Apple’s iOS based devices — iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch — are gaining popularity in India thanks to the wide variety of applications the company offers on its app store. Besides the number of productivity and utility apps there are several educational apps available in the Apple App Store that could aid in educating young people around us.
Multi-touch devices such as iPad, iPhone and iPod can be used as good educational tools for toddlers and even for pre-teens for that little extra fun while finishing homework quickly.
This is a perfect app to get your toddler hooked to your iOS device for learning about letters, numbers, pronunciation, shapes, colours and counting. These are the very basic and fundamental things taught to kids as soon as they step into kindergarten. Topics can be chosen by parents and they can review performance for each topic to see where the toddler needs inspiration to improve.
This iOS app works on a reward based system and offers six different reward scenes — playground, farm, beach, city, pirate cove and underwater reef. For every correct answer, a sticker is rewarded which needs to be placed appropriately in the different reward scenes. Reward based teaching certainly helps in boosting the morale of toddlers and keeps them engaged.
Alternatively, parents can use a coin based reward system where five correct answers earn the toddler five coins. Parents can record their toddler’s performance and accordingly work on the areas they are weak in for improving their overall performance.
TeachMe series also offers two other apps targeting different age groups — TeachMe: Kindergarten and TeachMe: 1st Grade.
All work and no play could make anyone dull. Kids need to play and learn at the same time as they are easily distracted. That’s where A Piano for Kids could help. It promises to teach alphabets and numbers using music. Because it has colourful keys kids also love playing around and tapping the different keys to compose their own symphony.
The app carries more than 140 individual sounds. Its multi-touch interface may add to the amusement when kids aimlessly tap on the screen creating random sounds. However, parents can help their children understand as well as associate the letters with colours as well as sounds.
Drawing Pad is the perfect eco-friendly replacement for kids and teens who love to draw. Users can create sketches and pictures using their fingers with different colour crayons, paint brushes, colour pencils, stickers, and more options.
The blender tool can be used to give a more artistic touch to drawings. Children can paste Photo Stickers in the background to draw on top of them. And parents need not worry about kids getting their hands or clothes dirty.
Drawings can be shared over Facebook, Twitter or via email. The app offers five illustrated books that are available through in-app purchase.
Here, Sketchbook Pro developed by AutoDesk certainly deserves a mention for iPad and iPad 2 users who need precision as well as an artistic touch to their artwork. Adored by professional artists as well as occasional painters, Sketchbook Pro is a must have app for those who love art, painting and sketching.
SkyView — Explore the Universe
Little do kids and teens know that the night sky has several cool stories, factoids and interesting things in it, waiting to be discovered. SkyView’s augmented reality based application is a classic example of technology put to good use. By simply pointing the camera at the sky anyone can learn about the several mysteries of outer space and learn cool things with the help of amazing 3D graphics.
Simply take your iPhone or iPad 2 and point the camera to the sky. The app makes use of your location using GPS satellites along with gyroscopic rotation and clubs it with 3D graphics to give you a complete augmented reality view.
You could select the sun or the moon to learn the sky path of either of them during a 24-hour period. Besides that, the app also offers trivia on NASA’s final space shuttle missions, compass and horizon display.
Little did we think that learning about those secrets in the sky would be so much fun. There is a free as well as a paid version of the app to suit your requirements. This app is meant for kids as well as those who aspire to be astronomy buffs someday. If you are hardcore into astronomy and would not mind spending quite a lot, then SkySafari 3 Pro is the app but it is costly at $30 (Rs 1,350 approx.).
Wolfram Algebra Course Assistant
Most math geeks might have heard of the Wolfram Alpha search engine. This is the perfect application if you want to ace your algebra tests.
Created by Wolfram Research, the Wolfram Algebra Course Assistant app features the Wolfram Alpha computational engine and one can connect to supercomputers via 2G, 3G or WiFi to draw their computational power for complex algebra problems.
The app covers Algebra I, Algebra II and college level algebra which includes topics like simplifying fractions, square roots, expanding polynomials, dividing expressions and so on.
Wolfram Research also offers other interesting apps which cover astronomy, calculus, fractals, general chemistry, personal finance, physics, statistics, and so on.
These apps are priced at between $1 to $10.
Good apps and perfect use of devices can certainly help kids enhance their knowledge as well as develop skills of something they are really good at. Also, it is quite a learning experience for parents to pass on the love for technology to young ones.
Apple offers educational discounts only on the MacBook Pro family. It would be great if any special scheme were applicable for iPod touch or iPad.