I LOVE to read. I read while traveling, waiting for appointments, while working out on the treadmill, while keeping my son company while he vests… I always carried books with me and for the past year and a half my Kindle has kept me entertained. Earlier this year I discovered an independent/self published author and went in search of more of her books and found a number of them on a website called http://www.textnovel.com/home.php
The site was intended for authors and readers to utilize cell phones and computers to read and write fiction. Textnovel runs contests for fiction writers, allowing them to demonstrate the market potential of their work through its unique serial publication and voting format.
Waiting for an appointment – whip out your cell phone and read a serialized novel for free. While I don’t have a smart phone, I have used the site via my desktop and iPad. Only issue I’ve had is when there are other individuals in the household who want to use the IPad to play games or watch netflicks, so my reading was interrupted and I had to page through book, which fortunately I had bookmarked, to locate where I’d left off.
Enter http://emobo.org/ an app designed to be used to access the textnovels via the iPad or a cell phone, similar to Ibook or the Kindle app. And the best part – the books are free!
My only issue so far is unlike the textnovel site, there isn’t the ability to search on eMobo by author. You either have to search by genre or title. I’ve solved that issue by going checking the author’s page on the textnovel site and noting items to read.
While Textnovel and eMobo aren’t going to replace my Kindle, I view it as being another tool in my reading toolbox.
Photo touch apps airm to help children(2)
From Akron Children’s #techtuesday blog http://inside.akronchildrens.org/2012/05/08/techtuesday-photo-touch-apps-aim-to-help-children-learn-through-sight-sound-and-touch/
The good news is there are speech apps out there that will have your kids chomping at the bit to do their homework. The bad news: Your kids will keep begging to use your iPad after they try these apps.
Language comes so naturally to many of us. But for some kids, communication is a struggle. Parents and speech therapists have to wrestle with these kids to practice their language skills. And lots of repetition is the key to success.
Educational apps can help ease that struggle. In fact, at my house, the homework blues have been replaced with setting limits on homework app time. My youngest, a curious preschooler, also loves these apps, and we only have one iPad to go around.
Akron Children’s speech pathologist Lisa Gonidakis, CCC-SLP, recommends these Photo Touch apps to help your child enhance her speech and language skills. They rely on sight, sound and touch to help children learn and stay engaged. You can adjust the settings to include only the concepts and objects that are appropriate for your child.
Preschool Games – Farm Animals: This easy-to-use app is ideal for children ages 0 to 6. Kids follow the prompt to identify the named object. Every time your child answers three questions in a row correctly, the app jumps to the next level and starts to display one more item per page. This app is free, so it’s a good one to start with to see if you, or even more importantly, your child likes the format.
Sight Words: This Photo Touch app’s “interface is so easy to use that even a 9 month old baby will delight in using this app.” Kids are encouraged to identify sight words from a group of words on the screen. The narrator reads a word and the child has to identify which word he heard. When he gets the answer right, he is rewarded with praise, including phrases like “Sweet!” This app is also free.
Toddler Games Toys: This app helps children ages 0-6 learn words and objects by sight, sound and touch. It’s great for receptive and expressive vocabulary and photo discrimination. As with the other Photo Touch apps, you can also customize it with your own voice and images. This app costs 99 cents.
Kids Learning: This Photo Touch Concepts app offers a fun way to reinforce contrasts. It covers left versus right, large-medium-small, above and below, and different versus alike. Another neat feature is that you can use your own voice to reward your child for the correct answer. This Kids Learning – Photo Touch Concepts app is 99 cents.
While it’s easy to let kids immerse themselves in these apps, Gonidakis encourages parents to play these apps with their children. After all, apps are valuable by what you do with them, not by what they are.
“Discuss the apps and help them to carryover learned skills through play,” Gonidakis said. “Apps related to your child’s speech and language goals should be discussed with your teacher or speech-language pathologist to ensure that settings and tasks are appropriate to address their needs.”
Gonidakis stresses that the iPad/iPod is just a tool in our toolbox of learning and language. It does not replace speech and language therapy and will not provide a “quick fix” to your child’s need
TED the website of great talks (18 minutes or less) has now moved to the classroom and launched:
This has to be an amazing new feature for those children who miss a lot of school.
I only wish all our CF Kids had iPads!
Star Walk for iPad(2)
If you are looking to augment your child’s science curriculum… or simply want to see the stars in the sky and haven’t felt fresh air on your face for days due to the prolonged hospitality of ‘Club Med’, this app is amazing! I purchased it for my teenager, who is very much into science, and then couldn’t put it down myself.
As long as Location Services is active for the app, when it’s turned on you will see a gorgeous view of the sky above your area in real time (or anywhere else, for that matter, if you ask it to); stars, constellations, satellites, planets and the like, in stunning color and quality. There are also daily photos and other interesting features.
