Acer Chromebook Tab 10 vs 2018 Apple iPad: Which is Better for Homeschooling? – WHS 226

Acer Chromebook Tab 10

At the end of March, Acer and Apple announced new tablets targeted at education. Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 and Apple’s 2018 iPad are priced competitively but which is better for homeschooling?

Acer Chromebook Tab 10

Google has dominated the public education market with Chromebooks for many years now. Their low price and suite of free applications make them very appealing to cash-strapped school districts.

Homeschoolers have been able to use G Suite for Education for a few years now and that gives homeschoolers access to tools and resources that were once only available to public schools.

With the Chromebook Tab 10, the ease of use and affordability of Chrome OS has moved from a laptop to a tablet. Homeschoolers will like the affordability of this product (when it’s released) and the free tools available from Google.

What we don’t know yet is how it will perform over time and whether or not it will hold up to the abuse of being handed down from one child to another.

Pros:

  • Google Classroom & G Suite for Education
  • Includes stylus
  • Expandable storage

Cons:

  • Less privacy (potentially)
  • Longevity and durability unknown
  • Weak cameras

Apple 2018 iPad

2018 Apple iPad

When the iPad was first released many people (including myself) saw the great potential for its use in education. Unfortunately, price and the lack of a basic educational application suite hindered the iPad’s adoption in public schools.

“Educational” applications soon emerged but many were either filled with ads or required additional in-app purchases. This either led to distractions for the student or additional costs that parents weren’t expecting after paying $400-$500 for a tablet.

Since then, more robust educational software has emerged and the prices have dropped. Homeschoolers can trust that their investment in an iPad will last for years (I still have an original iPad Mini).

Pros:

  • Apple eco-system
  • More privacy
  • Faster processor

Cons:

  • Cost ($329)
  • No stylus included ($99)
  • No other improvements

So, which tablet is right for you?

If you want more bang for your buck and access to a reliable education suite, the new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is right for you.

Already invested in the Apple eco-system and want a tablet you know you can still use in 5 years? Go with Apple’s 2018 iPad but realize you’ll be paying more in the long run.

Extra Time

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5 Mind-Expanding Astronomy Themed Science Project Ideas [Guest Post]

Astronaut Orbiting Earth - Astronomy Themed Science ProjectMost homeschooling parents are no strangers to the need to instill their children with a thorough education in STEM subjects. One of the most exciting aspects of studying science throughout school can be hands-on projects that bring abstract concepts to life.

I personally remember creating a model of the solar system that depicted the relative sizes of the planets, and it is one of my fondest educational memories. Not only did I have the chance to be creative and get my hands dirty with colors, but the project brought the reality of our solar system’s planets to life.

It taught me how small my home planet is, which grew into a larger love of astronomy and a more-involved appreciation of the fragility of our system and universe.

The unknown reaches of the universe are complex and relatively incomprehensible, but these abstract places and ideas fill people with wonder, and the study of astronomy forces us to confront our universe’s mysteries.

Experimentation is an excellent way for children to engage astronomical concepts and realities with concrete visualizations. Fortunately, in this era, we are gifted with a multitude of digital resources that can accompany hands-on projects in order to solidify underlying education objectives.

Ours is a universe of motion, so we should take advantage of our electronic ability to visually represent difficult concepts.

Below are five simple, engaging twists on classic astronomy-themed science projects for homeschooled children of all ages. Each project has a suggested approximate age level, but these are not absolute as they are subject to your child’s unique interest, learning objectives, and ability. Continue Reading →

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5 Steps to Protect Your Facebook Privacy – WHS 225

Faded Facebook Icon


Facebook has been in the news quite a bit lately because of privacy concerns.

A third-party (Cambridge Analytica) used data it collected from Facebook to profile users. That information was used to serve ads and articles to people via the social media network and influence their behavior online.

Many people have deleted their Facebook accounts (not an easy task) as a result of this revelation and others couldn’t care less. If you want to delete your account, keep in mind that it takes 90 days of inactivity for it to be “permanently” deleted.

In this podcast, we’ll take a look at what happened (briefly) and explore all of our options so that we can make an informed decision about whether or not to leave Facebook. Continue Reading →

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Tech Innovations That Help Autistic Kids in Homeschooling [Guest Post]

Word AUTISM with kids shoes on wooden background - Tech Innovations That Help Autistic Kids in HomeschoolingFor children on the autism spectrum, sometimes traditional schooling just doesn’t work. With homeschooling, a more personalized approach to learning can go a long way. However, to really reap the benefits of homeschooling, it has to be done right.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to you when you are homeschooling your child. This ranges from detailed pre-planned lessons, professionals that can give you advice on teaching, and various technologies. Technology, especially, has evolved greatly with a portion of it dedicated to helping those with autism. In this article, we will take a look at some of this technology that you can incorporate in homeschooling your child to make learning easier for them.

Visual Scene Displays

According to the organization Autism Speaks, around 25% of children that place on the autism spectrum struggle with verbal skills to the point of being non-verbal. So, as part of their homeschooling, they have to work on their verbal skills so that they can effectively communicate.

Visual scene displays are apps that are interactive and allow autistic children to communicate in interesting ways. There are a couple different types of these apps.

Speech with Milo is one such app. This allows the user to create interactive storybooks to develop their storytelling skills. Each app in this series focuses on a different aspect of communication and storytelling. For example, one version may focus on verbs while another focuses on adjectives. This app was created by a speech-language pathologist, Poorani Doonan.

Another example of a visual scene display app is SceneSpeak. This app creates an interactive display out of an image. When certain hotspots are hit on screen, a text-to-speech voice reacts. One of the best things about this app is that you can program in your own images and stories rather than having them pre-programmed for you.

WebMoti

When you are homeschooling a child, you aren’t always acting as their teacher. There are plenty of situations in which a child might be taking online courses, for example.

Autistic children often have trouble sitting still and focusing on their work. One main part of this is that they are susceptible to sensory overload. Lots of talking, loud noises, and other aspects of a traditional classroom environment can be overwhelming to an autistic child.

However, WebMoti has developed technology to help autistic children maintain their learning and control their sensory environment. This system is dependent on two major components – visual and auditory.

The visual aspect depends on a device that WebMoti calls the Webchair. It acts like a monitor that sits with one in front of the child and one in the classroom. This way, even from home, a student can tune into lessons and reap the benefits of a controlled environment.

The second aspect is the auditory aspect. When their whole classroom is talking, an autistic child can easily get overloaded. With this technology, though, the child can tune in directly to a teacher’s microphone and turn down the background sound in the classroom.

Conclusion

Every day new technology is changing our lives in ways we never imagined. For children with autism, new technologies can improve communication, assist in the development of social skills, and improve the ability to learn. As we move forward, we are bound to see more innovations that will make learning and living for autistic children and even autistic adults a little bit easier.

Annabelle Short is dedicated to helping families and children with special needs. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle is a mother and she loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11).

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on this site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Wired Homeschool.
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