Advertising
Advertising

25 Fun Apps And Websites To Teach Kids About Technology

25 Fun Apps And Websites To Teach Kids About Technology

There is a wealth of sites available to teach kids about technology in a fun and safe way. Applications are becoming a popular method of enjoyment for kids. Here we explore 25 websites and apps which will help kids to learn the basics and then delve deeper into the available pool of knowledge. Social Media Skills It is important that children learn the intricacies of social media, and what it is safe to reveal there. It is probably best therefore, that they gain these skills in a safe environment before they are released onto sites that cater more for adult users. The following four sites are all recommended by Common Sense Media who rate sites according to criteria such as child friendliness and privacy.

1. Club Penguin

This is a Disney site which offers an introduction to virtual worlds. It is aimed at children aged 6 to 14 who can learn to build avatars, chat, make friends, and try out a range of games.

club penguin

    2. iTwixie

    This site is aimed at pre-teen girls and it is less about who is the prettiest, and more about who is the smartest and kindest. It is a site which encourages generosity to others in words and deeds, and allows kids to express themselves creatively.

    iTwixie

      3. The Pink Group

      Once children are over the age of 13, they then legally can set up an account on Facebook, and many of the other social media sites hold the same age criteria. It is a good idea however, to check your kids’ privacy settings when they create a profile on any adult centered site and to outline some safety rules for using the website. The Pink Group offers a central place to find all the information on images and branding you will need, in order to help your kids set up their profiles.

      pink group

        4. Franktown Rocks

        On this site it is all about the music, which has been pre-screened for child friendliness. There is a virtual world for kids to explore which offers games and videos all catering for music appreciation.

        franktown rocks

          5. Sweety High

          This is aimed squarely at tween and teenage girls with a focus on fashion, shopping and celebrities. Girls are encouraged to express themselves but it is all moderated and safety is of the utmost importance.

          sweety high

            6. Big Brown Bear

            The keyboard takes up the whole screen on this site which makes it easier for children to fully focus on the task at hand.

            Advertising

            big brown bear

              Typing Skills  One of the first skills that children need to know, and which will make their time online much easier, is to learn how to type. Typing skills reinforce language learning, alphabet knowledge and reading comprehension. These five apps and websites will get your kids off to a good start.

              7.  Learning Games for Kids

              This site offers a number of free games which will help improve typing skills whilst making the process fun. ‘The Typing of the Ghosts’ and ‘Arachnid Falls’ are sure to make any kids smile and they will be so involved in the game they will forget that they are also learning.

              learning for kids

                8. Key Seeker

                This is suitable for young children who need to increase their letter recognition. It is coloring and fun, featuring a wide range of cute animal graphics.

                key seeker

                  9. Dance Mat Typing

                  Dance Mat Typing from the BBC helps children to learn to touch type. There are four levels to progress through and at the end of each you can test your typing speed and claim a fun reward.

                  dance mat typing

                    10. TypeFast Typing Tutor

                    Compatible with both the iPad and iPhone this app helps to increase speed and accuracy. It is better for older children as it doesn’t have the fun element of the other sites.

                    typefast

                      Coding Skills Web development and design are such key elements of our current world that it is never too early to start teaching children these skills. These seven apps have all been recommended by Edutopia and they are an excellent place to start.

                      Advertising

                      11. Game Star Mechanic

                      What could be more fun as a kid than learning to design your own video game. This is aimed at children aged 7 to 14 years.

                      game star mechanic

                        12. Scratch

                        This is a programming language, designed by staff and students at MIT, which is created specifically for children aged 8 to 16 years.

                        scratch

                          13. Tynker

                          This has a similar interface to Scratch but whereas that was designed for kids to program with, Tynker was designed in order to teach programming.

                          tynker

                            14. Move the Turtle

                            This offers another way to teach kids programming but it does so in a much more game based way.

                            move the turtle

                              15. Hopscotch

                              This is similar in design to Scratch and Tynker but is only for use on the iPad.

                              hopscotch

                                16. Daisy The Dinosaur

                                This introduces coding to the very youngest users and is a fun accessible way for them to get started.

                                Advertising

                                daisy the dinosaur

                                  17. Cargo-Bot

                                  Again, this is a game based way to teach coding skills. Instead of just using a crane to move blocks, you actually have to program it to do so.

                                  cargo bot

                                    Online Safety  Kids often need to use search engines to do research for homework and school projects. If they are given access to adult search engines however, they can easily come across sites that you won’t want them to have exposure to. The following four websites offer kid friendly search capability, and while not infallible so you will want to monitor access, they are a lot safer for kids than a standard search engine.

                                    18. Squirrel Net

                                    This is a general search engine for kids, which is powered by Ask Jeeves for kids.

                                    squirrel net

                                      19.  Kid Rex

                                      This site is powered by Google but it is built by kids for kids.

                                      kid rex

                                        20. Swiggle

                                        Again powered by Google this one relates more to academic subjects.

                                        swiggle

                                          21.  GoGooligans

                                          The final engine is powered by Google and offers academic search for children and teenagers. It will be personal preference for you and your kids as to which of these four sites you choose.

                                          Advertising

                                          General Technology Skills Here are a further four sites that help with different areas of technology skills.

                                          22. Love to Know Home School

                                          For adults it is often helpful to have some lesson plans on how to teach technology. These can be invaluable if you home-school, but also helpful just as a guide for Moms and Dads.

                                          love to know home school

                                            23. How The Internet Works

                                            Do your kids ask you all the time how the internet works? Are you left scratching your head? This guide will help them, and you, to figure it all out.

                                            how the internet works

                                              24. Bees and Honey

                                              This is a fun game that will teach younger kids how to use the mouse smoothly and accurately.

                                              bees and honey

                                                25. KidBlog

                                                If you want to teach the kids in your classroom about blogging, this is the perfect place to start. They can set up their own blog and you can work together on creating content and images, publishing their work and marketing the site.

                                                kid blog

                                                    

                                                  Featured photo credit: Kid Excited When Playing an App/Dollar Photo Club via dpc2.ftcdn.net

                                                  More by this author

                                                  James Timpson

                                                  Marketeer

                                                  Why the Value of Creativity Is Decreasing 30 Things Only Entrepreneurs Would Understand 8 Ways to Boost Employee Well-Being + Workplace Performance 8 Creative Tips to Make Your Wedding Stand Out 5 Awesome Christmas Dinner Leftover Recipe Ideas

                                                  Trending in Technology

                                                  1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 4 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 5 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                  Read Next

                                                  Advertising
                                                  Advertising
                                                  Advertising

                                                  Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                                  7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                                  7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                                  Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                                  Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                                  Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                                  So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                                  Joe’s Goals

                                                  Advertising

                                                     

                                                    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                                    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                                    Daytum

                                                      Daytum

                                                      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

                                                      Advertising

                                                      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                                      Excel or Numbers

                                                        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                                        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                                        Evernote

                                                        Advertising

                                                          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                                          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                                          Access or Bento

                                                            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                                            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

                                                            Advertising

                                                            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                                            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                                            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                                            Conclusion

                                                            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                                            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

                                                            Read Next