On one of her very first days of school, M reported that she’d watched two different Youtube videos as part of class. Oh, really?

So of course I had to know which ones they were and check them out myself.

One I knew about already, Nick Vujicic, the “No arms no legs no worries” guy. He’s this marvelously upbeat guy who’s basically a torso with a big smile and what he calls a “little chicken drumstick.” He is basically an antidote to narcissistic adolescent angst. Okay, I thought. I approve.

Meanwhile, in social studies, it was a new one to me: Why Study History? put together by a teacher. It’s basically a trailer for history with clips from a variety of sources. I’m a total history geek and so I loved it. History is exciting, you guys. And if it’s easier for kids to understand that it’s exciting by breaking it up into teeny bits and setting it to Coldplay, well, I heartily endorse it!

So that’s excellent. I feel like she’s in good hands.

As middle school began there was quite a bit of talk and anxiety about the Perils of Social Media, and so I found this article about how digital tools might be making kids smarter (in part because they’re writing so much) from The Globe and Mail to be both interesting and heartening.

And I’m overdue, but my sister-in-law reports that she loves the Super Speller App, especially when she’s driving the kids around. She adds the weeks spelling words at the beginning of the week, and then my niece studies by playing the app while they’re in the car.

Another friend was recommending language apps–she likes MindSnacks and Duolingo. Actually, Duolingo sounds so cool that I kind of want to start using it myself. Except that my phone has basically no memory. Maybe I should ask for some for my birthday?

When I was looking into these apps, I noticed that some had won or been nominated for the Best App Ever Awards, so of course I had to look into that, and look! They have a whole section on educational apps, with all sorts of tempting sub-categories. Although, jeepers, do you parents of infants really have the babies play apps? Do I sound like I’m 95 years old if this sounds crazy-pants to me?

Anyway, I still can barely operate my phone, so I’m open to suggestions if folks have favorite learning technology items that you think the world should know about.



  1. meghan

    endless alphabet…. hands down best free educational app ever! It has funny words like Icky, demolish, and more. So what they do is they spell out the words with the letters (like a puzzle) each of the letters makes a funny sounds like RRRRrrrRRRrrr for R, and wiggle about. After all the letters are in order it tells you the word, gives the definition, and shows a short clip of what the word means.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *