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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tips for Twitter

Twitter is a relatively new addition to the world of social media, but despite only launching in July 2006 the ‘microblog’ now has over 271 million monthly active users.

It is quick and easy to make a twitter account on your smartphone, by downloading the app and registering with an email address.  Each post or ‘tweet’ is limited to 140 characters, and by definition a tweet is suggested to be a “short burst of inconsequential information”.

For twitter newbies seeking inspiration, the search tool can be used to find existing users (including celebrities, politicians, writers) who can then be ‘followed’.  This means you will receive their tweets directly to your timeline to read, where you have the option to ‘favourite’ or ‘retweet’ (share with your own followers) these posts.

The use of the hashtag encourages interaction with other tweeters who may have a similar interest, by categorizing your tweet.  For example by adding #TheXFactor to the end of your X-Factor related tweet, other users will be able to see the opinion you have posted, and may choose to then favourite, retweet, follow you or even reply.

Apps for on the go learning

Interactive whiteboards, iPads and MP3 Players are taking the education system by storm as we are discovering that learning and technology go hand in hand.

There are now some great educational apps available to help with portable studying, so this week we are telling you about our favourites.

Splash Maths is a collection of interactive games and problems to help children aged 6-8 to practice and reinforce maths skills such as addition and subtraction in a fun and comprehensive way. Parents can sign up for weekly progress reports via email to see how their child is getting on with the tool.

Revision App is a learning tool created by teachers to provide quality revision notes and flashcards for a range of GCSE, A-level, college and even university subjects. This free app makes studying while out and about easy, with over 1 million exam notes provided and the tools to design your own. You can also share your notes with friends and form virtual study groups, making it a great resource for any student of any age.

Finally, SimpleMind+ is a great and simple app that allows users to create mind maps to structure, collect, and display ideas or plans from the comfort of their smartphone or tablet.

Summer apps for kids

The summer holidays have arrived so we thought we would share a few brilliant apps to keep your children amused over the next 6 weeks.

BBC iPlayer is great for the whole family, especially on those long journeys. Simply download episodes of your child’s favourite shows before you leave. OS and Android users can watch downloaded shows without the Internet, but Windows users will need 3G. Bear in mind additional charges for Internet access on the go.

Math Bingo is a fun way for children to practice math facts on your phone or tablet. You can choose the types of math questions and the level of difficulty. This app costs 69p, and is available for both Apple and Android users.

If you have little explorers, Barefoot World Atlas is excellent for users to travel the globe and find out about different cultures. You can learn facts, watch little videos and view incredible photographs. The app costs £2.99, and is available for iPad and iPhone.

Duo Lingo is a free app that lets the user practice speaking, listening, reading and writing in different European languages to unlock levels and develop their foreign language skills further.

Magic Piano helps develop musical skills with a virtual keyboard. Simply tap the highlighted keys to understand the notes and learn new songs. You can use this app with Apple, Android and Windows devices. A musical app like this will keep the kids amused for hours – maybe just ask them to plug the headphones in!