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Ipad for homeschoolingpost #1 of 555/20/13 at 12:53amThread StarterAfter a pleasant discussion at this weekend's homeschooling camping trip I am now on a mission to buy an Ipad. I want it for educational apps, possibly e-books, and using (with a keyboard) as an occasional laptop.HELP. We've decided to go with a full-size. Probably the newest (4th) generation, but that could vary. Anyone have any suggestions on how many GB to get or apps or where's an ultra cheap place to buy? Although Best Buy is cheaper than amazon, their accident protection plan is so pricey that it's not worth it.It seems like it could be a great educational tool, I just want to purchase this wisely. Any thoughts would help.post #2 of 555/20/13 at 9:46am
somewhere in France, someone does not think that this is a good idea! But, if you feel confident in this decision, I would recommend looking for refurbished model, but I truly don't recommend it because I think that rarely are computers/internet used in moderation and the radiation from the thing is not good for a growing child. The last thing I want is my kid staring at a screen any more that they already will be judging by the teenagers I meet with their smartphones and gaming obsessions. I think that they are a horrible learning tool because they are overly stimulating and gratifying... think eating sugar and fat laced food (blinking lights and sounds) then going back to eating iceberg lettuce with a drizzle of red wine vinegar (paper and pencil). Not to mention the radiation and the rearranging of growing cells. Moderation will become impossible with such an attractive device.post #3 of 555/20/13 at 10:04amThread Starter
I grew up in front of a TV eating nothing but junk food. Both had catastrophic effects on my childhood and, in the case of food, something I have struggled with my entire life. It would be easy to say no TV/screen and no junk food. However, that would have the high chance of leading to obsessive behaviors for what was denied. Instead we have opted to teach our children moderation. So far it is working. And because we use our electronic devices as tools, that is how our children perceive them. Yes, they are tantalizing, but when we say, "Time to turn off," they do.
We are being bombarded with the invisible waves of 7 billion cell phones, network television, radio stations, walkie talkies, and who knows what else. Most likely we are changing our genetics even if we don't sit in front of a screen.post #4 of 555/20/13 at 10:30amQuote:
Well, as someone who thinks iceberg lettuce is bland and lacking in nutrition, and much prefers home-grown darker leafy greens, I'm not sure about the wisdom of that particular analogy. I'm also a parent who has older kids who have had access to a variety of tech tools, including an iPad, and in many ways these things have freed them to create, explore and stimulate their minds in ways they wouldn't have otherwise. It's all in how you use them, which is something that derives from your family culture.
My kids have been able to compose music, listen and edit, and print sheet music in order to play their compositions with and for friends in real life. They've been able to create documentary films by interviewing local elders and editing together their movies. They've been able to engage in wide-ranging research and debates concerning things like atheism, evolution, the risks of wifi and cell tower radiation, global warming, neonicotinoids. They've been involved in advocacy work. They've studied classic films, followed space flights and space telescope observations. They've had virtual violin and viola lessons. They've practiced sight-reading rhythm and pitch with instant feedback and guidance. They've kept blogs and scrapbooks of their travels and learning. All aided by tech tools like the iPad. And you know what? They still like singing in choirs, growing food, hiking, playing card games together, drawing with paper and pencils and hanging out talking with family and friends.
To SundayCrepes. I've owned a 1st gen iPad with 32GB of memory for the past three years, and I've found the memory sufficient with judicious management of my software library and especially videos. I think if I were buying again at this point I'd go with 64GB since software and hardware expectations do increase over time. But provided you don't treat the iPad as a repository for media I think you'd be happy with 64 GB for the next three or four years. With the 32GB I'd be less sure of that.
I too use my iPad as a stand-in for a laptop. It's the only tech tool we travel with. I only recently got a cellphone, and it's an old flip-phone, so the iPad is our link to the world when we're away from home. I also use it for taking minutes at meetings for various societies I'm involved with. And on long trips when two kids want to sleep and the third would like to listen to music, or when we're stuck in a motel room or a hostel and we don't want to turn on TV, the iPad is an incredibly compact way to carry books, music, movies, journals, art tools, card games, information, a communication device and so on for four or five or six people, and it gets passed around a lot. My one regret with the 1st generation is the lack of a camera. I think you'll want a regular (not a mini) if you're going to share it out amongst family members and use it as a laptop while away from home and desktop. First of all, an external keyboard is going to reduce the portability of the combination anyway. And secondly the mini (dh has one) is too small to really work as a family unit where two or more people might want to be able to see what's on the screen. The regular iPad works beautifully as a portable movie screen or for two-person drawing, animation or games. The mini really needs to be passed and/or tilted from person to person for more than one to see and use it. With the larger screen using the iPad doesn't necessarily become a solitary pursuit.
I haven't had a speck of trouble with mine. We didn't pay for accident protection, and would never choose to do so. We got a good case for it and make sure it gets treated with respect. We do, however, have a family policy of putting aside money regularly for repairs and upgrades of tech hardware. We've never had to empty that fund out, and it's good to know it's there. I figure it's better to give that "insurance" money to ourselves than to a big-box store.
