Wednesday, 20 July 2016

MWorld {Review}

Over the last few years I've been pursuing a new direction in our home school, one that is built upon Charlotte Mason's ideals and sprinkled with delight directed opportunities.   In today's digital filled era I have found it difficult finding information that is enriching, twaddle free and reliable.  

Monash University have set out to meet this need and created an app to meet the criteria and today it is my pleasure to introduce you to MWorld.


Last week I had the privilege of a teleconference with Justin who shared with me his passion to grow and create an app that would use curiosity to unleash learning in our children.  Justin and his team have been working alongside the leading academics at Monash University to produce each unit on MWorld so you can trust the information you are accessing is up to date and correct. (You can watch a one minute overview on YouTube here.)


Did you know...
  • Curiosity increases your brain function and leads to more engaged learning and better memory retention?
  • Pre-school children ask an average of 26 questions an hour.

MWorld is constantly growing and being developed.  They are currently developing mini missions which will be available later this year.   These missions are there to equip parents to support their children's learning and encourage enquiring minds to learn more.


How Does MWorld Work?
There are a few different options available to use MWorld. (PC, Android app and Apple app).
We have been given MWorld to use for a full year and have access to the complete platform.

IF you sign up via the Home Education option the team at MWorld set up your account and send you an access code (MCode) and password.  You use this to log in and set up your account.

Once you log in, you have the option of either customizing your avatar or exploring the world we live in. As you explore the world through one of the apps you will collect points which allow you to purchase clothing for your Avatar.


You also collect experience points. These points show you where you are on the leader board.

The leader board is private unless you add your friends to it. Experience points also build your badge level.  You can see how many points are needed in order to graduate to the next level.

Points are awarded for: each screen you read, each game played (these reinforce learning) and each quiz which is answered.


By clicking on Explore the World you are taken to the app home screen. Here you will find the main ten learning areas. Each of these areas are divided into five apps each. After selecting the subject you are then taken to the app area.


 For example in the Natural World you will find: Deep Blue Sea, Volcanoes, Deserts, Extreme Weather and Protected Areas. Next you select your area of interest.  The app then downloads to the device and loads.  Each app is fairly large due to the beautiful rich graphics, text to speech,  videos and interactive pages.



Each module has an introductory video  (See all available module introductory clips on YouTube).

The center of the page is a list of questions to whet your appetite on the topic.   On the left and right margins you will find graphics which are links to learning areas.

Along the bottom of the page there are five buttons: back, home (takes you to the first screen), map, points page and text to speech. The text to speech function is a handy tool for younger students or students who are auditory learners.

 The map shows you where you are in the module and the total number of learning areas for the module.  As you can see each module is fairly extensive.

MWorld can be used off line. To access offline studies each of the 50+ apps can be found on the app store. You use your MCode to unlock the app which is then downloaded independently onto your device.


On the home screen you will find a credits button beneath the sign out button.  In this area you will find a complete list of the titles on MWorld linked to an information card.  Here you can meet the scientist who contributed to the production of the topic, a full list of the production team, a list of reference materials used in the unit and the names of the production team responsible for the unit app production.

