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The presence of modern electronic gadgets is very hard to avoid for many people. Although they might have some negative points toward the children, using gadgets for homeschooling is now unavoidable for us. Here are some gadgets that we use and how we use them.
5 Ways of Using Gadgets for Homeschooling
Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8All-New Kindle Oasis E-reader – 7All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1
I really have fallen in love with this gadget. For those who has owned this gadget, you might think that I have been very left out. I have been very lucky that a generous friend of mine living in the USA gave a couple of kindle paper white. It is impossible to get the Kindle shipped by Amazon to Indonesia. Even the e-bay need longer time to deliver.
- We now can read books in more affordable prices. Although we have local book stores around, the Amazon's price is really reasonable and even there are a lot of free kindle books offered. In the past, we spent a lot of expenses on shipping fees. Using kindle, we don't need any shipping fees anymore. We don't have any desirable library close here. Therefore, having a kindle has really ease our will to get books easily.
- We don't need to wait more than a month to get a book delivered to us.
- We also don't need to look up the new vocabulary in the manual dictionary as Kindle has already provided the instant dictionary for us to refer.
- We can highlight and take a note on parts of the “book” without loosing them.
- We also combine Audible and Kindle Books for our literature reading.
Both kids and I sometimes use iPad for some learning activities and productivity. We don't purchase iPad for each of them as it might push them to individualism and dispute. In addition, we would like them to learn sharing with siblings. Ipad has provided some awesome applications for kids to engage their interest in learning. We don't use it all of the time as I am afraid they are going to be addicted and get limited to the real world of life and learning. Here are our top ten iPad application that my kids (7, 11, and 12 years old boys) use for supporting their learning:
- Enjoy Learning Anatomy model puzzle – Digital Gene
- GeoMaster Plus HD – Visuamobile
- Enjoy Learning Indonesia Map Puzzle – Digital Gene
- SpellingCity – SpellingCity
- MathBoard – PalaSoftware Inc.
- Educreations Interactive Whiteboard – Educreations, Inc
- MindMeister (mind mapping) – MeisterLabs
- SimplePhysics – Jundroo, LLC
- Amazing Space Journey – 3D Solar System – Digital Expression
- MeeGenius Worldwide: 800 Award-Winning Interactive Kids' Storybooks and Songbooks with Read-Along Narration in Every Book – MeeGenius, Inc.
I use iPad for planning, noting, creating exercise, and jotting down ideas as well.
Android mobile phone
Our teens are starting using the mobile phones starting this academic years. The main reason for letting them using Android phone is to get us communicate more easily when they are in the outside house activities. However, there are other purposes of letting them using the phone:
- They can record the experience using their phone camera. It will also get them practice their photography skills
- They can use some Android application such as the Google Sky Map which really get them interested to the astronomy, compass, etc
- They start managing their private time with the google calendar. They can take notes on any important meeting with our support group.
- They have some friends to contact by chatting, especially other homeschooled buddies.
- They are getting familiar with new technology.
On the other hand, we are forced to have some new rules of using the mobile phones, including the social media communication. It gives us another consequences of having some rules regarding the use of the mobile phones. Here are some agreements we have:
- Mobile phones are only allowed on the weekends for a couple of hours and whenever they are in outside activities except for sports activities.
- No mobile phone in the family time.
- All passwords are informed to parents so that we can control.
- Inviting friends or playing dates through mobile phone chatting have to be informed previously.
- Telling their contacts to people that we really know.
We try hard to give some understanding about those rules and agreements.
Kids don't have either video or camera other than their mobile phones, but I use them frequently for some purposes:
- To document the activities, such as experiments, performance, boy scouting, etc
- To take pictures of some books or articles in the newspaper that we would like to discuss
- To make some learning materials we need
- To capture our alive observation, such as the nature walk objects.
I have a Sony ICD-BX112 Digital Flash Voice Recorder for a longer and clear voice recording whenever I need. Voice recorder is sometimes replaced by an application in either iPad or mobile phone. Voice recorder is used when we have an interview or for listening to a presentation. I also try to record their voice in some oral narration.
Another important thing about gadgets is the way we keep and charge them. I actually still have some problem with this one. We keep and feed the gadgets in my room. Wherever we don't use them, all gadgets should always be stored and “Feed” (charged) in my room to prevent them being lost and broken. We are still struggling with the numbers of cable needed to organize.
How do you use gadgets in your homeschooling? How do you organize them?
This post is a part of “Our Homeschool Gadgets” Blog Hop in iHomeschoolnetwork. Click this picture bellow to read more about other posts: