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Educational Games You Want Your Kids to Get Hooked On


Kids love technology - especially when it’s fun.

Kids love technology - especially when it’s fun. There are so many options for various grades and subjects. You can set up apps on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smart phone. You may even be required by school to do some kind of online game or practice with your kids at home via IXL.com or Starfall. As with any type of game or application, it’s import to monitor your kids games, because even though these are fun and educational, they may not always choose the most challenging educational game to get hooked on. Encourage your kids to be challenged, and maybe even compete with them to encourage all kinds of learning.

Below I’ve arranged the websites and games by subject, grade, or type of educational website.

First up, are the big major educational game websites.


ABCya has games for math, reading, letters, strategy, and all kinds of random information. The games range from PreK-5th grade. The games can be played on a laptop or iPhone. Kids even in to middle school seem to enjoy beating these games when they can. The downside of ABCya is that it isn’t always the best match for other subjects like science or social studies, but kids have a ball with it.


RoomRecess has similar games to ABCya for Kindergarten through 6th grade in math, reading, and technology. Some of the highlights are that they have mouse skills and typing games. It’s amazing how many kids have never used a mouse. RoomRecess does not have an iOS app, but they have a whole list of games that can be played on a mobile device here: http://www.roomrecess.com/pages/MobileGames.html


Digipuzzle is another major educational game website. It covers a lot of different skills and subjects, mostly around math and reading, but they don’t really have the games arranged by age or grade, that could be frustrating for a kid and teacher.


PBSkids has all kinds of apps, stories, and games for elementary aged kids. Their game section covers science, math, reading, creativity, literacy, music, AND social emotional! They have a TON of apps to choose from in the app store!


Starfall is a popular website and application for very young children just learning to read and do math. It you’re a parent, there are a lot of free apps with games for younger kids to learn to read, recognize letters and sight words, as well as basic math skills.


Brain Pop and BrainPop Jr. are again a conglomeration of games, but these range from Kindergarten to 12th grade and cover pretty much every subject. BrainPop has apps and games for every subject and uses Common Core Standards to create its games. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, BrainPop require a subscription to access everything, but the free stuff is still fun!  
Kids love technology - especially when it’s fun.

Okay! Now that I’ve covered some of the major educational games and applications, let me give you EVEN MORE! There are so many subject and age specific games that you can find, but let me help you a bit:

For math:

  • Hoodamath.com has over 1000 free math games for Kindergarten through 12th grade. And, yep, there’s an app.
  • Practicalmoneyskills.com is a great source for middle school and high school math. It uses sport and practical skills to help kids understand money better.
  • Progidygame.com is for first through 8th grade, and has a free and paid versions. There also is an iOS application for the math games!
  • Geoboard is a cool application that helps kids understand shapes!

 For Technology/Coding

Language/Social Studies

  • Seterra.com is great for geography tests and skills.
  • Duolingo is a great app for language.
  • Mindsnacks are even more fun than Duolingo for language, but costs about $4 per games.
  • Gus On the Go is a language application for young kids, but also costs to install on a tablet or smart device.

Social emotional/mindfulness

  • Headspace is a great app that is subscription based, and they have mindfulness training for kids!
  • Three Good Things is a super easy app that help you to keep track of the good things that happen through the day. It’s less of a game, and more of a daily journal, but it’s great for helping kids be more aware of what good is happening around them.

I hope that these games are what you’ve been looking for to get your kids learning all the time everywhere!




Kids love technology - especially when it’s fun.


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Brittany Washburn
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5 Tips to Quit Your Social Media Addiction



5 Tips to Quit Your Social Media Addiction

Are you ready for a challenge?
The past few weeks I've been sharing the negative consequences of too much social media time. Now, it is time for a detox. Will you join me?

Now you know the negative impact social media could be having on your life, the question is how do you stop? Social media addiction is a real issue in today’s society. Like any addiction, it can be pretty tough to break a social media habit.
However, the good news is, there are lots of tips you can follow to make quitting your addiction easier. Here, you’ll discover just 5 tips to quit your social media addiction.

1. Switch Off Notifications

It’s going to be pretty tough to cut back your social media use if you keep getting notifications. While notifications on the actual apps aren’t necessarily a problem, the push notifications you get on your phone are.

Think about it, you’re minding your own business, then you get a push notification telling you a friend or family member has posted something. The likelihood is, you’re going to stop whatever you’re doing and quickly check what’s new.

