Tagged: Apps

10 Tablet-Friendly Educational Resources for Homeschooling

Photo courtesy of Honza Soukup via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Honza Soukup via Flickr Creative Commons

 

With the proliferation of technology, the traditional learning landscapes have been transformed into virtual experiences. Today, we’re experiencing the rise of the educational applications, web 2.0 tools, and cloud-based eLearning platforms. Even in the K-12 scene, there are various private vendors that are now offering the lower level MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which used to be for higher education only. In fact, the total number of homeschooled students has reached over 1.5 million in 2013; thanks to the successful usage of iPad and other mobile devices.

Below, we’ll give you the 10 tablet-ready learning apps and educational online resources you can use while homeschooling your kids.

1. Conversation Builder Teen

Most homeschooled students have limited contact with their fellow students, as opposed to those who attends school regularly. With ConversatonBuilder. You can teach them how to engage and confidently converse with other people around. To make it more engaging, the app provides a virtual image and a speech balloon of the person whom they will practice speaking to. With its full audio and text support, tapping the speech balloon will let them hear the natural response to a situational conversation. Your kid can also participate in its preprogrammed, guided conversations that are designed to take place between two to three people. Discovery K-12 As mentioned above, there are private vendors that offer MOOC-type of classes to interested K-12 students; and one of which is Discovery K-12. It is an iPad platform that offers online curriculum in STEM for K-12. It contains over 16,000 lessons, classic literature eBooks, and a weekly spelling program. New assignments are sent daily for your kids to work on. Similar to the traditional school experience, they will be graded and evaluated for progress tracking.

3. Timeline

Featured as one of Verizon’s growing number of Thinkfinity resources, The Timeline App for Android and iOS helps you create a graphical representation of an event by displaying items (texts, images, and website links) sequentially along a line. Read Write Think said that the Timeline entries can be organized by date, time of the day, or an event. For story writing exercises, your kid can maximize the tool when creating plot sequences. It’s also very interactive. You can access it on other devices (using a common user account) to add text annotations when checking their work.

4. Theatre In The Homeschool

Who says that you can’t expose your kids to the performing arts? Theatre in the Homeschool is a web-based learning resource powered by Learnist. It is optimized to work for the mobile web and desktop browsers. Curated by Kimberly Charron of Homeschooling in Nova Scotia, its virtual books will help you mount a drama class in the comfort of your living room. One of its virtual curricula called “Bring Books To Life With Drama,” shows you how to teach them about improvising a role, basic playwriting, costuming and makeup, and puppetry. The instructions presented online require you to be a hands-on parent in this lesson.

5. Hands-On Equations 1 Lite

Elementary Algebra should also be a part of your home school tablet. Designed for kids aged 8 onwards, the application will help you mount a math class with lessons that are right for their age. Edudemic reiterated that it doesn’t even require the user to have a strong background in algebra to learn the concepts presented. Each lesson comes with an introductory three-to-four minute video followed by two examples, and ten exercises. The lite version only comes with three lessons. The succeeding modules are available through in-app purchases.

6. LanguageBuilder for iPad

Teaching your kids how to properly construct sentences is one of the major lessons that you should integrate into your homeschooling curriculum. LanguageBuilder for iPad is all about improving kids sentence ideation, improve their receptive and expressive language inputs, and improve their word formation. Each exercise is fill in the blanks, where they need to complete the thought of a sentence. It offers distinct images as hint. The app also allows students to record the sentences using their own vocals.

7. Free Geography Resources for Kids

This is another e-Learning resource powered by Learnist, which teaches your kids about basic World Geography. All its virtual textbooks are curated from websites such as National Geographic and Knowledge Quest Maps. In here they will learn about the different countries of the world, its inhabitants, ecology, and climate. It also comes with an impressive feature: a printable giant-sized blank map that you can use to administer tests and activities. You can ask them to color and highlight a particular spot on the map or identify geographical borders of a continent.

8. DK The Human Body App

Recommended by Apps For Homeschooling, the DK The Human Body App is an intuitive scientific tool that will enable you to teach your kids about the basics of anatomy. The digital render of the human body is presented in a child-friendly manner and with excellent 3D animations and vector graphics. All the facets of the Scientific Branch are covered by the app: muscular, skeletal, integrated body, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. All of them have separate chapters that contain detailed stories and close examinations of certain functions and structures.

9. The Common Core Standards App

This is a useful resource that collates all the teaching standards approved by the Department of Education. Most teachers in K-12 institutions are designing their lesson plans based on the Common Core Standards. We browsed the “Number and Operations-Fractions” standard for Grade 3. It states that each student at this level should only be limited to fractions with denominators 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8. So, if your child belongs to the said grade levels, you can you use this as a guide. This allows the parent to see how your kid’s lessons are aligned to what is prescribed by the Department of Education.

 

10. This Day in History for iPad

We recommend the This Day in History, with its a rich and interactive multimedia calendar that displays significant historical event/s for a given date. The data presented on its calendar interface are a combination of illustrations, photos, and audio speeches. All of its data are synced over the internet. Another interesting feature of the app is the ability to learn other nation’s National Anthem. But, to access them, you need to search for the day they became a nation and manually scroll through the app.

