iPad

iPad Front And Center

iPad usersHere is a fact. 19.2 million adults in the US, that is 1 in 5 Americans, have an extreme fear or phobia, and the #1 fear is for a dental visit, especially the dreaded root canal. Here is another fact. In a Brainshark survey of 1300 iPad owners, 1 in 3 users say they would rather have a root canal than accidentally break their iPad.  Physical pain is more bearable than the grief of a broken iPad!

Sounds incredible? But that’s how popular the iPad is.

We all know that the iPad’s physical characteristics and accessibility make it a rage. But what we often overlook is its popularity due to the utility offered by the applications on it. Case in point - 72% of users like it for its apps.

These apps convert the routine of daily life into an interesting science fiction narrative. It is so popular with single men that 1 in 10 prefer an iPad over a new girlfriend!

On a more serious note, 17 million iPads were sold in the second quarter last year. It's a must-have tool for the business as evidenced by 47% of business owners preferring an iPad to a bigger office.  These gadgets have redefined the way business is done and apps have transformed every aspect right from CRM to keeping track of contacts, managing inventory, directing sales teams, creating sales pitches, managing orders, processing invoices, receiving online payments and much more. It’s no longer a child’s gadget. 

iPads are for the entire family though. 43% said they liked the device for its role as a pacifier for kids. At home, iPads have replaced the TVs, cameras, GPS and the laptops too. In a child’s room one single iPad has replaced an entire shelf of books and research tools. No wonder Apple briefly became the world's most valuable public company last August, beating the previous twelve year long  title holder.

Shaila is a blogger at Mobicip - the #1 parental control service for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, iPad mini, Android-based tablets and smartphones, Kindle Fire, and Windows laptops. Shaila loves to write about mobile learning and the impact of technology and the internet on families.

Photo credit: waferbaby / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Mobicip Featured On Digital Security Mom Blog

Thanks much to Digital Security Mom for the recent article: Safe Browsing With Mobicip. Here is an excerpt.

Digital Security Mom Logo

One of the things most liked by parents is the Web filtering capability especially when it comes to YouTube. Mobicip bases each search upon an age range in the default version and by category in the yearly subscription version.

For parents of older children, they can set up the browser in “accountability mode” which will send the parent daily reports of activity and not filter the content.

Click here to read the full article.

Protect Your Child From Online Predators

 

Imagine a mother’s agony when her 14 year old does not return home from school. It’s terrifying!

Pink Sherbet Photography / People Photos / CC BY

Last September a Malaysian mom faced her worst nightmare when her daughter, since identified as SAS, did not return home that night and for many more nights after that. 

The desperate mom told the press that SAS was to visit a sick friend before heading for choir practice after school. Unfortunately, she was kidnapped and taken to Bogor from where her captors planned to ship her to Batam, an infamous child trafficking destination. But somehow, they abandoned her at a bus depot and fled.

No one knows what frightened the kidnappers; probably it was the intense media coverage the case received. Whatever the reason be, SAS was lucky. However, the four other teens, who SAS said were housed with her, might not have been as fortunate.

SAS, like any other teenager, remains constantly hooked to the internet. Sadly, child predators are well aware of this fact and this is where they hunt for prey. Statistics reveal that 77% of their victims are 14 years or older.

Shawn Henry, retired Executive Assistant Director, FBI, estimated in 2011 that at any given time there are 750,000 child predators online. Internet is a safe haven, where they carefully make their pick, establish contact, either through online or text messages and then trap the unsuspecting child. ECPAT, while conducting a two month survey, discovered 137 such cases in Jakarta, Bandung and Batam alone, where mobile and social media services were used for these purposes. 

The internet is playing a pervasive role in our children’s lives. They spend plenty of their online time either gaming or social networking. This opens them up to social dangers. Though our children are aware of these dangers and careful to an extent, the information on their profiles, the messages and photos they and their friends share, make them vulnerable. And it’s well known that even conscious net users end up giving more information on online social media sites than they normally would.

As a parent, your first responsibility is to educate yourself of these dangers and later educate your children accordingly. Mere discussions are hardly enough. One way of protecting your children is to install internet security software (like Mobicip, for instance) on their tablets or computers, says Irwanto, director of ECPAT Indonesia.