Without notifications, you’ll find you check your social media accounts a lot less frequently. 

2. Aim to Quit Gradually

Like any addiction, the key to success is gradually reducing your social media use. If you attempt to go cold turkey, you’ll find it much harder to resist. However, cutting back gradually will make it much easier.

You can reduce your social media usage in a number of ways. Setting specific time slots where you can check your accounts for example, is a good start.

3. Find A New Hobby

You’re going to need something to distract you with the free time you’re going to have. So, the best thing to do is to find a new hobby.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? If so, do it now. Finding a hobby you can immerse yourself into will definitely encourage you to spend less time online.
5 Tips to Quit Your Social Media Addiction

4. Use It With Good Intentions

When used correctly, social media can have positive effects on he health. It’s the pointless scrolling, attention seeking posts and the comparing ourselves to others which do us no favors! So, start using social media only with good intentions.

This could mean using it to check in with friends and family who live far away. Or, it could be you’ll use it to set up an event for everyone to get together.

5. Consider What Your Posts Are Achieving

When it comes to posting on social media, it helps to think before you make a post. Why are you making the post? Is it to get attention because you’re bored? If so, rather than post on social media, call a friend.

Think about why you’re posting and what alternative behaviors you could follow to get the same outcome. 


It can be difficult to break a social media habit. However, the 5 tips above will definitely make it a lot easier!
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Social Media and Mental Health



Did you know your social media habit could be adding to your mental health worries? You probably did, but I'd like to remind you in this post about some of the negative effects of too much scrolling.

Although experts aren’t quite sure whether or not social media causes mental health issues, they do know there’s definitely link between them. Numerous studies have shown that those who use social media do report feeling more anxious, depressed and stressed.

So, how does social media impact our mental health? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the effects social media could be having on your emotions.

Reducing Self-Esteem

Everyone has insecurities and social media seems to do wonders at preying on them. If you find you often compare yourself, especially aesthetically, to the people you follow, it’s going to have a detrimental effect on your self-esteem.
Comparing ourselves to others never leads to a positive outcome. By seeing how well others are doing and then basing our own self worth on how we compare, it really batters our self-esteem. 

Contributing Towards Anxiety and Depression

Those who use social media frequently have shown to have increased levels of depression and anxiety compared to those who don’t. There’s a number of reasons why this could be.

Although you’re technically interacting with friends and family, social media can leave you feeling isolated.

It’s just not the same as real interaction. So, if most of your human interaction happens via social media, it’s going to leave you feeling depressed.
The fact it’s easy to compare our lives in a negative way to others on social media is another reason it can trigger anxiety and depression.

You’re constantly left in a state of envy, feeling bad about yourself because you just can’t compare. It’s a vicious cycle which really can leave you feeling miserable.

Feeling Disconnected From The World

INTROVERTS UNITE! Right? Well, not really. 

We already touched briefly on the fact that using social media to interact with others can lead to depression. However, it can also have a much deeper impact on your well being.

When all you do is interact digitally, it can leave you feeling totally disconnected from the real world. Your social skills could start dwindling, you’ll feel lonely and isolated. Humans need human interaction. Without it, our lives can feel a lot lonelier.

These are just some of the ways social media impacts our mental health. While it can definitely prove useful when used sparingly, too much social media use is guaranteed to start having negative effects on the mind.

So, if you’re a self-confessed social media junkie, now’s definitely the time to consider quitting your addiction. 


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5 Benefits of Cutting Back on Social Media


5 Benefits of Cutting Back on Social Media

When you’re so accustomed to using social media on a daily basis, cutting back can prove to be really difficult. However, it can help to remind yourself of the reasons you want to cut down, along with the benefits it will bring.
To give you some much-needed motivation, here you’ll discover just 5 benefits of cutting back your social media use.

1. You’ll Get A Better Night’s Sleep

The Bank of America carried out a survey which questioned 1,000 adults in the US. It revealed that 71% of respondents sleep next to, or with their smartphone.
The National Sleep Foundation claims that the blue light which is emitted from your phone, could be keeping you awake for longer.
This is because the blue light messes with melatonin production within the body. It is this which is responsible for helping you to fall asleep. So, cut back on your social media use in bed and you should find it easier to fall asleep.

