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Back to School...Does your High Schooler Need an iPad?

There are so many people who can benefit from an iPad. Your high schooler is no exception.

It can be hard for kids to concentrate when they have to sit in school and listen to teachers all day long, speech and language pathologist Michelle Hersch notes in an email.

"With iPad's it makes learning more engaging and fun and probably helps their focus,"  says Hersh who works for Meyer and Middleton schools in Skokie, Illinois.

Purchase an iPad and your son or daughter will immediately have a tool to organize his or her busy schedule and become more focused and efficient iPad Calendarwith time. Students can also use iPads to download textbooks, communicate with peers and teachers and complete classwork assignments.  Not to mention, iPads can help them learn cornerstone educational concepts like chemistry or trigonometry.

With iPad in hand, your teen can visit the App store and download one or all of the following apps to make their high school life just that much more successful ... and fun!
  • The Chemical Touch:

This is a great app for learning chemistry.  Students can explore the periodic table in terms of the elements that comprise it and its chemical trends. When you touch an element brings, that calls up a Wikipedia entry which provides more complete information about its properties. This app costs $0.99 and is available for iOS devices.

  • Evernote Peek:

Making flash cards can be time consuming, but we all know how helpful they are for learning and retaining educational content.  This app takes the work out of designing flash cards. Best of all, it's free!

  • Frog Dissection

If your teen iPad Frog Dissectionloves science, but hates the mess, he can let his lab partner do the dirty work and still pass with flying colors. This program shows you everything you need to know about a frog's anatomy. $3.99

  • Graphing Calculator:

A real graphing calculator is a necessary tool for anyone who wants to pass calculus, but it is expensive.  Try this app instead for only $2.99 and your child will have the tools she needs to succeed in high level math.

  • Easel SAT Prep Lite:

Rather than paying hundreds of dollars for an SAT prep course for your son or daughter, consider investing in this app. Easel iPad App

It includes 25 sample test questions and a "show me" feature which outlines the process for coming to the correct answer.  Free


According to Hersh, iPads provide a "multi-sensory" approach to learning.  The iPad works particularly well for students who are visual learners meaning that they do better when they can see and touch things then when they are just listening to an instructor.

If your High School had an iPad on his or her wish list for Christmas but didn't get one, perhaps there is room to consider one as an effective learning tool.  They are not cheap, but the investment will pay off in spades when your child loves doing homework, is constantly coming up with innovative ideas  -  and most importantly continues to stay excited about learning.



The Android OS vs the iOS6 - which is Superior?

Apple verses Android, the two most widely used mobile operating systems on the market today, are vying to be number one. The newest OS for Apple is the iOS6 Siri; Android's newest OS is the 4.2 Jelly Bean. So which one is superior? Which one has the best features, and which one will blow away the competition this year?

Apple Versus Android: The Differences

When is comes to mobile OS, Apple and Android have been doing battle in the electronic, wireless market for years, each coming out with their own versions of mobile devices. The Android Jelly Bean came out last summer, shortly before iOS6 Siri by Apple. In comparing the two, each has its similarities, as wells as it's pros and cons.
Some neat and exciting features of the iOS6 Siri include:
  • Facebook integration
  • Easier podcast search
  • Enhanced panorama view on the camera. In additions, select photos from the Photos app, tap the Share button, choose who you want to share your photos with, and they’re on their way to a certain audience.
  • Plus, Apple has integrated their own mappingiPhoneSiri software, which means no more Google Maps, but Apple also offers free drive-by-drive directions. Apple's map graphics and text are incredibly detailed. Tilt and rotate to view an area, and Maps keeps the names of streets and places where they belong. Get visual and spoken turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic updates.
  • A user can also put the iPhone in the "Do not disturb" mode, so it basically takes your phone off the hook, for set periods of time, without needing to shut if off.
  • Siri also has a voice-activated virtual assistant, who can make OpenTable Reservations for local dining, let you know which movies are playing at the local theater, and give accurate directions, as well as speak sport's scores and standings.
  • Passbook - boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place.
  • Offers a VIP treatment for certain email contacts, whose messages stay on top of incoming mail


The Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is sleek, speedy and smooth. Some great features include:
  • Faster navigation and orientation changes
  • More reactive and uniform touch responses
  • To improve battery life, the Jelly Bean turns down your device's CPU when not in active use, and vice-versa, boosts the CPU, when in active mode.
    jellybean new logo
  • Gesture Typing – just glide your finger over the letters you want to type.  Jelly Bean also offers a blind person to navigate the UI, using not only touch and swipe gestures, but also speech output. A user can also get full support accessibility services for Braille.
  • It also offers language support for Arabic and Hebrew, as well as bidirectional texts to assure the platform is more accessible to more people around the world. In fact, it supports eighteen new input languages, such as Thai, Hindi and Persian, as well as other Indic languages.
  • Snap pictures in every direction - photo spheres that put you right inside the scene. A user can also view the whole photo in MMS mode and preview a photo in notifications, after taking a shot.
  • Multiple user support - Everyone can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games. Android was built with multitasking at its core, so it’s a snap to switch between users – no need to log in and out.  Available only on tablets.

