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  Lvl 5 - Mogul

Julie P.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Games - Lifestyle

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2- iPhone3G

Description: I am an ASHA certified Speech/Language Pathologist with 24 years of experience in multiple settings. I am currently using my iPad in a public school, serving children w/ special needs ages 6-13. It has become an integral therapy tool for me and I am excited about the possibilities for the future.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - SLP

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-08-09

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

Total review Karma: + 13     ?

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

Animal Puzzle for Kids and Toddlers [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked + App is simple to use, even for younger children (< 4 years old)
+ I like the way the puzzle pieces gravitate toward the space. This is a nice touch for children who have fine motor challenges.
+ The pieces enlarge slightly when "caught", an excellent non-verbal cue for children who cannot always grab pieces on the first attempt.
+ The illustrations are age appropriate- colorful but not too busy.
Improvements - I didn't think the sound effect for the popping balloons sounded authentic, too metallic.
- The square puzzle pieces, like the sheep, should come before the cow and the pony, because children can't visualize irregular shapes until they have mastered regular shapes (like the square).
~ Suggestion: I could envision this format working for other themes in addition to farm animals
Toy box (ages 2-3). Jungle animals (ages 3-5). Sea creatures (ages 3-6). Endangered animals
(ages 4-6)

General review Puzzle apps for preschoolers are plentiful. What's different about Animal Puzzles for Kids and Toddlers is it gives a child a little bit more in the way of interactive fun. The animals spin, the windmill turns, and the stars sparkle. As a speech pathologist, I encourage parents to use apps like this with young children to talk about what the child is seeing and doing. It creates a parent-child dialogue that promotes language learning.

Trains Story Puzzles - The Little Engine Who Saved the Carnival! [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app has a cute story. Parents are always on the lookout for ways to encourage their children to "keep on trying". I can tell that you have an interest in trains and the carnival.
It also looks to me as though there will be a series of Trains Story Puzzles. If you can get buyers excited about one story, they would be more likely to purchase additional apps.
Improvements The concept of this app is good (combining a story with puzzles) but from an educational perspective, I have some concerns..
- This story is similar to "The Little Engine That Could". If you're going to use a classic theme, you need to change it up more than that.
- You used only one voice. That makes it sound less professional.
- When you were recording the sound, you moved closer and further away from the mike,
- The puzzle pieces are scrambled on top of one another. Kids need space between pieces to figure out how they fit together.
General review This app is a combination puzzle app and story app. It's about a train that is trying to get the carnival to town. Each page is a puzzle that must be re-assembled. Once that's done, the story continues. If your child loves trains, this might be an app to consider. Be aware that the puzzles need to be completed in order for the story to make sense.

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

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app has a clear message. It is presented in a traditional problem/solution text frame that is perfectly suited for this story. I like the fact that Buck the bully is not portrayed as an evil character, because many times bullies are normal kids who behave in thoughtless and immature ways. Kudos to the technical staff- graphics, sound, animation. It looks and sounds like a quality product.
Improvements I need to point out that some of your premises are a little bit inconsistent. This is a story about grown ups, right? Grown ups don't handle problems the same way as kids. In my opinion, If you want to teach a child a lesson, you need to use children as examples. This is especially true for a complex issue like bullying. Also, I know that the author needed the journal to show Buck how Harvest felt, but no child this age has the ability to keep a journal like you describe. Lastly, the author missed one of the most important discussion questions- "Have you ever felt bullied?"
General review Be a Buddy, Not A Bully is a story app designed to help parents and teachers approach the difficult subject of bullying in an age appropriate way. It reminds me of the old Berenstain Bears series that was extremely popular years ago. You will enjoy the technical aspects of this app, all of which are high in quality. Bullying is an issue that needs to be discussed with children, and this app may be a good way to start the conversation.

Math Guardians 1.5 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked +This app will definitely appeal to its target audience.
+Dinosaurs and aliens together, what's not to love?
+Clever names. I especially liked Combat Fox and Destructo Rex.
+Good tutorial. Nice to include a practice button.
+Because it keeps score, you can see iimprovement over time.
+ Good "arcade style" music
Improvements - My students thought Rage Bunny was kind of lame, but good for a laugh. No one picked him.
- Some students got tripped up with the negative numbers.
- Kids who don't have a good command of their math facts get clobbered by the aliens so often that they lose interest.
- I had to turn the music off after a while, but it didn't bother my students.
General review Most math apps are designed with younger children in mind. I like Math Guardians 1.5 because it will appeal to older children (7-12) who need practice on their math facts. With names like Destructo Rex and Combat Fox, this app draws kids into battles between dinosaurs and aliens. They gain power to fight the aliens by answering math facts correctly. There are different levels of difficulty, including larger numbers and negative numbers.

