Xander Blog

Technology is here to stay, chose Healthy Technology today

What is Healthy Technology, and how to identify a good app for your child? Most parents with young children today know that when all of a sudden the mob of activity surrounding the whereabouts of their off-spring go quiet and disappear, they’re usually in a room behind...

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Teacher Feature: Cecilia Campbell

Here at Xander we are grateful for the special role teacher’s play in children’s lives and we honor a select few who are passionate about their learners and using technology in their lessons.  Meet Cecilia Campbell from Erika Primary School in Mosselbay in the Western Cape. She...

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Xander Mom: Joahan Ganesan

This week we spoke to Johannesburg mom and teacher to her 4 kids, Joahan Ganesan. Take a sneak peak into her busy and extremely well organised life.   Tell us about yourself? I am a 41 year old mom of four, aged 17, 11, 9 and...

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Toys that Help with Brain Body Development

Kids love to play, but doing so is also the primary way in which they learn about the world. Different forms of play and different toys help them learn different skills, developing both body and mind. If you’ve got little ones and want to encourage their...

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Apps we love: April 2017

This month we gave our awesome kid reviewers the months off to enjoy the school holiday and shared our thoughts on Colourfly, Hidden Pictures and Dr. Panda Restaurant. Each of these apps is fun and challenging in their own way. They each teach different skills and are...

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African Folklore Stories: Clever Jackal Gets Away

In this month’s Africa Folklore story we hear how clever Jackal tricks the great and mighty Lion.   Share your favourite African folklore story with us here or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Xander Mom: Nikki Lincoln

  This month we meet blogger and design fundi Nikki Lincoln who shares her thoughts about technology and her family with us.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Nikki, I’m a 32 year old mom to 2 gorgeous little girls – Sophie (3) and...

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Expert Interview: Natalie Petersen

  Tell us about yourself and your background? My name is Natalie Petersen. I live and work in Stellenbosch. I am an Operations Manager for Tribage App Studio, we make educational and social impact apps for other companies and organisations. I love cats and I’m the oldest...

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Enhance kids’ development with the use of technology

There’s no doubt about the growing function of technology in children’s development. While there’s no replacement for learning with other people, or exploring new ideas through messy activities like worm farming, technology can act as an additional aid to independent learning. Technology can also be used collaboratively to...

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March App Review: Kid’s Choice

This month our reviewers picked their favourite apps and shared their thoughts with us.   Onalo Konono: Subway Surfer First up Onalo Konono (aged 7) from East London showed us how to play her favourite app, Subway Surfer. Take a look at what she had to...

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African Folklore Stories: The Curse of Chameleon

This month’s African folklore story is about how Chameleon ended up walking so slowly and disguising himself in the trees.     Do you have any ideas for an African Folklore Story you’d like us to record and share? Send us an email with your idea...

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Xander Mom: Mandy Lee Miller

  We spoke to super mom and blogger, Mandy Lee Miller, about her blogs, her family and her thoughts on technology, learning an chores.   Tell us about yourself? I’m a mommy to a 2 year old named Charlotte (Charly) Rose. My husband and I have...

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Teacher feature: Marga Jonker

The role played by the people who teach your children is crucial. They do not only teach them academic subjects but often life subjects as well. It is often a thankless job and at Xander we want to take time to celebrate the incredible teachers out...

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Xander Kids App Reviews – February 2017

This month we have some new reviewers who took some time out of their busy schedules to play with some great apps and let us know what they think of them. This month our reviews are Cailey (8 years old), Mieka (8 Years old) and the...

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African Folklore Stories: Why the Warthog is on his Knees

Story-telling is such an important part of a child’s development and encourages a love of adventure, imagination and curiosity. In Africa story-telling is part of a long oral tradition passed down from generation to generation; and with the turn of modernity this is being lost to...

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Xander Dad: Vije Vijendranath

  This week we spoke to tech-savvy, start-up pioneer and dad, Vije Vijendranath about his blog for dads, his views on technology and kids and his family. We met Vije’s wife Shan last year as well.   Tell us about yourself? I’m a father of 2....

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Expert: Thandekile Ngema

  We spoke to teacher and education consultant for the Breteau Foundation, Thandekile Ngema about using mobile apps in the classroom. She shared some great advice for teachers wanting to add a tech element to their classrooms.   1. Tell us about yourself and your background? I am...

