Tag Archives: iPad

Should the kid have an iPad or one of the alternatives?

I love the iPad, but it is not really suitable for young kids, because it requires an adult perspective on life to operate it correctly. For example, for a two year old, there is nothing more fun than figuring out how to make all the little icons dance, and once you do that, there is nothing more fun than making them disappear one by one by clicking on the little X’s. The iPad would benefit greatly with a kiosk mode.

So, as Christmas comes and no matter what your culture or belief system you being to search for presents to give the little ones, you should know that there is a growing list of alternative tablets designed just for the little ones. They seem to all be about 7 inches of screen, have about 1 gig of RAM and various size hard drives, wireless, variable numbers of cameras from zero to one on each side. All of them seem to have bumpers and other self preservation devices. Some have extra durable screens that may perform less well than the iPad. Most have only moderate (but probably good enough) resolution. All or most are or probably will be under $200. They all seem to have wireless.

The brand new not yet available Tabeo Tablet for Kids will be available only from Toys R Us, possibly only from within the store itself. I suppose that is a way to get people into Toys R Us instead of Target or Walmarts for the other toy shopping. I twill run $150 and will have, supposedly, thousands of apps. It runs Android, but I’m not sure what restrictions exist on its operating system. Expect some, if there are such restrictions on purchasing it.

The Kurio Kids Tablet with Android 4.0 has a 7 inch screen (not sure how that is measured) and 4 gb of memory. It has a safety bumper, runs Android, and a microphone. There are front and rear facing cameras.

The Fuhu NABI NABI2-NV7A is another 7 incher, with bumpers, an 8 gig hard drive, but so far seems to have no camera (a future model may). This also runs Android. Among the various choices, this device has relatively high resolution (but this is not an iPad!).

The Android-running Archos Arnova Child Pad is also 7 inches, does not seem to have a hard drive, and has so far gotten mixed reviews.

The Android-running 7 inch NABI FUHUNABI-A has less RAM than the other choices, is getting mixed reviews, and seems a bit pricy.

I’m not going to mention the MEEP because it seems to have a choking hazard warning with it. Unnecessary. Bad.

Finally, the Lexibook Juniors tblet has gotten some god reviews and having come out months ago, has a lot of time to work out the bugs. It seems to come with a number of accessories such as a stylus and keyboard (I think these are purchased separately) Some details here.

In some, perhaps all, cases the Android system is modified to make it more kid friendly, but this may result in bumping the Android Market off the system because of Googley Rules that would apply.

If any one has any experience with any of these, please share!

The Sun is Exploding!

Well, it is always exploding. But I just heard that “A big coronal hole is turning directly towards the Earth. Solar wind flowing from the opening should reach our planet on June 5-7, possibly sparking geomagnetic storms” and maybe the aurora will be visible over a larger area.

I heard that from the iPad app “3D Sun.” This is an app that informs me whenever the sun is up to anything interesting, and also provides images of current and older solar events, a handy glossary of terms, and an excellent 3D sun “globe” (as it were) which can be used to find landmarks and stuff:

Pinch-able moveable 3D sun graphic from the iPad 3d Sun app.

With 3D Sun, which can be set to supply push notifications, I’ll always know when to don the tin foil hat.

Data used in the 3D sun view come from NASA’s STEREO mission and the app is said to have been developed in cooperation with NASA scientists. It is free, but I’d pay $0.99 for it for sure. This app could be great for physics classes. Installed it uses a mere 12.5 megabytes.

iPads in the Science Classroom: The Bad, The Ugly, and The Good

I know of a couple of cases where high schools are switching to the use of iPads or other tablets, replacing existing computer infrastructure with the handy and very cool computing device. When it comes to technology, I’ve never been particularly impressed with school administrations, and K-12 technology departments tend to be a little under-resourced as well, so it does not surprise me that this decision is being made. It is, of course, the wrong thing to do. Continue reading iPads in the Science Classroom: The Bad, The Ugly, and The Good