Fido's Treehouse Scavenger Hunt v1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Fido's Treehouse is colorful and has very age appropriate art work.
This is an engaging concept for children.
It is easy to navigate after a small amount of practice.
The scenes are nicely detailed but not over-stimulating.
I really like the music and the whistling. It gives the app a "happy feeling" :)
I could see the Scavenger Hunt concept applied to other scenes as well: How about an underwater scene (a la Finding Nemo), a haunted house, or a museum? I think kids would love it.

Improvements I'm unclear about the alien monkey at the beginning. It doesn't really add to the experience, and the voice is hard to understand.
The sound quallity is a little tinny, especially at the beginning.
Could Fido's Treehouse have a Save feature in the Scavenger Hunt mode?
General review I am totally sold on this app! Fido's Treehouse Scavenger Hunt draws children in with the Exploration Mode, allowing them to become familiar with the scenes. Once they're comfortable navigating around, they can advance to the scavenger Hunt, where they search for treasures using clues that pop up. I highly recommend this app for stimulating logical thinking and problem solving.

Fire Rescue! [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I could see this app as being very desirable for preschool and Head Start programs, and definitely should be marketed that way. Fire fighters and fire trucks are popular themes for preschoolers, and the lights and sirens always are attention-getters. The fact that the dialogue is presented in multiple languages is a definite plus.
Improvements Although I like the general concept of this app, it's over-priced at $1.99. The apps at this price point have slick graphics and a wide variety of button controls. All this app does is move things from place to place and answer Questions. There is also the redundancy factor. I counted at least four times that the refilling water sub-routine was used, and four times for putting out the flames. Once, my app even crashed during that sub-routine and I had to restart it.
The response lag for the button control through the maze makes it hard for young children to maneuver it.
General review Fire Rescue is an app designed for the Pre-K set to teach them about fire safety. It covers the basics, including calling 911, avoiding hot objects, and stop,drop,and roll. It also lets children drive the fire truck through the town and put out the flames. One major plus is the ability to access the app in multiple languages (English and Spanish). Perhaps a little over-priced at $1.99.

Puss in Boots : Interactive 3D Pop-up Fairy Tale v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I really like the 3D scenes that pop up in the middle of the story. They are well-crafted and nicely drawn. There is a nice proportion of text to activities to keep young children engaged, and I like that there is a choice to read it yourself or have it read to you.
Improvements There were some pronunciation errors in the read aloud text. On page 13, the word "marquis" should be pronounced "mark-ee" and the word "obliged" should be pronounced "ob-lijed" . The narrator also changes some words and omits others. They don't affect the meaning, but it doesn't sound as professional. Could you soften the music during the read-aloud?
General review This app is is an updated version of the fairy tale by the same name. After each short chapter, there is an opportunity for the reader to complete an activity based on what was just read. The 3D effects are well-crafted and the activities are cute for kids 4-6.

Find them all: looking for animals [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I can tell how passionate this developer is about this app. Each update has more activities and uses, including many new modules with different habitats. My students enjoyed the activities related to the farm animals. It fit into our theme of the week- "The Farm". I also like the creativity shown in this app. Nice job!
Improvements I'm glad you made an easy mode for the darkness. As a suggestion, could you make the mouse slightly bigger, or use a little bit darker contrast for him? He's so small, it's very easy to scroll right past him. Would you also consider an ocean module? Little ones love all things under the sea.
General review This is a very large collection of animals if you choose to purchase one or more of the additional habitats. I found the activities to be kid-friendly and fun. You need an iPad2 ( with photo capability) if you want to take advantage of some of the features.

