Solar Eclipse Timer – STEM App of the Week

Solar Eclipse TimerIf you plan to view the total solar eclipse this year, it helps to know when certain events will occur. Solar Eclipse Timer can help you determine if you’re in the path of totality and the times each significant event will occur during the eclipse.

Description

Solar Eclipse Timer is your smartphone guide for a total solar eclipse. It’s like having your own personal astronomer help you on Eclipse Day! It is extremely simple to use and has unique features that are ONLY found in this app! Just get into the path of the solar eclipse, and then with just 2 taps on your device, the app is ready to “talk” you through the eclipse.

Cost: $1.99
Platforms: Android and iOS
Rating: E (Google Play Store)/4+ (Apple AppStore)

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Sony “Clean Versions” Initiative Provides Family-Friendlier Movies

Sony Clean VersionsSony Pictures announced a “Clean Version Initiative” that will allow customers to purchase the edited-for-television versions of their movies.

24 films are included in the initial release and are currently available on iTunes, Vudu, and Fandango Now:

  • 50 First Dates
  • Battle Of The Year
  • Big Daddy
  • Captain Phillips
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • Easy A
  • Elysium
  • Ghostbusters
  • Ghostbusters II
  • Goosebumps
  • Grown Ups
  • Grown Ups 2
  • Hancock
  • Inferno
  • Moneyball
  • Pixels
  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Spider-Man 3
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Step Brothers
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
  • White House Down

This is all pre-existing content that has been edited for general audiences. It’s possible Sony is doing this because more and more people are only getting their entertainment online and not via broadcast television.

Clear Play and VidAngel have been providing similar “family-friendlier” content for a few years now. Clear Play seems to have avoided litigation but VidAngel is currently involved in a lawsuit with major studios and has had to stop their streaming service.

Find out more about Sony’s “Clean Version Initiative” by visiting their website.

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Osmo Coding Jam Teaches Kids to Code and Rock Out – WHS 209

Osmo Coding Jam Teaches Kids to Code and Rock Out - WHS 209


I was recently given early access to Osmo Coding Jam to review the product ahead of its launch. It’s a game combined with tactile elements that teach kids to code using pictograms on tiles.

A nifty stand and mirror allow your iPad to see the tiles laying on a table in front of the device. It’s an ingenious design that I found fun to use.

Before I give my full review, here are some things you’ll want to know about Osmo Coding Jam. Continue Reading →

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5 Key Tips to Help College-Bound Homeschoolers Studying STEM Stay on Track

5 Key Tips to Help College-Bound Homeschoolers Studying STEM Stay on TrackScience, technology, engineering, and mathematics are intense subjects. It’s hard to be dedicated to classes that are so time-consuming and require high levels of research and an understanding of complex topics.

It’s incredibly difficult to stay motivated and see the light at the end of the tunnel when your school is so demanding, as it can all just be so hard.

College-bound homeschoolers can use the following tips to get a jump-start to stay motivated in their STEM studies when the piles of work seem insurmountable. Continue Reading →

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Violence in Media—A Guide to Media Ratings [Infographic]

Violence in Media—A Guide to Media Ratings
Violence in media seems unavoidable. Even content deemed “family-friendly” probably contains some level of violence. It could be mild and joking or it could be an epic battle between heroes and villains.

It’s likely that kids graduating this summer have seen 40,000 murders on TV if they watch the national average of 7.5 hours of media per day.

I’m all for including entertainment in our homeschooling. It can spark an interest in a topic or supplement a lesson. Sometimes we use it as a reward for getting school work done.

No matter how you use media (TV, movies, games, Netflix, YouTube videos) it’s important for us as parents to be aware of the content. Media ratings help, but it’s better to preview content when possible.

Rawhide Boys Ranch created a great infographic that shares eye-opening information about the media consumption of kids in America.

Check out the infographic below. If you want to dig deeper in to the details, check out Rawhide’s excellent article that compliments the infographic. Continue Reading →

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