Blog 1 of Top 25 Tech Moms - 2012

The iMum

by Amanda, Grace, Mary & Alison - The iMums

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What's the biggest way that technology has made your life as a mom easier?

Grace: The technological innovation that has made the most impact in my life is the iPad. I use it with my 5-year-old son (with special needs) everyday. Videos, games, stories and lessons come alive on the iPad and he simply loves it. It is such an interactive, engaging teaching tool that it allows me to explain new concepts to my son and hold his attention far longer than I could otherwise. The iPad is easy to use and error-free, as I can undo his mistakes and start over, it gives immediate feedback and is generous with positive reinforcements and rewards, which he thrives on. No wonder he responds so well to the educational activities that we do on the device. What I love about the iPad is that it has given my son a way to learn without being hindered by his weaknesses. For example, it reads for him what he can’t read, it allows him to learn to spell when he can’t write, and allows him to do a puzzle even though he doesn’t have the dexterity to complete a physical puzzle. This gives him the motivation and confidence to explore new activities independently. An iPad is only as good as it’s apps, and there are thousands of good quality educational apps available, with more being developed everyday. They often cost a fraction of the price of their physical counterparts, and take up much less storage space. For every skill or issue that I want to work on, such as speaking clearly, or dealing with routines and transitions, there is at least one app available to help. Some apps can even be customized to match his skill level, allowing him to experience success most of the time. Skills that my son learns on the iPad easily transition to the real world. For example, he practices counting objects on the iPad and then we use manipulatives to reinforce the concept. The iPad has made my life easier and happier, but its most important contribution is allowing everyone to realize how much my son knows, and how much more he is capable of learning.

What's your favorite app for moms?

Amanda: As a busy mother of three rambunctious boys under five, I grasp at any opportunity I can to streamline my day, including my fleeting time online. One of my favourite iPad apps for doing just that is Flipboard by Flipboard Inc. which introduces a whole new way to view your social feeds, news streams and blogs on the go. Flipboard, also available for the iPhone, features a stunning, magazine-style display for flipping though your Facebook newsfeed, your Twitter timeline, blog posts from Google Reader, photos from Instagram and much, much more. I especially love that you can comment or like articles from within Flipboard without the need to visit the actual app or site. Boasting a beautiful and simple to navigate user interface, Flipboard is perfect for aggregating all the information that is important to you in one innovative, easy to use app - and for saving you time!

What's the coolest gadget you've seen that could help moms?

Mary: The coolest gadget I have seen that could help Moms is the iPad3 in a ZAGGfolio case. The iPad itself is a really cool gadget and I think the most amazing thing about it is its versatility – you can use it to watch movies, play games, teach your children, read books, and even keep in touch with friends and family. Its responsive touch screen and intuitive controls make it really simple and easy to use. The iPad3, with it’s higher resolution camera, lets you take decent quality pictures and videos on the go, and you can organize them, edit them and create movies right on your iPad using iPhoto. The built-in voice recognition is a nice additional feature, although it only works when you have an Internet connection. The ZAGGfolio case steps the cool factor up another notch by turning your iPad into a mini-laptop. It does three things all in one neat stylish package – it provides an iPad stand; a removable wireless Bluetooth keyboard and protects your iPad. The stand makes for easy viewing of movies and apps and it can be used in portrait or landscape mode. The iPad feels safe and secure in the case and it clips securely shut when you close it. The keyboard is more comfortable to type on, and much faster than using the iPad’s touch screen keyboard, and it has iPad2/3 specific shortcut keys. The keyboard’s battery life is amazing – you only have to recharge it every couple of months!! With this case you can really use the iPad to work on the go – typing emails on the train, writing an essay at a coffee shop or even using Pages to create a report complete with photos and charts. In my favorite color –“smart pink” it looks sleek and stylish and even still fits in my handbag!

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