When Tony Blair was re-elected back in 10 Downing Street on 7 June 2001 after a landslide victory for his Labour party, his first speech at the University of Southampton reiterated his top priority, “education, education, education”. In short, his speech highlighted his party’s commitment to investment and reform in Britain’s lagging education sector, which had suffered under the “neglect” of the Conservative Party. His speech, I believe, rekindled the public interest in education — and also became one of his most memorable soundbites. Although I don’t support the Labour Party or their principles, I do credit Mr Blair for awakening the dormant giant that is education — and it shows nowadays.
Almost every major technology company has a page of their corporate website dedicated to education, touting how their products will “change lives” and “enhance basic classroom activities”. Microsoft‘s, for example, demonstrates a variety of its products, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8, whereas Apple opts for a more device-orientated page, touting how its products such as the iPad and Mac allow pupils to “tap into their potential” and have “inspired learners”. OK, so it’s a bit cringeworthy, but you get the point.
And now, there’s a new area to focus on: educational videos. Sure, we’ve all heard of the likes of TED and the Khan Academy — both of which offer excellent material — but now, there’s a new kid on the block that wants to give these two a run for their money. Mobento describes itself as a “video learning platform” which not only has an outstanding database of videos for your viewing enjoyment but it also allows you to search within videos for the actual words spoken. To help me understand a bit more about this amazing product, I spoke to Sumner Murphy, the founder of Mobento — here’s what he (and myself) had to say.
I have been taking Spanish classes for almost a year now, but feel as if I need a helping hand in order to get a firm grasp of the Spanish language as sometimes I find that certain words and phrases just will not stick in my head no matter what I do. Enter Spanish For Dummies, an app version of the popular book that goes by the same name.
Spanish For Dummies can teach you basic Continental Spanish from the comfort of your own home, using text, audio, and even games to make the learning process as fun and pain-free as possible. Hit the jump to read more.
こんにちは！お元気ですか？ At least that’s what you’ll be saying a couple of weeks after using Japanese from MindSnacks – a really fun and easy way to learn basic Japanese on your iPad (the phrase means, “Hello! How are you?”). I’m a real sucker for language learning apps (seeing as I learn German) and any new ones instantly attract my attention. But, most of the offerings out there on the App Store seem to just be either just phrasebooks, offering you the kind of vocabulary that you would only need to get by a tourist, or just flashcard apps where you have to memorise a list of set phrases, without actually understanding the language properly.
Japanese is different, however. It uses a variety of different games and techniques to help you learn a language properly, instead of just repeating it parrot-fashion. MindSnacks, the developers, also offer similar apps for learning either French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or Chinese, but what really interested me about Japanese is precisely how the app teaches you to read the language (i.e. how does the user actually learn the Japanese characters), as the Japanese language is not only extremely difficult to learn for native speakers of English, but the many different writing systems (romanji, katakana, kanji and hiragana).
Let’s dive right in and find out if Japanese by MindSnacks is the best way to learn this fantastic and diverse language on your iPad.
Grockit, which calls itself the social learning company, specializes in collaborative online test preparation for those studying to take the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, SAT, ACT and other university-related exams. But now the company is expanding its vision with Learnist, an app designed to let anyone learn more about, well, pretty much anything. Think of it as the Pinterest for education.
Or for informative multimedia, at the very least, which you can curate on any subject, and also share with others. Click “more” to see what it’s all about. (more…)
It is now summer! You now have a whole lot of free time, right? Free time in which to do something productive. How about learning a language?
Normally learning a language would require college courses and hiring expensive tutors; well since it’s 2012, it’s about time to push into the 21st century with some very innovative language learning iPad apps.
We have assembled 10 of our most amazing apps designed for iPad that will enable you to learn your favored language this summer. So put on your learning cap and pick up your iPad and lets start our international voyage together!
HowStuffWorks was originally established as a website in 1998 by former college professor Marshall Brain. Beginning with a focus on technical topics such as science and engineering, the website eventually expanded and broadened its horizons to encompass other areas such as health, history, and politics, becoming a powerhouse of ‘edutainment’ in the process.
Here the HowStuffWorks team follow up on their popular iPhone app to venture once again into iOS and offer a version optimised for the iPad. Read on after the break to see how well the HowStuffWorks experience translates to Apple’s tablet.
Autumn is beginning to set in and for anyone who’s still pursuing education in any form, now is the time that it begins to drag. In an effort to help all those at high school, and show the rest of us just how intriguing the iPad can be, I have compiled a list of excellent educational apps that will go a long way to enlivening your learning!
If you know anyone who is struggling to get engaged with their school work, or just needs a little boost, make sure they have an iPad (maybe buy them one) and then send them here…
Let’s dive into the depths of human knowledge and understanding!
There has already been considerable debate over the value of embracing emerging technology in education, particularly the use of iPads in schools, but is this debate simply over method or is there something more drastic taking place?
If the use of iPads can significantly improve the engagement of students, and increase their ability to explore subjects and develop in their learning, then are we doing them a disservice by being slow on the uptake?
Is the iPad a frivolous toy that would be misused and a drain on limited school budgets, or is it a bridge between the classroom and the world? One school in Northern Ireland has began a brave move to put an iPad into the hands of every student, is this the start of something…