While this is certainly not foolproof, the mere act of using an internet security tool forces an open conversation between the parent and child about the utility of such a tool, why it is needed, and what dangers and threats are out there. It also encourages an ongoing conversation around what should be allowed and what is age appropriate. An equilibrium may not be reached, but at least an attempt will be made to get to one. Over time, the parent would feel comfortable enough to open the access to a point where supervision will not be required. The child, studies show, also feels empowered by the knowledge of potential threats and learns to use the internet responsibly. An acceptable outcome that justifies the means, in my opinion.

A Safer Internet For Kids Down Under

We are on a roll here at Mobicip. This press release went out today, officially launching support for users in Australia and Asia-Pacific.

 

 

Internet Usage Data Privacy

A concerned parent recently brought up an issue around Mobicip's privacy policy to our attention. Publishing this email thread in its entirely on our blog is one of the steps we are taking to address his concern. You can see our response and his original email below.


Hello John

My name is Suren and I'm a co-founder and CEO of Mobicip. I'm following up with you on your email to Mobicip support regarding our privacy policy. First, my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. This is a matter of great importance to us and I took some time to provide a legally correct response.

Does Mobicip use this data for any advertising or internet modeling usage data that gets sold to third parties?  I think it would be a GOLDMINE for Mobicip to resell it’s usage data to marketing companies who want internet polling data on what kids are researching and interested in on the web?

We absolutely do not use minors' internet usage data for any advertising or marketing purposes whatsoever, and we do not share data with any third party for any purpose whatsoever. 

Mobicip’s website has a privacy statement, but it only address their e-commerce relationship with their customers.  This statement completely ignores the privacy rights of the minors that will be using the Mobicip browser.  Their is no statement on what Mobicip does or does not do with all the browsing traffic data, search results, and internet history that is sent to Mobicip from the Mobicip browser?

You are absolutely correct about this. We take the privacy rights of minors using the Mobicip browser very seriously. The Safe Browser app itself does not collect any personally identifiable data without the Premium service. Browsing history data can only be accessed by parents and administrators who upgrade to the Premium service. The ability to track internet usage history is a feature of the Premium service and those who upgrade are showing explicit consent to allow us to do so. This data is private and we never ever share this information with any third-party or use it for marketing or other purpose whatsoever. In fact, I had addressed this question in a blog post as early as 2009, way before the awareness about minors' privacy came into public discussion.

That we do not address this privacy concern directly on our website's privacy policy, FAQ or knowledge base is definitely a shortcoming. In as much as this can be an excuse, we consider it a given that internet usage data is private and cannot be shared. I am taking steps to correct this immediately. Please bear with me and I will send you an update on the actions taken.

I hope this addresses your questions and concerns for now. We really appreciate the time and effort you put into this and we truly appreciate your advocacy for the privacy of minors. 

Thanks

Suren


From: <email address withheld>

Subject: Request Information

Date: January 5, 2013 8:09:02 AM PST

John has sent the following message.

Mobicip seams like the right alternative for protecting minors from from having unmanaged internet web browsing access.  I have a tight router protection policy here at home, but it does not protect them when they take their iPad to a friends house and I have no granular control over YouTube content. Mobicip and the premium service account seams like the right idea.

However there are some real privacy issues that the Mobicip website does not identify for parents.  It indicates that all Mobicip browser communications are sent to Mobicip via encrypted communications?  I can only assume that the Mobicip service acts a a proxy/gateway for all web browsing from the Mobicip browser?  Technically I think this is the right (possibly only) approach, but this hands over A LOT privacy issues about a minor’s usage of the Mobicip application.

Mobicip’s website has a privacy statement, but it only address their e-commerce relationship with their customers.  This statement completely ignores the privacy rights of the minors that will be using the Mobicip browser.  Their is no statement on what Mobicip does or does not do with all the browsing traffic data, search results, and internet history that is sent to Mobicip from the Mobicip browser?

Does Mobicip use this data for any advertising or internet modeling usage data that gets sold to third parties?  I think it would be a GOLDMINE for Mobicip to resell it’s usage data to marketing companies who want internet polling data on what kids are researching and interested in on the web?

