Mirani’s iMum ’appy to help
AMANDA Powell's youngest son Tate balances on her hip as she zips around the kitchen.
On the bench sits her silver Macbook laptop, camouflaged amongst stainless steel appliances.
As she checks her emails, her other two sons - Harley, 5 and Levi, 4 - rush in from their timber fort for an afternoon snack.
It is if two worlds have collided inside her Mirani home.
Most of Mrs Powell's day is broken up into raising her three boys and running her website, The iMums, which has become a phenomenon with mothers in all corners of the world.
The family-friendly website is run by four mothers from different parts of the world, dedicated to informing parents and educators about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for children.
The iMums also offers the latest news in apps for kids, interesting articles, developer interviews, free apps and regular giveaways.
Mrs Powell created The iMums in August, 2011, and as the popularity of the site grew, so did her workload. Then she called upon three other mums to help.
The other mums are based in California, Chicago and Singapore, where most days they skype each other discussing apps and running the business.
At 32, Mrs Powell is a "tech-head". She studied IT before becoming a mother working for the Department of Natural Resources.
"My parents bought me my first computer when I was 10, which could be hooked up to the television and I used it that way," she said. "And within two months, I was writing my own programs. I have been into computers for a third of my life."
It was eldest son Harley who inspired her interest in apps for kids. She watched him on her iPhone easily picking up the elements of a game without being shown - or even being able to read.
"I then began to accumulate quite a collection, much to the delight of my children. I decided I would put my new-found knowledge of these apps to good use. I created a blog to share my experiences with them and to inform my friends about which apps were worth purchasing and downloading for their children.
"When I started The iMums, I had no idea how popular the site would become worldwide and just how quickly it would grow outside my own circle of my Apple-loving friends," Mrs Powell said.
She said The iMums was a dependable resource for parents and educators to learn more about apps and products for children from another parent's perspective so they could make informed decisions about what to purchase without having to trawl through thousands of apps themselves.
"The website includes reviews that are divided into different categories, including education, games, books and music and one specifically for children with special needs."
Mrs Powell said no matter where mums lived, they shared the same concerns and common experiences of being a parent.
"We are all part of one global community of parents, teachers, therapists and developers from around the world, who come together to talk about the best children's apps and how to make them even better.
"It's amazing to work with the other mothers from around the globe. We have a common goal of ensuring our children get the best learning opportunities from these devices and are protected from inappropriate content."
Mrs Powell believes being a mother is not an easy role.
"I am lucky enough to have a fantastic support network available to me in my local area and online," she said.
"I have learned to overcome many of the challenges I'm faced with as a mother by losing my 'I can do it all' attitude and letting people help me occasionally."
GREAT SOURCE OF LEARNING
AT a young age, Harley, Levi and Tate can use an iPad and iPhone.
As a mum in the 21st century, Amanda Powell said her children had been born into a house of many gadgets.
"I'm of the belief that, as long as these devices are monitored and used in moderation, they can be a very valuable resource for learning.
"The iMums has introduced my family and me to a whole library of fun and educational resources and is a constant stream of information about which are the better apps for my kids," she said.
"Early childhood education not only shapes the foundation of a child's life but also helps them develop emotionally, physically as well as academically".
She said the internet had opened up a whole new world that wasn't available to previous generations.
"I do exercise a pretty strict balance of technology use with other activities and my children understand these rules," she said.
For more information about The iMums, visit theimums.com.
OVER 2000 APPS
AMANDA Powell has more than 2000 apps on her iPhone, iPad and computer.
While she is yet to use every one, she does have dreams of creating her own one day.
When it comes to apps, Mrs Powell is a bit of an expert and said there were a few that helped her every day.
"I love Flipboard - it is a way to bring all your social networks into one place. You can link blogs and news websites together, all from the one app."
Another one she uses is Evernote, which synchronises all her devices.
"If I was to add a note to my iPhone, I could then edit it later on my iPad or my computer."
She said Pinterest was also handy for mothers and was great for recipes.
"I also have a few apps that help you become more organised when it comes to your housework."
Mrs Powell said she didn't switch off and was constantly thinking.
"That is why I use Evernote - to write down what I am thinking about".