App of the Week: My Noah from Project Noah

MyNoahappicon.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 iTunesWhen you combine two things I love, nature and tech, I’m bound to get giddy with excitement and that is exactly what happened when I discovered the My Noah app from Project Noah. We live in the woods and spend a lot of time outdoors exploring and participating in nature study and as much as I love having my kids sketch out their finds, it isn’t always ideal. Now, with the My Noah app we don’t have to always have sketchbook on hand and can quickly expand the studies to so much more.

What is Project Noah?

MyNoahiPhone1.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 iPhone from iTunesProject Noah launched in 2010 as a location based application for to get people involved with the nature around them again, documenting their local wildlife. The project now serves as global database, documenting species of wildlife from those exploring nature as amateurs to the professional scientist with "well over 90K registered members now, with visitors from 211 countries & spottings from all 7 continents."

Project Noah allows members to add photos of wildlife along with documentation of where they spotted the species, any identifying tags and much more. Users can join missions, such as Birds of the World, to add their spotting to as well. For a fun added incentive, you can even earn patches for your profile based on achievements you have made with your spottings.

The press has given much praise to Project Noah as well with BBC stating “A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future.” And Mother Nature Network said, “Project Noah and its innovative app bridge the gap between professionals and amateur wildlife enthusiasts.”

What is My Noah?

My Noah is the mobile application for Project Noah, the heart of the system. Available on both the Android platform and iTunes in the education category for free, the app harnesses a wealth of information for budding little scientist but is simple enough for a young elementary student to use with some initial instruction.

MyNoahAndroid.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 Android Market

While the look and function of the app varies slightly depending on the platform and device used, the basics are the same. You will find a place for your spotting, missions, patches and settings.

Mission: The Florida Scrub for Homeschoolers

MyNoahiPhone2.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 iPhone via iTunesIf you hadn’t already figured it out, I love this app and project as a whole but especially love that you can create your own missions for spotting wildlife, which is what I did this morning when I created “The Florida Scrub for Homeschoolers” mission.

You see, I remembered a great curriculum I came across a few years back created by the Archbold Station in Venus, FL that teaches students all about the Florida Scrub habitat. We live in one portion of this habitat and encounter the wildlife on a daily basis. My kids are old enough now to start to dig into the curriculum and begin to identify some of the species that are native to our local environment. What better way to begin working on this than to include My Noah as part of the project and have the kids put their Florida Scrub spotting into the mission?

I have opened the mission up to all homeschoolers in Florida who would like to join in identifying the wildlife to add their spotting, as well as anyone else who could help the children find some of the more elusive species on the list.

So what are you waiting for, go download this great app, get outdoors and start spotting. Don’t forget to set up your own mission as a nature study/science project or join in some local ones near you too!

You can also find Project Noah on Twitter & Facebook.

App of the Week: Rover, the iPad Browser for Educators & Students

Rover Home.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/12/2012 9:34 AMAs I try to start out my regular app of the week post, I must start with Rover. You see, as far as this tech loving mama can tell, there is no other app as valuable to educators right now, because it is the only app designed as browser for educators that allows you to access flash based content.

I LOVE this app and use it on a daily basis to let me kids watch a video assignment through Learning.com, or to let the little play on PBS kids as great educational activities when another child needs my attention for a lesson.

My 3 year old LOVES it too. You should have seen her eyes light up when she realized that she could play PBS kids on the iPad, you would have thought the iPad was hers at that moment, and not mama's.

 

So What Exactly is Rover?

Rover Mathletics.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/12/2012 9:35 AMRover is an education browser for the iPad that is powered by the iSwifter cloud based flash platform. iSwifter teamed up with Discovery and other educational providers to launch the browser and provide you with a browser that will let you access your favorite learning sites with a filter in place to protect your child from inappropriate content.

 

Where to Get it:  In the iTunes Store

Price:  Free

Requirements:  iOS 4.3 or later and a Wi-Fi Connection

 

Your Favorite Education Sites Already at Your Fingertips

Rover Content.png

Screen clipping taken: 1/12/2012 9:34 AMWhen you run the Rover app, your main screen is the “Featured Content” which is a variety of options from Discovery Education. You must know though, if you do not have DE subscription, you will not be able to access this content. Homeschool Buyers Coop offers great discounts on these subscriptions throughout the year.

No worries though, at the bottom of the screen, click “more content.” Here you will find prescreened educational websites, many that you probably already know and love, categorized by age groups, elementary, middle and high school. PBS Kids, Starfall and ClickN Kids are just some of the choices in the elementary category. Middle school can choose among sites such as Brain Pop, NASA and Learning.com while high school students have options like Khan Academy and Adaptive Curriculum.

 

You can follow Rover on Twitter or become a Fan on Facebook too!

10 CHROME WEB APPS TO ENHANCE YOUR HOME SCHOOL

google chrome

I can tell you, just by looking at my site stats, that few have made the plunge and tried out Google’s Chrome as their browser. In fact, only 3% of my sites visitors last month were using Chrome, despite the fact that 42% of my traffic is the result of organic Google searches.

So, tell me people, why haven’t you taken the plunge yet? I know you love Google for searching, so why not for your web browsing?

Well, I’m going to give 10 reasons to give Chrome a try thanks to the web store and some must have educational apps.

  1. MeeGenius! Children’s Books – Illustrated digital storybooks that your child can read, listen to audio playback and even highlight words.
  2. Art Project, Powered by Google – explore the beautiful works of art of the world’s museums from the comfort of your home with this app. Your homeschooler can even zoom in to study the detail of a particular painting.
  3. MathBoard Addition – Customizable timed quizzes for addition math practice for elementary students, great for giving your kids a quick 5-minute drill a day. You can also pay for the full version for access to subtraction, multiplication, division, cubes and square roots.
  4. The Elementals – Studying the periodic table has never been so fun. Install this free web app where each element has a unique personality illustrated with simple yet eye catching graphics.
  5. WordStash – Simply an amazing tool for helping your homeschooler with their vocabulary. Set up your free account as a teacher and create vocabulary list around their studies that will generate flashcards and so much more for them.
  6. Ancient History Encyclopedia – If you have a middle school or high school home school student, this app can prove to be an invaluable resource in allowing to quickly locate books, definitions and illustrations relating to ancient history.
  7. Academic Earth – If you older home schooled student is pursuing and planning out a college education, help prepare them and fuel there passions with this free app. Academic Earth gives you free access to lectures from professors at top Universities covering a range of academic topics.
  8. Unofficial Khan Academy Application – Chances are you have heard about the Khan Academy. If you haven’t, it is a vast library of free educational videos supplemented by practice and assessment thoroughly covering almost every aspect of math as well as other subjects including science.
  9. Planetarium – If your homeschooler has a passion for the night sky or if you are looking for simple way to locate the constellations for viewing with them, this app is awesome. Planetarium is an interactive star map that shows over 1,500 stars and the planets. 
  10. 3DTin – Get ready to let the creativity of your budding engineer, architect or even graphic designer blossom when you set them up with the 3DTin app from the Chrome store. Your homeschooler will be able to design, save and even export any models they create.

Now that you have made it through the list, you may be saying to yourself “most of these are just websites, why can’t I just bookmark them in my browser?”

Well, you can, but the beauty of using chrome is that when you start up your Chrome browser all of the great apps you have added on will be right there. This makes it especially easy for younger children to navigate and use only the technology tools that you want them using.