1. whmurray's Avatar
    People who read widely in this forum may have come across one of my rants on the topic of this thread.

    You may know that I believe that, while technology will not help children get good grades in school, it teaches better than schools. This thread is for people to post observations, stories, and application recommendations about iPods/Phones in tuition.
    08-21-2009 11:57 AM
  2. whmurray's Avatar
    The authors of this app built it for their daughter when they observed that she "used their iPhone better than they." I used it day before yesterday to entertain toddlers in the barber shop. It uses colors, shapes, numbers and letters to entertain and enlighten the child.

    A voice prompt asks the child to touch a particular icon on the screen. If the child touches the correct one, she is rewarded with applause. Five corrects earn them a sticker which they can place anywhere on their page that they wish.

    While the app starts with only three things from which to choose, it progresses with the number of stickers.

    Kids love it. Not only do they progress within the game, but they progress in the length of time that they can focus. While I am sure that there are similar games for the PC, the Touch exploits the child's natural tendency to point to the answer.

    This "free" game comes with pointers to similar games by the same authors.
    08-21-2009 12:11 PM
  3. whmurray's Avatar
    http://forum.theiphoneblog.com/showt...82#post1510082

    At their worst, i.e, content free games, teach. They teach rules, focus, concentration, perhaps fairness, teamwork, and motivation.

    Really young children can learn color, shapes and numbers from UNO. All of us learn joy.

    "One iPod Touch per child."
    Last edited by whmurray; 11-17-2009 at 08:37 PM.
    08-21-2009 04:28 PM
  4. Exergy's Avatar
    Its a good concept but there should be an easy way to restrict particular functions on the iPhone to protect some children.
    08-21-2009 09:50 PM
  5. whmurray's Avatar
    Its a good concept but there should be an easy way to restrict particular functions on the iPhone to protect some children.
    Apple says, "It may have content that will offend some under seventeen." I was glad to hear that there is content that will offend anyone under seventeen. I thought that they were bullet proof. For those of you who cannot remember being under seventeen, I suggest that you watch the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon. Those over seventeen may find it embarrassing, or even offensive, but the kids do not.
    Last edited by whmurray; 08-22-2009 at 12:11 AM.
    08-21-2009 11:08 PM
  6. whmurray's Avatar
    Its a good concept but there should be an easy way to restrict particular functions on the iPhone to protect some children.
    "Easy?" Really? Effective, perhaps. There is an effective way. It is called "parental involvement." It is not easy but it is very satisfying.



    (I have written a longer answer that I would be happy to share by private mail. However, it is arguable and I do not want to divert the thread down that path.)

    "One iPod Touch per child."
    Last edited by whmurray; 08-22-2009 at 12:00 AM.
    08-21-2009 11:37 PM
  7. cpdh's Avatar
    You can restrict functions in OS 3.0! just a note.
    08-22-2009 07:38 PM
  8. whmurray's Avatar
    My niece, Sydney, 10, and her brother, Jeremy, 12, will be starting new schools in September. Sydney will be studying French and Jeremy, Spanish. Last week we went to the App Store to see what we could find. For Sydney we found the Free French Tutor. This was only one of half a dozen free programs for studying French. She loves it. I got 95 while she got 100. It will not help her get good grades in French in school but it will help her learn French.

    Jeremy was glad to find an equal number of programs for Spanish.

    Does it get better than this?
    08-23-2009 07:25 PM
  9. Alli's Avatar
    I wish I could provide a Touch for all my students. There are lots of great flashcard apps. And in many cases, as with the textbook I teach from, you can put the entire text and all ancillary materials on the device.

    It would be nice to offer them, and allow any student receiving an A or B to keep them.
    08-23-2009 07:49 PM
  10. whmurray's Avatar
    I wish I could provide a Touch for all my students. There are lots of great flashcard apps. And in many cases, as with the textbook I teach from, you can put the entire text and all ancillary materials on the device.

    It would be nice to offer them, and allow any student receiving an A or B to keep them.
    When Nicole was tiny, she had a Texas Instrument Toy called "Speak n' Math." I could hear it as a sort of background noise "Ten correct, none wrong." There was never anything wrong. It took me a while to understand that it had a "repeat mode." If she did not immediately know the right answer, she would simply repeat the prompt until she did. When the machine repeated the problem over and over, I kept expecting a note of impatience to creep into the prompt. Part of the beauty was that the machine would repeat the problem over and over as many times as required. It never became impatient and it never changed the question.

    It is not simply that the machine mimics flash cards but that it does so with infinite patience. I could never resist the temptation to help by asking a variant of the question; this invariably simply confused the child. There are some things that we are simply too sophisticated to do well.

    All that said, Alli, you get it. You understand the point. The problem is that you see scarcity where there is plenty. Compared to an iPod, "Speak n' Math" was really stupid, big, and expensive. Not only can the iPod teach simple arithmetic, but reading, spelling, and foreign language. Where Speak n' Math had one routine, the iPod can have tens of thousands. We call that "plenty." The cost of a routine is so cheap that the App Store prices many as "free."

