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In “The Fundamentals of Swift ” users are taught concepts such as commands, functions, loops, and so much more. As your character, Byte, progresses through the world, more difficult concepts will need to be learnt to overcome certain tasks. Once a foundation is built, you can move on to more complex modules and even code for toys like the Lego Mindstorms or Parrot drones.Duolingo
Duolingo is a fantastic app for picking up a new language, available on Android, iOS, and the browser. The app is broken into small pieces of learning material, meant to take up just about fifteen minutes of your day for each session. With this, a variety of mini games allows you to more easily learn and maintain the material.
As you progress through the material, previously learnt material is interweaved into the lessons. Stay motivated through a streak count which is logged when you spend time each day. In addition, missing too many questions and “losing” hearts will require restarting the lesson. This prevents you from breezing through the information without retaining all of it. All in all, Duolingo is more personable and a lot better than learning in grade school.Edmodo
One shortcoming, though, is that if the teacher does not support or use the app in their classroom, the students will not be able to either. Recently, forms of cheating within the app (such as pressing and holding on a word and tapping to view a definition) have led faculty to try to implement apps like Canvas into the classroom instead. Even if that is the case, there is room for Edmodo as a superior educational communications and collaboration app.Photomath
While this is great and all, many students have found themselves to be using the app as a crutch to complete homework – without actually learning the material. In doing so, come exam time, it’s likely they will fail. It is just important to use Photomath as a resourceful learning tool, and nothing more.Quizlet Flashcards
Rarely ever is there an app that encapsulates the need for a simple, easy-to-use flashcard app that just works – and yet, Quizlet Flashcards manages to do it. Create your own decks or use decks sourced from the Internet. You can use your voice to create desks and then memorize the material through mini games within the app. It is available for free on both Android and iOS. The full Quizlet experience is available online.Conclusion
I’m a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.
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Price: Free / Varies
Formula One is one of the most popular racing leagues on the planet. Thankfully, the organization takes mobile at least somewhat seriously. You get a few different racing apps from Formula One. That includes a general live streaming and news app. The live streaming requires a subscription, but the news part is free. There is also a live timing app for those who want the hardcore stats and metrics. All of the apps work pretty well and subscriptions are available in many regions around the world. The prices vary by region, so you’ll have to check and see what the app charges for you. The F1 TV app even added Android TV support in late 2023.Freader
Price: Free / $5.50
Freader1 is one of the few really good racing news apps. It covers Formula One news mostly. You can view things like race results, upcoming races, racers, and other types of car news. There are also video highlights and news stories as well. It rounds out the experience with race reminders, a calendar with the full schedule on it, and a light and dark mode for easier day time and night time reading. The UI could be a little cleaner and more modern, but that’s really our only complaint and it’s not a very big one. This is arguably the best news app for Formula One racing fans.NASCAR Mobile
NASCAR Mobile is the official app of NASCAR. NASCAR and Formula One have a bit of a rivalry, but NASCAR is extremely popular in its own right. The official app has the kinds of things you would expect. That includes news, video highlights, a racing schedule, leaderboards, stats, and other such things. It’s a good first step for fans of the sport. However, it doesn’t offer much in the way of video streaming. Most races are broadcast on Fox, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports. We recommend a good live TV app like Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, or something similar to actually watch NASCAR. We have our list of the best live TV apps listed just below the first paragraph of the article!Individual racing league apps and sites
Price: Free (usually)
There are a bunch of individual, independent, and smaller racing organizations. There are really only three ways to follow those smaller organizations. That includes social media, the official websites, and (when available), official apps. It’s hit-or-miss for basically all of them. We found an official app for USAC Racing, but not one for the NHRA. However, everything has an official site and also an official social media presence. We recommend booting up your favorite browser or social app and finding them there.
Joe Hindy / Android AuthorityMost sports news apps
Price: Free (usually)
Most sports news apps cover racing to some extent. They usually only cover the big dogs like NASCAR and Formula One. However, considering that those are the most popular racing leagues, it’s not a super huge deal. Some ideas for you include theScore, ESPN, and Yahoo Sports. There are plenty of others. This is also a good option for those who enjoy other sports aside from racing. Most apps work well enough, although they may not have all of the in-depth news of an official source. We have our list of the best sports news apps linked at the button above if you want to see our list of those.
What better way to spend a sunny afternoon or a crisp winter evening than by strapping on your Nikes, threading your headphones under your t-shirt up to your ears, and going for a nice long run? It’s a fine feeling, and it’s made even better in the company of a good smartphone running app, which can help you track your runs, listen to music, and shower you with motivational words to get you going that extra mile.