2. You’ll Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

One of the biggest negatives of social media, is that it often causes us to compare ourselves to others. We see how well our friends, family and colleagues are doing and it can make us feel envious and like we’re not doing as well.
Comparing yourself to others is damaging to your mental health. When you cut back your social media usage, you’ll be amazed how much happier and relaxed you feel because you aren’t comparing yourself to anyone else.

3. You’ll Have More Free Time

It’s estimated the average person spends around two hours every day checking their social media accounts. That’s a lot of time that you’re never going to get back! Not to mention the fact that wasting time on social media can leave you feeling terrible.
By cutting back, you’ll have a lot more free time to spend doing something productive. You could even use the time to pamper yourself and do something you enjoy.
5 Benefits of Cutting Back on Social Media

4. You’ll Enjoy Life More

When you aren’t caught up in social media, you’ll be able to appreciate and enjoy life a lot more.
So many people don’t realize that they spend more time worrying about posting what they’re doing on their social media channels, that they don’t actually enjoy what they’re doing.
They certainly don’t appreciate it as much as they would without the social media distraction.

5. It Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression

While there’s no way to tell whether social media causes anxiety and depression, it is definitely linked to mental health issues. By cutting yourself off from social media, you may find you feel a lot more relaxed, happier and less anxious.

These are just 5 benefits of cutting back your social media use. It won’t be easy, especially if you’re used to checking in to your accounts frequently. However, the benefits are definitely worth holding out for.   
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Is Too Much Social Media Bad for Our Health?



Is Too Much Social Media Bad for Our Health?
We all know how much I love educational technology. I get so excited about new tech tools to try, programming robots to use, and teaching students to be conscious digital citizens. With all of this great technology comes challenges too, though. In this blog series about Social Media Detox, I'm hoping to bring to light some of the consequences of unchecked social media usage. 

It is something that impacts both adults and kids so it is becoming critically important to build positive habits from an early age. 

Are you one of the 3 billion people who use social media every single day? If so, it could be having a seriously negative impact on your health.

It’s thought that around 40% of the world’s population now uses social media. While there’s no denying it comes with some pretty great benefits, users also need to be aware of the negative impact it could be having on their health and well being.

Here, we’ll look at the downsides of too much social media and how it could be impacting your health.

The Impact of Social Media On Mental Health

There’s been a lot of research carried out over the past few years, which has shown excessive social media use can lead to mental health issues. It’s been linked to an increase in depression, anxiety, stress and eating disorders.

There’s a number of reasons social media can trigger mental health issues. Firstly, although you’re interacting digitally with friends and family, it’s not the same as in-person interaction. This means you can often end up feeling isolated and lonely.

It’s also common to feel envious of others when you’re browsing your social media feed. Comparing yourself to how others are doing is only going to make you feel bad if it appears you’re not doing as well as they are.

Could It Be Affecting Your Physical Health Too?

While the mental health effects of social media are pretty well known, many people are unaware of the physical effects it can have.

The more you use social media, the less active you’re going to be. This means your cardiovascular health is going to suffer, you’ll potentially gain weight and it also increases the chances of developing a serious illness if you’re not active enough.

So, the physical effects can be pretty serious if you’re addicted to social media.
Is Too Much Social Media Bad for Our Health?

Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be Social Media!

The majority of adults have difficulty sleeping, but could it be down to your social media use? Well, if you tend to lay in bed checking your social media before you go to sleep, the answer is yes.

Looking at a screen and communicating with people on social media right before bed, is sure to negatively impact your sleep.
Is Too Much Social Media Bad for Our Health?

Your brain will be more active, making it more difficult to actually fall asleep. It’s also known that the blue light emitted from smartphone and tablet screens, can interrupt sleep patterns.

So, like anything in life, too much social media can prove to be harmful to your health. Many of us have become reliant on social media without even realizing it.
Therefore, if you’re looking to improve your health and live a happier life, the answer could be to cut back on your social media use. 


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A Peek into the 90's Technology Classroom



A Peek into the 90's Technology Classroom


Remember way back when? The 90’s. A decade of new and amazing technology! We were all still using floppies and CD-Roms, and if you were really high tech---maybe you had a mp3 or minidisc player. The internet was barely a thing, and there was absolutely no social media. In fact, the most social we got with our media was AOL Instant Messenger which started in 1997 (ending in 2017!). Hotmail was founded in 1996. Search engines like Webcrawler, Lycos, Excite, Ask Jeeves, and Yahoo all rocked before Google even existed in 1998. The first text message was sent in 1992!