Little House Decorator v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app is a cute little digital doll house. I gave it to a 6 year old who was able to scroll through the furniture choices easily. She liked taking multiple pictures of the same house after she had made only small changes. At first I thought that wouldn't be much fun, but actually it turned into a game to see if we could spot what was different between the pictures. There are plenty of choices so the combination potential is endless. She even created a wacky house, putting kitchen appliances in the bedroom and a bed in the kitchen. We both laughed at that.
Improvements There were only a few small things that I found wrong with this app, and they didn't really affect the six year old's enjoyment. Some of the furniture pieces didn't fit easily into the rooms unless they were the only piece in there, but what fun is that? We decided that it was ok if the furniture didn't fit, we could overlap it. I think if you ever made a future version, you could eliminate the door, making that into an extra room. If you wanted to take this app concept and stretch it, how about Pet Shop Decorator or Zoo Decorator? That would be fun, too.
General review Little House Decorator was a hit with the six year old who was helping me test it. At first we used it the way it was intended, but then we were able to be creative with it to play a What's Different? Game using multiple screen shots. She also thought up the Wacky House Game to put furniture in unexpected places. This flexibility of use gives an app such as this added value. Good concept.

MyCQs v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The best products are those that are created to fill a need. I can easily give this app the highest rating, because it does what it claims to do and it's incredibly easy to use. As a matter of fact, I used it last night to create a quiz on concrete and abstract nouns. It took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and I should be able to go even faster now that I'm more familiar with the process.
Improvements In an app this good, it's hard to find things to criticize. The only thing that I would like changed is the size of the font on the questions in test mode. My students had trouble seeing the words because they were so small. Other than that, it's good to go. The cost may be a little steep, only because there is no complex animation, no voices, no art work, only text.
General review This is an app that has multiple applications. It might be used to make up a quiz. It might also be used to generate a study guide. Someone else might use it to write a questionnaire. Users are able to customize the app for their own specific purposes. I'm adding it to my "definitely recommend" list for our Tech Manager at school.

Animal Farm 3 in 1 - YogiPlay / v 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Animal Farm 3 in 1 is a cute activity app for preschoolers (2-6). I don't find many apps that are appropriate for children younger than 3, but I think the Sticker activity is intuitive enough for an older 2 year old to play. Then, as the child gets older, he or she can move onto the Memory game, and finally, the Animal (spelling) activity. I also appreciate the different settings in Memory. Some kids just have a hard time with their visual memory.
Improvements I'm uncomfortable when an app encourages users to register off-app, especially when that app is designed for very young children. I understand why developers do it, but as a consumer, I would have second thoughts about purchasing the app for this reason. Other than that concern, I find no problems or bugs.
General review This app is a solid entry for the preschool app market. It is stylishly designed with nice graphics and sound effects that are appealing to children ages 2-6. It offers a range of activities from easy to more difficult, and it will be enjoyed by both boys and girls alike.

Cinderella : 3D Pop-up Fairy Tale v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the fact that this version of the Cinderella fairy tale uses rich vocabulary, because I look at stories like this as a perfect way to introduce new words to a child. Between the dialogue, the narration, the illustrations, and the interactive activities, children are able to get a multi-sensory experience that they can control and enjoy. All in all, a fun way to learn.
Improvements I found two places in which the sentence grammar was incorrect. The first was on page 5 and the second was on page 32. In both instances the sentence read, "No sooner that..." when it should have read, "No sooner than..." Also, I thought that the background music was too loud, so I switched it off. Other than that, there were no bugs or glitches that I found.
General review The Cinderella fairy tale is a much-beloved story. This digital version is divided into very manageable chapters of just a few pages. After each chapter is an interactive 3D pop-up activity based on what was just read. The artwork is clean and age appropriate for children 3-7. There is a narrated option and a read-by-myself option to accommodate different reading levels. Some of the vocabulary is advanced to challenge the higher reader.

Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Digital story books are gaining in popularity as the quality continues to improve. "Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold" is an example of the high standard that is expected from a digital story book. The "choose your own adventure" format is a favorite with young readers at this level, ages 7-9. I appreciate the extensive educational support materials available at the end of the story that are aligned to the Common Core Standards. I enjoyed this adventure just as much as I enjoyed Shark Island. The developer was able to maintain the high quality set in the first episode.
Improvements Because it is so appropriate for many markets, I think there should be more directions for novice users right at the beginning. Another concern is the peripheral role Kate has been given. In a future story, is there some way to have her become part of the story? It would be cool if they could solve a problem together through cooperation. I'm disappointed that the cost went up for this app, compared to Shark Island.
General review Treasure Kai is a familiar name in digital storybooks. This episode sends the boy adventurer to the jungles of Central America in search of keys to unlock the Seven Cities of Gold. The art work and sound are professionally done and the expected features of interactive story telling are all included. This story can be enjoyed by parents with their children, but it also lends itself to the educational market, in both schools and home schools.

