The summertime is a great time for your kids to rest their minds, but if they rest too much it makes it harder to get back into the swing of things next school year. Here are four apps your kids will enjoy that will also keep their mind in great shape to slow down the summer slide.
If you have little ones, they’re going to love this one. Khan Academy Kids did an amazing job of making a game that’s fun and educational. My boys love this one.
Khan Academy did a fantastic job of incorporating a complete lesson plan full of math, logic, spelling and reading into a narrative game. So instead of just flipping back and forth between lessons, you go from one level of the game to the next.
Teaches kids biology and anatomy, but instead of being gross and forcing you to dissect a frog or look at nasty pictures of organs, it shows the body in cartoon form. Accurate, but much more gentle.
It’s really interactive too. So you can wave flowers under their nose and you’ll see how the nervous system carries the “smell” message from the nose to the brain. Or you can feed him and watch the food go through the digestive system and see how each organ works.
Sometimes the best way to keep the brain working is by learning something new, like a new language. With DuoLingo you can learn a lot of languages for free. You can even learn Klingon and High Valerian!
It starts pretty easily and gradually gets harder as you progress. So even if your kid has already passed Spanish II or you’re just taking a trip to Paris this summer, this app is super useful and it’s fun. You can compete against each other too.
This one is great, even for adults. Especially if you’re like me and your arithmetic is a little rusty because maybe you pull out your calculator on your cell phone a little too often.
With Math Bingo, it turns math practice into a game. Instead of calling out bingo numbers, the game gives you a quick math problem to solve. The faster you can solve five problems in a row, the faster you get to BINGO!
Apply the principles of the KonMari method, from the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
Go through your computer and get rid of documents & files you don’t need and/or don’t bring you joy.
Give everything a home.
First, back it up!
You remember how the last time you did Spring Cleaning you accidently threw out something you didn’t mean to? You can buy a new wafflemaker, but you can never get those baby photos back.
Make sure you have everything backed up in at least two separate locations before you begin.
Time Machine – Mac
Backup & Restore – Windows
Use the snowball technique to stay motivated.
Start with the easy things and work your way up to the harder stuff.
Start with your Favorites. Go through your bookmarks and clear the ones you don’t need any more. Then depending on which has less files in it, start organizing the Desktop or your My Document folder.
Don’t go crazy, but start to make some sense out of the chaos. Put your financial records in one folder. Put all of your pictures together. Put all of your kids homework assignments in another folder.
Make a folder to put everything you can’t decide if you need it anymore. Revisit it in a few weeks and see if you have opened any of them. If not, let them go.
Uninstall programs you don’t need anymore.
Revo Uninstaller is a great app for deep scrubbing the gunk from your computer and making sure the entire program is removed.
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While you’re out shopping for pens, pencils, and paper, don’t forget to get your kids’ laptops, tablets and smartphones ready for back to school too! Taking a little bit of time now can save you lots of headaches later.
Nothing could be worse than finding out that not only did Johnny forget that he has a research paper due this Friday, but also his computer crashed because he has a ransomware virus and all of his research is encrypted on the hard drive!
Here are a few tips to get your child’s technology ready for a fantastic school year.
Clean it up!
Get rid of the games, movies and music (at least some of them), and make room for school work.
Over the summer, your son or daughter has probably downloaded tons of games, movies and music on their laptop, tablet and smart phone.
Back-to-school time is the perfect opportunity to go through it and help them decide which ones they absolutely must keep and which ones are good to uninstall.
On an iPhone or iPad just tap and hold until the app icons start wiggling and then tap the “X” button on the left to delete it.
On Android, tap and hold the app icon until a trashcan appears on the screen. Drag the app there to delete it.
On a Mac, follow these instructions to uninstall an app. On a Windows laptop or desktop use the built-in uninstaller or use a good program uninstaller like Revo Uninstaller to make sure it’s completely removed.
