Archive: Early EdTech

Twisted Logic: Brain Boosting Apps for Kids

 kids ipad apps

 
New app producer Twisted Logic produces one-of-a-kind gaming apps for kids of all ages. The small company is family-run and clearly a passion project, based on the business smart and tech savvy  husband and wife team. Together, they create fun, interactive apps that cater to learning as much as they inspire a good time.
 

twisted logic kids app creators

 
So far, Twisted Logic has released three apps, all compatible with iOS and Android products. Their released gaming apps include:
 

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  • Monkey MatchMonkey Match is a matching and memorization game with lively illustrations. It helps kids learn by matching shapes, colors, sounds and more. Plus, every level is goal-oriented. It establishes a goal at the beginning of the level and rewards the player after the goal is obtained, all in all making for an engaging game. [itunes download] [android download]

 

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  • Monkey Spot the DifferenceMonkey Spot the Difference helps little ones hone in on their observation and concentration skills. They look at two images and must compare and pick the differences out of each one.  It’s a great game to play with the whole family.  [itunes download] [android download]

 

tic tac toe app for kids

 

  • TicTacToe MonkeysTicTacToe Monkeys gives the classic game a fun twist. Players must choose their winning monkey and then duke it out on the Tic Tac Toe board. This game of strategy definitely puts a cute twist on the classic we all grew up playing.  It’s a game for all ages.  [itunes download] [android download]

 

 ipad apps for kids

 
In addition to creating fun and educational games, Twisted Logic wants you to feel good about letting your child on their apps.  So far the company sticks to an internet safety code for their kids apps that leaves us wanting more from our other kids apps.  When downloading you can be sure there are:

 

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  • NO In-App Purchases
  • NO Third-Party Ads
  • NO tracking or collection of user data
  • NO requests for personal information
  • NO links to the web or social networks without entering a Parent Gate

 

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The creative geniuses behind Twisted Logic make up quite a team. The Head Creator is a creative tech guru who tapped his passion for animation and design and turned it into colorful, creative gaming apps. The Chief Strategist heads the business end of the company, making business-savvy decisions and making sure the company and its workers stay on track. The best part? This family-run business knows exactly what kids want because their daughter Mackensie is the “Senior App Tester” for the company. Her bio reads, “From about the age of 10 months Mackensie has been learning the ins and outs of Apple devices. Currently having her own iPad and two iphones (handed down from Dad) isn’t good enough and she’s always after Dad’s newer devices. Now at the age of  2 years old, finding her way around mobile devices is a breeze. She can even teach her Mum a thing or two…”

 

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Twisted Logic brings creative, colorful apps to the market, developed in a family environment and tested by their own daughter and family friends. This team knows what kids and parents want in an app!  Download these apps today!

NEW: Magical, Musical Children’s Book App

play piano on ipad - piano app

You know those interactive books that play sounds or maybe have something fuzzy to touch incorporated in them? Well, the apps that Box of Frogs Media creates takes those to the next level. They create downloadable books for children that allow kids to touch and interact with stories as they read. Pictures move, sounds play and children have the option to read the book themselves or have a narrator read the stories to them. As of now, the apps are available on iOS products, so owners of iPhone, iPads and iPod touches are welcome to download and share Box of Frogs Media’s stories with their children.

 

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Little Lost Note

This book refers to a musical note, not the kind that you scribble on a piece of paper. The story focuses on a note who gets lost and needs to find her way back home. She hops from instrument to instrument searching for her home, not only teaching children about musical instruments, but also allowing them to actually play to each one that the little lost note tries out. If children read it as a bedtime story, they can tap the Zzzz on the screen to activate a quieter, night light reading mode. Reviewers rave about this children’s interactive bookapp, and it’s easy to see why.
Download it here.

the little lost note childrens ebook musical instrument app

 

COMING SOON: Birgitte Berteldatter

This digital book, soon to be released, focuses on explorer and adventurer Birgitte Berteldatter, who has seen wild animals all over the world. As Box of Frogs Media summarizes, “Slightly confused that these beasts only seem to appear to Birgitte, she makes notes and sketches of all the fantastic creatures she finds on her adventures, where the Rolling Beagle knows no fear, the Urban Flox will nibble your socks, and a trick to befriending the beautiful but rather pompous Royal Crested Tiger is to give him pink sherbet.” The digital book will feature hand-drawn pictures, hidden animations that can be discovered through swiping and tapping the screen, original music and, just like Little Lost Note, the option to read the book or have it read to you. As a bonus, children will even get the opportunity to draw their own animals and wild creatures, just like Birgitte Berteldatter.