Mirandapost #5 of 555/20/13 at 11:13amThread Starter
Thanks Miranda. Our use would be similar, but not quite the same as yours. We don't watch movies while traveling, so that should save on storage needs. This is a hard decision because I believe in buying the best, but I am raiding the savings account I started when our son was born and it will empty it out. I'd rather not do that. So every little nuance that costs $100 will make a big difference.post #6 of 555/20/13 at 11:21am
Without movies you may be comfortable with 32GB. You'll just need to keep the mentality of the iPad being like an overnight bag where you put the things you'll be needing for the next couple of days, but the computer you sync it with being your home where most of your stuff really lives.
What specifically do you foresee yourself using the iPad for?
Mirandapost #7 of 555/20/13 at 11:38am
Ok I'm going to be a voice of slight dissent here . We have an ipad, well dp gets one through his work. Its whatever the newest one would be, I guess, since he only got it three weeks ago. I have to say I much prefer my own laptop for educational stuff and work/study. Just because I find you can do so much more.
I think this is going to be very much a horses for courses thing, its not that I don't see the attraction of them I'm just not sure that if I were spending the amount an ipad cost I'd want an ipad over a decent laptop or a notebook. I've been really disappointed by a lot of apps, but probably more importantly here, so have my kids. They've just really felt that you get loads more functionality with a laptop. My kids are 9, 7 and 5 if that helps at all. When we got it they were super-excited but now-like, three weeks in-they literally never use it of their own accord even though we've put some cool apps on there around their interest, and really don't mind getting them some more fun ones if they want them. It really doesn't seem to hold their attention at all. OTOH they will go onto the laptop or tower computer to use various programs, like drawing or music or programming, crayon physics etc so its not like they are uninterested in computer technology.
Oh ds (who appreciates large print) sometimes reads books on it if the kindle is in use by someone else. That is literally about it. No hang on he doesn't he's only identified it as an option, ok. Also apparently the battery lasts longer than the laptop so we might use it when camping, or tbh we might just get an extra laptop battery.
Like I say, horses for courses, and I know a lot of people who do love their ipads, but we were pretty disappointed and just wanted to share my experience. If I'd shelled out for the thing I'd have been pretty gutted I think with the level of interest my family had in it ! If you haven't already, I think I'd try to borrow one for a bit first. I have several friends who love them beyond anything, and so clearly they work wonderfully for many families, but for ours it just hasn't clicked that well. Honestly, our 4 year old laptop running mainly freeware/donationware programs is still the tool of choice!
ETA sorry just to say. I know dp has really liked it as a straightforward work computer. He's described it as a step up from his Blackberry in terms of reading emails and responding to them, reading other people's reports, or taking notes in meetings etc. To him its basically a Blackberry with a bigger, touchscreen, that's mainly how he uses it workwise. But he doesn't use it to write long documents, and its not his first choice for a conference call-for that he has a laptop.
Edited by Fillyjonk - 5/20/13 at 12:07pmpost #8 of 555/20/13 at 12:02pmThread Starterpost #9 of 555/20/13 at 12:03pm
Desktop with wired connection. You can do all of the same things. If it is not used in excess, it probably doesn't need to be portable.
I hate seeing kids reading on kindles. The artificial light glaring in my eye gives me a headache, and I feel sad that they are not experiencing books in the classic way.post #10 of 555/20/13 at 12:23pm
Oh re the kids and kindles. First off, there is no glare, no glare at all. They are not backlit. Second, for me, its a no brainer. I have a dyslexic kid who needs large print and the reduced contrast between print and "paper" kindles have (yeah, that's right, they have actually less glare!). So, sorry if you don't like seeing them, but its not something I'd stress yourself about. Because of the kindle, I now have a kid who can read just about anything (and not just on the kindle anymore). And my kids really love that we have a whole library on there, in my bag whenever we go out, not to mention music to listen to....If you don't want apps, kindles are a really great invention.
@sundaycrepes, if you've used one and know they work for your family then that's something different! I'm sure you'll enjoy it then. I do wonder if the issue with my kids might be that they were used to the laptop, and its functionality, before introducing the massively hyped (by overexcited me and dp!) ipad. I do wonder if, over time, we might find some stuff we like. Just to say, I'm assuming you'll have checked the alternatives? My 9 year old has nearly saved up enough for an ipad (this is years of pocket money, birthday money...), and that was his original goal but he's now deciding to go for an android based touchscreen-more functionality, less money.
Can I make a tiny point? You say you don't watch movies when travelling. I think when my kids were the ages yours must be, from the signature, we probably didn't either. But as my youngest has gotten older, meaning that everyone can watch the same thing, its become a nice family thing. Just mentioning it in case there's any chance your needs might change here? Because I have to say that's the thing we are certainly planning to use the ipad for, movies while camping in the rain (I live in Wales, UK, if we didn't camp in the rain we'd never camp)post #11 of 555/20/13 at 12:50pmThread Starterpost #12 of 555/20/13 at 1:09pmQuote:
Kindles (except for the Fire) have e-ink, not LED/backlit screens. Little microparticles of pigment, not light, make the print. Greyscale screens, intended primarily for reading text.
