Friday, June 29th, 2012
LeVar Burton introduces Reading Rainbow app
For those who grew up watching LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow, the classic show is back but in a new format as an iPad app designed for ages 3-9. Like the original series that ran for 26 years on PBS, the app takes kids on real life adventures where they travel to islands to find books and videos that are suited to their age and interests.
“I come from a family of teachers, and when I was offered the opportunity to host Reading Rainbow in 1983, I recognized immediately the value in using technology to inspire kids to read,” said Burton. “Reading will never go out of style, but the tools used for learning are changing. I am excited to bring Reading Rainbow back so that parents who watched the show can now share that same feel-good experience with their own children but on a platform that resonates with today’s digital kids.”
The app is free to download and includes access to all themed islands, a preview of the entire Reading Rainbow library, the ability to select and read one free book, and watch island introductory videos that star LeVar Burton. A subscription component is also available for $9.99/month or $29.99 for 6 months. The subscription includes:
- Access to the entire Reading Rainbow library
- Video field trips featuring LeVar Burton
- Interactive stories and play based book activities
- Ability to collect stickers towards the reading reward program
ReadingRainbow.com offers a website and dashboard where parents can view the amount of time their child spent reading, the titles of books read, and receive suggestions for new stories based on the child’s interests. The Family Reading Time hints provide opportunities to discuss themes and lessons explored in each book.
Image courtesy of Reading Rainbow.
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Monday, May 7th, 2012
The Speck A-Line bag for iPad ($59.95) and MacBooks ($69.95) is a fabulous choice thanks to a super soft lining for her iProduct, lots of organizational pockets, and a modern shape that is comfortable to carry. If you’re already feeling short on time and guilty about not having a gift for mom, order the Speck bag from outfitYOURS.com for super fast shipping to ensure it arrives with plenty of time to spare for the Mac lover in your life.
Speck A-Line Bag
Cuddly Monkey’s line of canvas totes are created by designers who believe that the inside of the tote should be as fashionable as the outside is functional. You can’t go wrong with The Chica ($90), a classic beach tote with a zip pocket on the outside and a fun lining inside that features essential tech gadgets like a smartphone, iPod, and headphones along with sunglasses. The Babe ($90) is a more vertical bag than Chica and has a contrasting body and handles with a cheery watermelon print lining, snap closure, and zippered compartment.
Chica Bag from Cuddly Monkey
The Hannah Laptop Bag ($84.99) is a gorgeous choice for under $100 and has tons of interior and exterior pockets for any organizational junkie. There’s a padded quilted compartment that fits most 15.4″ laptops, multiple exterior pockets that include magazine pocket on the back, interior pockets to hold a smartphone, glasses, wallet, and water bottle, key fob, and also a coordinating wristlet. The pretty purple pebbled leather adds a pop of color to any work wardrobe and the choice of either a shoulder strap or handles ensures that you are always carrying your laptop comfortably.
Hannah Laptop Bag from Franklin Covey
Instead of throwing your tablet into your purse with just a cover to protect the glass front, the new Leather Tablet Messenger ($179) from Jill-e Designs’ E-Go collection features built in protection for your device and combines fashion and function to keep it safe from the bumps and bruises of a busy modern lifestyle. The Leather Tablet Messenger is a streamlined bag featuring a fold-over top flap, a wide adjustable cross-body strap, and plenty of padded interior compartments that keep everything mom needs right at her fingertips.
Leather Tablet Messenger by Jill-e Designs
Approachable woman holding purse via Shutterstock. Product photos courtesy of the companies mentioned above.
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Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
One of the best Mother’s Day gifts is the gift of keeping in touch. A quick phone call to say hi, a text to check in, or an email with a photo featuring grandchildren is always welcome. If your mom is in dire need of an upgrade to stay in touch but is like mine and easily overwhelmed by the many smartphone choices on the market, show how much you love her by selecting a device that is just right for her and helping her learn to use it!
But how do you go about selecting the right device? Here’s a handy quiz to help narrow down the many smartphone and tablet choices to one that will fit the lifestyle of the very special woman in your life this Mother’s Day.
When your mom texts you it’s usually:
a) An emoticon you’ve never seen before followed by TTYL
b) A long paragraph followed by “Love, Mom”
c) A handwritten card because she has no idea what a text is.
Your mom loves to share photos with:
a) Friends, coworkers, the next door neighbor. Pretty much everybody!
b) Immediate family only
c) The refrigerator. She loves visiting the local drugstore to get photos printed!
A perfect game night for your mom would be:
a) Angry birds since she loves to multitask, get to the next level, and of course win!
b) Words with Friends because it reminds her of all those family vacations playing Scrabble or sitting on the couch sending you her latest Draw Something creations to guess.
c) Playing charades in the living room.
If you answered mostly A…
Your mom is quite the techie! This Mother’s Day take her skills to the next level! Android familiar moms will enjoy a Samsung Galaxy Tab which is not only thin and lightweight but also features fast 4G LTE for connectivity and a beautiful HD display. Mac loving moms will appreciate the new iPad with 4G and wifi.
If you answered mostly B…
Your mom is just getting used to her smartphone so any help you can provide is a great gift. Besides a coupon for a in-person tutorial or one via Skype if she lives far away, get her gifts that will help her accessorize her device. Some great headphones like the iFrogz Lux Earphones in Pink, the environmentally-friendly Motorola P793 Back-Up Battery, or a smart case to protect her device are all fantastic gifts!
If you answered mostly C…
It’s time to bring your mom into the 21st century with an easy to use device that will help her text, take amazing photos, and access the internet in a simple to use style. The Nokia Lumia 900 is the perfect first smartphone for mom. The easy-to-use touchscreen Windows Phone interface features tiles that put her most used applications front and center on her phone while the incredible camera will let her share photos with you and the grandkids with ease. If she’s an on-the-go mom who worries about her precious device, the Samsung Rugby Smart features durable Gorilla Glass, built in case, and is waterproof making it perfect for moms with an active lifestyle and need a phone that can keep up with their every move. Or if you think she needs a big glossy screen in a small package, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S II.
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