We’re expecting lot more from this company in the future…keep track of what they’re doing here.

Bridging the communication gap between parents and care providers

Child care providers can now connect more easily with parents, keeping them up-to-date on their children’s day-to-day care with Daily Connect. And, because we think this app could be the next tool in every child care provider’s tool belt, we want to offer it to you for {SPECIAL DISCOUNT}

 

The mobile and web app gives care providers the opportunity to record everything from naps, milestones and diapers to mood, location and temperature. You can even photograph and record the type of games each child is playing.

 

Daily Connect eases the mind of worried parents, and helps bridge the communication gap between child care provider and parent. Instead of calling to check in, parents can simply view the app, leaving the care provider free to care for the children. This is also a great tool for tracking data over time and helping ease the transition between caregivers during shift switches. Because it’s quick and easy to enter information on Daily Connect, the data will be more accurate than it would be on a traditional, hand-written information daily sheet.

 

The handy app even has extra features that cater to those managing large child care centers on its web app. Attendance reports and classroom and teacher management help directors of child care centers make sure everyone is where they need to be. Even customize the app with your own company’s branding. Those interested in managing large groups through a Professional Membership get to try their first month for free.

 

If the idea of getting started in a little daunting and you don’t want to sacrifice the data you’ve already gathered, don’t worry. Daily Connect is happy to help. Simply forward Daily Connect the documents with your children’s information and they’ll upload it into the system, so you’ll be ready to get started in no time.

 

For iPhones, download the app {instructions and code}

If you’d like it on your iPad, download Daily Connect {instructions and code}

It’s also available for Android phones, as well as on your regular, every-day browser.

 

The best part? Daily Connect believes in providing the best customer service possible. That means that if you hit any bumps in the road, feel free to reach out, and they’ll give you a hand. In fact, they’re so eager to help that they’ll respond to any and all customer support emails the same day you send them.

 

Register today!

How Parents Can Use CHALK Preschool

Whether your child is already enrolled in a separate preschool program, starting next year or learning at home until they begin kindergarten, the CHALK Preschool online curriculum can help children expand and enhance their early education for free. All you need is your computer, smartphone or tablet to enroll and get started.

 

The CHALK Curriculum

CHALK Preschool focuses on preparing preschoolers for kindergarten. Lessons revolve around learning numbers, letters, shapes, sizes, colors, pattern recognition, weather, days of the week and more. The best part? There’s constantly new, challenging material for your little one. With a new lesson list every day, your child can expand his or her knowledge by exploring new games, songs and activities.

 

The CHALK Learning Approach

Despite being an online program, CHALK Preschool is about much more than sitting in front of a screen, clicking a computer mouse. The curriculum is centered on hands-on learning, involving both indoor and outdoor play and discovery. From art projects to song and dance, CHALK gets little ones up and moving, learning through exploration, the way that they learn best.

 

Here’s how to use CHALK Preschool to enhance your child’s learning:

 

1. Enroll

To get started, all you need to do is enter your email information and your child’s name and birthday on CHALK’s website.

2. Select a lesson to focus on.

Choose a topic on the left hand side of the screen. You can opt for dailies, which changes every day, weather, literacy, math and science or art. Each comes with videos, games or activities. Some even feature all three.

3. Print off printables.

Next, check out the printables available on the left side of the screen, under the lesson options. Here you’ll find coloring sheets, graphs and more that your child can draw or write on.

4. Free play!

If your little one still wants to learn and you’ve already covered his or her daily lesson plan, click on the free play link on the top right of the screen. Here, you and your little one can watch videos and learn fun, educational songs to sing along with.

5. Stop by the Parent Portal.

This section of the website, located on the top right of the screen, is completely dedicated to parents like you. Here, you can learn more about the CHALK Preschool program and leave helpful feedback for the staff. You can also head to the advice corner to find helpful tips on everything from teaching about manners to helping smooth out the bedtime routine.