Mirandapost #13 of 555/20/13 at 1:30pm
ooh thats a good point, sorry re kindle vs ipad for reading. I was responding to the idea that kids reading kindles were experiencing glare. There's no glare at all on a kindle. The only slight issue that my daughters and I have experienced (not my son) is that the relatively low contrast of the kindle screen can make reading marginally harder. Its nothing to notice most of the time though and if you were buying a new one I think they've probably solved that anyway with the paperwhite kindle (mine is about two years old). As Miranda says actual ink is used not LEDs. They are great, IMO.
TBH my kids do use computers, including reading on them and they have never had any issues. They know the stuff re taking a break and so on. But that's a personal choice. SundayCrepes I think you are spot on with what you say about using computers as tools. To me that's what makes the difference.post #14 of 555/20/13 at 1:48pm
atom ionization. At least use airplane mode I suppose, but according to the meters, that only helps with the wifi.
I would think that MDC types would latch on to this one. It is amazing to me that so many of us do not trust the AAP
s assurance of the "safety" of the vaccines (and the yucky stuff in them), yet will accept the FCC's assurance of safety as truth.No kindle for me or my children. Stress, no, sympathy, yes. My eyes need less screen time, not more.post #15 of 555/20/13 at 2:23pmpost #16 of 555/20/13 at 2:30pmpost #17 of 555/20/13 at 2:46pmpost #18 of 555/20/13 at 4:49pmQuote:
Well, first of all SundayCrepes presumably already has a desktop computer. And secondly, no, you actually can't. You can't listen to Bach violin concertos or RadioLab podcasts in the minivan with a desktop computer. You can't lie on the lawn at night and use a desktop computer to identify stars you see above you in real time. You can't Skype your dad from the city to let him know how your choir showcase went. You can't sit in the garden and call to yellow-billed cardinals using recorded birdsong with a desktop computer. You can't carry two readaloud books, a dictionary, a sheet music library and two dozen novels serving four or five people in your purse when you're out of town for a few days with a desktop computer. You can't take photos of the strange beetle caught in your car's front grill, or the blossoms on a strange new plant you found at the park with a desktop computer.
We are primarily a desktop computer family. But the iPad is efficient and useful for all sorts of things out in the wide world that otherwise would be impossible or restricted to indoors-at-home time.
Apps for under-10s ... well, we don't do much in the way of games. My dd enjoyed Pocket Frogs, Angry Birds, World of Goo, Harbor Master, Full Deck Solitaire, Sudoku, Flow, Set. Also Animation Creator, iBird Yard, Star Walk, Clibe and SketchBook Pro, which are more tools / reference resources. We also use utilities like Evernote, the Pinterest app, Feedly, FlipBoard, Downcast and the like to manage lists and on-line content. Not really intended for kids, but useful to my 10-year-old as well as her older siblings and mom.
Mirandapost #19 of 555/20/13 at 5:11pmThread Starter
Yes, if I could do the things I want on a pc I would not consider emptying out my savings to buy an Ipad.
I'm actually starting down this road for one $2.99 app, letterschool. http://letterschool.com/ My daughter needs help with fine motor skills. I've talked to several people whose children LOVE this app. I know I could take lots of time to help her trace letters in sand, in cornstarch/water, etc. However, reality is with all the special needs foods I have to make plus trying to just spend time with my kids, I do not have the time to give her the time she needs. Getting that app would help tremendously. She could do it whenever she wanted. However, you have to have a flat screen and you have to have one that is horizontal.
So I've been looking for a used Isomething for awhile that we could play this on and this weekend another homeschooling mom started talking about all the other apps she has and how she just considers it an educational expense. It made a lot of sense to me. Like I said, I know my kids love the speech therapist's.
A friend did share this info on facebook. It reinforces why I don't want my kids to read on an e-reader. Frankly, I don't want an e-reader, but I figure if I'm going to buy this I might as well see what opportunities it presents in that area. However, after reading this article, I don't know that I want to role model e-reading to my kids. http://publishingperspectives.com/2013/05/as-kids-on-screen-reading-overtakes-print-outcome-is-worrisome/post #20 of 555/20/13 at 5:30pm
We have an ipad and we have been really happy with it. The kids read, listen to stories, and play games (mostly math and puzzle type games) on it. We also borrow library audio and e-books on it (something we didn't discover until recently!) We travel often, and with the i-pad we have been able to take our movies, books, podcasts, music, stories, games, and art books with us. I am constantly listening to NPR on it (can take it in the kitchen while I am cooking), looking up recipes or just music. So, it spends a good amount time in the kitchen with me (no having to print or jot down recipes any more!) We also use an app to send voice messages, short videos and pictures with the kid's grandparents through out the day. The kids love being able to send a quick pic, video or voice message without being on the phone for an extended time. We use Face Time with some people and we have a skype in number as our base phone number; we generally pick up phone calls on skype on the ipad. We receive digital magazines also -- for example, The Economist has a great app through which we get the weekly editions. I love that where ever I am, these things go with me without trying to pack a zillion things. I think the portability of the ipad is its most important attribute.
We love the ipad here.
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