This is a major privacy omission that Mobicip does not address tin their FAQs, Privacy Statement, or user forums!  It’s even a little suspicious that Mobicip and all the internet safety review websites recommending Mobicip do not even address this issue?  I’ve seen many YouTube video’s from concerned parents indicating how great this is, but they do not even realize or address that they could be handing over all internet search, history, and tracking to this Mobicip company that we know so little about.  And worse this internet history is almost guaranteed to have a red flag that it is coming from minors!

I will be testing Mobicip.  Again it seams like the right solution.  But the lack of a privacy statement addressing their usage of the web traffic data is a red flag and a real concern that should be address before I can commit to using this for my kids.

OSU Study: Mobile Learning Using The iPad

During the Fall 2010 semester, an iPad pilot program was established at the Oklahoma State University (OSU.) Professor Bill Handy and Professor Tracy Suter led the project and published results at the end that were as illuminating as can be.

OSU iPad Study

Image Courtesy: HackCollege.com

iPad Integration into Classroom Learning  

Prof Bill and Prof Tracy unanimously felt iPads must be completely integrated into class room learning and accordingly instructed Deans and Heads of Departments on its best possible use to increase student involvement.

Courses were modified to incorporate the device and one major benefit was the quick progress of the curriculum, at times weeks in advance. Prof Tracy ascribes this to the ubiquitous nature of the iPads which

  • remove environmental restrictions on learning
  • change classroom setting
  • enable all students to access the same technology

How Students and Faculty used iPads?  

Reports indicate students used iPad better than a desktop or laptop. They even felt it was a substitute for pen and paper.

Faculty felt it was easier to plan class activities and assignments as all the students had the same device. They could explore the thousands of educational software on Apple's App store and recommend course specific apps.  

Benefits of iPad Integration

Reduces Expenditure

Evidence suggests iPad lessens expenses for both students and administrators alike, though it’s difficult to quantify the exact amount. Students can benefit, as e-books cost lesser than their traditional brethren, and the price difference can cover iPad costs in two semesters. 

Administrators can save from reduced paper and printing costs and less storage needs due to cloud computing.

Enhances Academic Experience

Self assessment reports indicate that 75% agree more or strongly agree that iPad positively impacts academic experience. Further probe revealed 92.8% of Mac owners agreed about the positive impact while 70.4% PC owners felt the same. 

The study indicates that overall impact of iPad on class room learning is positive. To conclude in the words of OSU President Burns Hargis, “We put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of faculty and students and the end result reached beyond enhancing the academic experience of our students. The report outlines a possible decrease to student and administrative expenses, increased productivity, and how the iPad crosses across academic and personal barriers."

Top 5 Games For The iPhone, iPod touch, iPad & iPad mini

Children love games, and so do adults, a fact many of us are in denial of. According to research conducted by the Office of Naval Research, games not only entertain, but positively impact the adult mind by enhancing hand eye coordination, reasoning ability, problem solving skills, etc. Now you can proudly tell your spouse or significant other why you are always fiddling with your gadget!

Games are ubiquitously available on our mobile devices and here is a short list of the top 5 apps, sourced from a publication by ‘Teach Thought Staff’ for your children.

World of Goo

This is an award winning educative and entertaining physics puzzle game designed for kids, based on the concept of using balls of goo to build large structures. Priced at $2.99, its worth its price. 

Chess – Play & Learn

Chess, reminds me of many quotes, the favorite being, “Life is like a game of chess, changing with each move.” This age old, globally popular, meant for all game, educates us about life. Though many chess apps are available, Chess – Play & Learn for iDevices is top rated for it benefits novices and veterans alike.

Chess - Play & Learn - Screenshot

Sudoku & NY Times Crosswords

The printed versions of these two games which once took the world by storm have now made their way to iDevices.

Sudoku, the deceptively simple game, feels unique when solved on an iPhone, due to the colorful retina display, and the independence it imparts for selecting difficulty levels.

NY Times Crosswords on an iDevice provides access to the daily puzzles plus the 6,000 previously published versions from the archive, and also allows you to compete with top players through the online leader board. 