Online Safety for Kids: Resources to Keep Your Children Safe Online

 

Kids are hitting cyber space at younger ages than ever before. Of the children under five who do use the World Wide Web, 80 percent of them log on at least once each week. With everything from inappropriate content to online bullying scattering the web, the Internet has become a risky place for little ones. That’s why it’s more important than ever to monitor what kids are searching, where they’re clicking and make sure they know how to keep themselves safe online.

To kick off National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we want to introduce our friends at Savvy Cyber Kids. This wonderful non-profit works to teach children how to be safe online before they sit down in front of the screen.

 

 

 

Savvy Cyber Kids produces books and lesson plans for teaching online safety for kids. Their curriculum covers a wide range of online risks; from cyber bullying to privacy to online ethics.

 

Online downloads for teachers include both lesson plans and activity sheets, such as “Create Two Trusted Adults” and “Coloring Cyber Princess.” Books focus on a family buying their first computer, strangers online, privacy and defeating a bully, at school, at the playground, and online.

 

 

The internet is a wonderful learning tool for kids…just don’t forget to teach your children to stop and think before they connect!

 

Join Savvy Cyber Kids in helping kids stay save online here: Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

-National Cyber Security Month: http://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month

-Savvy Cyber Kids: http://savvycyberkids.org/

-“How are online issues affecting children?” National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: http://www.netsmartz.org/safety/statistics

-“Statistics on Online Safety” NSPCC: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/resourcesforprofessionals/onlinesafety/statistics-online-safety_wda93975.html

-Photo courtesy of Clare Bloomfield/freedigital photos.net

Kids Apps: Ads, Upsells, and Privacy


 
With more than 700,000 apps in Apple’s app store, it can be hard to decide which apps are suitable for your child to use. Here are some aspects to consider before allowing children and teens to download new apps.
 
Educational value
Some games are educational, but most apps aren’t designed to teach new skills. It’s important to make a decision about how educational you want your child’s experience to be before handing over the phone.
 
In-app Advertisements
Most free apps make money through advertisements, but services such as AdMob and iAd don’t offer creators any control over the ads displayed. Because ad content isn’t chosen by the developers, unrelated (and even adult) content can show up in apps aimed at a younger audience. For younger children, the best option is to avoid ad-supported apps entirely by upgrading to a paid version or simply using a different app.
 
Paid Content
Speaking of upgrades, what about apps that constantly alert kids and ask them to buy paid content? SpongeBob Diner Dash was removed from the Apple App Store earlier this week after complaints from parents about the game’s promotional notifications. Thankfully, app descriptions are typically up-front about what paid upgrades are available.
 
Privacy
Major newspapers around the country have reported on privacy holes in popular mobile apps. Earlier this month, the FTC called the lack of transparency from app creators “disappointing”. According to the FTC, mobile apps intended for children have been found to track phone numbers, contact list, call logs, and even track the location of the device.
 
For those of us with older children, mobile privacy remains an issue, and the solution isn’t always clear. Even games that don’t require the user’s physical location, such as Angry Birds, frequently track them for marketing reasons. The Wall Street Journal published a report on some of the most popular apps, and found that even simple dictionary apps can transmit location to third parties.
 
Solutions
Apple’s built-in restrictions offer only the most basic options, and require that you remember a password to make changes. If you forget this password, the device must be wiped and everything set up from scratch. AppCertain offers a better solution. AppCertain created a free service that helps parents monitor which apps get installed on a family’s iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. It takes seconds to create an account and install the security profile on the devices you want to monitor. After following these simple steps, AppCertain will send you an email within 24 hours every time a new app is downloaded. This email will have descriptions of the apps being installed, plus extra information like:
Educational content
Whether the app tracks location
Does the app display advertisements?
How much the app costs
 
AppCertain is working on innovative ways for you to manage your family’s mobile devices. Simple instructions on signing up for free app monitoring service are available here.
 
Griffin Boyce of AppCertain is an expert on privacy and anonymity, and has been interviewed by The Washington Post and CNET on these topics. He is also an app developer.

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