Bloggerhood Etc. 12/8/14

all houses matter

Best Cartoon. “All Houses Matter” by Chainsawsuit.com.

Best Commentary. “‘This Stops Today’: Eric Garner and Police Accountability” by Mollie Wilson O’Reilly in Commomweal.

Best Letter.To My Future Son With Thoughts of Ferguson” by Amena Brown Owen at A Deeper Story.

Best Reality Check.Being a Cop Showed Me Just How Racist and Violent the Police Are” by Redditt Hudson at The Washington Post.

Most Honest.Just Another Straight White Chick in The Burbs” by Andee Zomerman at Nature of a Servant.

Most Hopeful.What if We’re Supposed to *Be* the Good News We’re So Desperate for When it Comes to Race Relations in America?” by Lisa-Jo Baker.

Best Guest Post.Through the Door” by Cara Strickland at The Hope Diaries.

Best Special Needs Post.He Has What?” by Patty Meyers at Not Alone.

Best Songlist.The Top 5 Most Moving Christmas Songs I Listen To” by Benjamin L. Corey at Formerly Fundie.

Best Photoblog.The Motions of Kayaking and Canoeing,” photos by Stephen Orlando, posted by Christopher Jobson at Colossal.

Best Tech Post.The Holidays Are Here. Which Apps Will You Share With the Children in Your Life?” by Julie M. Wood and Nicole Ponsford at Harvard Family Research Project.

Most Reassuring.Why the Immaculate Conception makes Protestants squirm {and why it doesn’t have to!}” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best Video.Hallelujah” by Peter Hollens, featuring Jackie Evancho (via YouTube).

Bloggerhood Etc. 7/14/14

Newport sunset

Photo: Julia Ozab

The sun has set on our week-long Oregon Coast vacation, and it’s time to get back to work. Step one: catching up on everything I missed online. Here are some of the best …

Best Bucket List.Gonna live like I’m dying–a list of what I’d do/not do if I my time was almost up” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best Response to a Media-Driven Controversy.The Redskins Controversy; Let the Natives Speak” by Charles Martel at Turf Show Times.

Best Writing Advice.Paper Can Handle the Truth” by Natalie Trust at The Gift of Writing.

Best Special Needs Post.When the Waves are too Strong” by Shannon Dingle at Not Alone.

Best Satire.How to Breastfeed Appropriately” by Bunmi Laditan at Huff Post Parents.

Best Protest.Dallas Open Carry Guitar Protest Hits the Right Note” by the editors at The Dallas Morning News.

Best Question.Will American Christians Fail the Good Samaritan Test?” by Ed Cyzewski.

Best Comic.If Super Mario World Had Been Released on an App Store” by Commitstrip. 

Best Dad Post.My Son Wears Dresses and That’s OK With Me” by Seth Menachem at xojane.

Best Reality Check.This is What Happened When I Drove My Mercedes to Pick Up Food Stamps” by Darlena Cunha at The Washington Post.

Best Commentary.Christians Worship a Child Who Fled Violence in His Home Country” by Gay Clark Jennings at Religion News Service.

Best Book Trailer.How to Start a Family … One Owl at a Time,” a trailer for Melissa Hart’s new memoir Wild Within (via You Tube).

Best Movie Trailer.Wild – Official Trailer (2014)” the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir (via YouTube).

“What if all those things I did were the things that got me here?”

Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part Four

Anna and I check out her new iPad Air

Photo: Julia Ozab

We bought Anna an iPad for her birthday, and what’s an iPad without apps? I took a  look at an iPad at Anna’s elementary school while Julia searched online, and together we found a wide variety of educational games along with some just for fun. Now that a few weeks have passed, I asked Anna what some of her favorites were? She likes a lot of them, so I’ll be featuring them here each Tuesday over the next few weeks.

Check out Part One: Spelling, Grammar, and Reading, Part Two: Math and Science, and Part Three: Geography and Foreign Language.

(Note: specs and screenshots via the App Store)

Part Four: Just for Fun

3 Games in 1 App

Monsters University

  • $0.99
  • Category: Games
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2013
  • Version: 1.1.1
  • Size: 60.5 MB
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese
  • Seller: Walt Disney
  • © Disney 2013

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation). This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Free version: Catch Archie.

Become the ultimate scarer!

Description: Catch Archie the Scare Pig, run the Toxicity Challenge, and Avoid the Parent (aka the 50 foot librarian) in three fun games based on the film Monsters University. Each game features thirty stages of increasing difficulty. Play as Mike, then unlock Sully, Squishy, and Don Carlton, as you move up in levels. Earn coins and buy boosts and second chances.