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Xander Kids App Reviews: January 2017

This year we are revamping the way we do App reviews. Every month we will be interviewing some awesome kids who have played with the list of apps we send them each month. This month we spoke to Onalo Konono (Aged 7), Onthatile Mogano (Aged 6),...

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Xander Mom: Njeri Wangari-Wanjohi

  We’re kicking off the new year with an inspiring Xander mom, Njeri from Kenya. She talked to us about her family, her thoughts on technology and education and shared some great parenting tips with us.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Njeri Wangari-Wanjohi. I...

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Things to do with Kids this Summer | Cape Town

  Cape Town is amazing during the summer months as the city becomes alive with the unmistakable energy of happiness. There are so many cultures and languages, people of different backgrounds to mingle with, so many fun and exciting activities to take part in and the...

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Xander Mom: Anita Boxoza

  This month’s dynamic Xander Mom is Anita Boxoza. She talked to us about her fun a one of our favourite news blogs, Chocolate Hair Sisters, her gorgeous little girls and shared some parenting tips to live by.   Tell us about yourself? I am Anita,...

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Meet the Voices: The Xander Spel Kids

The Xander Afrikaans Spel apps were specially created in partnership with WOW (Woorde Open Wêrelde) at the University of Stellenbosch. The WOW national spelling bee is the top Afrikaans school spelling competition in South Africa. Xander used the top spellers in this competition in various grades...

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Things to do with kids (Part 3) Durban

Heading into the school holidays soon and having looked at fun family activities and outings in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, it’s time to look at what Durban has to offer. Learn & Play Image courtesy of Night Jar Travel   uShaka Marine World uShaka Marine...

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Xander visits Durbanville Preparatory

Durbanville Preparatory is a dual-lingual prep-school with classes from Gr 1 – 3 and I, Marga Jonker, am the isiXhosa second additional language teacher. My focus is on the grade 3 pupils with introductory isiXhosa, isiXhosa Second Additional Language. Our theme for this term was My...

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Meet the Voices: The Next Generation

In the first installment of our ‘Meet the Voices’ series we met the original group of voices who recorded for Xander apps. Today we will speak to the next generation of voices who were part of Xander’s expansion to new languages and the translation of more...

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Xander Mom: Shiko Nguru

This month we spoke to Kenyan blogger, Shiko Nguru from the blog The Green Calabash about her awesome blog, family and she shared some great parenting tips with us.     Tell us about yourself?   My name is Shiko and I’m the proud mum to...

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WOW National Spelling Competition Winners 2016

From the team here at Xander we would like to congratulate all the learners from all over the country who participated in the WOW national Afrikaans spelling competition 2016 finals in Stellenbosch a few weeks ago. Here is a look at the winners in each grade. We’d...

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Meet the Voices: The Originals

So much goes into the creation of an app: The idea, creating a workable app spec, design, UX and of course sound. In the case of Xander the voices we use are crucial to the overall experience of the app. Here at Xander we believe that...

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Online libraries for children

The evolution of education and the inevitable introduction of the EdTech industry has opened a whole new world of learning for our kids. Mobile apps, educational games and digital books are available at the click of a button.   Image courtesy of Collins Freedom to Teach...

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Fun with the kids (Part 2): JHB & PTA

We’ve curated a list of some great family activities to do with your family as the warmer months return. Try them out and let us know what you think.   Johannesburg   Learn & Play   Image courtesy of City Site-Seeing   Johannesburg Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour...

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Experts: Mobile Developers

This week we took time to speak to the developers who build the Xander apps about their lives, their work and what they think of using apps and mobile technology for educational purposes.   Nico Ungerer   Tell us about yourself and your background? Father of...

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Xander Mom: Mariska Burger

We spoke to a dynamic business woman and dotting mom, Mariska Burger, about her work, her family and asked for a few pro tips on coping with a busy toddler while working full time.   Tell us about yourself? I’m a marketing engineer, passionate about people, technology...

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Our Favourite Apps (Part 2)

We’ve been playing with some great apps this month and here is a list of some of our favourites. Try them yourself and tell us what you think.     This is My Story   This Is My Story (And I’m Sticking To It) is an...