Titles Available on MWorld
At present there are over 50 areas of learning on MWorld and it will be growing so be sure to check back to see what is new.
MWorld have supplied a summary, YouTube introduction and a free downloadable teacher guide for each title on the MWorld Title finder page.
  1. Animals
    • Adapting to new Worlds
    • Fangs - How do animals eat ?
    • How do animals behave?
    • Long-distance Travellers
    • Sharks and Rays
  2. Art&Music
    • Art Today
    • How to write a Song
    • Jammin'
    • Secrets of art: Drawing
    • World Beats
  3. Early Civilizations
    • Ancient Greece
    • Angkor
    • Early Australians
    • Early China
    • Rome: The Early Days
  4. The Human Body
    • Build Your Own Skeleton
    • Germs
    • The making of me
    • Peak performance
    • Sleep and Dreams
  5. Language and Culture
    • Dragon boat festival
    • Fairy Tales - The untold story
    • Lost languages
    • Manga
    • Spain: Food, Football & Fiesta?
  6. The Modern World
    • Challenges of our time
    • The digital age
    • Money
    • Super-fast Trains
    • Mega-cities
  7. The Natural World
    • Deep Blue Sea
    • Deserts
    • Extreme Weather
    • Protected Areas
    • Volcanoes
  8. People and Places
    • Asia Today
    • Changing Places
    • Designing Places
    • Europe Today
    • The Rises of Cities
  9. Space
    • Black Holes
    • Comets, Asteroids and Meteors
    • Galaxies
    • Mission to Mars
    • Planets
  10. The Wonders of Science
    • Chemistry:Let's Get Started
    • How does Life Work?
    • How to become a Scientist
    • Invisible World - Inside the Atom
    • Light
What platform is MWorld available on
  • iPad (iPad 3 and later, All iPad Air and Mini models)
  • Android (Android 4.4 and later)
  • PC (Windows 7 and later)
Due to the size of each of the individual topics covered, (the beautiful photographs and interactive content of MWorld) you will need access to quality internet connectivity in order to download and use your chosen area of learning. The main MWorld app needs connectivity to run.

MWorld can be used off line on your chosen device. You will need to download your chosen topic as an independent app via the app store.
The Cost*
  • Single topic apps for MWorld are available to purchase at $5.99 each.
  • Home Education bundle is currently available for $59 for 54 apps (That is a saving of $317.47!). To access this special please email your request to team@discovermworld.com and they will do the rest.
  • MWorld is available for school class use in student bundles. 
  • FREE trial is available.  You will receive two credits to unlock two titles of your choice along with three units: Jammin, Planets and Volcanoes.
*Prices quoted are current as of July 2016 and subject to change at any time.  Please check the MWorld website for up to date pricing information.  
Connect with MWorld on Social Media


I am very impressed with this app. The graphics are beautiful, the information is twaddle free and presented using excellent multimedia platforms.  The variety of topics covered is both broad and deep, we have  over a year of learning at our finger tips.

We are looking forward to learning more about the world around us using MWorld. Nathaniel enjoys following whatever path of curiosity he chooses, personally I like being able to use a professionally presented supplement to reinforce our current learning areas. 

Blessings
Chareen

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Emerald Workshop makes it's debut

One of the hardest parts of parenting these days is balancing technology vs no technology in a technology drenched world especially when you have a child who's passion is recording and editing movies. (IF you have the perfect answer to this I'd love to hear your thoughts on it)    Nathaniel recently received a book for his birthday on Making YouTube Videos by Nick Willoughby.

I said he's welcome to find out how to record and edit his own video's as long as I do not have to spend any money on software.  I have been incredibly surprised at the tenacity and determination he has demonstrated in order to reach his goal.  Timothy is supervising his channel and together they created The Emerald Workshop channel on YouTube this morning.


Nathaniel's passion is video making/editing and this week he's been exploring how to make his first review you can see it on YouTube -GLSL Shaders mod review



Thank you for taking the time to share in our excitement of this new learning adventure.

Blessings
Chareen

Friday, 8 July 2016

Olim Once Upon a time Level I {Review}

If you've been around this blog for a while you will know that I have been trying to learn Latin. So whenever the Crew are given the opportunity to use a new Latin program we are in there boots and all.  For the last month Nathaniel and I have been looking over Olim, Once Upon a Time, in Latin level I by Laurelwood Books.