Sudoku on iTunes  NYTImes Crossword

You Don’t Know Jack

In this extremely popular game players answer ten multiple choice questions which are a combination of popular culture and general knowledge and win/lose virtual money in the process.

You Don't Know Jack

Apart from these, there are many more iPad games which are entertaining and educative, but present the risk of turning addictive. And of course I will be remiss to not make a pitch for Mobicip’s Safe Browser, which, among other features, helps setup specific windows of time during the day or week when internet access is allowed on your child’s mobile device. Learn more at Mobicip.com.

Mobicip E-Newsletter: Happy Holidays From The Mobicip Crew!

Holiday Newsletter Image

Happy Holidays

 

As an exciting 2012 comes to an end, the entire Mobicip crew takes this opportunity to thank you for helping spread the word about Mobicip over the last four years.

As your family's iPads (or other internet devices) make an appearance over the holidays, make sure to create a safe internet environment for your kids.

Here's wishing you happy holidays and a wonderful 2013 to look forward to. Your continued support is much appreciated!

The Mobicip crew

Tablets for Kids

If you have a tablet at home, you know that our children are way more adept at using the tablet than the adults. Do they really need a kids’ tablet? Well, often times, it becomes difficult to share a tablet across the family and in times like these, budget tablets come to mind. 

Many reputed toy manufacturers like Fisher-Price, Leap Frog, not to mention of Toy ‘R’ Us' Tabeo which hit the shelves in October, came up with kid friendly offers. 

The Tabeo

The 7-inch, multi touch device, with a 1GHz processor, is protected with a drop-safe bumper. It is Wi-Fi enabled, but kids also fancy its 50 preloaded games, books and other educational apps. Added to this you get an access to the 6,000 plus apps in the Tabeo store which contains parental control apps too.

It has a front facing camera and provision to connect with the TV. Its storage capacity of 4GB can be increased to 32GB with a micro SDHC card.

On the flip side, it’s just like any other entry level Android tablet, but at $149.99 its price allures.

Nabi2 Tablet

It’s not a toy, its Nabi2, claims the child on their website. This 7-inch Android tablet from Fuhu, working on NVIDIA quad-core processor comes with a protective red border, preloaded with games, music and customised educational lessons for K-5 children.

Nabi2 gives you the facility to create a chore list for your children and reward them on completion. Web browsing is possible and kids can access sites like National Geographic Little Kids, Disney fairies, etc. while sites for grownups remain unavailable.

A few disadvantages include lower resolution at 1024x600 however; children may not find it a hamper.  There’s no access to play store, and it’s priced at $199, but checking out post-black Friday deals helps.

Meep

This 7 inch Android tablet from Oregon Scientific comes preloaded with art and learning apps and games like Angry Birds.

Designed for children from age 6,

  • It recognizes they need access to a wider content hence gives built-in parental control apps
  • Provides a camera, a video camera with a HDMI port
  • G Sensor, for tilt based games

If your child loves reading then consider Amazon’s Kindle and Barns and Noble’s Nook. iPad too makes a good choice and what’s more its considered a play device too. All three can be setup with parental control apps like the one provided by Mobicip

As mentioned, choices are a plenty, but the iPad beats them all. To quote from the article of Edward.C.Baig, in the USA Today, ‘the iPad is clearly still the tablet to beat.’

Tablets for Business

Freedom and flexibility to move around and compute from any place can be possible only with a tablet in hand. If you are looking for one for your small business needs, then here’s help from Edward C Baig. In his article in USA Today. He gives a quick review of tablet computers that are ideal for business uses. 

Apple’s iPad  

Light weight, thin, with a 9.7 inch, 3.1 million pixel retina display, Apple’s iPad has a long battery life extending to 10 hours. Once viewed as a play device, it can now make a serious business tool, after the long forays made by Apple in promoting it as a tablet for enterprises. 

  • Its slew of great business apps makes it possible to capture digital signatures, use it for communication and for computer aided designs.
  • Through the Volume Purchase Program, you gain access to thousands of world-class apps designed to offer a broad spectrum of solutions for your business. Not only this, you can also get customised B2B apps developed by third-party developers to suit your unique requirements.  
  • It operates on the stable iOS which gives you an instant access to necessary information.
  • Enables you to setup Mobicip’s browser app which helps you allow/block categories of websites leading to a more productive workforce.  