Which One is Superior?    

Both the Apple iOS6 and the Android Jelly Bean OS have their perks, and by market standards, have improved greatly upon design, navigation and features. In getting rid of Google's apps, the iOS6 no longer has YouTube, and Google Maps, which could pose a problem with users, since they use the app quite a bit. In fact, You Tube is the most popular video website worldwide. So, in terms of usability and reliability, the iOS6 has some good features, but the Jelly Bean OS seems to be much more exciting, with enhanced features and some truly innovative elements to it. Plus, it seems Apple is trying to catch up with Android by offering features, such as Panorama pictures, which Android already had available. Facetime is also much better on the Android than Apple. Google+ Hangout features seem more superior , since they let the user see live streams of everyone in a hangout, letting you chat with up to nine people at once. Considering all the added features and apps, Google's Android Jelly Bean MAY be a far superior choice than the Apple iOS6...?  But tell that to an Apple lover!!  

The Hottest Tablets on the Market VERSUS the iPad

OK - I know, I know - we went over this last week!  BUT I just wanted to elaborate further on tablets VERSUS the iPad...

Everything from its slim design, it's spectacular Retina Display, and the wide range of available apps, make it clear that the third-generation iPad is pretty amazing. Regardless of its popularity, however, Apple isn't the only contender in the tablet marketplace. Whether you're just not an Apple person or are looking for something a bit less pricey, there are plenty of worthy alternatives to the iPad. Here's a look at 6 of the hottest tablets on the market besides the iPad.

 1. Google Nexus 7

Yes, we visited these first two last week but they certainly warrant the attention.  Nexus 7 Tablet ImageThere are plenty of Android slates on the market in all price ranges and sizes, however, none have captured the attention of consumer's like the Nexus 7. This tablet is the very first manufactured under Google's Nexus brand and it boasts a highly powerful quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, a brilliant high-resolution screen, Google's own voice-driven search app, and the company's brand-new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. Add on the affordable price of $199 and this 7 inch tablet becomes one of the top contenders against the iPad.

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Tablet Image
2. ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700

AGAIN - If any tablet is going to give the iPad's Retina Display a run for it's money, it's this one! The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is known for being the original Android slate that offered a full HD display screen. The tablet utilizes the quad-core Nvidia Tegra T33 processor and boasts new and improved camera updates.  Price point comes in around $460.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

What is it that makes the Samsung Galaxy 2 a worthy competitor of the iPad? From the launch of its first Galaxy Tablet, Samsung was able to create a tablet that was thinner and lighter than the iPad and with strong speakers. Samsung Galaxy Tablet ImageNow, with its successor on the market, Samsung has proven that they will not settle for the status quo. The Galaxy 2 includes amazing additions like smart remote capability so that you can control your TV and also features a mircoSD card slot.  Price is close to the ASUS ~$450...

 Acer Iconia Tablet Image

4. Acer Iconia Tab A200

Although you may not have heard the name "Acer" in awhile, the company should not be ruled out of the tablet market . In fact, the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is out to prove that there is a place for tablets priced at the midpoint between the Nexus 7 and the iPad - around $330. Featuring dual-core performance, solid graphics, Android software enhancements, and a full-sized USB port, this slate is not a bad deal for the price. 


5. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

In addition to being a great way to enjoy your own personal library on the go, the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is also a lower-cost ($~180)barnes and noble nook tablet Image and quality alternative to the iPad. This slate features a built-in microphone and microSD card expansion pack as well as running on a fast processor so that you are never left tapping your fingers waiting for your apps to load. 

6. Amazon Kindle Fire

This wonderful tableAmazon Kindle Fire imaget is able to deliver all of Amazon's content by way of a sturdy slate that is sleek and aesthetically pleasing. The 7-inch tablet provides bright, high-resolution display so that you can enjoy all of your favorite movies in high def. In addition to this, the Kindle Fire boasts an extremely fast processor, a clean interface, and 16GB of personal storage space. All of this is available at the low price of $199, meaning that the Kindle Fire is sure to be a major competitor to the Google Nexus 7 this holiday season. 

Don't assume that the iPad is all that there is. By looking into other tablet options, you could find a better fit for yourself while saving some money!

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