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Bartleby book of buttons Bartleby’s Book of Buttons may be the best educational iPad book available.

I don’t say this lightly. There are a lot of books on the iPad that my kids absolutely love. Certainly the Toy Story iPad games would come to my kids’ minds. But that is because the kids have an affection for Toy Story. On sheer quality, Bartleby’s Book of Buttons blows away Toy Story.

Okay, before I get carried away, let me fire out a quick negative. The book is short. You can get though it pretty quickly.

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AnalogiesAnalogies for Kids is an educational iPad app that has a premise I love. It is a quiz that lets kids practice both verbal and geometrical analogies. It is extremely low tech but the questions are just great and I think they really help cultivate young minds. My dream is that one day there are hundreds of iPad analogy apps out there and I’m buying the very best ones available.That is not, however, where we are now. This app has a very limited number of questions, so few that they often repeat frequently even in a 20 question test. Ultimately, your kids remember the answers and stop doing the analogies.

So you can only really only whip this game out for a few days. Would I recommend this incredibly flawed game? Absolutely. Because there is nothing else like this out there. So it is a weapon worth having for 99 cents. I don’t think it is even a close call. If you get just 30 minutes out of it, I still think it is a worthwhile investment. I just wish they would put out a more advanced version of the game and put on more questions (or just update the that is already out).This app is made by Nth Fusion LLC which has developed other educational iPad apps that we own that I will be writing about in the future.

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George WashingtonHere’s a statistic that is hard to believe: 93% of eight graders cannot correctly identify the three branches of government. But these are the stats provided by the 2010 National Assessment of Education Program test. The apples do not far from the tree. Adults struggle too.

Surveys show that fewer than half of U.S. adults can name the three branches of government — executive, legislative, and judicial. But I suspect if you are reading this blog you already know that. I really believe that the key to teaching history in a meaningful way is to get the dates, geography and facts down. I know the modern approach is kids should be immersed in rich stories that history provides instead of getting bogged down in the dates and places. But the rich stories don’t matter much without context. If you understand what was going on in the world in 1775, Paul Revere’s ride becomes a lot more interesting.

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iPad
Nearly 300 Kindergarten students in Alburn, Maine are getting Apple iPad 2s this fall. School superintendent Tom Morrill calls the iPad what I have called it: a revolution in education.

This is just a plain good thing for these kids. But the Washington Post always feels compelled tomanufacture a debate in an effort to be fair. (“Wait, let’s hear the birthers side of the story, too.”)So we hear from one Maine mother who is concerned:

I understand you have to keep up with technology, but I think a 5-year-old is a little too young to understand.