Magikid Circus v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app is whimsical in design. The characters are very cute and look like little puppets dangling from the strings. There is much to see and do here. I like the way a child can choose the characters and the sound effects, and the bubbles were a clever idea.
Improvements I'm not sure whether the developer had a clear vision about this app. It almost seemed like there was too much going on. The promo spoke about diversity and world traveling, but that was not available without in app purchases. The Circus theme is not carried over to the other stages. As a user, I would like better instructions. The demonstration was so rapid that I needed to play it back many times before I could figure it out. I think the Chinese characters need to be removed from the English version.
General review This app encourages creative play. With the guidance of an adult, a child can learn to put together shows that can be recorded and shared via email. I am concerned by the pressure to make additional in app purchases. Considering the base cost plus the additional cost for the new scenes and characters, I probably would pass on Magikids Circus. I like the concept, but it's not worth the cost.

Animal Jigsaw Puzzle! v1.2 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Animal Jigsaw Puzzle is bright and colorful. The animals are cute and age appropriate for children 2-5 years old. I appreciated the help option, which allows children to see the whole puzzle. There are many puzzle choices, and autosave is a nice feature.
Improvements In a future version, could you correct the spelling of "Congratulations"? In English, it is spelled with an "s" at the end of the word. I like the concept of having different size puzzle pieces, but only a few children this age will ever choose a 144 piece puzzle. I found it was hard to scroll through that many pieces. ( I noticed that the limit on the iPhone version is 49 pieces.) I am a little confused why you chose a flower icon to represent an animal puzzle app.
General review Animal Jigsaw Puzzle joins a crowded field of puzzle apps using a farm animal theme. What is special with this app is the ability to adjust the number of pieces from 4-144, plus the help preview function that shows the completed puzzle in the background. Both these features give it added value.

metronome [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the fact that this app contains a time signature setting. That is not included in most metronome apps, but it can be very useful with beginning music students who are just learning about time signatures. I also like the three different ways of adjusting the tempo (sliding up and down the pendulum, using presets and using the digital tempo adjustment on the tools pages).
The tuning fork is another nice add-on.
Improvements *Most people will pick one (or two) settings for the metronome and stick with those, so I'm not sure the multiple tone choices are that important.
*Regarding the tones, only the first one is crisp enough for me to consider using. A metronome beat must be very short in duration.
*Did you notice that the "beat" dot is not properly synced to the sound?
*I wish there were a back arrow so that I could go right back to the tools page I left, rather than scrolling through all the tools pages each time.
*Speaking of scrolling, the pages are hard to scroll through.
General review At $3.99, this app is more expensive than most metronome apps. It has some cool features, but they don't justify charging that much. I would rather see it at a lower price point to put it more in line with the other metronome apps. The developer needs to address some technical issues as well. I think this app has possibilities, if the issues can be addressed.

Chabadabada [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The animated scenes in this story were really remarkable. I especially like the shifty eyes on the cat. It's little touches like that which help elevate the visual appeal of an app. I also liked the sound effects. They added another level of complexity that I appreciated.
Improvements The story of Chabadabada fell apart for me halfway through the app. I couldn't figure out what was important for the story and what was included only because it was cute or funny. In a narrated story, I expect the written words to match exactly with the narration, and I found at least four places where they didn't. I wonder why the author chose to include contextual elements (the tabloids and the economic crisis, for example) that no 5 year old would understand.
General review Chabadabada is a modern adaptation of the Puss in Boots story intended for children ages 5-6. In this modern version, the cat wears red boots and appears in a singing contest to win the heart of the beautiful Lady Leroy. I like the general concept, but the final product didn't maintain the integrity of the original story.

