Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Math, age 3-5

Math, age 3-5 was created by EuroTalk and is exactly what it's title indicates - a math app for kids ages 3-5. It consists of 10 categories that increase in difficulty - as do the specific activities within each category. Price: The first one comes free and the rest are available as in-app purchases for $1.99 each, totaling $9.99 for the complete series.

Device Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Developmental appropriateness: It says that this app was developed by teachers and educators and it shows. This definitely has a classroom feel. The activities here are like many items that you would find in a math assessment for preschoolers. What I like best is the "teacher" who speaks very clearly, repeated very key math phrases and reinforcing what kids have just completed. It might not seem like much, but her repetition and phrasing is really just right. So in terms of the appropriateness of the activities, this delivers and gives plenty of practice. Rating: 5/5 (aim for around 4 years).

Now I start to get a bit more critical. 

Balance: While the activities themselves are very simple and clear, the pacing might be a bit slow for some, especially for older kids doing some of the earlier rounds. Within each category, you are encouraged to go in order, and you must complete all of them in order to unlock the surprise. I would like to be able to know what each activity is so that I could pick and choose for my child, especially given how many there are. I think just in general, more settings would be great to cater to individual needs and also to keep kids engaged. Rating: 4/5

Sustainability: This app is as straightforward as it's title. There's no plot/story to keep you going. There's no collect the prize for finishing. Oh, the surprise I mention - it's a quiz. Not really what a kid wants, huh? In general, while I think the activities are ones that kids should master, the app has a feel of taking a test. Don't get me wrong, the teacher is encouraging, and it flashes a star for finishing an activity. But maybe the appeal of an app is to learn while not being a classroom. Oh, you get a certificate if you get all the quiz answers correct - but only it you get 100%. Where's the fun? Rating: 2/5

Parental Involvement: You would think that there would be some sort of review, but there isn't. Even with the quiz, it marks which questions you get wrong, but it does not tell you what the question was. Did you sort a color wrong or a shape? The quiz could be used in a more meaning way - to set the difficulty, to tell parents what kids need to work on, to be more game like and make it fun... just to name a few. Rating: 2.5/5

Total: 13.5 out of 20 = 3 stars

Disclosure - I received this app for free for review purposes.

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