But which one to pick? We’ve made your life easier by listing our favorite running apps right here for you.Zombies, Run!
Availability: iOS, Android
Not all the apps in this list will be as silly as this one, I promise, but if you’re a gamer like me, and want to have some kind of narrative justification for your runs, then you need to check this one out. Zombies, Run! is an experience that immerses you in an audio-story set in a zombie-ridden post-apocalypse. Your jogs become life-and-death escapes from zombies, where you try to out-run the ravenous horde while picking up “items” like medication and fuel to help you survive. The Walking Dead? More like the Running Dead! Am I right?Run with Map My Run
Availability: iOS, Android
They could’ve just called it “Map My Run”, couldn’t they? Whatever the title, this app is a good one, uniting the running community by allowing people to upload their favorite running routes and share them with fellow joggers. Better still, you can compare your times on runs with other joggers, pushing you to make it onto the leaderboards among friends and other users around the world. Naturally, it syncs with Android Wear, Apple Watch, and other fitness trackers to give you accurate feedback on your progress.Nike+ Run Club
Availability: iOS, Android
Call us corporate groupies, but whenever Nike releases a fitness-related item, it never fails to impress. Like a great interactive journal of everything running-related, this app stores your running data, tracks your progress, and offers coaching plans based on your running level. Like Map My Run, it also has an element of friendly competition, letting you compare runs with friends and frienemies alike. As with most things Nike-related, it has its share of sports celebrities making appearances in motivational videos including Mo Farah, Allyson Fenix, and comedian Kevin Hart. (In fairness, the guy’s in great shape!)Strava
Availability: iOS, Android
One of the more no-nonsense running apps out there, Strava is a one-stop shop kind of running app, stripping away what some people may think of as the “frilly bits” in something like Nike Run Club. In Strava you track your runs, link up with friends to compete and even send each other messages of motivation and support (or jeering, as the case may be), and try to beat personal challenges set for you by the app. Of course, heart-rate tracking, GPS, Apple Watch and Android Wear functionality are all accounted for.Ghostracer
It’s rare to see two apps syncing like Ghostracer does with Strava, and on this evidence you wonder why it doesn’t happen more often. Ghostracer will be familiar to anyone who’s raced against ghosts in Mario Kart, as it uses data from Strava to put you in live-action competition with your past self. So as you’re running routes you’ve run before, it dynamically shows you how you’re doing compared to your own past runs, both on-screen and with regular audio updates. It’s a great way to stay on top of your game because there’s no better motivator than the fear of losing to yourself!Conclusion
Running isn’t for everyone, but sometimes the incentive of setting personal targets, competing against friends, or running away from zombies is enough to get you into it. So if you’ve tried running without an app before, try it with one of these apps instead, and you may find yourself much more into it than you ever imagined you would be.
Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.
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A few days ago, Readdle launched a brand new calendar app in the App Store. No, this is not just an update to Calendars + with a new skin. This is a brand new app with brand new features.
Calendars 5 is an iOS 7 friendly productivity app that lets you sync with your Google or iOS calendar, add reminders from your iOS Reminders app, and the best part, it is a universal app for both iPhone and iPad…Design
The majority of brand new apps coming out of the App Store these days have an iOS 7 look to them and Calendars 5 is no different. The background is white and the brightly colored various calendar options pop out at you. The flat design is a perfect fit for the imminent launch of Apple’s new mobile operating software. Plus, if you are using it on a candy-colored iPhone 5c, you’ll look like a bright spring day all year long.
The app features gesture controls alongside basic tapping options. Swipe between days, weeks, and months in the calendar view. Swipe to delete items or drag and drop to move them in the task section. Drag your finger upward on the screen to scroll down to a later time or date in the calendar section. When using the app on your iPad, you can view today’s events and tasks alongside a weekly summary list, even in portrait mode. On the iPhone, the second window is only visible in landscape mode.
In the monthly calendar mode you can tap on a day to see what is scheduled. On the iPad, you will switch to a new window that shows the day’s tasks. When you tap on a day on the iPad, a window will pop up right on top of the calendar.
Different people have different ideas about what is the most important part of their calendar. This app lets you set the start up screen to the view you think is ideal. Tap the Settings icon and call up the view options. Then, change your start screen to Last Used, Tasks, Day, Week, Month, or Year. Then, whenever you open Calendars 5, you will already be at the screen you think is the most important.App Use
To get started, sync Calendars 5 with either your iOS calendar or your Google calendar. You can easily switch between calendars or sync them both. In the Settings select “Local Calendars” and toggle the Local Calendars switch on. Then, toggle your Google calendar switch back on, too. The only problem with having them both synced at the same time is that events are doubled if you already sync your iCalendar with your Google calendar. Don’t use them both if that is the case. It just looks bad.