Anna’s favorite part: Spending coins in the store.

Julia and I are both hooked on this app. She’s played all thirty stages of Toxicity Challenge and Avoid the Parent, and I’m on Stage 28 of Catch Archie.

Continue reading

Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part Three

Anna and I check out her new iPad Air

Photo: Julia Ozab

We bought Anna an iPad for her birthday, and what’s an iPad without apps? I took a  look at an iPad at Anna’s elementary school while Julia searched online, and together we found a wide variety of educational games along with some just for fun. Now that a few weeks have passed, I asked Anna what some of her favorites were? She likes a lot of them, so I’ll be featuring them here each Tuesday over the next few weeks.

Check out Part One: Spelling, Grammar, and Reading, and Part Two: Math and Science.

(Note: specs and screenshots via the App Store)

Part Three: Geography and Foreign Language

50 States with Flat Stanley

Learn the States With Flat Stanley

  • $0.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Nov 02, 2013
  • Version: 1.9
  • Size: 48.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Flatter World, Inc.
  • © Flatter World Inc

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Send Stanley to Oregon.

Description:  Help Flat Stanley re-deliver lost mail while learning the names and locations of all fifty states. Grab a slingshot, take aim, and send him flying.

Anna’s Favorite Part: Flinging Stanley with the slingshot.

Continue reading

Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part Two

Anna and I check out her new iPad Air

Photo: Julia Ozab

We bought Anna an iPad for her birthday, and what’s an iPad without apps? I took a  look at an iPad at Anna’s elementary school while Julia searched online, and together we found a wide variety of educational games along with some just for fun. Now that a few weeks have passed, I asked Anna what some of her favorites were? She likes a lot of them, so I’ll be featuring them here each Tuesday over the next few weeks.

Check out Part One: Spelling, Grammar, and Reading.

(Note: specs and screenshots via the App Store)

Part Two: Math and Science

Equation screen

Mathmateer™

  • $0.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2013
  • Version: 2.2
  • Size: 20.2 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Freecloud Design, Inc.
  • © 2010-2013 Freecloud Design, Inc.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Rocket launch screen

Description: Solve math problems, earn money, and build a rocket. Then launch the rocket on a math mission. All levels of elementary mathematics will keep a child engaged and learning into middle school.

Anna’s favorite part: Launching the rocket, of course.

Continue reading

Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part One

Anna and I check out her new iPad Air

Photo: Julia Ozab

We bought Anna an iPad for her birthday, and what’s an iPad without apps? I took a  look at an iPad at Anna’s elementary school while Julia searched online, and together we found a wide variety of educational games along with some just for fun. Now that a few weeks have passed, I asked Anna what some of her favorites were? She likes a lot of them, so I’ll be featuring them here each Tuesday over the next few weeks.

(Note: specs and screenshots via the App Store)

Part One: Spelling, Grammar, and Reading

scramble mode

FreeFall Spelling

  • $1.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2012
  • Version: 2.4
  • Size: 65.0 MB
  • Languages: English, German, Spanish
  • Seller: Merge Mobile, Inc.
  • © Merge Mobile, Inc

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Fish Tank

Description: Practice spelling in three different modes—scramble, drag—and typwriter fun—and win fish and aquarium supplies to fill a virtual fish tank.

Anna’s favorite part: Feeding the fish.

Continue reading

Link

The Pass-Back Effect

Lisa Guernsey (of The New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative) says kids are asking to borrow the iPhone at younger and younger ages:

Last year, an analysis of education content on iTunes highlighted a surprising statistic: Of the “apps” in the education section of the iTunes app store, the greatest percentage of children’s titles are aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. What are those apps like? Why are they so popular? Do they really deserve the label “educational” – or are they no more than eye-candy for the next generation of gamers?

She calls this the “pass-back” effect. In other words, when parents are busy, say driving the car, they’ll “pass-back” the iPhone to keep their children occupied.

I suppose if the kid’s going to be playing with the phone anyway, you might as well find some educational apps, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to pass our fairly new, and somewhat expensive, iPhone back to our almost five-year-old just yet.

And I was hoping to wait a few more years before I heard “Dad, can I borrow the iPhone.” Or worse, “can I have an iPhone?”

Lisa Guersey interviews Carly Schuler, research and industry fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the co-author of Learning: Is There An App for That? The Podcast is 18 minutes long.