So, with all this emerging tech, what was the classroom like? Believe it or not, many of your favorite early tech school things were developed in the 80’s but really stuck in the tech classroom all through the 90’s. Let's take a stroll down memory lane with these 90's education tech crazes we all secretly wish would make a comeback! ...or maybe not really.  

The Oregon Trail. This is a tech legacy, but believe it or not, was actually first released in 1971! In the 80’s it existed on Atari, and through the 90’s it could be found on Macs and Windows machines. It has renditions of it’s games even up until as recently as 2018 where Target sold a handheld version of the game. Where has it been in the classroom? A great way to learn about Westward Expansion and technology. Careful not to contract dysentery!


Mavis Beacon was originally released in 1987, but was a staple in homes, schools, and libraries for a decade after. You’ll be sad to find out that Mavis Beacon is not a real person. Sure, the picture of Mavis is a real person, but her name is not Mrs. Beacon. Just a random name for a virtual typing teacher. If you really want to take a deep dive into her history, enjoy this video: https://youtu.be/T-6d6X4E-3w

In 1995, Encarta was Microsoft’s early digital encyclopedia. Originally it was sold as a CD or DVD, and you may remember using it on whatever large desktop you had at school. Eventually, in the 2000s, it was published on the internet, and you could have a subscription. But who needs it now with Wikipedia?

Don’t remember Encarta? Just check out this intro video to jog your memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fRX4R6MY4A

If you weren’t in to learning typing by way of the mythical Mavis Beacon, the you were probably a fan of 1996’s Mario Teaches Typing! This is basically Mario Run except with typing.

This is probably one that teachers would rather not remember in 1997 - one of the original school nuisances - up there with the legendary fidget spinner - is the Tamagotchi! Who could forget the obsession that we all had taking care of these tiny tech creatures, feeding them, distracting us from homework, and cleaning up their poop, until they died.


In 1998 those brightly colored iMacs hit the scene and outfitted every school computer lab that could afford it.



There you have it, a real solid trip down memory lane. There is so much to miss, and so much to be happy is over. What was your favorite (or least favorite) 90’s tech teaching stuff?



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5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing


5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing

5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing


Teaching typing is incredibly important in the technology classroom. Unfortunately, many students begin their typing careers with their thumbs on a mobile device, but the sooner a student can be introduced to the keyboard and begin practicing typing, the more prepared they will be for the future. Here are 5 resources to support your students in learning to type as well as ways to keep track and assess their progress.

Typing.com


Typing.com is designed for teachers and students at every typing level. There are gamified lessons and engaging curriculum. With this program you can add your entire class log their progress. Additionally, the teacher portal allows for effortless class management and reporting. There are accessibility features for differently abled students. Best of all--it is free!


5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing

Typingclub.com


TypingClub.com has a lot of similar features as Typing.com. One major difference between the two is that TypingClub has a partnership with Google for Education. So, if your school is connected through Google, this may be a better choice for your students. It also has lessons for all grade and ability levels, is interactive, and free!

 
5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing

Nitrotype.com


Nitrotype is extremely popular at my school. What really sets this typing resource a part from the rest is that students can go head to head in a typing competition with one another. Students can also race against others all over the world. The downside of Nitrotype is that it doesn’t have any lessons. It is simply a competition game. That being said, it might a make a fun reward for the class if they can finish their practice typing, or at the end of a period.


FreeTypingGame.Net


FreeTypingGame.net offers 40 different lessons to use. This is another great resource for students to assess, test, and play as they learn to type. FreeTypingGames has a ton of flash games that students can choose and then practice typing. There is a keyboard guide on the screen to help students keep from looking down. Of course, you can always have a sleeve on the keys as they learn.

5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing

ABCya.com


ABCya.com has more than just typing games, but it continues to be a great resource to helping younger grade get a handle on their keyboarding skills. Just search for Type, and then you will be shown a variety of games arranged by grade level. It makes it easy for kids to see what games are good for their grade. Unfortunately, ABCya doesn’t have assessment or progress tracking.
5 Fun Resources to Teach Kids Typing


With those typing resources that don’t allow the teacher to track progress, you can incorporate other ways of tracking through Google Sheets or some other way self-monitor.

Happy typing!

Looking for typing resources to use as lessons?
  • Printable keyboard pages:
  • Vocab + Typing: 




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