Despite these pros that speak in iPad’s favor, many find it difficult to use a touch screen for business. Though it’s easy to access e-mails, documents and spreadsheets on a tablet rather than on a phone, it’s difficult to edit and export long documents. In short you can be a content consumer on your iPad and not a content creator.

We recommend you to read TIME Magazine’s editor-at-large, Harry McCracken’s, list of 30 Apple apps for your business, to think decisively.

Windows 8 Convertibles

You can use it as a tablet that relies on your fingers for navigation, or as a laptop, depending on a keyboard and a mouse.

Lenovo Yoga13

Window 8 hybrid, through a 360 degree hinge can convert to a laptop or a tablet.  Though laptop virtues are present, it turns clumsy as a tablet. Heavier at 3.4 pounds, it has a 13.3 inch screen with a resolution of 1600x900. If a convertible laptop is what you are looking for, this could be your choice.

Microsoft Surface

You can also consider this if you are willing to spend another $100 to get a keyboard accessory. But, there’s a little confusion here. First, Surface tablets function on Windows RT that relies on ARM processors, providing long battery life, multi touch versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but run short on apps.

Windows 8 Pro version of Surface, with a high resolution display of 1920x1080, detachable keyboard, cost unknown and a smaller screen size of 10.6 inches is due this January. Whichever option you go with, remember that you’ll need time to get accustomed to the interface as Windows 8 is a departure from traditional Windows we have used for long.

The iPad And Its Competitors

Although tablets had been around for a while, the tablet market really began in earnest with the launch of iPad. The iPad and iPad mini now figure high on this season’s wish list.

Quoting the figures forecasted by Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, Edward C. Baig, American technology columnist for USA Today and author of ‘Mac for Dummies’ says that, 112.5 million people will own a tablet by 2016, almost one-third of the adult American population.

Edward in his article (itself a part of the ‘Holiday Tech Guide’) writes that the iPad with its unique features and 9.7 inch retina display is undoubtedly the market leader today. Operating on the iOS software, its global appeal is evident by the predicted 219 million in sales by 2016, compared to the 109 million of Android-based tablets.

iPad has more than 275,000 apps specially produced for Apple. At Mobicip, we are proud to be a part of this landscape as we built our very own content filtering safe browser app for the iPod touch, iPad, iPad Mini and iPhone, providing a safe internet experience for all.   

Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10

Google's Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 run on the latest Android version called Jelly Bean, though a few still operate on Ice Cream Sandwich. Apparently, Nexus 10 with a higher resolution and a 10-inch display is arguably better than the iPad for the price, the notable differences hardly perceivable in comparison.  

Surface by Microsoft

Another entrant is the Surface tablet which operates on the Windows OS from Microsoft. Windows 8 is designed not only for multi-touch tablets, but also for traditional desktops and laptops. However, consumers and businesses are yet to adopt it in a big way and it accounts for less than 1% of market  share.    

Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD

In a way, Amazon defined what a low-cost tablet should have by introducing the Kindle Fire at a $199 price point. While the first version has little beside the price point going for it, newer versions, especially the Kindle Fire HD are on par with the Nexus tablets from Google.

If you are a parent looking for a tablet for your child, many factors like the screen size, weight and cost may influence your choice. The amazing thing is that big companies like Google and Amazon are offering tablets starting at $199 while smaller ones offer for less than that. But before zeroing in on one, consider what the French often say, ‘quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”

Parental and Teen Perception of Internet Security

Hart Research Associates recently conducted a quantitative research project to explore and better understand the online behaviour of teens, parental supervision of their teen’s online behaviour, awareness among teens about parental supervision and attitudes of both pertaining to online safety. Two surveys were conducted, one of 511 teens in the age group of 13-17 and the other of 500 parents. While reading the report, one significant factor that jumps out is that teens are not much aware of parental supervision of their online activity.

84% of parents monitor their teen’s online and mobile activity while only 39% of teens believe their parents do so.

There is a significant gap of 45% in perceptional difference in what parents actually do and teen awareness. 11% of teens say their parents monitor their online activity very closely while parental survey reports of 31%. Again, 28% of teens believe that their parents monitor somewhat closely compared to 53% of parents in actuality.

