iphone apps

iphone apps

It’s Fun to Raise Bilingual Kids with Chungaboo’s Language Learning App

“I want to play Chinese!” is a phrase my two-year-old daughter often shouts out. I’m never sure if she really wants to play with Chungaboo’s iBook “Words: English to Chinese” or if she knows it’s a sure-fire way to gain access to the iPad. Either way, I call it a win. These books are so engaging with vivid illustrations by artist Miles Wisniewski and expert language translation voiceovers that even my toddler is picking up pieces of the Mandarin language and inserting it into every day conversation. Earlier this summer we introduced you to Chungaboo in a feature at Yahoo! Shine, Parents Should Load iPads with Chungaboo eBooks for Summer Learning, and we think no matter the season these books should be in your kids’ hands.

An article about bilingual children at Parents.com said, “The earlier you introduce a second language, the easier it will be for your child to pick up its unique sounds.” It went on to say that ages 2 to 3 are ideal for introducing a second language because it’s at this time that the “ability to hear different phonetic pronunciations is sharpest.”

We all know that children are sponges and are at the peak of learning ability in their earliest ages, so my husband and I loved finding Chungaboo (disclaimer: created by friends we met in college) for our daughter. She thinks it’s a game, we know she’s learning, and according to an article in the New York Times this past spring, each time she plays and picks up a new word she’s getting a little brighter. Read the rest of this entry »



New Fitness App Helps Students Stay in Shape

Garmin Fit App logoWhen I was a freshman in college, I didn’t need an app to help me find the most fattening foods on my college campus. But nowadays, there’s even an app for that and created by Garmin. Lately though, Garmin is trying to change their image, so they created a new app called Fit App that will help you loose the original freshman fifteen that you gained by using their original app to find the best cheese fries in the city.

The Fit App is now available for Android and iPhone. For only $0.99, the new app, which works a lot like Nike+, will help you measure your workouts in terms of distance, time, calories, and speed of your exercise. This is perfect for college students because it means you do not have to pay attention to your workout. Instead, you can focus on the homework assignment that you brought to the gym with you, right?

In addition to tracking your workouts, the Fit App will allow you to share your workout results with others via a social media platform that connects all Fit App users. This is also convenient for college students because you could use it to plan a group workout session with your friends, even if you can not all go to the gym together at the same time due to conflicting class schedules.

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Become a Superhero and Learn Math with the Numbers League

For most young kids, superheroes are cool. Math is not cool. If only math were fun and could save the city from bad guys. Well the Numbers League app for iPads has used superhero powers to make basic math problems fun and entertaining, while also teaching children basic math skills.

The Numbers League game takes place in Infinity City, a futuristic world where bad guys lurk and the only force strong enough to stop them is the Numbers League. This team of superheroes uses the sum of their powers and strengths to fight the bad guys in a way that children are sure to enjoy. Parents can also get in on the fun because Numbers League allows up to four players to play at the same time.

Numbers League has three difficulty levels: simple addition, complex addition and basic subtraction, and negative numbers and simple multiplication. The different levels make it possible for both a five-year old child and a teenager to improve their math skills while still having fun.

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The Best Study Abroad Apps for Students

Many students take a semester off from their traditional studies and head to a foreign country to study abroad. I spent a summer abroad, and although I had a fantastic time, I really wished that I had had some better apps on my iPhone to help me while I was living in Spain. Luckily, if you are going abroad anytime soon, there now are some great apps that you can download to your phone before you jump on that plane and start your adventure. So, without further ado, here are some of the best apps for studying abroad:

iPronunciation. If you are moving to a foreign country where you do not speak the language, you are bound to make some mistakes when asking strangers for directions around your new hometown. For example, try this one on for size: desafortunadamente. (It’s Spanish for “unfortunately.”) However, if you have iPronunciation, you will not make a simple pronunciation mistake that might have some awkward consequences. This app combines Google Translate and Bing Translate to translate 53 languages with the phonetic pronunciation of 17 of those languages. Bye bye, looking-up-words-in-a-dictionary. Hello, much-easier-conversations!

Word Lens. This is another app that will help you if you’re studying abroad in a country that speaks a foreign language. Have you ever looked at a menu and had absolutely no idea what you were ordering? With World Lens, you can point your iPhone’s camera at the menu, and the app instantly translates the menu into another language. Currently, this app only works for Spanish and English but there are more languages to come in the future.

XE Currency. It is so easy to overspend while you are studying abroad, especially if you are going to a country where the currency has a higher value than the USD. Luckily, this app will help you stay on budget by providing current exchange rates for more than 180 currencies.

Flight Status. Have you ever gotten to the airport on time, learned that your flight had been rescheduled without your knowledge, and been stranded at the airport because your flight left before you got to there? Or maybe it was delayed and you now have a long layover. Either way, it’s not a fun situation to be in. With this app, you will never miss your flight again. The app gives you the latest information for your flight, including departures, arrivals, and delays.