We received two books from Laurelwood books:
  • Olim, Once Upon a Time, In Latin Reader I -  This is book one in the series.  It is A5 in size and has a soft cover. 57 pages.
    • It contains three fables (The Three Little Pigs{Tres Parvi Porci}, The Tortoise and the Hare {Testudo ET Lepus} and The Crow and the Pitcher{Corvus ET Urceus}). 
    • Introduction and how to use the reader
    • Latin pronunciation guide.
    • Each story is first told in English and then retold in Latin.
  • Olim, Once Upon a Time, In Latin Workbook I-   This is the workbook and accompanies reader one in the series.  It is slightly wider than A4 in size and has a soft cover. 80 pages.
    • It contains translation exercises for the three fables (The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare and The Crow and the Pitcher) in the reader.
    • Digging deeper notes
    • Digging for treasure notes
    • Notes for the teacher
    • Latin pronunciation guide and Roman numeral guide.

The series was conceived and written by Mary Ellen Tedrow-Wynn.
Edited by: Susan Schearer
Illustrated by Rachel Schanzenbach.


The first step is to read the story in English to become familiar with the story they will be translating. The stories are written in simpler English to facilitate the translation into simple Latin. Each page is beautifully illustrated.

Readers available in this series:
All readers have optional workbooks available for purchase.
  • Reader I - The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Crow and the Pitcher
  • Reader II - The Good Samaritan, The Ant and the Chrysalis, and The Lost Sheep
  • Reader III - The Feeding of the 5000, and the Lion and the Mouse
  • Reader IV - The History of Creating the World
  • Reader V - We Know a Tree by its Fruit and Daniel part I
  • Reader VI - The Prodigal Son

Readers VII to X due out later this year.
  • Reader VII - David and Goliath
  • Book VIII - Daniel part ii
  • Book IX - Daniel part iii and The Miser
  • Book X - The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, The Ten Maidens 


The second reading of the story is completely in Latin.  On the side of each page is a full vocabulary list to facilitate the translation and workbook exercises.

About the Workbook
In the workbook the translation exercises work both ways.  You translate Latin into English and English into Latin. This reinforces the new words you are using.  Interestingly this is the same method Nathaniel Bowditch used to teach himself Latin and other languages.

As you work your way through the exercises you will come across Digging Deeper sections.  In these sections you are given a short lesson in the grammar and rules of Latin that apply to whatever you are working with.

Olim, Once Upon a Time, In Latin Workbook I covers the following in Latin:
  • Nominative & Accusative Cases
  • Etymology
  • Verbs
  • Singular & Plural  Verbs
  • Number, Case & Gender
  • -Nominative
  • -Accusative
  • _Genitive
  • _Dative
  • -Ablative
  • Perfect and Imperfect Past Tense
  • Infinitives
  • Adjective and Adverb
  • Prepositions and Negatives
  • Asking Yes or No Questions
  • More Infinitives and Derivatives
  • Answer Key
 

Littered through out the workbook is a Digging for Treasure icon.  This icon gives the student clues to solve the puzzles in the Treasure Chests.  These are bible verses which are written in Latin.  Each clue is needed in order to perform the translation from Latin into English. The layout is easy to use and spacious which makes writing in the book easy for the student to do.

Over all I thought ...
The pronunciation guide was very heavily used by us as I do not know any Latin and this is new to me.  I would love to have access to an MP3 download of the stories read in Latin as this would certainly make learning to pronounce Latin a lot easier and having the ability to follow along in the reader and practice by repeating what we hear would make process of learning Latin pronunciation easier. 

The Digging Deeper sections were well presented and we had no trouble understanding these.  We worked through them slowly and at a pace that allows us to fully grasp what we are learning.

I am thrilled to have an easy Latin reader and the workbook.  Nathaniel and I are both enjoying our journey learning to read and write in Latin.  I highly recommend these reader/workbook sets to anyone looking for Latin readers. The best part of having the reader is that it demonstrates that Latin is alive and you can read it in a book and read stories you know in Latin.  

Blessings
Chareen


If you want to try them out, Laurelwood Books is offering 
a 20% discount, good until August 15, 2016. 

Discount code: blogger121.

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