91% of parents say they are informed about what their teens do online and on their cell phone

37% of parents say they are very well informed, compared to teens’ perception of 21%, a 16% of gap here. 54% of parents are somewhat informed of their child’s online activity while only 41% of teens think so, again a difference of 13%.

Perhaps the biggest difference between teens knowledge about their parental supervision pertains to their access of social networking sites

Among the varied social networking sites, 38% of parents know well about their teens’ Twitter usage, while only 14% of teens think so.

Notable differences exist among other social networking sites too.

  • Face book – an 18% gap
  • Pinterest – a 14% and
  • Tumblr – a 15% gap
For other online platforms the gap between teen perception and parental supervision is nil or little
  • Online gaming - teens are aware that their parents know they game.
  • Texting awareness speaks of a 3 point gap,
  • Instant messaging a 7 point gap and,
  • Teen YouTube usage reveals a 10point gap.

Online Safety – Teen and Parental Perception

Parents and teens are more or less on the same page pertaining to online safety.
  • 95% of teens feel safe online, and 94% of parents agree with this.  
  • An open ended question was asked to know what safety meant to the different groups. 25% of the teens said being safe was having their online privacy well protected, while 17% equated safety to prevention of harm or harassment.
  • Parental perception of safety involved avoiding stranger danger situations, said 29%, and 26% said it was ensuring their children's online privacy and protection of personal information.
Both, parents and teens are similarly concerned regarding potential outcome of teen’s online activity. However, attitudinal differences are evident in their sensitivity to stranger danger scenario and access to inappropriate content.
  • Parents and teens widely differ about the fear of exposure to inappropriate concern. 79% of parents fear this compared to just 53% of teens.
  • Similar differences are exhibited by both in the stranger danger situation.  78% of parents worry a stranger might learn of their teen while just 59% of teens view this as a threat.
An online posting might bring trouble, worry parents and teens, though in varying degrees.
  • 57% of parents and 43% of teens fear electronic bullying for a posting made by a teen.  
  • 50% of parents worry their children may be teased for their online postings compared to 41% of teens.
  • Teens and parents are equally worried about posting made by teens which might affect their relationship with their educators, and impact future college admissions or job potential.  
Parents and teens identify identity theft to be the biggest online safety issue
  • Teens protect their online privacy especially for social networking sites.
  • 81% of teens have set privacy settings on their social networking account.
  • 65% place a limit on whom they share their posts with, and
  • 54% have removed a tagged photo.

Despite these precautions 51% of teens have done something by which an outsider can access their information like

  • commenting on a blog
  • sharing recommendations for TV shows
  • mentioning the place they lived
  • sharing their name, address or passwords, which are really dangerous or
  • planning to meet a stranger which is very risky

Parental worry over their teens’ safety on the internet is justified in most cases. As concerned parents ourselves, we fully empathise.  We at Mobicip therefore work to provide a safe, secure and customised internet for your family, which can be accessed from any mobile device.

The Mobicip crew lauds parents taking steps to provide online protection to their children. But we recommend keeping your children informed about the steps taken. Parents check browsing history, log on to their children’s face book accounts and read messages, but there exists a great gap in how much their teens are aware of this supervision.  93% of parents say they converse with their teens about online safety precautions taken by them, while only 61% mentioned their parents ever spoke about this. If you are a parent, that is a statistic worth thinking about.

Parental Control and Tablets: Myth Vs. Reality

If he or she hasn’t already, your child is definitely going to ask you for a tablet for Christmas, and it’s only a matter of time before you or Santa is forced to consider the varied available options on the store shelf. It is vital to choose a tablet with great care and buy one which allows you to exercise some level of parental controls, according to Michelle Mastin. In her article - Parental Controls Face Off - she has created an informative compilation of the pros and cons of three tablets - Kindle Fire, Nook HD and the iPad - to help you zero in on the right one.

Parental Control – As a Third Party App

Google Nexus 7,  Google Nexus 10 or any Android tablet for that matter, does not have a built in parental control app, and you’ll need a third party app like our own Mobicip Safe Browser for Android, Zoodles Kid Mode, Kids Place, or Funamo for that. In general, Android tablets are a great buy for their small screen size, light weight and low price.  