    Check out "Free French Tutor." We just need a tiny bit of hardware to instantiate it on. The hardware would be expensive if all it could do was teach French. On the other hand, if it can teach an infinite number of things, then its cost per thing is de minimus.

    "One iPod Touch per child." It is so cheap that we cannot afford not to do it. Computers are better at teaching four year-olds to read than schools are at teaching six year-olds to read. "Reader Rabbit" is expensive because we spread the development cost over too few kids. The developer does it once but millions of kids use it over and over. The price per kid becomes vanishingly small. Have you seen an iPod Shuffle? How much will a Touch cost in five years. How many Touches can I buy for the cost of a teacher? What happens when the cost of replicating a library approaches that of printing a library card? One can equip a whole class with Touches for less than $10K. How much will that be five years from now? How many teachers or desks can one buy for $10K? How much will they cost five years from now?
    Last edited by whmurray; 11-17-2009 at 08:44 PM.
    08-23-2009 11:31 PM
  11. Alli's Avatar
    In a perfect world.... Right now teachers are being laid off because school systems are in debt up to their eyeballs. I'm teaching a distance class because schools can't afford their own French teacher, even though a "foreign" language is now part of the core curriculum in the state. We are in proration to the tune of 11%, and will not be buying little things like pencils this year. (And don't even get me started on hand sanitizer.)

    This is the first year a majority of my students have computers at home and can complete assignments online - which should make it easier and more fun for them. I don't foresee the parents of middle and high school students providing a $100 classroom supply, even if it can be used for every class over an entire academic career.

    So no matter how much we can buy for $10K, the issue is still going to be getting that $10K into the hands of the people who need it.
    08-24-2009 06:49 AM
  12. whmurray's Avatar
    ........and allow any student receiving an A or B to keep them.
    And require it of the others who really need them. Think plenty, not scarcity. If not this year, then next at the latest. I am waiting for Apple's usual fall announcement for iPods. Maybe the cost of a Touch will fall. (It did from $219- to $189-)

    When the Frog Prince, now a VP for an investment firm, was in Kindergarten, he said, "Will you come to my school and be the computer monitor?" I was very flattered until I found out the computer monitor just watched half the kids, two per PC, as they did their drills, while the "teacher" worked with the other half. Hmmm.

    We know that children have different learning styles but most can learn. The iPod/computer seems to be comfortable for most and ideal for some.

    For any developers out there looking for a project, there does not seem to be a "Reader Rabbit" equivalent for the iPod. There are dozens of pre-reading programs but nothing on the order of Reader Rabbit. (There are dozens of phonics "games" now (11/17/09)).
    Last edited by whmurray; 11-17-2009 at 09:01 PM.
    08-24-2009 10:19 AM
  13. whmurray's Avatar
    In a perfect world.... Right now teachers are being laid off because school systems are in debt up to their eyeballs. I'm teaching a distance class because schools can't afford their own French teacher, even though a "foreign" language is now part of the core curriculum in the state. We are in proration to the tune of 11%, and will not be buying little things like pencils this year. (And don't even get me started on hand sanitizer.)

    This is the first year a majority of my students have computers at home and can complete assignments online - which should make it easier and more fun for them. I don't foresee the parents of middle and high school students providing a $100 classroom supply, even if it can be used for every class over an entire academic career.

    So no matter how much we can buy for $10K, the issue is still going to be getting that $10K into the hands of the people who need it.
    This is important, not urgent. In a society as wealthy as ours, scarcity is local and temporary. Ours is the first civilization in the history of the world that gave their children 12 years of school, much less 16, 20, or 24.

    I loved the bumper sticker that said, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if schools had all the resources they wanted and the Air Force had to hold a bake sale to pay for its next bomb." The issue is not whether we can afford this, but how do we get it on the list. How do we convince people that this is where we want to spend our next educational dollar.

    For now, I will settle for agreement that it is important, effective, and efficient. Efficient requires that it is better than the next best alternative.

    You and I make two.

    One iPod Touch per child."
    08-24-2009 10:42 AM
  14. whmurray's Avatar
    Since Socrates, teachers have been resisting their dis-inter-mediation by media. The Church resisted printing. Never mind that its proper use would facilitate their work and deliver their message. Despite their resistance, media and technology prevail.

    Attempts to hold them back rank in futility with holding back the tide.

    "Can't we all just get along?"

    "One iPod Touch per child."
    Last edited by whmurray; 11-17-2009 at 08:58 PM.
    08-24-2009 01:14 PM
  15. cardfan's Avatar
    My daughter is 3 and has been using an ipod touch for close to a year now. She can pretty much navigate it like anyone else. Has about 20-30 kid's apps.

    She can also name all 50 states & capitals just by looking at state. Can name continents. Can identify shapes, colors, letters, numbers, animals, etc. Can count to 100 easily. Can spell simple words. Can write her name and a few others. Can draw her letters. Can count coins.