Google Maps. I once got lost in San Jose, Costa Rica. I was walking around the city in the pouring rain for three hours and could not find anyone to ask for directions. If I had had Google Maps, I would have been able to get directions back to my home and gotten out of the rain.

Studying abroad is one of the best experiences of my entire life. If you want to see some of my videos from my summer abroad, visit our YouTube page!



The Best Summer Apps for Students

It’s officially summer break! School is out and you officially do not have to do anything academic for three fantastic months! Yay! However, if you do not use your brain over the summer, you are most likely going to suffer from summer brain drain. So, how can you use it and not lose it this summer while still having fun? You could read some books or do the New York Times crossword, or you could check out these fun iPhone apps.

Big Bad Sudoku Book Do you love playing sudoku? Personally, I can’t get enough of it. This app has many different puzzles and different levels, challenging you up to the expert level. The Big Bad Sudoku Book also has decorative backgrounds and fun visuals, which make it much more fun to look at than a black-and-white newspaper sudoku.

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CampusBooks Can Save You Money When Shopping for Textbooks

Buying a book for your college classes can be stressful. You have to drive from local bookstore to local bookstore, search the best rental companies, and even surf Amazon.com or Half.com to find the best price for your books. The entire process of comparing books at every venue becomes frustrating.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just tell someone what book you are looking for and then that person would find the cheapest option for you? Well, I haven’t found a person to do that yet, but I have found an iPhone and Android app that will.

CampusBooks allows you to scan the bar code of any book that you are looking for and it will instantly bring up a list of the cheapest bookstores and online websites where you can buy the book. Or if you do not have the book in front of you where you can scan the bar code, you can type in the name of the book, ISBN, author, or keywords to find what you are looking for.

Another very cool feature of this app is that it has GPS technology that shows you which bookstores are closest to you so that you do not have to drive all over town, searching for the bookstore that promises to save you the most money. This app also has a feature that lets you sell your books, allowing you to earn money from this app instead of spending money on it.

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Immersive German Helps Beginners Get Momentum

learn german appLearning another language is a horizon-broadening experience, but it can be hard to get started. Fortunately, new tools powered by mobile devices are helping students learn foreign languages by new and exciting methods. The Immersive German app for iPhone and iPad is one of these tools.

Some of my readers may remember me geeking out over French-Language apps from Erasmos because I’ve spent a lot of time studying French, but I have to say I know very little German. Immersive German, as you might expect, takes an immersive approach to teaching a German and uses as little spoken English as possible. It uses pictures an spoken words to convey lessons. There are ten lessons which teach you very basics, which is perfect for a beginner like me.

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Taking a French Class? We’ve Got the Apps

French Language AppI took a French course just about every year of my education, from second grade to my senior year at Sarah Lawrence College. I’d like to imagine that I’ve been exposed to a lot of strategies of teaching French, many of which are less exciting than others. I was recently sent two apps that aim to help students learn aspects of the French language from Erasmos: French Gender and French Numbers. I would have benefited greatly from these tools.

Even as an advanced speaker of French-as-a-second language, I know that gender is something I still struggle with using correctly. During the year I spend studying in Paris, I used my dictionary to look up the gender of words constantly. The French Gender app for iPhone comes with an impressive reference section that includes 66 word-ending possibilities, color-coded by gender. Click into each ending to find a list of examples and a list of exceptions, each accompanied by its English translation. You can also click each word to hear it pronounced. There’s a section to practice your ability to apply these rules. For those who want to give the app a test-run before purchasing, you can try the free version which only includes six word-endings.

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RegaNumberPlay Offers a Lesson in Counting

iPhone counting appThe RegaNumberPlay game from Rega Interactive is an iPhone app that can be used to teach preschoolers and young children how to count, and can help non-native speakers to learn English numbers.

The app is extremely simple and easy to use. It has three features: “Learn,” “Play,” and “Quiz.” The “Learn” feature consists of numerical buttons. The user can press a button to hear that number said aloud. Users in the U.S. may find the non-American accent of the speaker jarring or funny, although there is nothing incorrect about the pronunciation.

The “Play” feature is a game that challenges users to identify the sequence of numbers as fast as possible. The “Quiz” feature asks users to identify the number of objects in an image. There are three levels of difficulty, the more difficult levels use bigger numbers.

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Study for Geometry Class with the Geometry Stash iPhone App

geometry-stash-viewAre you taking or teaching a geometry class? Then you’ll want to check out the Geometry Stash iPhone App created by Apparent Etch, a useful quick-reference tool for iPhone. The app is a dictionary of geometry postulates and theorems, and each is illustrated with a diagram. Users can find terms by using a search, or scroll through the definitions alphabetically.

Geometry Stash has an additional feature that turns it into a teaching tool. Users can connect their iPhones to an external display with a VGA adapter and project the diagrams onto a bigger screen. This feature would be great in a class room or for a group study session.

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