Kindle Fire HD Free Time

The latest software update to the 7”and 8.9” models of Kindle Fire HD is the Kindle Fire HD Free Time. It has a child-friendly interface. You can set up profiles for up to 6 children, each with their individual home screen, filtered content and screen time restriction.

  • As a parent you can also filter content for each individual child, by white listing books, TV shows, movies and apps.
  • By default, your children cannot browse the web or visit social networking sites as these are completely blocked out. We recommend, of course, that you download and setup Mobicip’s Safe Browser on the Kindle Fire as one of the allowed apps.  
  • Perhaps, the best feature of Free Time is the ability to set content based screen time limit. For example, you can provide unlimited time to read books, while you can restrict movie watching to a pre designated time limit. Or else, you can just restrict the total screen time limit.
  • Entry and exit to Free Time are password protected and your child cannot break out of it. Once time runs out, a pop-up informs you about it and you hold the option of increasing their Free Time.

Nook HD Child Profile

The Nook HD user profile makes it easy to share one single device with six people. You can have unrestricted adult profiles and set up a child profile with parental controls.

  • Child profiles show the books, movies and TV shows you have selected for them and it’s not possible for children to switch profiles as they are pass code protected.
  • Your children can customise background or desktop as it is user specific.
  • You can either turn on or off web browsing, there is no content filtering for the browser.

iPad Restrictions

Parental controls on the iPad is available in the form of a feature called Restrictions.  The restrictions you set will apply to the iPad in general. So if you and your child are using the same device then you will have to enter a pass code and disable Restrictions every time you need to access content that's off limits for your child.

Which Tablet Suits Your Needs?

In her article, Michelle compares the three tablets and here is what she says:

User accounts

  • The Nook is the only tablet where the home screen and content collection can be customized for each separate log in. Parental controls apply and can be set separately for each child’s profile.
  • On Kindle Fire HD child accounts are possible only on Kindle Fire HD Free Time. 

Child Friendly Interface

  • The iPad is kid friendly, so is the Nook HD, which makes it possible for even a preschooler to figure it out viewing the large icons for books and movies.
  • Amazon on Free Time has grouped individual characters of movies, books, TV shows and apps into one category making it easy for Kindle Fire HD users to navigate around. Even the menu has pictures and makes for eye candy.

Screen Time

  • Kindle Fire HD Free Time scores over all others on screen time limit. This particular feature is very useful when your child is back from school and home all alone.

Content Filtering

All three gadgets allow you to filter content by making a choice on books, movies, TV shows and apps through ratings.

Web Filtering

While the article is generally informative, we are a bit disappointed about Michelle’s conclusion that the ability to allow web access and then filter content is not available on any of these tablets.

Mobicip’s Safe browser creates a safe and customized internet on any iOS or Android tablet. K9 from Blue Coat Systems is another free option which offers parents the ability to provide a safe internet experience.  

We fully endorse the view that tablets are powerful learning gadgets and a necessity for children in this digital age. If you wish to allow internet access, we suggest that you install a Safe Browser such as the one provided by Mobicip to make the internet a safe experience for your child. 

 

Ideas to Use Cell Phones in Class

Using cell phone for class room instruction can be a double edged sword. It’s a great way to increase student participation and productivity. Yet at the same time, these very gadgets can turn into entertainment devices if the lesson is boring.  

Jennifer Carey has suggested a few good ideas to effectively use cell phones in the classroom for learning in her article - Four Smart Ways to Use Cell Phones in Class. These points which were initially discussed in Teaching with Smart Phones  are a useful guide for any educator.

Quiz

Conducting a quiz on Poll Everywhere can be fun. It’s a free app for an audience of 40, exceeding which, a payment has to be made. The teacher can create quiz questions and receive texted answers from students. As an educator, you can also think up other creative ways to use this app.

In-Class Back Channel

Back channeling is a great way to introduce additional facts during a lesson, or to just carry on conversations during group readings. Twitter is a good medium for back channeling.  However, any teacher will prefer a more controllable platform and Today’s Meet meets this criterion. On this platform, students can create temporary rooms for carrying on back channel discussions.

