Our new app, PrestoBingo Colors, will be released in just a few short weeks. If you would like a review copy for media or blog posts, send us a request and we will send out a promo code as soon as it's available.
Bonjour! PrestoBingo Shapes is in Milk Magazine. We a big fans of Milk Magazine, so it's pretty exciting to be selected by their editors as a featured app. Milk, based in France, presents the best of design in the kids’ market – from fashion, to interiors, to toys.
Finding apps in the app store is definitely a needle in a haystack scenario these days. With over 900,000 apps to sift through (as of June 2013) there is no easy way to do it. As developers, we love that we have the ability to put our apps in such an amazing marketplace. It might be tough to be found, but hey, at least we are there with the big kids (maybe 20 pages down, but we're optimists).
When it comes time to purchase an app, it's tough. There are many app review sites, but many of them are actually paid advertisements for the apps, not genuine reviews. One site that we've taken note of recently, with real reviews is Curious Little Apps. We noticed them after they reviewed our own app, but I found myself looking through their collection and loving the company we were in – Don't Let the Pigeon Run this App, Endless Alphabet, The Monster at the End of this Book, the list goes on.
Also helpful is how apps are categorized by age, subject and price. Curious Little Apps is the brainchild of Libby Stewart, a primary school teacher living in Melbourne and her partner Nathan Leigh Davis, who is an interactive designer and developer.
We are excited to announce that PrestoBingo is a 2013 Martha Stewart American Made Nominee! American Made celebrates entrepreneurs in the fields of food, design, crafts, style, beauty, technology, and gardening.
From now through September 13, 2013, you can vote for your favorite American Maker up to six times a day. We do hope you will pick us! It's easy to log onto the Martha Stewart website through Facebook, or to create a separate login if you prefer. Then just follow the link below and click on the "Vote" button up to 6 times each day.
We see those numbers going up already! A big thank you to all who have voted. Your votes mean more people will find out about us and what we do. And we can keep doing what we love best — making more cool stuff.
Decades ago, a stack of books, chalk, ruler, and a blackboard were some of the tools a teacher used. Now, teachers are armed with laptops, smartphones, or tablet PCs while conducting their respective classes. In an age where technology and connectivity reign supreme, educators must be keeping up with the times, and especially with their students. They can access information any time and from anywhere, thanks to technology.
Although students are privileged with these innovative conveniences, teachers are still regarded as mentors, knowledge-keepers, and guides in a fast-changing world. With these responsibilities weighing on their shoulders, they are expected to adapt, invent, and find solutions for their students.
For all the tech-savvy or techie teachers out there, here are five ideas to help you integrate technology into your class:
Technology is your tool
It’s a fact that technology is always at the forefront of teaching. In the old days, schools and educators used “ed-tech” tools like overhead projectors, dry-erase boards, cassette recorders, and even Tamagochi virtual pets during lessons. These proved to be invaluable tools for learning during that time. Today, we have smart devices, learning apps, and mobile broadband technology at our disposal. Use tablets, smartphones, or netbooks to engage students while in class. Several schools are working with companies like O2 Learn and Microsoft to bring 21st century technology into their schools. These education projects are meant to support teachers and inspire students. Technology, when used properly can leave a positive impact on students.
Be a leader and a follower
Since teachers are preparing their students for a more advanced Digital Age, they need to be technological pioneers. Basically, before anyone can be a leader, he or she should be a follower first. Educators, even the most tech-savvy ones, need to be constantly updated, trained with the latest apps, and devices being released in the market. Using these new found technologies can be tricky and teaching it is another thing. It may prove difficult but to be a leader, one must be creative, decisive, and understanding. Each student has a different learning curve and motivations; the challenge is how to find it. Using technology and incorporating it into a lesson makes is easier for both teacher and student—the teacher gets the lesson across while the student learns from the lesson.