Once you’ve synced your calendar, you can view your events by day, week, month, or year. If you are using the app on your iPhone, tap the menu icon at the top of the screen to call up the various views. If you are using your iPad, the options are already at the top of the screen.
Tap “Day” to see what is on the schedule for today. You can scroll downward to see later in the day. If you are using the iPad in portrait mode, the right side of the screen also shows a quick summary listing of the next few days, depending on how full your calendar is. Scroll downward to move to a later date. You can also see this window in landscape mode on both the iPad and iPhone. Swipe from left to right or right to left on the screen to switch between days.
Tap “Week” at the top of the screen to switch to the weekly calendar. Swipe from left to right or right to left to switch between weeks. This view looks the same in both landscape and portrait mode and on either the iPad or iPhone.
The same goes for the monthly view and yearly view. In the yearly view you can tap on a date to go directly to the daily calendar screen.
To add an event to your calendar, tap the plus (+) symbol in the upper right corner of the screen. This will bring up an event creation window or screen. Start typing some information about the event and, using natural language input technology, the app will automatically set the date and time. This works with recurring events, as well. For example, you can create an event by typing the sentence, “art class every Mon, Wed, and Fri at 10am,” and the app will automatically set the recurrence for you.
You can set a location and detailed description for each event and add attendees who will be emailed with the information.
You can also set a reminder through your device’s notification center, through email, or by getting an SMS sent to you. You can have the reminder sent between 15 minutes before and up to one day before. Or, customize your reminder for as close to or far away from the event that you like.
In addition to the calendar features, this app includes a task section. Here you can set up to-do lists for projects, events, or whatever you need a to-do list for. You can also sync your Google Tasks account or your iOS device’s Reminders app with Calendars 5. If you’ve already started a task list in the app, you can even merge the new list with your Reminders app.
For iOS users who are familiar with Apple’s native Calendar app, this will feel very familiar. Although Calendars 5 includes a lot more features and has a better user interface than the iOS 6 Calendar app, many of the editing options are similar. So, you won’t feel like you have to relearn a new program from scratch.The Good
I love the smart-type auto detection feature, a la Fantastical. It makes it super easy to add a new event. I also love being able to sync my Reminders app. It makes creating and managing daily tasks a breeze. I use Reminders on my desktop as well as my iOS devices and I can easily sync everything right in one app.
This is, by far, the best calendar app I’ve ever used on the iPad. It looks good, has great gesture-based controls, and works seamlessly with my iOS calendar.The Bad
The price of this app is fairly hefty. Even at a discounted launch price, it costs $4.99. Presumably, it will increase to $7.99 in a week. I’ve been using the free Cal app by chúng tôi for a while now. Although Calendars 5 has more features and some bells and whistles that make it a worthy opponent, it is hard to suggest that the premium price tag is reasonable.Value
Calendars 5 costs $4.99 during its launch. The price will go up in one week. We do not have official information, but there is reason to believe it will be priced at $7.99 since that was the full price of Readdle’s former Calendars + app. As I noted above, the price is steep. However, it really is an amazing app with a lot of very useful features to increase your ability to organize and schedule your daily life.Conclusion
This is definitely worth buying for the iPad (and remember it works on your iPhone too). It is by far, the best looking, most user-friendly calendar app for the larger screen. Because it syncs between devices and syncs with your local iOS calendar and Google calendar, it makes moving between the iPhone and iPad a snap. The price is a bit steep, but because it comes with so many great features, I recommend it for anyone looking for a new calendar. This app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.Related Apps
Cal by chúng tôi is another great app that syncs with multiple devices and looks great with iOS 7. Agenda Calendar 4 also syncs with your iOS Reminders app and looks good on iOS 7. Fantastical 2 is iDB’s top pick.
New research shows play-based learning can be more effective than direct instruction at improving outcomes for early learners—particularly in the development of mathematical and spatial skills.
The mere presence of the word play in the teaching method known as play-based learning can alarm some parents of early childhood learners. Students, even our youngest students, should be “playing” at home. They come to school to learn, they might say.