Poll Everywhere is another option worth considering for it also allows you to moderate statements and prevent anonymous comments.

In-class Readings and Handouts

You can also use a smart phone as an ‘e Reader.’ Place your books or handouts in a Drop box folder for your students to access it. For traditional reading content you can make use of various mobile apps like eReader, iBooks, etc. where you can use available free content or load your own customised versions. Your students can read and even highlight or annotate the documents.

Research

Genius Scan+ available for Windows, iOS and Android based phones is a good app for organising research says Ms. Carey. Learners can capture information using the built-in-camera and either store or export them to Drop Box, Google Docs or Evernote.  Evernote is a good app that enables organizing images and information like voice or hand written notes, web clippings, etc., which can be stored in pre categorized folders and tagged for future search or reference.

Ms. Carey also advocates Google Goggles, a Google images-based feature. It can search the internet for image based content. We recommend that you use a Safe Browser app with content filtering and parental controls like the one from Mobicip to ensure that students are able to do their research on the Internet safely.

Cell phones as educational gadgets are here to stay and to prepare our students for the future, it is necessary to properly integrate the use of these devices into class room learning. We at Mobicip are passionate about mobile learning and believe it will bring about a huge transformation in how children learn.

Top Ten Apps for Parents After Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday sales continue to increase unabated this year and Cyber Monday saw an increase of 28.3% in online sales at the top 500 retailers, while ‘Pay Pal’ enjoyed a 200% increase in mobile payments in comparison to last year.

For the enthusiastic shoppers who purchased a smartphone or tablet, we at Mobicip compiled a list of the ten most useful apps we have seen used at schools. Amid all the eye candy and the games your kids love, perhaps you can persuade them to enjoy these educational but fun apps.

Brain POP Featured Movie

The more you know, the more you know! Bring learning to your fingertips. This is their trade mark and it describes their product like none other. With more than 750 animated movies in an extensive selection of topics, ‘Brain POP’ is easy to use and makes available fresh educational content every day.

Mobicip Safe Browser

Mobicip (of course, because this is our top ten list :) is a content filtering app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Mobicip creates a safe and secure Internet experience using a combination of methods like strict safe search, categorization, intelligent real-time analysis, YouTube filtering and encryption at WiFi hotspots.

Qwiki

‘Doug Imbruce,’ CEO of ‘Qwiki’ feels we are faced with the problem of information overload, hence ‘Qwiki,’ a platform which provides an educational slide show with a voice over, making it easier to gain information by viewing it in a mini documentary form.

iBooks

iBooks make it possible to download and read books. It includes the iBookstore from which you can download best sellers, access illustrated and multi touch books, read a free sample on any of the 7 different fonts and 18 varied languages.

Algebra Touch

These touch-based techniques are built from the basics to suit an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and refreshes algebraic knowledge. Learn by tapping to simplify, dragging to rearrange, drawing lines to eliminate identical terms, or by simply working on randomly generated problems.

Math Quizzer

Math quizzer, an interactive freeware application,  helps polish your mathematical skills using its chalkboard visuals, which also keeps track of your score. Ideal for both beginners and advanced level students, it makes learning Math fun.

Cramberry

'Cramberry’ lets you create your own flashcards or select from its wide range. Its advanced study algorithm leads to intelligent learning by analysing your progress while you study.

Reading Trainer

Experimental trials prove that 'Reading Trainer' increases your average speed of reading by 143% in 10 days. It doubles your reading speed by

  • Enabling quick recognition of letters and numbers
  • Improving concentration ability
  • Increasing vision span and flexibility of eye movement

Puppet Pals

With 'Puppet Pals' you can create your own animation show. It has plenty of drama characters apart from TV talk show hosts and politicians. You just have to pick a few actors, place them in a background of your choice, press record and create your own unique show replete with animation and audio.

Discovery Education

Discovery Education aims to transforms education by providing  

  • high quality digital content to school districts
  • study plans, study material and lots of contests and challenges to teachers and
  • Interactive digital textbooks, virtual experiences, etc. to students.

Now, if you can only get the kids off of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja for some Brain-Pop’ing…

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