Math Summoner [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I was happy to see another math app from this developer. He has refined some of the content elements from Math Guardians and created new play and reporting options. Both the sound and video components are of very high quality. I appreciated the ability to configure the content to focus on precise skills ( addition, multiplication, geometry, etc.). I originally thought this app would appeal mostly to boys, but I have two students- both 11 year old girls- who would absolutely disagree. I literally had to pry it away from them after 20 minutes of play.
Improvements At first I was confused about how a player finishes a level. I assumed it was related to the number of aliens shot down. I eventually figured out it had more to do with the magic key blocks. Somehow, I wish that could be explained a little bit more. Otherwise, the directions are clear.
General review Math Summoners uses a magic theme to present math concepts and calculations in a game format. The market for this app is 8-12 year olds, and it will definitely appeal to both boys and girls. By choosing different options, it is possible to create a game that is challenging for a wide range of skill levels. Highly recommended by my 5th grade students. I liked Math Guardians, but I like this one even better.

Professor Chomp v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a simple, straightforward tilt-to-play game. It requires only a few simple directions and can be enjoyed instantly by most children over the age of 2. I appreciate the fact that there are no ads and no in-app purchases. This app will appeal to parents who don't want their children playing violent games or games with weapons. It is a perfect app for beginners.
Improvements I would like to see the instructions included in the opening screen. Some novice users may be unfamiliar with this kind of game, so they may not figure out how to catch the orbs. In a future version,could you post the top 5 scores? Another suggestion would be to have higher levels of difficulty with orbs hidden by invisible clouds or orbs that jump around.
General review Professor Chomp is a canine scientist that needs help recharging his battery. The way to accomplish this is by tilting the device to collect orbs. Some orbs give bonus points, while others grant bonus playing time. Be careful, though, the red orbs will cost you points. This cute app is easy to play and appropriate for children as young as 2 or 3, with no violent content and no weapons.

Meet the Insects: Forest Edition [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The basic premise of this app is really good, and i see enormous potential. I enjoyed the quality artwork and the photos on the Insect Story. It was a clever idea to have the stag beetle climbing the tree trunk as you scroll up through the different orders of insects. I also like the Fun Facts on the yellow post-it's throughout that section. Once you're familiar with the layout, it's easy to navigate between sections.
Improvements This is an app in progress. There are significant technical issues to be addressed, including photos and videos that don't load and frequent, random crashing. Also, the magnifying glass in the top corner of the home page clicks to a screen with no working links on it. I liked the ability to move the magnifying glass over the stag beetle too it's details, but the question should read, "How does it look?" rather than "How does it look like?"
General review Meet the Insects: Forest Edition is designed to provide solid research information on 33 insects found in the forest. There are five separate sections within the app, each one accessible from the Home page. The sections cover the topic from different perspectives: insect identification, life cycle, multimedia resources, observation journal, and quiz. Unfortunately, with all the technical issues, I could not recommend it.

The Ant and the Grasshopper v1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the concept of the digital 3D pop-up story book. It gives the child a chance to talk about the story in a way that is natural and conversational. Having the pop-up appear cues the child to describe what's just happened in the story and connect it to the picture in the pop-up. It also makes the child an active participant in the story.
Improvements I found the music to be too loud compared to the narrator's voice. I think the music itself is fine, but just make it a little softer. Also, on the second pop up screen, the script reads, "Please help us gather some foods in the woods." The narrator says, "Please help us gather some food in the woods." I think the script should be changed to match the narrator.
General review The Ant and the Grasshopper is a retelling of Aesop's fable that has been transformed into a digital 3D pop-up book. What this does is to transform the story from a passive experience (reading only) into one in which the child can participate more actively. The characters are colorful, cute and appropriate for preschool and primary level children.

Lulu in the Amazon [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the fact that Lulu visits a place like Brazil that is less familiar to children. Even though they might have heard of the rain forest, they have not seen many of the unique animals Included here. I applaud the developer for including rich content in this app, including the diet and behavior of these unusual animals. Another great feature was the clever use of day and night. Lulu's flashlight allowed her to see some of the nocturnal animals found in the rain forest.
Improvements The age range for this app is listed as 3-10. I think it is too complicated for children under the age of five, unless a parent is doing most of the work. I wish that the developer could come up with a better activity than making patterns out of feathers. Compared to the other games, that one is not at all challenging.
General review Lulu and her pet feline, Zazou, visit the Brazilian rainforest in this combination storybook and science app. There are unique and interesting animals to be found, along with interactive scenes to explore and games to play. I guarantee that both of you will learn something new. After completing the journey, your child can create an postcard that can be emailed to a friend or relative. This app promises hours of educational fun.