That distinction—between “learning” and “play”—is a false one, according to early childhood educator and author Erika Christakis. Although kindergarten and elementary classrooms often devalue it in favor of direct instruction or seat time, play is the “defining feature” of all mammalian development, and its “signature” is apparent in the bodies and lives of little kids who experience it: “Their life expectancies are longer and their social-emotional capabilities are more robust when they have a chance to learn through play and deep relationships, and when their developing brains are given the chance to grow in a nurturing, language-rich, and relatively unhurried environment,” Christakis told Edutopia in a 2023 interview.
Children aren’t miniature adults. Nonetheless, a bias toward adult perspectives of childhood, with its attendant schedules and routines, has gradually exerted a stranglehold on our educational system, Christakis continues, trapping young kids in educational spaces that too often feel dreary, joyless, and alienating. “The notion that there is something of value in being a little kid—with little kid desires and, above all, needs—seems to have fallen out of favor.”
Breaking the Cycle
Despite the clear benefits of play, setting aside the time for even the youngest students can seem out of step with the academic demands of the school day. Early childhood teachers are pressured to meet strict seat-time guidelines in their classrooms, and they often feel that direct instruction is the best method to achieve the many curricular objectives that parents, principals, and other leaders expect.
According to a new study, there’s a middle path. A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge analyzed decades of research on “guided play”—more commonly called play-based learning—and concluded that it can have a “greater positive effect” on the acquisition of skills like math, shape knowledge, and task switching than more traditional approaches that prioritize seat time and explicit instruction.
“In redefining play as a spectrum with varying degrees of child autonomy and adult guidance, guided play has been situated as a ‘middle-ground’ between free play and direct instruction,” the researchers concluded. The learning is inherently rich and meaningful because “play naturally cultivates their enjoyment, motivation, and agency; while the inclusion of guidance by a supportive adult extends the scope for learning beyond what the child might achieve on their own.”
Incorporating key elements of play—like wonder, exploration, and student agency—into loosely structured lessons that are gently supported by teachers provides an “optimal” approach for students, according to the researchers. For Christakis, this means that play-based learning experiences should provide students with a “steady diet of free, unstructured time and access to open-ended materials” that allow them to engage in “rambling” storytelling and provide plenty of time to just “mess around and make their own rules.”
Play, With an Objective in Mind
In a successful play-based learning class, teachers often have a clear “learning goal” behind the play they let students engage in ahead of time, according to the Cambridge study. A teacher should keep this goal in mind during the play and subtly guide the child toward the goal.
Don’t pull the strings too tight: According to primary teacher Maggie Sabin, teachers shouldn’t necessarily expect students to produce specific outputs. For example, to teach students how colors can be mixed to form new colors, you might avoid giving students instructions to mix specific colors and instead model one example and then allow them to make their own combinations. “Be well prepared and intentional in planning, but allow for flexibility and inspiration,” writes Sabin.
One way to make sure that students are playing with purpose is to structure your classroom with deliberate spaces or centers containing materials, games, or objects intentionally chosen for students to engage with and make sense of.
An area in Sabin’s classroom, for example, contains a “tinker tray” of items that might seem random but are related to lessons or units she is using direct instruction to guide students through. During a unit on nature and natural materials, for example, the tray is stocked with items like pebbles, leaves, or sticks that students can both practice naming and manipulating. The materials can also be used to practice early math skills through the course of play by simply asking students how many pebbles they have or how many pebbles they have left after giving some to a friend.
Providing Choice and Agency
Effective play-based learning should be child-led when possible and give students “freedom and choice over their actions and play behavior,” the researchers assert. However, their findings suggest that the level of autonomy being given to students in play-based learning scenarios is often less than the amount needed to “cultivate children’s agency, motivation, and curiosity.”
To foster that agency, New Hampshire kindergarten teacher Jessica Arrow often starts the day by allowing students 30 to 45 minutes of “choice time” to explore various spaces in the classroom—a block center, math center, science center, art center, book nook, or dramatic play corner.
The items they encounter are related to previous lessons and the interests her students have expressed. For example, after reading the children’s book Miss Maple’s Seeds, Arrow said, her students became fascinated by the author’s process of creating the book from her imagination. As a result, Arrow’s art center included materials for students to create stories of their own and to practice speaking, listening, and writing standards in the process.
Arrow writes that their bookmaking interests eventually carried over into other areas of learning. For example, one student created a number book. After Arrow shared it with the class, number books became popular, and her students were referencing number grids and creating their own number books that helped them count and identify large numbers in the process.
“Once my students had experienced play-based learning, they were more focused, motivated, and purposeful,” writes Arrow. “Most important, they were happier. Bringing play-based learning to my classroom created balance, deepened our learning, and defined our classroom community as a place where we could learn and grow together.”
