Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Have you set up Safe Search on your kids devices and family computers? Have you even heard of it? In this article we'll explain how you can configure Safe Search for popular search engines and devices and what it does (and doesn't do.)

One of the questions we're regularly asked is how to keep children safe online. Parents are keen to find quick technology fixes. Our advice is don't rely on technology to do this, you need to supervise young children, teach older ones the skills they need and keep an open dialogue with teens.

But tech can be useful in some places and filtering out the worst content on the web is one of those areas. This is what Safe Search does.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Amazon Fire tablets are great for young children (3-8 years). They are small, affordable and the kids' edition provide additional features specifically with little kids in mind.

One thing to note is that you will not have the range of apps available on iPads or Android tablets. Many companies also opt to create educational apps for iOS first and often these apps never make it to the Amazon Appstore.

So we've done some searching and found some great apps for young children using Amazon Fire tablets which will help teach coding and computational thinking skills.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

If you're looking for a fun paper-based computing activity for children then My First Computer from the Hello Ruby book, by Linda Liukas, is great.

Hello Ruby is a series of books about computers, coding and technology for children (and adults like me!) The whimsical stories lets you journey with the main character, Ruby, and learn how computers and technology works. Half the book is the story and the other half activities.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Wonder Workshop is doing a brilliant job of making robotics and coding fun and accessible for children. We've had the pleasure of playing with the new Dot Creativity Kit for children aged 6+.

We're quite familiar with the Wonder Workshop robots, Dash and Dot, as we've owned them for a couple years and written a bit about them about on the blog.

In this post we share my 7-year-old's exploration of the green Dot robot and all the accessories that come with the Creativity Kit.

Disclaimer: Wonder Workshop sent us a Dot Creativity Kit for the purpose of this review. Our views are always our own.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

If you're the parent of a 5 to 7-year-old you may have heard them talking about algorithms. In the UK, the key stage 1 curriculum states that children should "understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions."

So what are algorithms? And how can we help young children to think algorithmically?

Monday, 26 March 2018

Last year we bought our middle son an Amazon Echo Dot to use as a music player in his bedroom. He loves listening to music and at the time I didn't want to get him an audio player with headsets. The Echo Dot allows him to play music but we can still 'listen in'. Even though the Echo Dot can play audio without an external speaker, if you really like listening to music, you will not be too impressed with the quality of the sound.

This is where a Bluetooth speaker can add real value. The Echo Dot is made to easily integrate with Bluetooth-enabled speakers. In this post, we also explore using the BenQ treVolo S with our Echo Dot.

Disclaimer: BenQ Corporation sent us a BenQ treVolo S Portable Electrostatic Bluetooth Speaker for this review. Our views and opinions are always our own.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

We've partnered with Cool Components to put together a Basic Kit of components needed to make the projects in our book micro:bit in Wonderland.

The Basic Kit makes it easy to buy all the electronics and bits and pieces at once. If you don't already have a micro:bit you need to buy it separately, which is available in a variety of different kits or you could lend a micro:bit from a library (UK).

The Basic Kit for micro:bit in Wonderland is available online from Cool Components.