Education Apps and Parenting Tips for the Connected Age

Tips on learning apps from tech-savvy moms.

By Melanie Ortel on November 6, 2013

Technology surrounds children from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. A part of parenting today is managing this technology so it benefits young ones. Here, top mommy bloggers in the Northeast share their thoughts on education apps they love as well as parenting tips for the digital age.

Sarah Briggs of Mom Running on Empty uses iTooch to make study time fun for her 10-year-old son, Colin. The app from eduPad focuses on language arts, math and science for elementary and middle school students. There are also versions for SAT prep and French.

“We have been using iTooch, an app recommended by my son's 4th grade teacher this year. It is based on common core curriculum. Already we are seeing Colin enjoy using it AND learning from it,” said Briggs.

Abby off the Record’s Abby Green turns math problems into play time for her two boys with Math Ninja.

“Worksheets are boring. Ninjas are awesome. Help your child improve his math skills by playing this fun game where a clever ninja foils his foe, Tomato-San, by solving math problems. Bonus: You get to blast catbots and dogbots with ninja stars,” said Green.

Once her kids are finished with Math Ninja, she lets them keep exploring with the phone a bit longer. Green encourages parents to hand over their camera phones to their children and let them play photographer for a change.

“Getting a kid’s perspective on the world can be eye-opening – for both of you! And there’s always the ‘delete’ option…” shared Green.

And how does Green keep up chasing around her little ninja and photographer? She tracked her activity recently with the Fitbit Flex. You can read her review here.

Caitlin Beauchaine of The Honest Mommy is a certified early childhood and elementary school teacher and believes there is educational value in quite a few apps on the market for children ranging from toddlers to grade 5. Her top picks include Laugh & Learn Animal Sounds for Baby by Fisher-Price, Curious George’s Town by Houghton Mifflin, Word BINGO by ABCya.com and Sushi Monster by Scholastic. And Beauchaine’s tip for adding new education apps to your phone or tablet: Pay attention!

“Keep an eye out for apps that require your children to create any kind of account or ask your child to enter personal information or email addresses. If you take a close look at the iTunes app preview pages, many include a privacy disclosure stating if the app contains third-party ads or location tracking functions,” said Beauchaine.

She also recommends parents thoroughly review programs and be wary of “free” apps. Many apps require additional purchases to unlock new features or higher levels.  

Do you have suggestions for great educational apps or parenting tips? Share them with us on Twitter at @VZWMelanie.