 

These are just some of the curated educational iPad learning resources that you can use when homeschooling your child. For more suggestions, subscribe to our blog.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Birch is proud to be of help with the homeschooling of her niece. She believes that today’s technology makes homeschooling a more viable option for learning, especially with devices’ abilities to pick up information and files. For more insights, message her on Google +.

 

Reading raven app review

As a firm believer in phonics for reading I am always looking for good phonics Apps.  The Reading Raven HD iPad app is one of the few apps that start with a phonics based approach to reading.  20140314-221822.jpg

Reading Raven Features

  • Step-by-step curriculum lets kids learn at their own pace.
  • Multi-sensory reading games that children find engaging.
  • Based on proven phonics-based approach.
  • Customizable for children ages 3 to 7.

Reasons why I recommend the Reading Raven App

What I appreciate most about the app is that in the beginning lessons, Reading Raven introduces very few sight words.   I also like  that Reading Raven has an emphasis on the letter sounds not the letter names.  In the early lessons most of the games are based on sounds.  Sounds are introduced a few at a time.

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You can configure different users and different levels for each user.

Ages 3 and Up
– Letter matching
– Letter tracing
– Letter recognition
– Word matching

Ages 4 and Up
– Vocabulary
– Word beginnings
– Word building (spelling)
– Word spotting

Ages 5 and Up
– Reading aloud using voice recording
– Word tracing
– Word groups (rhyming and beginning sounds)

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Be sure to check out Reading Raven.

Teachers list 20 iPad apps for education teachers

There are a number of schools that have started using the iPad.  Have you ever wondered what apps they use?  The video below shows some of the apps educators are using.

20 Apps in 20 Minutes Ipad Edition from TJ Houston on Vimeo.

In this webinar @tjhouston and @llacrosse will overview 20 apps in 20 minutes. These are the apps that were used in the classroom and found to be effective supplements to the curriculum. They were used with 5th grade science students while working with ipads for an entire school year.

While there is no perfect list of apps that will be guaranteed to work with all students in all classrooms, this list may be a good starting point for seeing the variety of apps available for the classroom. The types of apps available to teachers and students range from basic consumption of information apps to creation apps that allow teachers to provide a platform for students to showcase growth and learning. Each teacher and group of students will benefit from working to individualize their class with app usage. The best apps are those that work for YOUR content, YOUR class structure, and YOUR needs.

How to use Keynote on the iPad for flashcards

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Keynote on the iPad

I was trying to help my son learn his multiplication facts and I was thinking about how I could make customized flashcards. I know there are a number of flashcard apps but I thought why not use the Keynote App already on my iPad. I took a few screen shots to show how I did it.

Setup the first slide

I started out using the dark slide template but it was too dark.  I then changed to the chalkboard template. Unfortunately the font didn’t look very good so I had to customize the font.  You can play around with some of the other built in templates and find one that works the best for your application.

Format the text

To change the appearance of the text, first select the text and then press the round i at the top of the screen.

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The options box comes up and there are several different formats.  Unfortunately you must scroll to the bottom of the options box to to edit the font.

Once you select “text options” at the bottom of the format box, you can change the font.  I increased the size to 200 pt font which seemed to look the best.

I also had to change the font from the chalkboard writing to something normal.

Copy and pasting slides

Once you have the basic format then I recommend copying the slides and then editing the text for the other math facts. To copy the slide select the slide you want to copy on the left hand side.  When the slide is selected an option will come up to copy the slide or paste it.  Select copy and then paste below.  If you select a slide and select paste then the slide will be pasted in after the slide that is selected.

Once I had all the multiplication facts I needed I decided I would copy slides at random so they would not be in order.

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Add animation

After I was finished I thought it might be nice to have the answer appear. To do this I inserted a text box with the answer. I then had to increase the font. To add an animation to the answer, you first select the text and then touch the diamond at the top. This allows you to choose different transitions. Select “Appear” or another transition and now the answer will appear when you swipe to the next slide.

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Homeschool iPad apps Part 2: Pages

Apple Pages for Homeschooling

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I was hesitant to purchase Pages for the iPad since I wasn’t sure it was worth it. I wanted an App to create documents. I also wanted to be able to make lines for copywork pages. In the end I bought Pages because I needed something to take notes at a conference I was going to the next day. I didn’t have time to search for different apps and I knew pages was rated well. Needless to say the it was worth it when I used it to take notes standing up during the standing room only first session I attended. Pages worked great for taking notes once I figured out how to outline.

Apple Pages is actually a pretty powerful document editor that can replace MS Word for most documents Homeschoolers may need to create. Ever since I had replaced my desktop computer a few years ago I have been without MS Office. One of the reasons I purchased the iPad was as an additional computer. Now for $10 I have a document creator App without buying Office. There may be some limitations to Pages but I believe for home applications Pages should be enough.

See how to make a copywork lined worksheet on the iPad with Pages here .