Connect, engage, and socialize
The workforce of the future needs to be creative, adaptive, and innovative individuals. To achieve this goal, teachers need to go back-to-basics: learning how to learn. Now, the first step is establishing a connection with your students and your mobile devices are the keys. Use them to access digital tools or apps like email, Skype, or social media sites. Once the students are aware that you’re digitally connected, they will start to communicate and engage. Create digital avenues for them to engage in your lessons. It could be websites, pages, or forums that will spark communication and collaboration. This will result in socialization and creating a network of learners who learn together.
Always keep an open mind and door
Students nowadays are practically exposed to the latest in technology. However, their parents and even some teachers are not, and this could be a challenge. Not everyone is sold on the idea of technology simply because it is overwhelming. Another reason is that they want tried and tested ideas, never leaving their comfort zone. The best thing to do is to show them how to adapt to technology. Introduce tablet PCs or mobile devices slowly, and show them the benefits of apps in teaching. Let parents know that as an educator, you are teaching their children how to be responsible “netizens”. Encourage parents to consult you about their child’s lessons and if needed, teach them also about technology. Having a good amount of patience and understanding makes teaching life much easier.
Keep calm and take your mind off things
When apps or devices crash, it’s best to stand up and walk away, literally. Go sit on a park bench and have a cup of coffee. Take a walk and watch the world go by for a change. Things happen and most of the time it’s beyond your control. Go back to the problem later and take your mind off things. Take a deep breath, paint a smile on your face, and enjoy life.
Have you successfully integrated technology in your class? Share your experiences with us.
About the Author
Reese Jones, a freelance writer based in London. She loves to try educational and gaming apps such that she can share and enjoy them with her many nephews and nieces. When not busy playing with the little ones, Reese can also be found writing about the latest gadgets and tech news. She also regularly contributes to TechieDoodlers. You can also follow her on Twitter.
Gail Anderson is an educator, author and graphic designer. She was the senior art director at Rolling Stone, and creative director of design at SpotCo. In addition to the many books she has co-authored with Steven Heller, she writes for imprint, Print Magazine's blog. While on a recent visit to Baltimore to speak at Stevenson University, she stopped by our studio fo a visit. I've admired her work for years, so it was a pleasure to sit down and speak with her.
PrestoBingo is designer eye candy... but it's also smart and kind of addictive.
We've just released a brand new version of PrestoBingo Shapes, our iPhone and iPad app that teaches basic shapes and counting to kids. I'm particularly excited about this version, because it includes 4 new animated and illustrated shape puzzles. It also has a new swipe feature so you can move between puzzles more easily.
Making this app has been a great project to work on, but it's a big app store, and small developers like us have to work hard to get found. We greatly appreciate tweets, ratings or reviews on the app store. And good old-fashioned word of mouth? Best. Ever.
We've been busy working on the next release of PB Shapes. This one is the biggest yet, and we are very excited about it. It features 4 new illustrated puzzles, plus a new swipe feature that lets kids move past a puzzle if they want to. We've been busy the last few weeks tidying up illustrations and making sound effects. If you hear some buzzing bees in the new release, they are courtesy of Emma and Jacob (age 8).
It's been one year since we launched PrestoBingo Shapes. So what's happened during the first year? A lot. For one thing, our little app has travelled the world. Here's a list of the countries we've had sales in:
United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, France, China, Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Singapore, Belgium, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Sweden, Thailand, Norway, Finland, Denmark, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Czech Republic, Colombia, Taiwan, Austria, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Luxembourg, Latvia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Philippines, Croatia, South Korea, Macau, United, Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Poland, Bulgaria
Not bad for a one year old!
Another thing we've seen is an uptick in educational sales. PrestoBingo Shapes is available at a discount for schools purchasing 20 or more copies, and we are happy to see that so many schools are using our app as a teaching tool.
We have more things planned for the next year, including some new shape puzzles, so stay tuned!
We are excited to be a Cool Mom Tech Pick this week! Here is the full review.
PrestoBingo Shapes is an iPad app that introduces toddlers and preschoolers to basic forms of geometry--circles, ovals, diamonds, semi-circles, squares, trapezoids, triangles and rectangles--all artfully hidden in quirky mod illustrations and animation.