Tuesday, November 29, 2011

iPad Apps for the Tutor-Mom

When my family first got the Ipad Christmas 2010, we used it mostly for games; thus, it would only come out on weekends.  Starting some nine months ago, I have discovered quite a number of apps that have been very useful for me as I help my kids review their lessons.  

With a lot of educational and productivity apps installed on our Ipad, it is now a gadget that I cannot live without.  Most of the educational apps are those that help me review my kids for their Chinese lessons, given the fact that I practically do not know anything pinyin, pinyin tones, and stroke orders.  

One of the kids is currently in the middle of the 3rd quarter exam, and another one just wrapped up a three-day national finals swim competition.  As you can see our schedule is crazy hectic... While I have been busy cheering by the poolside for the last couple of days, I also tried to keep myself productive by utilizing the small pockets of time in between to review the other one for the exam.  We just carried the Ipad with us, and took to a secluded spot for a few minutes to squeeze in some study time.  Classic case of hitting two birds with one stone.... I feel so happy and productive. (gives self a pat on the back!:) )

Here are some of my recommended apps:
HippoDICT Plus is a Chinese-English dictionary that seamlessly integrates online and offline resources in a clean, elegant, and a super-fast lookup engine. HippoDICT also offers flaschcard decks, a simple but powerful organization and learning tool that helps my kids master their Chinese vocabulary lessons. It also uses intelligent flash cards which only drill the kids on the words and phrases that they have trouble with, cutting down our study time.
 Pinyin Chart is an interactive Chinese pronounciation chart. All possible combination of sounds and tones in the Chinese language included, with option of a male/female audio. This app has been instrumental in teaching my kids pinyin- most especially since I couldn't differentiate the Chinese tones... even if my life depended on it. :)

iFiles is a file manager, document viewer, text editor, voice recorder, wifi drive, and more.  I use iFiles to store the drillsheets and reviewers that I have in Word, Excel or PDF format.  This way, it is like carrying my entire reviewers folder all the time.   Transfering files from my desktop/laptop to the Ipad is effortless, too.  

How I wish the kids could study on their own desks at home, but conflicting schedules and after-school activities get in the way.  As a tutor-mom who reviews my kids in the car, or while walking, or in the school swing, or at the poolside... yes anywhere except a proper study table... the above-mentioned Ipad apps are truly a wonderful discovery that it could easily be the highlight of my year. hahaha!:)

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jen laceda said...

Hmmm...since I am a die-hard Apple Mac user, I'd love to have an iPad...but my husband dislike the fact that iPad doesn't have USB port. He much rather buy a Samsung Galaxy tablet now...so sadly, I must defer to him on this decision. But it's good to know that there are so many apps out there for kids and adults alike :) These are very useful apps for studying indeed! Apparently, many schools are using tablets now instead of text books! Wow-za!

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