Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Smart Flashcards - Addition 1

Smart Flashcards - Addition 1 was created by Lexpaper. There are a lot of flashcard apps out there. And to be honest, too many. Educational apps have much more potential than to simply be flashcards. Sure digitized flashcards are much more mobile and easy to make and even personalize, but do they really add that much to learning than regular ol' flashcards made on index cards? But what makes these flashcards more interesting is that it provides "help" on how to solve each problem. What kind of help? Price: Free.

Device Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Developmental Appropriateness: This app provides 100 simple addition problems. You just scroll through them at your own pace, slowly memorizing them. Ok - that's the basics. Now onto the more interesting part. If you need help on 9+5, you tap on the card and it shows you the answer, 14 and also a number line where it starts at 9 and then moves up 5 one-by-one, until it gets to 14. I applaud the developers that they took this app to the next step, showing some kind of strategy and support. But, I still have to say, I'm a little disappointed. I wish it offered more. It only showed one kind and level of strategy - count-on. Beginners would not be ready for it - they are likely still using count-all where they would start from 1. More advanced learners might be using 10's or deriving the answer with something like, "I know that 10+5 is 15 and 9 is one less than 10, so the answer is 14." Also, for young kids, verbal prompts along with the illustration would be really helpful. As is, it felt a bit limited. Rating: 3.5/5 (aim for 6 years)

Balance: The cards are very simple and clear. Again, the subtlety of the movements of the "help" may be lost on kids, who may not pay as much attention without verbal cues. Rating: 4/5

Sustainability: This is probably not something kids would choose to do on their own - they are flashcards. Rating: 2/5

Parental Involvement: Parents don't have much of a role here other than to enforce practicing with these flashcards. Rating: 3/5

Total: 12.5 out of 20 = 3 stars

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