“What time is it?” I ask my 7 year old niece. In response, she immediately picks up her iPad, and says, “3:15 pm.” I smile, because I know what’s coming next. “Want to play a game with me?” she excitedly asks, knowing that yes, of course I do!
She unlocks the iPad, scrolls through the many screens of apps she has download and settles on Kids Tell Time, developed by ZurApps Research Inc. She opens the educational app and decides she wants to play the “Match the Clocks” mode (there are 6 different modes to choose from Kids Tell Time). I’m just watching in amazement, because she does all of this so easily. Oh, how the times have changed!
She opens the “Match the Clocks” mode and is immediately prompted with a friendly voice telling her to match the digital clock with the analog clock showing the same time. She’s so excited – and it’s contagious! She
ponders for a moment, looking at the multiple clocks. I tell her to read aloud the digital clock times, and once she does that she focuses back to the analog clock faces. I can see the wheels turning! She drags one clock that reads 4:45 over to the matching analog clock, “You got it! The time is 4:45.” says the voice within the app. My niece is smiling, she’s so proud of herself and the positive reinforcement from the app is encouragement enough to try another. This time it doesn’t go as smoothly, “This is not the answer”, says the app. She pauses, re-evaluates her options and tries again. This time it ends with her smiling even more. “This is the correct answer!” says the voice within Kids Tell Time.
Using technology in education is becoming increasingly popular. TV shows are educational, almost all classes have computers now and many families have a tablet or smart phone at home. Kids have adapted to learning with these new methods, and are often more comfortable to do so than the old way.
Educational apps made for children, like Kids Tell Time, have grown in popularity substantially over the past few years. In early October, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom released their latest study, Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, and it has masses of data on how British children are getting their entertainment across different devices.
“Around one quarter of children aged 12– 15 (26%) and 18% aged 8-11 have their own tablet computer, while household ownership of a tablet has more than doubled since 2012 (51% vs. 20%). Use of a tablet computer at home has tripled among 5-15’s since 2012 (42% vs.14%) while one-quarter (28%) of 3-4’s use a tablet computer at home.”
That is a lot of children who are using tablets. So, instead of your kids just using the tablet for pleasure and distraction, why not incorporate some educational apps in the mix? Apps like Kids Tell Time are educational and fun. Not only will your child learn to tell time on both analog and digital faces but the positive reinforcement and rewards system within the app will encourage kids to keep trying and challenge themselves. They’ll want to continue earning those animated stars; just another advantage of technology in education! Kids Tell Time is also available in three different languages (English, French and Spanish), so your kids can use their iPad to learn a new language.
As I am watching my niece continue playing Kids Tell Time, I notice that the multiple modes available are keeping her interest peaked. Often, children will get bored when something is repeatedly done over and over again; things will become repetitive and they will no longer be challenged. This is not the case with apps like Kids Tell Time!
Interactive elements and step-by-step narrated instructions make educational apps like Kids Tell Time easy for kids to use without parent supervision. Another great feature for educational children apps is the new guidelines Apple has set for “Made for Kids” apps. With no in-app purchases, no data collection, no third party advertising or links to other apps, parents can feel safe letting their kids use Kids Tell Time without having to worry about unexpected charges showing up in their iTunes account! No one likes those!
When my other niece comes into the room, she immediately wants to join in the fun, obviously!
It can be difficult for two young kids to share one iPad. Luckily, Kids Tell Time has the capability to connect your iPad up to a television. I simply plugged in the HDMI cable, and away we went! The bright colours and clock faces were displayed on the screen, and the girls took turns answering questions. And just like that, there were no fights about whose turn it was to use the iPad, we were all playing and learning together! This option would be great for teachers as well because students can participate and use the educational app in the classroom.
Technology in education is the way of the future.
Stay current and encourage fun, educational activities with apps like Kids Tell Time!