Apps like Brainfeed frustrate me somewhat. It’s a great looking app, but it has some content issues. The idea behind Brainfeed is that it serves up educational videos in a variety of topics, some of which are free to view, but most of the videos require an in-app purchase in a variety of tiers, the cheapest being $15 for a yearly subscription. However, (you can probably guess where this is going) a 20 second check of YouTube revealed that the videos were easily available here. Fair enough, I thought, the free videos on Brainfeed are available on YouTube. What would be interesting though is are any of the paid videos available? The short answer is yes. The app doesn’t give you the titles for the locked videos, only screenshots, but it is easy to find the locked videos on YouTube with a quick search of videos from the video creator’s channels. To give an example, one of the locked videos was by ‘Stuff of Genius’. I dialed up their YouTube channel and the locked video was there to watch for free. [click to continue reading…]
When teaching, one of the great practical ways to inspire discussion, debate and higher order thinking skills is by categorisation/card sort exercises, ideally where a student can decide to put things in a certain order, and change their mind by moving their idea about depending on the discussion. Back in the ‘good old days’ (pre-iPad), I would spend ages making a card sort exercise – writing it out in Word, printing it, maybe laminating it (or if I was feeling lazy not bothering), cutting out all the cards and placing them in envelopes with paper clips on so they didn’t get lost. I’d then repeat this for however many sets I needed for the class. I’d feel my life force drain away in front of my eyes as I repeated this tortuous process for each of my classes, with the realisation that I still had a ton of stuff to mark and plan, but knowing that it would generate a good lesson of discussion, argument and discovery. [click to continue reading…]
Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day. To mark the occasion, a large number of excellent iPad and iOS apps are on sale at deep discounts or even available for free.
The iAutism site has a great list of the apps that are on sale or free – with good details on each of them:
This post presents a list of these apps for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch divided by categories. Those categories are only indicative, and some apps could be included in more than one category. There are apps specifically designed for people with autism and other which are aimed to help people with special needs in general, and other that are totally generic.
Many of these apps are normally priced at very premium rates, so the discounts available are in turn quite substantial as well.
I’ve written on many occasions here about how much positive impact iPad apps have had with autistic and special needs learners – and have also hear first-hand from teachers about how valuable iPad apps have proved in this area.
Check out the iAutism site to see the full list of apps that are free or on sale to mark World Autism Awareness Day.
This week I reviewed five educational apps that help children explore language, culture, friendship, numbers, and much more. The apps originate from many places around the world, including England, Croatia and Jamaica. Yet each app engages children in its own unique way.
1. Aiden and the Apple Tree, A Jamaican story from author Johnathon A. Kelly, creator of The JuiceMan
Set in the Jamaican town of Little Patch, the story begins as a young boy named James is caught trying to steal a mango from the town’s JuiceMan. Instead of getting angry at James, the JuiceMan retells the story of Aiden, a boy from the village of Chewmagna, who tried to steal from an apple tree that belongs to his teacher, Mrs. Applebee. James learns that honesty and hard work are rewarded, but sneakiness and stealing lead to trouble.
The story of Aiden and the Apple Tree is a bit more complex than most storybook apps which makes it appropriate for children who are independent readers or prefer longer, more complex reading. However, the narration option makes it easy for younger children to enjoy the story as well.
The app includes a fifteen question reading comprehension quiz for the older children and coloring pages for children of all ages.
Note: iTunes lists Michelle Anaya as the seller for this app. I verified that the actual creator is Johnathon A. Kelly and holds the copyright for this app.Aiden and the Apple Tree is available on iTunes for $1.99. Ages 4 to 10.
Every so often there’s a revolution in education. The iPad and the boundless possibilities it brings with it are one of those revolutions.
Whether you’re an iPad aficionado or simply a recreational user, the iPad has the power to make your life easier. Regardless of age or specialization, these are the apps every student should have.