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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.

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            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.

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                      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.

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                                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.

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                                          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

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                                                  Last Updated on May 14, 2019

                                                  8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                                  8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                                  Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                                                  1. Zoho Notebook
                                                    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                                                  2. Evernote
                                                    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                                                  3. Net Notes
                                                    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                                                  4. i-Lighter
                                                    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                                                  5. Clipmarks
                                                    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                                                  6. UberNote
                                                    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                                                  7. iLeonardo
                                                    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                                                  8. Zotero
                                                    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                                                  I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                                                  In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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