The iSchool Initiative was formed by Travis Allen in 2009 when he received an iPhone for Christmas. He began to use his iPhone in class as a learning tool and was told by his teachers that it was not an educational device. Travis believed there was tremendous potential in the device as a educational tool and formed a concept around mobile learning.
When your child has a small device like an iPod touch there are some cautions you should take. Now I trust my children but I do not trust the Internet or technology. There are many harmful things that can take away from my child’s innocence. Recently we experienced this with my son. He was up in his room watching You-tube clips from the movie Chronicles of Narnia. While he did nothing wrong there was still the potential for him to see something unintentional that would harm him. I am thrilled that he likes Narnia but I do not want the video to take the place of actually reading the book. On the positive side of things I now know what book to let him to read next.
Here is how you can customize the restrictions in the iPod, iPhone, and iPad settings. If this is the first time you have changed this setting then you enter a 4 digit pass code and then re-enter it for verification. The one confusing thig about the setting is that it on the options page when it says Allow and you select OFF to keep it from being accessible. For instance you would select OFF if you did not want YouTube to show up as an app. So basically you select OFF for anything you don’t want accessible.
If all else fails you can always password protect your Wireless Internet. If you subscribe to Bsecure online filtering then you can use their mobile app for controlled Internet browsing.
I remember one of the first computers I used at school was the Apple IIc. I think the school even purchased it using points from box tops. While you probably can’t get an iPad with box tops, Apples website does say that Homeschool teachers qualify for education pricing. The discounts not much considering anybody can get a refurbished iPad for $429 right now. To some the cost still seems high for a tool that currently can only be used to supplement your current curriculum. Even though the price is high I believe there are still some pretty good reasons to get and iPad for homeschooling. Here are some of the reasons I came up with.
There are a lot of educational apps – a are free or less than $5.00
Apple has a history of working with education
The iPad it the best tablet for the money (or until a good Android tablet comes out)
Homeschoolers are not tied to traditional classrooms.
The iPad is more suited for families than institutions.
You can control content with your own iTunes account
Homeschoolers customize school to each individual child’s learning style.
The iPad makes learning fun
You can do school on the sofa or outside.
Feel free to add any additional reasons in the comments below. Tweet
Story Kit is an App that lets your kids (adults too) write stories. The stories can use text, pictures or recorded sound. My kids love to record their own stories. The stories can also be uploaded to www.childrenslibrary.org from the app. You can’t beat the price!
Another Android tablet aimed at education. Appears to be a 7 inch tablet running android. It claims to have a battery life of 10-12 hours. There is wifi, 800 x 480 screen resolution, and a 800MHz dual core CPU with 2GB of internal memory and Android 2.1. The internet is also limited to reduce distractions. The “administrator” chooses what web pages are alowed and what e-books can be installed. The Tablet was shown at the Florida Educational Technology Conference. You can find information and video of the Kineo tablet here. The tablet has a little kickstand and the kids in the video are using a stylus. (resistive screen not capacitive screen) They are said to be priced at $299. http://www.brainchild.com/Kineo.html