Got that pioneering spirit? You’re invited to help build Israel’s periphery by planting roots in southern soil with Nefesh B’Nefesh.
A few weeks ago my two-year-old daughter was showing my 85-year-old grandmother how to work an iPod touch. I’m not sure if my bubbie was more amazed with the device or with the fact that her great-granddaughter understood it better than her. While this was certainly an adorable sight, it was also a very telling account of how children seem to naturally pick up, and evolve with, the technology around them. Twenty years ago my grandmother was equally mesmerized by my Game Boy, which I effortlessly learned to use.
My daughter knows how to scroll through iPod and iPad pages, go back to the menu, look through pictures, play videos, and “bake” cupcakes via her favorite app. By no means am I saying that she is a spectacular genius (though I won’t discount the possibility), but it is clear that she is able to use the Apple touch devices to a certain extent. I decided to look for more educational ways for her to use “her” iPod (after I bought an iPhone she laid claim to my iTouch). Sure enough there was an app for that. Davka Corporation has a clever and adorable app called Alef Bet Schoolhouse. The app is essentially four different games designed to not only teach children the aleph-bet, but to also learn basic Hebrew words and how to properly pronounce them. While it’s suggested for ages 3-9, I decided to let my little girl test it. Of the four games, I only found one of them age appropriate for my daughter. This was a grid with the Hebrew alphabet mapped out. When a letter is tapped, a larger picture of the letter pops up along with an animated picture of a word that starts with that letter (e.g. for yud a picture of a yaldah – girl – comes on screen). A child’s voice then says the letter and the corresponding Hebrew word. My daughter found this quite engrossing, and came to know a few letters after one sitting. The second game helps children differentiate between similar-looking letters, such as vuv and zayin. When a child completes a round they get an on-screen “prize” (a clown, a box of crayons or a doll). This was too advanced for my little girl, so I did it for her. She was very excited when “we” completed a level, and a prize came on screen. (This is probably the precursor to the inevitability of doing her fifth grade science fair project for her.) The Magical Aleph Bet Game jumbles nine letters, and children must learn their proper order. As they tap the correct letter it disappears, and little by little a cute picture appears. The child’s voice then says the word of the picture in Hebrew and English (e.g. masa’it – truck).
The final game, The Unscrambulator, is the one game adults might actually enjoy as much as children. I was quite proud when I unscrambled a mixed-up chof sofit and a cute chipmunk in a party hat came on screen celebrating my achievement.
The Aleph Bet Schoolhouse is certainly more than worth its cost of $3.99. However, children older than five might tire of the same pictures, words and prizes. While no updates are yet coming, Davka Corporation is hard at work creating more apps for Jewish children. While only one of the four games was suitable for my little girl (for the time being), the app still served my goal of using my daughters’ iPod touch for more educational purposes.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
No tweets found.
Yet all are part of one neshamah, planted in rich, verdant soil, determined to grow. May our garden continue to produce a glorious assortment of flowers and trees, each attached firmly to its roots. Our diverse southern vegetation flourishes and grows into different trees, flowers, and fruits, and a rainbow of glorious shades and hues appears. Yet each shoot is rooted in the same soil, stretching its branches and blossoms heavenward in an endless pursuit of growth and connection to the One above.
This past Lag B’Omer, we were blessed to make our first upsherin, where we celebrate our son’s first hair cut. It’s a wonderful milestone that mimics the three years that we refrain from plucking a tree’s first fruits and symbolizes the entry of the child into the world of Torah learning. It’s a clear sign to everyone; this boy is no longer a baby.
Although there are more direct and faster routes to Beer Sheva and Eilat and all the sites and towns in-between, the Basor River is one of the beauties of the Negev that defiantly justifies a diversion.
The importance of death customs has been ingrained in me since birth. When I served as a shomeret for my grandmother, I was instructed not to eat, drink or perform a mitzvah in the same room. In the shock of death, it seemed rather inane to be told it would be considered mocking the dead. My grandmother was gone; she couldn’t do those things because she didn’t exist anymore, a fact that still makes me tear up.
I would have to say that one of the most annoying things about having a newspaper advice column, aside from all these people writing to me and asking for advice, is that they frequently don’t tell me WHY they’re asking.
Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l, who passed away on 28 Tammuz, (July18) this year at age 102, spent all of his days and most of his nights learning Torah. He was the paramount leader of our generation, and inspired tremendous awe and reverence in everyone who knew him. Now, every woman has the stunning opportunity to do something in his memory. A Sefer Torah is being written in his memory and women around the world have the chance to dedicate a letter.
Due to her family situation, it is understandable that she will have more responsibilities than other girls her age, but she would benefit from having some free time and receiving more appreciation for her hard work.
For children, summer means outdoor sports, picnics, and of course, no school! Teachers and students work hard all year long – and everyone deserves a break from education over the summer. However, this two-month break can often have some pretty devastating consequences.
It was only after we celebrated the great news that we were expecting twins that we saw the first sign of problems. First of all, my wife was losing, not gaining weight, even as the babies continued to grow normally. Soon after, routine blood work revealed that my wife was suffering from gestational diabetes.
Rabbi Pinchas Gruman is the new rav of the Minyan at Aish Tamid.
One of the most respected Torah figures in Los Angeles, Rabbi Gruman has been described as “The Los Angeles link in the mesorah of the yeshiva world” by Rabbi Nachum Sauer. As a talmid in Lakewood in the 1950s, Rabbi Gruman received semicha from Rav Aaron Kotler, zt”l, and Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l. Soon after, he moved to Los Angeles.
Another tree is down.
I’m driving down Lakewood Avenue, figuring that maybe, just maybe, the tree that blocked the middle of North Lake Drive has been removed, and I can go through. After all, they had a whole day. I’m sure things have been taken care of.
Let’s face it, the words “cool” and “Gemara” don’t really go hand in hand. In fact, they probably aren’t meant to. But like it or not the new and improved ArtScroll app has made Gemara as cool as can be, thanks to the tech wizards at RustyBrick.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/electronics-today/as-easy-as-aleph-bet-gimmel-2/2011/10/26/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: