Inexperience on iPad leads to hijinks
by James Phillips
Mar 22, 2013 | 501 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Phillips
James Phillips
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Until recently, my only experience with an electronic tablet came during a tour our family took a few months back of an exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

About a month ago, we got our first tablet, an iPad2, that we use primarily while homeschooling our children. A few days after getting the iPad, I received a strange email on the account that is associated with the tablet. The subject of the email was “Click here to see your naughty pony.”

Considering the massive amounts of spam email that I get in a day, I chalked it up as junkmail, but I noticed that it had also been sent to my work email address. Not knowing what kind of security was on the iPad, I thought maybe it had been hacked and someone was about to start sending “Naughty Pony” emails to everyone I knew. I decided to change the password on my email just in case I had been hacked by someone.

I just assumed “Naughty Pony” was something that was probably R-rated. A little later, I did a Google search to find out that my assumption was way off base. I guess my mind always goes to the gutter, because “Naughty Pony” is actually an app for children.

The app is actually an interactive book that tells children about what jobs need to be done to take care of a pony, such as feeding, grooming and cleaning its stable. The animal is actually named Naughty Pony. The child reading the book is told by the little girl who owns the pony what chores she needs help with. At the end of the book, a bonus page allows children to to groom and feed their own pony and also provides a page where their pony can be named and colored and then emailed to others.

The email I received was actually from my 8-year-old daughter Breeze who had created her own pony and shared it with me. The app is actually really funny and Breeze loved reading about the stubborn and uncooperative pony. I think she likes it because she sees a lot of herself in Naughty Pony.

I asked Andrea the next day about if she sent me a “naughty” email, and she looked shocked. I said, “Maybe it was about a naughty pony.”

I told her I thought it was some kind of vulgar spam so I deleted and changed my password. She cracked up laughing.

Naughty Pony is made by Nessy (Net Educational Systems), which is a UK-based company that makes fun, educatonal PC/Mc software and apps for children. Their products are designed to help dyslexics, but can be used and enjoyed by all children.

Breeze was recently diagnosed with dyslexia, and that was our main reason for getting an iPad. The fine motor skills practice that she receives from working on a tablet is priceless. We’ve seen a big improvement in her just since getting the iPad.

Nessy also makes another one of our favorite apps, Dyslexia Quest, which features six games that each test a different learning ability that is often experienced by dyslexics. The app helps with visual and auditory processing as well as processing speed, sequencing skills and memory. In the app, you play different games to climb Yeti Mountain, collecting 18 yetis along the way. I even thought it was fun.

We have several other apps that are designed to help with dyslexia and other processing disorders. Some of those include, Writing without Tears, Montessori Crosswords, Dragon Diction and ABC Pocket Phonics. We have more than 20 apps currently along those lines. If anyone is interested in getting a full list, you can contact me at the information below.

James Phillips is Editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at 205-221-2840 or via email at james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.