By The Frugal Networker | Tech Blog
The Little Scholar® tablet is an 8″ Android tablet designed by School Zone especially for children ages 3 to 7. Almost 40 years ago, James Hoffman, Ed.D., and his wife Joan Hoffman, M.A., began a retail supply outlet for teachers. Soon after that, they began School Zone Publishing and created flash cards and workbooks for students. You’d be hard pressed to walk into a teacher’s supply store and not see a School Zone product. School Zone is the brand that teachers and parents of young learners depend on–and have depended on for close to four decades.
The Little Scholar has a bright and cheery screen featuring delightful characters that kids love. The screen is fully touch interactive. Each tablet comes packed with games, songs, and apps that provide hundreds of hours of learning fun for your kids. The Little Scholar also comes with front and rear-facing cameras that your child can use to take photos and movies. And if you enable it, the Little Scholar can connect to WiFi access points to give you Internet access, including access to the Little Scholar app store where you can purchase more games and apps.
Internet access also helps keep your tablet up to date with the latest patches and software revisions.
Turn on the Little Scholar by pressing and holding the power button for about three seconds. Be patient after you see the Lexibook logo and the School Zone logo as it takes a little while for the unit to completely power on. To access the settings, including WiFi, sounds, and so on, tap and drag the lock icon to the right until you drag the lock onto the circle. Once the unit unlocks, tap the gold lock icon in the upper right of the screen.
123 is the default password. Tap the Submit button after entering the password. Now you can access everything on the tablet that isn’t usually visible to your child. From the screen you see now, tap Settings.
Tablet Settings. If you have an Android tablet, this screen looks familiar to you. Here is where you setup WiFi access, Bluetooth, check data usage, and adjust or view other relevant technical settings of the tablet.
The tablet comes with an instruction manual that is very good but this is such an important aspect of the inner workings of the tablet, I thought I’d make a point to share this with you. For the most part, the settings and other configurable items are intuitive for anyone who’s worked with any type of cell phone or tablet device. You don’t need a lot of experience or expertise to make the necessary changes. If you need assistance, ask anyone over the age of ten. <wink>
If you leave the Settings area and return to the Home screen, you will have to re-enter the password to make any other changes. It’s also a very good idea to change the password so that your child doesn’t stumble onto it by mistake and make changes to the system that might prove difficult for you to undo.
Parental Locked Screen. To reset the system password (The 123 one), tap the Go Back icon (Bottom Left Corner) to return to what I call, The Parental Options Screen or Parental Lock Screen, and tap Reset Password.
From this same screen, you can hit Schoolzone.com, go to the App store and purchase and download new apps, provide feedback, and manage your apps.
Little Scholar Tech Specs
Screen size: 8-inch screen
Screen resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels
Display: Thin film transistor active matrix liquid-crystal display
OS: Google Android™ 4.2.2
CPU: 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9
GPU: PowerVR SGX540
Storage: 8GB – Micro SD cards compatible up to 32GB
RAM: 1024MB DDR3
Camera: 300KP front / 2MP back
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (built-in)
Audio: Built-in mono speaker
Connectors: 1 micro USB 2.0 port, 1 Micro SD card slot, 1 headphone jack, 1 DC port, 1 Mini HDMI port
Bluetooth® Version: 4.0
Battery: Lithium battery (included) – 5000mAh, 3.7V
Adaptor: Input: 100V – 240V ~ 50 / 60Hz 0.4A
Output: 5V 2A
Battery life: 7 hours (average)
Dimensions: 221 x 155 x 12 mm
Weight: 470 g/1lb 6oz
The kids will enjoy working with the apps, learning how to spell, learning math, singing along, and playing games. My son, who works with children in the age range of Little Scholar users, took the Little Scholar to work as a favor to me to see how the kids liked it. They loved it! A word of caution, though, the Little Scholar tablet is not a toy nor is it an “electronic babysitter.” It’s a piece of computing equipment that I’d suggest being used only with some supervision.
The Little Scholar does have a protective, rubberized case on the back but the front (screen) is still vulnerable to drops, scratches, and accidental foot-in-the-screen incidents. The tablet isn’t fragile or delicate but does require some care to prevent annihilation from careless handling. Just be close by during its use and you should have no problems.
Why it’s frugal: If you just look at the $199.99 price, it doesn’t seem frugal. But if you look at the Little Scholar as a learning investment, it’s extremely frugal. In fact, for the number of books, videos, songs, and apps, you’d pay much more for any other tablet computer plus the price of the apps. The Little Scholar comes with hundreds of hours of fun and educational material for your child. Additionally, the Little Scholar is made just for little learners. It isn’t simply a tablet computer that you add educational apps to; it’s a learning device and that’s pretty frugal for a mere $200.
I like the Little Scholar tablet. I find that the price is appropriate for what you get. It is a well thought out learning tool for young children. With proper care and cleaning, your Little Scholar should last for three years or more. School Zone products are well made and well supported. If your little scholar needs a fun boost or a little extra learn time, the Little Scholar tablet is better than television and the Little Scholar has no commercial interruptions.
Recommendation: It might be the best $200 you ever spend on your child’s education.