Splash Money [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked People assume it's easy to teach children about money. That's not always true. One of the things I like best about Splash Money is the way it starts at the most basic level (coin ID) and moves through all the modules to the highest one (making change). The developer did a nice job coordinating the script with the visual images of coins and their corresponding values. Kids do best when they can see it and hear it at the same time. I'm glad the app uses photos rather than drawings of the coins.
Improvements The basic sequence of the modules is good, but I would suggest the developer consider a couple of suggestions
- Although not as significant for the home market, there should never be a "push notification" request in a school app. I suggest it be removed.
- The opening lesson in Module #1 is wordy. The developer could remove the description of the thickness of each coin; that tiny difference is not significant. Also, I believe the coins' colors are silver and copper, not grey and brown.
- In Modules #2-8, the tests are really long (50 questions). My students got antsy at about question #30. I would like to see a short intermission with a motivational comment and a short animation.
-The developer identifies this app as aligned to the Common Core standards, and I would agree. However, I would like the applicable standard be included in the information section. This assures me that the developer has actually read the standard and knows what it says. Some developers make false claims related to Common Core.
-I was very pleased with Modules 5&6; I thought they were exceptionally well-written. Although Modules 7&8 were also well- written, I thought there was too much content presented in a short segment. My students were getting confused and their scores on the test reflected their lack of mastery. I will have to review the content with them and provide supplemental materials.
General review I think this developer understands the expectations for apps in the school setting. The eight levels of Splash Money are ordered by difficulty, beginning with coin identification, sorting by value, mixed counting, adding and subtracting money, and finally making change. The modules have good pacing and use appropriate examples. Once I showed my 7 year old students how to navigate through the app, they were mostly independent. This app could help revolutionize the way money is taught in schools.

Playground HD3 - ABC Edition v1.2.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I can tell that this app was created by a developer who has experience with young children. He has combined a simple, clean screen design with a number of different modules to teach beginning reading skills. This allows the child to move from easier levels to more difficult levels as they are able. I especially like the timer option and the fading model in Practice mode.
Improvements I have a significant concern with the "Initial Sounds" option in Flashcards and Practice Mode. The speaker does not follow the guidelines for teaching American English letter sounds; for example, short vowels are taught before long vowels and the hard "g" (as in game) is taught before the soft "g" (as in giraffe). The quality of some of the sounds ( "f" and "r") is distorted, making them hard to recognize. Finally, the sound for "z" is the letter name, not the sound. Because I'm not fluent in any of the other languages, I cannot comment on the accuracy of those letter sounds.
General review Playground HD 3 is an introductory level app for preschool and primary age children (ages 3-7), which teaches beginning reading skills in 6 languages. The activities include letter identification, letter writing practice, upper and lower case letter matching, and unscrambling words. The activities are all appropriate for the target ages. I would recommend re-recording the initial sounds of the alphabet.

Math Summoner [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked You have made substantial improvements to the information and directions module that make the app easier to follow and thus, more enjoyable for kids. I like the way you incorporate the fantasy birds in the game play. I enjoy watching them flutter peacefully as they pick up mana off the flowers. It makes a good counterpoint to the alien invasion. The graphics are of higher quality than you typically find in math apps.
Improvements This is an intricate app design with with lots of details. Casual players or players who are not willing to spend enough time getting familiar with the layout may still get confused, but I think you have achieved good balance between too easy and too difficult.
General review Math Summoner is a great app that combines math learning with game play. One of the best features of this app is that it includes are wide range of math skills, including fractions, geometry, and calculations using negative numbers. This developer has gone to great lenths to create a game that kids won't find boring after just a few minutes. I would recommend it for kid 8-12 who need a challenge.

iTooch Middle School [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a comprehensive educational app. I like the fact that it covers different grade levels and different subjects. When I looked through the grade levels, I found the material to be solid and generally well-presented. The graphics and layout are appropriate for middle school students.
Improvements The "Touch for more information" button was broken, so I couldn't see that information. In the opening screen, there is a problem with words and spacing- many of the words are written together. For example: learnwith, hadin, pedagogicalexperts, tocreate, and avariety. I reacted negatively to the phrase "dead simple"; I would never use it with my students. Finally, the same questions should not appear in both the practice and test modes.
General review This app has the potential to be used across all middle school grade levels and content areas. The layout is clear and well-organized, and the questions are the correct difficulty level for most of the students who would be using it. I would give this app 5 stars for content, but only 3 stars for technical merit (for editing, spacing, and grammar).