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How to: Buying Apps

Being tech-savvy may be something you haven’t yet embraced. New technology feels overwhelming or may seem like it’ll take too long to “figure out”, and as parents, really, who has extra time? But, there are apps that will save you time in the long run and...

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How Tablets Enhance Learning For Young Users

While some consider mobile devices as a distraction, different studies have proven just how effective these tech gadgets can be in enhancing the learning experience for students, specifically younger users.     In particular, the usage of iPads in the classroom through blended learning have been...

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Fun with the kids (Part 1): Cape Town

With holidays just around the corner and the glorious sun coming out to play, we’ve curated a list of family fun and educational trips for your family. This is for Cape parents and visitors only. Watch this space for other areas coming soon.   Learn & Play...

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EdTech Expert: Siobhan Thatcher

EdTech is a hot buzz word around the air right now. Being involved in education and technology we take this very seriously and consulted with an expert on the matter.   Tell us about yourself and your background? After leaving school in 2002, I studied Journalism...

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Xander Mom: Sibella Knott-Craig

  This week we’re happy to introduce you to the founder and CEO of Tribage (the company that makes Xander apps) and many other apps and digital books, Sibella Knott-Craig.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Sibella Knott-Craig and I just love to laugh....

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Our favourite apps for kids (Part 1)

We’ve spent some time online playing and learning and have come up with a list of some of our favourite apps available on various platforms for kids. Of course each app offers its own educational aspect and a buckets of fun. Try out some of these...

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Xander Mom: Wangari

  This week and we have awesome working mom and blogger, Wangari, all the way from Nairobi, Kenya. She took some time out to talk to us about her lovely family, parenting and her blog.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Wangari and I...

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Olympics, young children and competition

“The more you dream, the farther you get.” – Michael Phelps, Olympic-medal winning swimmer (current)     As I decadently indulged in watching the Rio Olympics (lazily & horizontally), I marvelled at what I saw: superhuman ability to dig deep, to invite pain and to fearlessly...

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Xander Mom: Charlene

  This week’s Xander Mom is Charlene from the Pretty Please Charlie blog. She took some time out of her very busy schedule to chat to us about her lovely family and her awesome blog.   Tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Charlene...

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Xander Mom: Shan Vijendranath

Meet this week’s Xander Mom, Shan Vijendranath from the you, baby & i blog. She is a busy mom of two but found some time to chat to us about her blog and her family. Tell us about yourself? I’m Shan – Wife to Vije Vijendranath,...

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Xander Mom: Maz Halliday

  Meet Maz Halliday from the Caffeine and Fairydust lifestyle and parenting blog. She chatted with us about her family, her blog and few other things.   Tell us about yourself? I am a senior Fashion Designer supplying ladies fashion to one of our country’s leading...

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Xander Mom: Thando Msomi

  Meet Xander Mom, Thando Msomi from the Modern Zulu Mom blog. She spoke to us about her family, her blog and gave us some great advice to deal with dinner time and managing it all.   Tell us about yourself? My name (Thando) means love...

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Xander Mom: Karen Du Toit

  Meet Karen Du Toit from MomAgain@40 blog. She chatted to us about her family and her blog and shared her unique insight into have a small child around the house.   Tell us about yourself? I became a mother a second time around after the...

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Kid Friendly Restaurants in Cape Town

It is often a challenging to choose a restaurant to take your kids to, because not only do you want them to enjoy the food, you also want them to have fun. Crush Mag Online has put together a list of places that have something interesting for the little...

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Xander Mom: Zayaan Schroeder

  Meet our latest Xander Mom, Zayaan Schroeder from Cape Town. She took some time out of her very busy schedule to chat to us about her blog, her family and gave us some awesome tips for parents.   Tell us about yourself? I’m a writer...

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Pokémon Go and your kids

Whether you’re into gaming or not, you’ve most likely heard of (or been knocked over by a distracted player holding their phone at eye-level) Pokémon GO, a treasure-hunt game based on your actual location.     Now before you go downloading this app for your dearest darling...

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Xander Mom: Bronwyn Hoedemaker

  Meet Bronwyn Hoedemaker of the MotherCityMom blog. She chatted to us and shared some gems of wisdom for parents with young kids.   Tell us about yourself? I’m basically a juggler by profession. When I’m not working as a transcriptionist I’m juggling blog writing, snapchat...

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