When to Step In
As children play, teachers should be observing closely to gather insights about the way students are learning and use open-ended questions, hints, and prompts to gently nudge students and encourage deeper thinking. You might step in “when a child appears to find an activity too difficult or too easy” so that you “can help them learn beyond what might be possible in independent play,” the researchers say.
For example, when children are playing with blocks, open-ended questions can be posed to encourage problem-solving, prediction, and hypothesizing, according to veteran teacher and curriculum manager for Edmentum Winnie O’Leary. A teacher can bring awareness to math standards by asking students low-stakes questions such as “I wonder how tall this tower can get?” or “I wonder how many blocks you need to make that tower as tall as your friend’s?”
Simple questions can also encourage practice recalling information and identifying shapes, objects, or colors, according to O’Leary. During a game of Go Fish, for example, you can ask, “Hey, who had the number 4 in the last round?” Or during a game of Uno you might ask, “Hmm, what color card do you need to add to the center deck?” Games involving strategy—like checkers or tic-tac-toe—are great to get students thinking critically about their objectives and how to adjust them based on what is happening during the game. Try questions like “I wonder what move you could have made to win?”
Use these strategies wisely, though, the researchers caution. In the end, hints and questions should not feel like directives.
Christakis agrees, telling Edutopia that she often coaches teachers to stay away from “checking questions” such as “What color is the apple?” or “What are you drawing?” Instead, she says, teachers should ask questions like “Tell me about your drawing.”
“The open-ended response really opens up a huge space for spontaneous and deep learning,” Christakis says.
Educational apps for iPhone and iPad are plentiful. And it’s with good reason. Putting a device in the hands of your child can help teach them something new or practice what they’ve already learned. And since math can be a difficult subject for kids of any age, using a teaching tool that makes it more enjoyable for them is a great way for them to learn.
If you’re thinking about getting a math app for your child, we’ve assembled a terrific list. All apps are available for free but some come with in-app purchases for extra features – like many free apps. But this gives you a wonderful way to try out the app to see if you and your child like it before spending any money.Best iPhone and iPad math apps for children
These are all excellent math apps for kids and are definitely worth a look. So, they are are listed here in no particular order.
Start with a basic lesson based on your child’s age and grade. This includes counting, addition, multiplication, and division. And you can customize the plan if you feel your child needs to concentrate on something specific.
Your child completes math puzzle missions to earn “doubloons” with their correct answers. They can then meet more monsters and use doubloons to buy them items.
MathTango covers a variety of math equations and concepts, has over 500 puzzles in more than 40 math levels, and is intended for children ages 5 through 10.
Availability: iPhone and iPad
Cost: Free with in-app purchase options for lesson packs and subscriptions
With Monster Math, your child plays as a kooky monster named Maxx through his journey in Monster Land. He, with the help of your child, collects candies by solving equations to defeat TikTok, the evil monster who has captured his best friend.
Your child can play through story mode or just do the practice equations. Both include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They simply tap to grab all the candies that solve the particular equation within the time frame and then move on for more fun and learning.
Monster Math concentrates on Common Core Standards, teaches multiple skills at once, and is intended for children in grades one through three.
Availability: iPhone, iPad, and Android
Cost: Free with in-app purchase options to unlock the full version of the standalone app or subscriptions to the math program
Moose Math – Duck Duck Moose
If your little one likes cuddly animals more than cute monsters, check out Moose Math- Duck Duck Moose where your child will build a city using their math skills.
Pick a building to construct and then go inside for some fun math puzzles. They can concoct Moose Juice by adding the right number of ingredients, find hidden pets by counting the number of dots, or lead an animal to the goal by connecting numbers in the right sequence.
Moose Math helps your child with numbers, counting, addition and subtraction, geometry, and measurements. And all within a colorful and upbeat learning environment.
This app also concentrates on Common Core Standards, offers a report card section for parents to review, and is intended for children ages 3 through 7.
Availability: iPhone, iPad, and Android
Math Kids – Add, Subtract, Count
With each lesson, your boy or girl hears words of encouragement if they take a little extra time figuring out the answer. The app has vibrant colors, lively music, and help from Lucas if they need it.
The Math Kids app supports six languages, has a report card for parents, and is intended for children from pre-K through first grade.
Availability: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, and Windows
Cost: FreeWrapping it up
For more apps for kids, take a look at these cursive writing apps iPhone and iPad or these typing apps for Mac.
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