Lego is finally coming out with a tablet and Smartphone compatible Lego Mindstorm set. The Lego Mindstorm EV3 was announced at the 2013 CES show.
It is not quite clear how the new EV3 Mindstorm will work with Tablets and Smartphones but a new processor is the key. According to Lego:
“the EV3 Intelligent Brick now un‐tethers robots from the computer by providing users expanded on‐brick programming and tighter integration with smart devices.”
The new Intelligent Brick uses an ARM processor and Linux OS base that allows on board programming. My guess is that apps can be created to interact and program the smart brick. Right now it appears that the only app that Lego will release will be a remote.
The new EV3 intelligent brick does allows connection via bluetooth and wifi. This should make things easier.
Unfortunately the new Mindstorm set will not be available until the summer of 2013. The Lego education website lists the availability as the fall of 2013. The education set also appears to be $10 cheaper at $340 but it does not include software. Hopefully software will come with the non educational set and hopefully in the future you will not need a PC.
What do you think? Will you wait until the fall to pick up the new Lego Mindstorm set?
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!
Gizmodo had has an articleabout iPads for Classrooms. iPads may not be ready for the “classroom” but they are definitely a tool for learning. While the iPad might not be ideal for a “classroom” setting it does have excellent potential for learning. What is important to note is that children are always learning. With education you must remember that the end product is education, not an output of the tablet itself. Children now are learning more from electronics than ever before. I would much rather have my child use a tablet then a Game Boy or other gaming device for his electronic content.
For those of you familiar with the Bob books you will be familiar with this App. The App is not a books but it is a game. The game has 12 pages from the Bob books. You have to spell some of the words on the page. There are four levels of dificulty for each page.
If you are using the latest iOS you can easily organize your apps for education. For Christmas two of my children got old iPhones (3G with iOS 4) from their too kind Uncle. Now I am trying to use iPhones for my kids education. To do this I decided to organize all the education apps based on the following categories:
Tracing (letters & numbers)
There could be other categories but this is what I am trying right now. Now I can tell my kids they can use any “math” app for 20 minutes. For my younger daughter , I simplified the list to this:
These can be changed anytime. They could also be structured based on age or grade level. I will add more updates in the future on using iOS for education in the home.
For my younger kids I changed the letter and number category to…
ABC and 123
This is easy for them to understand and it is also more distinct when looking at the folders.
To search for Apps on a computer without iTunes you can use the follwoing link: