exciting toys you buy for your children, they will always be more interested in your mobile phone or tablet computer. It’s an inescapable fact of modern day parenting. With this in mind, toy firm Little Tikes has revealed a range of iPhone-friendly toys which can connect with your iOS devices.

The iTikes toys iOS devices toys include a keyboard, map, microscope and an art canvas, all of which can be used as stand-alone toys. But it’s when you add an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running a free iTikes app, that the fun really begins and the toys gain additional (and considerably more high-tech) functionality.

I’m still waiting for the iCanMakeMyBed, iWillShareMyToys and the future bestseller iWillDoMyHomeworkWithoutComplaint.

Parents’ Stress Damaging the Development of Their Children

December 22, 2011

Author David Code goes beyond warning parents about the effect their stress has on the lives of his children. He even blames their stress for “damaging their development and altering their DNA, because of crushing worry and anxiety.”

“Stress is highly contagious,” says David Code, an Episcopal minister and author of Kids Pick Up on Everything: How Parental Stress is Toxic to Kids. “Parental stress can weaken the development of a child’s brain or immune system, increasing the risk of allergies, obesity, or mental disorders.”

So calm down and socialize more. Resolve to start the new year with peace on hearth – it’s not only good for your health but your children’s physical and mental health too.

If you really want to make your kids happier, forgo the Xbox or iPad and invite friends over. The greatest gift you can give your children is your own, healthy relationships with other adults, Code says.

“That Xbox or iPad will placate the kids for a while, but soon they’ll demand even more. Far better to take the kids over to your friend’s house – you and your friend can relax with a drink while both sets of kids entertain each other. That means better social skills for your children, and lower stress levels for you as you ‘scratch that primal itch’ to bond, which reduces your stress,” he adds.

According to Code, research shows children can catch their parents’ stress just like they catch a virus. “Children are like little sponges, soaking up the free-floating stress in today’s anxious households until their developing nervous systems hit overload, at which point they act out, or develop symptoms of mental or physical illness.”

The mind-body connection strongly factors into almost every child’s behaviour –the parent’s mind affects their child’s body “through a kind of emotional pipeline,” Code says. The more stress a kid picks up from the parent, the more ill health – even if the parent is unaware of his or her own anxiety.

Personally I think Code goes over the top with the prognostications of DNA damage but I agree with his main contention. There is no doubt that stress from parents has effects on their offspring.

Code offers the following advice:

Steps to raise healthier kids, according to author David Code:

• Set up a no-screens-after-5 p.m. night: Turn off all screens, big and small and socialize.

• Socialize more with other parents while your kids play together. “If I could wave my magic wand and reduce the stress of today’s parents, I would give them a glass of wine, a friend, and an Italian village square to go socialize in every evening.”

• Bring on the potluck: Once a week dine with friends. “Since you have to make dinner anyway, a weekly potluck doesn’t suck that much time away from your current schedule.”

• Exercise with your spouse. Build muscle and your marriage too. “It’s easier to discuss tough topics and get emotional when you’re side by side on the treadmill or jogging down the street. It’s easier to be emotional in motion.” Even a short evening stroll together is great marital maintenance.

• Take a vacation every three months for a complete change of pace and a healthier family.

• Practice the daily vacation – lunch hour. “Instead of building stress over eight hours, you’ll start over again after lunch and not get so wound up by quitting time.”

• Establish the one-minute instant intimacy builder with your spouse. “When you both get home from work, while changing or preparing dinner, share your highlight and ‘lowlight’ of the day. Try to focus on one moment in time,” he says, adding that sharing one specific lowlight each day builds bonds because we won’t feel so alone in our suffering.

The Benefits of Educational Apps

April 22, 2011

Last week I discussed how technology can be a good thing when the balance is right.  Unfortunately, technology addiction is very common among young children.  The trick is to have firm guidelines for how much time can be dedicated to technology use.  I certainly wouldn’t ban it altogether.

Technology has such a legitimate upside which cannot be dismissed:

Pupils at primary schools who use educational apps on smart-phones and tablets are performing better in their lessons, a new report showed has revealed.

The study reveals that forty per cent of parents who download educational apps say their child’s academic performance has improved as a result.

But the research shows that not only are they helping to raise academic attainment, educational apps are also helping children aged between 5 and 11 every day, inside the classroom. 

The study, commissioned by Encyclopaedia Britannica, shows the vast majority of parents who have downloaded an app claim they have helped their child with school work and projects, while more than half of parents with smart devices actively encourage their child to download apps for exam revision, homework and learning about new topics.

The report also reveals that families with access to mobile devices are fully engaged with educational apps as learning aids, with the average smartphone-owning family downloading more than four since purchasing their device.

The findings comes as two thirds of parents with smart devices are calling for more educational apps to be developed, saying they encourage independent learning and that children prefer to use them compared to other learning aids.

Ian Grant, Managing Director of Encyclopaedia Britannica UK, said: ‘It’s great that families are fully embracing new technologies when it comes to their childrens education and that they’re starting to see tangible benefits to academic attainment, both in and out of the classroom.’

Sue Atkins, Author of Raising Happy Children for Dummies and parenting blogger, said: ‘In a busy, hectic, stress-filled world of trying to get children interested in learning and being curious about the world, we need to engage them in new ways, and what better way than to download smartphone apps.

‘As a parent myself, I welcome this brilliant new way to help my daughter with her revision.’

Research was carried out online by PCP among 510 UK parents of children aged 5 – 11 with access to at least one smart device, in March 2011.

Exposing children to technology is good when properly supervised. Like with everything in Education, and therefore in life – balance is integral.

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