I usually write about book in this space much more than iDevice/smartphone apps, because books are easily available at the library or bookstores, while talking about apps naturally excludes a certain number of people. But once in a while, when we've discovered another example of how technology can bolster, not compete with, our education, I just have to rave.
Presidents vs. Aliens Another winner from the brilliant Dan Russell-Pinson, who must be a kid himself, because he's proven time and again that he understands exactly how kids think. We loved Stack the States. Then Rocket Math. Then Stack the Countries, which is one of the few games that I myself play. Presidents vs. Aliens is his latest offering, and I'll be a bo diddly if my kids, particularly the eldest, isn't learning, cheerfully and voluntarily, which president was in office when the Vietnam War ended or who succeeded Benjamin Harrison. Genius, I tell you.
BrainPop. This app is brought to you by the folks at BrainPop.com, which is loaded with fun content and offers a free trial, but then comes by subscription only -- and at over $100 per year, it's not exactly cheap. But the BrainPop app, which features a Movie-of-the-Day and an accompanying daily quiz, is FREE. This past week we've been watching the 5-minute video together every morning and taking the quiz. In the process, we've learned about Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall, bullying, Pop Art, sharks, thunderstorms, angles,and Yo Yo Ma. We've also learned, from the quizzes, how a fact differs from an opinion and what the word "infer" means. Good stuff.
Just two more reasons to justify having an iPad for educational purposes. Now, if we could just convince the IRS to let us deduct the expense ...