Monday, December 10, 2012

"Ned the Neuron" and "Your Fantastic Elastic Brain": Let's educate our children about their brains and brainfitness

Just in time for holiday shopping—some educational materials to help children learn more about their brains and brain fitness.

I believe that children should be taught, at an appropriate level with engaging media, to understand important concepts about their brains and learning. If you are a parent, educator, or therapist who wants to teach children information that will allow them to better understand themselves and empower their thinking (how they can control and modify their minds and behavior; a Growth Mindset), it is nice to know that a variety of groups have recently developed engaging books, videos and apps regarding the human brain and brain training or plasticity.  I recently discovered two sources of material that are worth attention.

The Adventures of Ned the Neuron is a free iPad app.  This well constructed app is 34 full color pages of material.  

The app includes:
  • Read to Me function with voice over and soundtrack
  • Interactive educational diagrams
  • Three mini-games
  • Over 30 neuroscience concepts introduced
The original version crashed on original generation one iPads, but that has now been fixed and it works without a hitch on my iPad (generation one).  A brief introductory video is available for viewing.  Additional information regarding this free app can be found at the Kizoom website.  The app can be found at the iTunes App Store link at the Kizoom website.  Below are a few select screen shots (the last being a collage of all screens). 

 [Click on images to enlarge]

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain:  Stretch It, Shape It is a multimedia resource by the DEAK Group.  It includes an app, a book, posters, and other education related resources.  These materials are not free, but the costs are minimal and, in my opinion, are good investments in the education of children.  My only complaint is that the app frequently crashed when I tried to navigate from one page to a different section of the program.  I am using a generation one iPad, so I don’t know the extent to which this generalizes to later iPads.  Visit the link above to learn more and to find a link to the iTunes App Store.

The book is also available at  A brief introductory video is available for viewing at the web site or on YouTube

A few select screen shots from the app are below.

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