app reviews

Do You Want To Code With Elsa and Anna?

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What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is a two year old non-profit organization that focuses on expanding the knowledge of computer science to everyone.  Hour of Code makes the tools for learning programming and computer science easily accessible.  More than 59 million students have participated in the Hour of Code.  This foundation is bringing in a lot of diversity into the STEM fields.  41% of the students taking online courses are girls.  In the high school classrooms, 34% of the students are girls and 60% of them are African American or Hispanic.  The courses are available in more than 30 languages.

Completing the tutorials

I decided to work independently on completing the tutorials so I could finish them at my own pace.  The first tutorial I completed was “Creating a Winter Wonderland”.  The theme of it was the movie Frozen.  I thought this was a really cute and easy way to start learning coding.  It had you use blocks to write lines of code.  The lines you created made Elsa and Anna skate around a pond tracing snowflakes.  My little cousin loves Frozen and I bet just the theme of the lesson would make her  want to learn how to code.  It is so simple to do!  To complete multiple tutorials it is quite lengthy.  There is an average of 20 lessons per tutorial.  

Where can I use the tutorials?

The courses work the best on computer.  I tried using it on the iPad but it just directed me to multiple apps that I can learn how to code on.  Code Academy is a good iPad app for learning how to code.  I used that previously to the Hour of Code.

Levels of Difficulty:

The Frozen tutorial was definitely the easiest.  All you had to do was drag and drop the pieces together and write lines of code that said things like, “Spin 180 degrees” and “Move 100 pixels”, etc.  The hardest tutorial was the Javascript one.  Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.30.54 AM


The tutorials gave you hints on what to do.  They were really easy to follow and you could move along at your own pace.  The Javascript had a screencast that you are supposed to watch, however, it is a harder topic to learn so the video was also harder to follow.

I am more interested in exploring the Computer Science field now that I tried the Hour of Code.  My advice for students next year is to allow for more time to complete the tutorials.  I would also suggest new comers to start out with the easy tutorials like the Frozen one, or Coding for Beginners.  That way the users can learn the very basics of what coding does and means before coming up with their own lines of code.


Chem. Is Try: An App Review on Chem.: Pro

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Chem. Pro: Chemistry Tutor is a free app for the iPad that is basically a 24/7 chemistry tutor.  On this app you can purchase separate lessons to learn.  The level of learning is very versatile.  People have used this app for their college courses as well as high school classes.

The instructors in the videos are very good and can explain everything in a simple way.  There is more than 31 hours of lessons.



Chem.: Pro is very easy to use.  It is offered on an Apple device and Androids.  It is  sold in many different countries’ app stores.

Because this app makes chemistry so easy students are more likely to learn.  A lot of students have having to convert units because it can involve a lot of steps and be time consuming.  Thankfully, the app comes with a handy dandy unit conversion calculator.

On this app there isn’t anything you need to share with others.  It is  simply an app that allows you to learn the topics in a different way than in a classroom.  If you did want to share lessons with people you could take screen shots or take notes on Google Drive and share it with fellow students. There also is not much customizing in this app.  However, you can pick and choose which lessons you want to buy.  All of the information is stored on the app so you do not have to import your own things.

Chem Pro: offers multiple lessons that have matching flashcards to use as a study tool.  It has a  periodic table at easy access so you can always look back at the table.  There is an equation sheet that allows you pull up any chemistry related equations.  It makes chemistry a lot easier and faster.  They even have a molecular mass calculator.


Overall I would rate this app a 5/5 stars.  This app is really only directed towards Chemistry/Science.  It will help reinforce information you have already learned or teach you new things.  it is an organized app that teaches you chemistry in a logical order.  It presents information in a simplified manor and helps you develop problem solving skills in this particular subject.

Thank You Find My iPhone

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Friday night I went to Spooky World in Litchfield, New Hampshire.  My friends and I waited in lines for haunted houses all night.  When we went to go get food at the concession stand, my friend realized she lost her phone.  She just bought the 5s two weeks ago.  She was totally devastated.  We called it a number of times until we remembered the app Find My iPhone.  Felicia did not have the app downloaded on her phone but it still worked.  She logged into her Apple ID using my phone and we were able to zoom in on the location of her phone.  She dropped it in the line waiting for one of the houses.  If you do not have an iPhone or iPad, you can log onto and preform the same search.  You can put your device in Lost Mode so that no one can access your personal information.  You can also wipe everything off of the device if you think someone has stolen it and will access your information.  You can display a message on the device like “This phone is lost.  Please call 555-555-5555 if found.”  We are very thankful for Find My iPhone.  If you can not find your phone, I suggest calling your wireless provider to disable your phone.  It is also recommended to file a police report if you have insurance because that is one of the first things you are looking for.

Here are some pictures from the night with Felicia and some scary monsters!





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Duolingo is an app that can help not just students but everyone learn a new language. They offer eight different languages to learn. However, you can use the app in a number of different languages. When I used the app, I used it to learn Italian. Duolingo also has a website that you can log on to and continue learning instead of always being on an iPad or iPod. Once you make an account, it will asks you if you want to start with learning the basics or take a placement test that will test how much you know. The placement test will allow you to skip over lessons you already know. The app teaches you anywhere from greetings and foods to business and adverbs. After completing all of the lessons you should be almost fluent in that language! There are a number of ways that Duolingo has you learn. They have you match pictures to words, type what you hear, and even speak into the app! You have lives and every time you get the question wrong you lose a life. When you are out of lives, you must start over. When you complete lessons you earn lingots. A lingot is Duolingo’s currency. Using lingots you can purchase extra lessons and learn funny things like pick up lines and idioms. You can also buy lives. The app is a great tool for teachers to use. Homework for the night can be to complete different lessons. Each lesson is fairly short and can be a good quick review before a quiz.

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