A fun companion app for a child who enjoys science and space is another produced by the same company: Solar Walk- 3D Solar System Model.
Counting Bills & Coins(0)
Due to frequent illness of late, Emily has been on homebound instruction much of this school year. In looking for some apps to support what she is currently learning, I came across “Counting Bills & Coins.”
This is a great app with five different activities that are customizable by skill level. Kids can do simple activities with just beginner knowledge of currency, all the way up to more complex word problems making change at a cash register. This is an emerging skill for Emily and I was pleased to find a good application for her to be able to practice with. Her homebound teacher used it for their math lesson and agreed it was a high-quality program that Emily would benefit from using.
I just found this great new app for kids. Xperica’s app is a virtual science lab that allows kids to conduct virtual experiments. Four experiments come with the free app and then there are in-app purchases for additional experiments.
I downloaded this today and my two sons couldn’t put it down. Its educational because it explains the scientific principles behind what they are doing, but it is also fun and interactive. My favorite part is that it doesn’t make a mess in my kitchen!!
This app has great potential for school age students who need hands on opportunities to understand the principles discussed in class, but are stuck at home or in a doctors office.
iBooks Author — make your own iBooks(1)
Apple announced today that it has created a FREE Mac App that allows the user to create iBooks.
You can use a template or you can start from scratch and create multi-touch, interactive books for use on your iPad. The potential for CF education is amazing. Now, pharmaceuticals, CF care teams, and CF parents can create age appropriate educational stories for CF patients to read on the iPad. Even better, once created, the books can be shared within the community.
I’m very excited about the potential here. Now I just have to find someone with a Mac to give it a try. If you have a Mac, you can download the app here….and please let me know what you think.
Apps for Practicing Spelling Words(4)
Apps for Practicing Spelling Words
Most of our second grader’s homework assignments have consisted of spelling and reading. Last year students were given numerous suggestions by their teachers regarding practicing weekly spelling words. Writing out each letter of each word in a different color, creating a pyramid for each word starting with all the letters at the bottom and removing a letter, or coming up with sentences for each word was very time consuming and stressful not only for our child who was just learning how to write, but for us as parents. During the week our evenings consisted of vest/neb treatments, dinner, homework and bedtime. Not really enough time to decompress from the day’s activities of school and work. Try telling a six or seven-year old that school is supposed to be fun when they’re being tortured for hours on end.
We found two apps to help practice spelling words that were fairly easy and helped to make learning fun.
ABC Magnetic Alphabet was the first one.
The goal is to drag letters, numbers and symbols from the bottom of the screen to spell out words. But unlike those magnets most families of small children seem to have on their refrigerators, each magnet can be used more than once. There are also funny figures, which can be used as well.
The other tool we use to practice spelling is Ultimate Hangman.
Our son loves this game because of the animation. There’s the doodle hangman theme in which with each misspelled letter, the figure on the hangman’s noose begins to come alive. And if he solves the word in the eleventh hour, special escape animations occur. There are also themes including a snowman that disappears as wrong letters are chosen and one of flowers with parts that fly away. Our bloodthirsty child prefers the hangman version. There is a free version of this app as well as the full version for 99 cents.
I know many of our CF patients miss lots of school.
I think BrainPop is a great app for those at home or in the hospital.
My grandkids love it. I am helping one of them, the nine year old, develop his own curriculum. He thinks school is “wasting” his time.
I am sure he can pass the 4th grade, the dilemma is in deciding whether to let him “follow his dreams”…which are many, or drilling down to the prescribed curriculum.
My first look is with BrainPop. Ennio is looking into finding the curriculum for 4th grade, so we can make sure it is covered.
I would appreciate any input from all you HomeSchool specialists!
If you are a student (or a professor, like me) check out the wide variety of apps available for viewing textbooks on your ipad and tablet devices.
I teach an online course, so I adopted an online text a little over a year ago as a great interface with the online classroom. About 6 months ago the company I use for the online text created a mobile app and I’m hooked. CourseSmart’s mobile app for textbooks has a great interface. You see the texts exactly as they look in print. You can keep all of your textbooks on your bookshelf in one place. I particiularly like that I can take notes directly on the pages, print anything I want to keep a hard copy of, and the navigation is pretty specific with detailed table of contents. CourseSmart lets student “rent” the text for the period of the semester at a much reduced price from the cost of traditional texts.
I’ve done some searching and there are only a limited number of high school texts available, but I imagine this will grow as demand increases. Every text I use for college courses have been available thus far. I just love the idea of always having access to my textbooks without having to carry a huge pile of books around with me all the time. For a student who is also a CF patient, an app like CourseSmart means you can always have your texts with you. . .even in the hospital or at a doctor’s office.