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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 August 15, 2018

                                                  25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                                  25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                                  Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                                                  Or even better:

                                                  What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                                                  You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                                                  Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                                                  How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                                                  The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                                                  In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                                                  • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                                                  • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                                                  • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                                                  As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                                                  Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                                                  Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                                                  But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                                                  his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                                                  5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                                                  Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                                                  But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                                                  1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                                                  2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                                                  3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                                                  4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                                                  5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                                                  Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                                                  There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                                                  • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                                                  • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                                                  • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                                                  • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                                                  Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                                                  With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                                                  25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                                                  Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                                                  1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                                                  If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                                                  2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                                                  If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                                                  If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                                                  3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                                                  Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                                                  =sum(

                                                  …and then press F3.

                                                  When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                                                  4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                                                  Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                                                  =match(

                                                  …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                                                  When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                                                  But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                                                  5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                                                  If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                                                  • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                                                  • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                                                  • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                                                  • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                                                  • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                                                  6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                                                  By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                                                  The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                                                  For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                                                  A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                                                  7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                                                  When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                                                  8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                                                  When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                                                  9. Use filtering

                                                  Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                                                  It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                                                  To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                                                  10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                                                  Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                                                  Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                                                  To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                                                  11. See formula results with F9

                                                  If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                                                  Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                                                  12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                                                  If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                                                  13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                                                  Here’s how to use EDATE:

                                                  =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                                                  =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                                                  14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                                                  Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                                                  =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                                                  =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                                                  15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                                                  TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                                                  16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                                                  In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                                                  17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                                                  When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                                                  And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                                                  18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                                                  If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                                                  19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                                                  Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                                                  You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                                                  20. Use data validation

                                                  This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                                                  • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                                                  • Create drop-down lists;
                                                  • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                                                  21. Use conditional formatting

                                                  It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                                                  22. Use formula auditing

                                                  This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                                                  The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                                                  23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                                                  Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                                                  It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                                                  24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                                                  INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                                                  25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                                                  OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                                                  The bottom line

                                                  As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                                                  That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                                                  If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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