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  Lvl 3 - Advanced

Elena L.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Entertainment - Games - Lifestyle - Photography - Productivity - Utilities - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2

Description: I'm currently a stay-at-home mom that loves to find new apps for my daughter and family.  I primarily use apps as an educational tool to help my 20 month old daughter learn. I also have nephews & nieces that are 1, 4 and 5 years old. Book and educational apps are my passion. My professional background is in quantitative analytics.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Homeschooler

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-07-13

User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.

Total review Karma: + 3     ?

Each time a developer thinks a review from a reviewer is useful, he give to this reviewer +1 in review Karma. The more Karma a reviewer has, the better her/his reviews are assessed!

Her/His app reviews

Tap Times Tables - Multiplication fun [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I appreciated that there were different ways to practice the times table.  In Mastery Mode, the players could learn or focus on one specific time table at a time.  I especially liked the Memory Boost option where one wrong answer forced the player to restart the practice questions from the beginning.  I think this could help some kids concentrate better. 
Improvements In the challenge mini game, having all the possible answers randomly displayed across the entire screen  seemed to make the challenge more in locating the correct number rather than challenging the recall speed of the player.   Maybe the player could have just one set of numbers available to use like a keypad. 
General review Kids just learning their multiplication tables would find this app a useful study tool.  Also, since the level of difficulty can be increased as an option more advanced kids needing extra practice would be able to use this app.  Controls  and settings were fairly easy to navigate.  The squirrels are fun and the winter woodland theme was pleasant which I think would encourage longer practice sessions.

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully -- A Tales of Midlandia Storybook v0.9 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This is a great story for kids of all ages.  It does a wonderful job of introducing a social subject that can be very difficult to handle and I felt that the resolution was well done.  The characters in the story are very relatable.  I loved being able to tap into what the characters were thinking.  I think that this feature can help kids better understand what Harvest and Buck were going through.
Improvements Overall, I really liked the interactive elements of the app.  However, I felt that the interactive element on page 13 detracted from the story.  After Harvest tells Chief Tatupu how badly Buck treated him then there is a hint to shake the iPad.  It is a serious moment in the story and I think it would be better if kids could just reflect on the conversation.
General review Bullying is a serious subject that can be difficult to handle, but it really needs to be discussed with kids.  This story gives parents and teachers the perfect opening to discuss how to manage bullying and when to ask for help.  This is a great story that is appropriate for kids of all ages.  I loved the interactive feature of being able to tap and hear the thoughts of the characters. 

Fire Rescue! [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The kids liked Toby the lion, so they were more attentive during the fire safety lessons.  The use of the different icons for Stop, Drop and Roll was very helpful.  I also liked that dialing for help was a frequent activity in the rescue play training.
Improvements I believe this app would have better replay value, if the different fire rescue activities were selectable.  For example, fireman training and Toby's fire safety lessons could be menu options.  This way children could practice dialing for help and watch the fire evacuation procedures as often as needed or wanted.  The younger kids didn't fully understand the process of first checking if a door was hot and I was unable to repeat the lesson without resetting and going through the entire play sequence. 
General review This is a good app to get kids familiar with fire rescue and safety activities. Kids ca have fun and learn about fire safety. It would be appreciated if the fire safety lessons were made more accessible by giving parents the ability to replay them without going through the regular play sequence.

Heidi story collection - 3 in 1, Version 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I thoroughly enjoyed this three story collection.  It was great that there was an abbreviated version for younger readers.  Also, I appreciated the spotlighting of words when they were spoken which is very helpful for beginning readers.  I liked that there was additional conversation from some of the characters.  I felt that it helped reinforce the storytelling with young readers.  Likewise, the quiz in the "Bits and Bobs" section was a very good test of reading comprehension.
Improvements It would be nice to have the words spotlighted when spoken available in the 
non-English language versions too.  This would be useful for readers trying to learn a new language or if German or Swiss was their primary language.  If possible, I think it would be helpful to young readers if words could be repeated when tapped.
General review This is a wonderful story collection that would be a great addition to any child's library.  There are two versions of the story to enjoy, an abbreviated one for beginning readers and a full version for advanced readers.  There is a nice interactive element where the characters have a conversation when tapped as indicated by a sparkly spot.  Also, there are extra features including a quiz to help gauge reading comprehension.

Lulu in the Amazon [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I loved the interactive quality of the app.  For example, triggering dialogue by tapping the characters, collecting souvenirs, finding the animals hiding in the forest and the little green bird, Piou-Piou.  I liked how the app opens as a book and the map functioning as an index is brilliant.  There is an amazing amount of content which I really appreciated. I liked that the feather game had three levels, so that my toddler and her older cousins could all enjoy making Zazou a headpiece.
Improvements I would appreciate seeing more of the dialogue or narrative in print.  I think young kids can benefit by reading on their own or seeing the words highlighted as they are spoken.  Perhaps a larger portion of the story can be put in print and some conversational dialogue can continue to be triggered by tapping on the characters.  Also, having a glossary of the different animals that were encountered would be appreciated.  
General review This is a wonderful interactive story app that will allow kids to experience a different culture and learn about animals and people in the Amazon.  This story app is available in English and French which is a great way to expose kids to a new language.  Kids will really enjoy the mini-games and the post card activity, too.

Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity (v1.0.1) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The kid friendly graphics were very engaging and helped to make the complex material more understandable. The Learn section presented the material in a very organized manner. Also, the video experiments really helped reinforce the learning process. I really liked the hard pause before revealing the results of the experiment to give learners the chance to formulate their own conclusion. The mini games are refreshing and also serve to reinforce the learning especially "Tap Tap Connect the Circuit".
Improvements The only thing I would ask for is a repeat option for the Learn section. It would be helpful to re-trigger the animation that accompanies the narration. Kids tend to be visual learners. So for example in the sections that showed electrical current flows and such, the kids had to go backwards and then forward to repeat the page.

Parallel is misspelled in the initial multiple choice quiz for "A Map for Electricity"
General review This is a wonderful educational app that teaches magnetism and electricity, complex subjects, in a very engaging manner. There are quizzes after each chapter of learning. Also there is a very useful glossary. There are video experiments that are performed in a clear manner with summary notes at the end. The mini games really help to reinforce the learning, so these are games that I would encourage kids to play.