USA Today’s Best Tech Gadgets for Spooky Halloween Fun

In honor of Halloween, here’s a link to USA Today’s annual best tech gadgets for spooky fun, which includes costume sound effects, flashlights and two-way radios.


Toys Interact with Tablets

One of my BU students sent me this link.  It’s for a new Hot Wheels app from Mattel where an actual matchbox car controls the action on the iPad screen.

What a brilliant idea – a cross between playing with an action figure the “old school way” and interacting with a very modern, yet simple action board game on a tablet.

Can’t wait to try it thanks to my good buddy Rich Gallagher over at the We’re Gonna Need More Bathrooms blog.

Do Video Games Help Educate Students?

The following infographic, which was put together by Online College Courses, tries to answer that question. It pulls together a list of benefits and concerns about using video games in education, including details like 70% of teachers feel that video games increases student engagement, a 2009 study which showed students were statistically less likely to have attention problems in school.

RollerCoaster Tycoon Coming to iOS, Android

Atari plans to release new versions of Roller Coaster Tycoon next year.

The game was originally released in 1999 as a fairly complex simulation but was extremely fun to play.  There aren’t any details yet on the game or whether the new version will be based on the original or one of the sequels.

Other games Atari is planning to release in 2013 on iOS include Dungeons & Dragons, Outlaw and Centipede.

iPad Mini Appealing to Educators

As everyone knows, Apple’s “mini” announcement of the iPad Mini took place earlier today.

This could very well increase the use of Apple’s tablets in schools because of the lower price point, making them more appealing to educators.

Apple actually made a point of highlighting the iPad’s educational push launched by Steve Jobs before the first iPad was launched.

School systems are, in fact, starting to turn to Apple’s iPads instead of traditional desktop or laptop computers.  A cheaper iPad would make it easier to fit into school budgets.


High School in NYC Teaching a New Generation of Coders and Developers

Came across this NPR piece on a new high school in NYC, the Academy for Software Engineering, where students are being taught classes to help build apps, develop websites and think up operating systems for smartphones, tablets and devices yet-to-be-created.

Good for NYC and even better for Silicon Alley, as coders who build the back-end for websites and mobile apps are in short supply.