Make sure their devices are running the latest operating system updates and the latest virus definitions.
You probably already know that technology is changing every day. New viruses, malware, ransomware and other vulnerabilities are always in the news.
The best way to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of the latest attack is to make sure your operating system is up to date and you have the latest virus definitions.
The operating system is the basic software that allows you to work with the computer or mobile device. The company that creates the operating system releases new versions and patches to fix vulnerabilities and to secure the devices from attacks when problems are discovered.
Antivirus software keeps up to date on the latest viruses and malware by getting new “definitions” from the company that makes the software. You can think of them like vaccine booster shots. These definitions help the software detect new viruses and eliminate them.
Each antivirus software has its own way to update its definitions, but you can usually find out how to update it in the help section or just by googling “how to update _____ antivirus definitions.” Many antivirus software programs can be set up to download new definitions automatically.
Now that you’ve cleaned everything up, turn your kids’ devices into learning machines.
There are great apps for mobile phones and tablets that can make school easier. Here are some examples:
- Evernote & Google Keep — take better notes,
- Brainscape & Study Blue — study on your phone with flash card apps,
- VitalSource — buy cheaper college textbooks,
- Desmond Graphing Calculator — free, fully-functional graphing calculator,
- MyHomework — keep track of homework and project assignments,
- Socratic — homework help from artificial intelligence.
- DuoLingo — learn a foreign language for free and it’s fun!
Is this all over your head? We can help.
If your kids’ devices need more advanced help, like a broken laptop screen, virus removal or hard drive repair, Bold City IT’s mobile technician are the best in the business for computer repair in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and Orange Park. Chat with us here online or call us at 904-638-8863 to set up an appointment. Mention this article to save $20 off your next appointment.
Tom Braun contributed to the article.
SPOILER: Don’t read any more if you haven’t seen the HIMYM finale.
Here’s the thing, the story in the HIMYM finale was excellent. It was a great love story. Actually, it was two great love stories: the story of the girl he fell in love with at first sight and was always in love with, and the story of the girl that was perfect for him and he married. They just implemented the story poorly.
They needed one more episode to give us more time with Tracy. Yeah, they gave us time with her in flash forwards in previous episodes, but come on! Other than a brief foreshadowing in the episode before the finale, we only knew she was sick and then died for a grand total of about 5 minutes!
They also cheated us on Barney and Robin. The entire last season was about their wedding day, but they were only married and then divorced for about five minutes in the last episode. Again, the story was right, but the implementation was wrong. Believing that Barney and Robin were going to work required a lot of willing suspension of disbelief. It went against the grain of their characters, but the show spent the entire last season convincing us it was going to work. Then, they pulled the rug out from under us in the last episode. Yeah, you can see that there was plenty of foreshadowing for it, especially if you marathon the last season like I did, but there wasn’t enough.
Lastly, I understand the technical difficulties in the production of the last episodes conclusion, but it looked stupid. The lighting was terrible, and Josh Radnor’s makeup looked rediculous. It would have been so much funnier if they would have just hung a lampshade on it and had Bob Saget, David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca film it recently.
Now, I knew about the twist at the end before I watched the last 6 episodes in a row. That gave me a different perspective than the folks who watched the show live, but I’m curious if anyone else sees it the way I do? Let me know in the comments down below.
As you may know, my grandmother, Lila Hollister, passed away on December 17, 2013. She lived a long and happy life, and she is now at peace. I have included a few links below to memorials to her.
You may be looking for the photo slideshow that was presented at Lila Hollister’s funeral. You can find it at the link above or here at https://rayhollister.com/lila
Lila Hollister’s gravestone hasn’t been updated on the website yet, but it can be seen here.
only most interesting thing announced at the Apple special announcement last week was the new Apple EarPods. Apple has redesigned the earbud headsets that have come standard with every iPod and iPhone since they were released in 2001. I picked up a pair and unboxed them for your viewing pleasure…