The winter seasonal forecast calls for more snow, blizzards and hazardous conditions in many states, and that means families will have to contend with making their children active and busy. This doesn't mean the children will have free reign on game systems, Internet and electronic devices. Video game demographics state that over 60% of households have some form of electronic platform, and that means heaps of seat- warming time in front of a computer or an electronic device in the hands of children and adolescents.
The cabin fever syndrome can be used in a positive manner and may even be a contributing factor in all educational pursuits and learning experiences. As the ubiquitous commercials state, " we have an app for that," really can strike home. It doesn't matter if the applications are either from the Apple or Android operating systems or are computer based; it still can be a way to involve the family in working together.
The list of activities is endless, as there are thousands of apps, and new ones each day that can be utilized to make it meaningful. It will take a concerted effort to plan the activities, and at times, the family will have to venture outdoors to complement a brain- based approach for an exciting adventure.This doesn't mean that the family can't pick up a real book , but the technology of the 21st century has afforded a new and exciting journey.
There are a host of possibilities that range from Ipad, Iphone, Kindle Fire, tablets and surface devices that will fit the needs of information and education for all family members. To make that journey successful, there should be a wide range of topics that covers all aspects of the educational process, and an exemplary carry-over from the school experience.
So, button up the winter coats and get some exercise, or warm-up inside for a family excursion into the world of technology and educational adventures to learn new things or add on what already has been done. The apps are more than free games from Itunes or Google. It is best to develop a calendar or schedule to keep track of the results and improvements:
- Fooducate- where else can you find free ratings of food choices? When visiting the grocery give a task to scan the products from an electronic device and track your health, or type in a product in the search area. Have children plan a nutritious meal.
- Red Laser- this is an app to scan QR codes, which are the black and white squares that are posted in stores and magazines. Make your own codes, too, for fun and exploration.
- Sports-Tracker- is an app to track walking and running each day and look for improvement and fitness. And, shoveling snow can be a great exercise, too.
- Convert Units- use the fitness results and change the results to the metric system, which is a utility on the Iphone or Itouch
- Cam Wow- get silly and add some hilarity to all the arduous tasks and take photos that change into a myriad of contortions or edit photos for hands-on activities.
- Dropbox, Skydrive, Goggle Drive- a great place to store all the documents and photos for free
- Overdrive- visit a library or go online to get free ebooks or audio books to put on PC's or electronic devices
- Itunes U.- a wonderful place to get free pod casts, lectures and curriculum information from universities
Of course, these are just a few examples of the thousands of apps that can be used as a learning tool to keep the family abreast of all the new trends and possibilities of expanding all educational horizons. It must be realized that there is always a free entity by signing up at the local library for free rentals, which will extend the journey to another level of experience. Imagination and creativity can go a long way and it doesn't matter if it's inside or outside the home.
Homework: Very soon March Madness will be upon us and college basketball's premier spectacle. Use this as a core subject assignment for the whole family as follows:
- Make the bracket for the 64 teams
- What states are the teams from and what are the capitals?
- Be a sports writer and follow a scheduled game, maybe the championship
- Keep statistics and work the shooting percentages
- What resource is prevalent at each state?
- What is the winter temperature average for each state?
- Practice an interview with a family member from the winning or losing team.
- Make up a team cheer or dance routine
- Dribble a ball during each TV ad