    Working next on adding/subtracting, more words, countries, reading, etc.

    The ipod touch is an excellent device for her...its simply a new world. The only con is she can it messy (have to wipe off a lot) and you worry about her dropping it. Relatives think i'm nuts i gave her one on second bday..
    08-25-2009 05:48 PM
  16. whmurray's Avatar
    My daughter is 3 and has been using an ipod touch for close to a year now. She can pretty much navigate it like anyone else. Has about 20-30 kid's apps.

    She can also name all 50 states & capitals just by looking at state. Can name continents. Can identify shapes, colors, letters, numbers, animals, etc. Can count to 100 easily. Can spell simple words. Can write her name and a few others. Can draw her letters. Can count coins.

    Working next on adding/subtracting, more words, countries, reading, etc.

    The ipod touch is an excellent device for her...its simply a new world. The only con is she can it messy (have to wipe off a lot) and you worry about her dropping it. Relatives think i'm nuts i gave her one on second bday..
    Thanks for this report.

    I am going to a second birthday on Sunday. Parker Marie has been watching Your Baby Can Read for few months now. So I suspect that she may be ready. Will check.

    Tomorrow is Sarah's birthday. She will be six. I am sure that she is ready. My only reservation is that iPod choices and prices may get better in the next ten days.

    As to messy, I get fingerprints on mine and it cleans up well. Emma, Davey and Jack managed to run my battery dry across dinner. Cleaned up like new.

    Then, as to dropping. Kids are kids; such as they are, they do the best they can. At least they cannot spill things in the keyboard.
    Last edited by whmurray; 08-25-2009 at 10:04 PM.
    08-25-2009 06:24 PM
  17. sleeks's Avatar
    Thanks for this report.

    I am going to a second birthday on Sunday. Parker Marie has been watching Your Baby Can Read for few months now. So I suspect that she may be ready. Will check.

    Tomorrow is Sarah's birthday. She will be six. I am sure that she is ready. My only reservation is that iPod choices and prices may get better in the next ten days.

    As to messy, I get fingerprints on mine and it cleans up well. Emma, Davey and Jack managed to run my battery dry across dinner. Cleaned up like new.

    Then, as to dropping. Kids are kids; such as they are, they do the best they can. At least they cannot spill things in the keyboard.
    Oh, but they can spill on touch/iphone. My 6 and 3 year olds have my old iphone (no phone service) and an ipod touch. They have spilled chocolate milk and orange juice and dropped them numerous times. Luckily, they are actually pretty durable.

    Anyway, they have apps to trace letters, work on hand/eye coordination, etc. They can use it better than my wife can. People give us funny looks if we are out and they see the kids with them, but I don't care. It helps them learn and its fun for them to use.
    08-26-2009 01:10 AM
  18. whmurray's Avatar
    Today Apple announced that the new price of the iPod Touch is $189, reduced from $219. This will save me a lot of money at Christmas time.

    I hope that you will all take advantage of this price reduction by purchasing a Touch for a child.
    09-09-2009 03:47 PM
  19. iModz3G's Avatar
    They will get distracted by the technology
    09-10-2009 12:15 PM
  20. whmurray's Avatar
    They will get distracted by the technology
    Can you elaborate?
    09-10-2009 02:53 PM
  21. whmurray's Avatar
    09-17-2009 12:58 PM
  22. whmurray's Avatar
    Well, it looks like a dozen iPod Touches for Christmas. I bought the first four from Apple because they were for siblings and had to be engraved. The confirmation said it would take a week. Shipped from Shanghai China. Arrived in 48 hours.

    I am taking them out of the box, charging them, and initializing them. I am putting age and gender appropriate content on them.

    iTunes prompts me for a name for the device but defaults the iStore account to my account name. I am able to copy music, videos, and audiobooks from my iTumes to the baby's iPod. I have downloaded Stanza and a collection of books from the Project Gutenberg and Apps from the store. All of this under my ID.

    What happens when she syncs with her Mom's iTunes. What happens when she changes the "settings" to her own account.

    I have three more to do. Please give me some help.
    Last edited by whmurray; 11-27-2009 at 08:33 PM.
    11-27-2009 08:28 PM
  23. Alli's Avatar
    Unless you give them your iTunes account pw, they just won't be able to update anything put on from your account.
    11-27-2009 09:06 PM
  24. whmurray's Avatar
    Unless you give them your iTunes account pw, they just won't be able to update anything put on from your account.
    Have done that where necessary. No abuse. However, most have iTunes accounts in the family.
    05-31-2010 11:30 AM
  25. whmurray's Avatar
    Skylar is six and got her iPod for Christmas. After Watching her sister with her's, I decided to get the sister one for her fourth birthday. Skylar is thrilled that she will no longer have to share.

    Lilah is seven. Also got her's for Christmas. Her brother will turn five in two weeks. I asked her advice about getting him one. I expected Skylar's answer. Nope. Lilah likes the control. Does not want to empower her brother. Fortunately for him, I am into kid power.
    05-31-2010 11:40 AM
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