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  Lvl 5 - Mogul

Katy R.

Status: Beta reviewer - Video Reviewer

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

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2- iPad3

Description: I am a special education teacher and work with students in grades 3-5 with and without learning disabilities. I use school purchased iPads to teach small groups of students, and our 5th grade classrooms just received Apple TV boxes as well. In addition, I use my personal iPad with my 7 and 2 year old children.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Special education teacher or AT (Assistive Tech.) specialist

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-10-01

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

Total review Karma: + 11     ?

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

Find them all: looking for animals [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I enjoyed listening to the gentle voice of the narrator that guides the user through the game. The ability to hear animals' names in different languages is great, as are the actual photos of the animals that reward the child with bobbling heads. The camera feature was great as was the puzzle creator. My kids enjoyed reviewing the albums to see the animals they already found, and the different continents made the game more interesting for my 7 year old. As a special education teacher, I could see using this as a reward activity for students.
Improvements For a younger user, it is challenging to access the facts about the individual animals. I would like to hear facts upon tapping the animal pictures in the album. Also, although I like that the animals are proportionate to one another, some of the smaller animals (especially the mouse) were challenging to find.
General review A pleasant voice guides the user through the game where actual photos of interesting animals reward the child with bobbling heads. The facts are interesting and the animals seem to be sized proportionately to one another. The camera feature is fun, as is the puzzle creator. The albums allow the child to review animals already found, and the different continents make the game more appealing for the older child.

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

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The "pop-up" pages and activities are engaging and easy to use. Both the 7 year old and the 2 year old I tried the App with enjoyed every one of these pages. The ability to read the story independently or have it read aloud is a good feature, and there are enough pop-up pages to support the text.
Improvements Although the story of Cinderella is appealing to younger children, the vocabulary and sentence structure of this particular version is too complex for a younger reader or listener. The 7 year old trying this app was very interested in the activities on the pop-up pages but had no interest in reading the story Cinderella. The 2 year old wanted to har the story but quickly lost interest because she could not understand language at this level. The pop-up book idea is great, but I would like to see a simpler version of the text, or a story that would be more appealing to an older child.
General review Cinderella 3D Pop-Up Fairytale is a virtual pop-up book for kids to use on the iPad. The pop-up pages are cleverly done, with moveable animations related to the story, where children are able to manipulate characters and objects in the story. The 3D element is interesting, as children are able to move the iPad and have the page rotate to be seen at different angles. Unfortunately, the text of the story is too complex for younger children.

Math Summoner [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The music, the graphics, the ability to customize math concepts and the pace of the game are all excellent! I loved that basic facts, fractions and geometry were all included features, and one we figured out the game play process, my 2nd grader was hooked.
Improvements I could not find a way to exit the game in order to return to the home page. When I wanted to change the math options, I had to close out the game and re-open it. A "home" button is definitely needed. It took me about 15 minutes of playing the game to figure out how to actually play, even though I watched/tried the intro game twice. I didn't understand that I had to quickly call more summoners after answering questions correctly, but eventually we figured it out. Probably more tips in the intro would be helpful.
General review My 2nd grader is addicted to this game which promotes fluency of math facts and geometry and fraction concepts. Beautiful scenes and music greet the player as your Phoenix birds flutter about collecting "mana" in order to gain power and defeat aliens. The player is able to select from pre-set levels or customize the game play so that a variety of math skills are practiced: add., sub., mult., div., and negative numbers. Appropriate for 7 and up.

Meet the Insects: Forest Edition [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app has amazing photos and a variety of interesting facts about multiple insects. The app is easy to navigate with a clear home screen, and I like that once an insect is selected, the user has the option of viewing photos and video of the insect in motion in addition to the factual information. The "Insect Story" is engaging, and I like that the user can choose to have the text read aloud or not. The Observation Journal is an excellent addition for users capable of documenting their observations, and I love the camera feature.
Improvements The app takes up a lot of space, and for that sacrifice, I would like to see videos that have a little more narration - perhaps one fact for each video. Also, on the multimedia page, it would be helpful to have the videos labeled. It would be good to have an option to have the text read aloud throughout the app - not just in the Insect Story. The Quiz feature is interesting, but I think the O for true is confusing. Probably a check mark for true and an X for false would be easier.
General review Meet the Insects Forest Edition is an informative & engaging app for all ages w/ amazing graphics, video and photo examples for a variety of insects. The user can see metamorphosis in action, where insects live in the forest, and gain a wealth of information about selected insects. The Insect Story allows the user to learn about insect life cycles in addition to other facts, and the Observation Journal is a great place to record favorite facts.

Baby DJ 2.0 [text] [video]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The app was easy to use and the images were appealing. I especially liked the animal photos. The option to record your own mix was good, and the vinyl scratch option was clever. The songs and rhythms would be appealing to children, and my daughter enjoyed tapping the circles to add different elements to the song.
Improvements I think kids would enjoy being able to record their own voices singing along to the music. I also think recognizable children's songs would be more appealing, like nursery rhymes. The album cover didn't seem to be related to the pictures that are found for the song, so it would make more sense to have related animals or themes.
General review This app is creative and fun, but I'm not sure that the electronic music would sustain the attention of young children for more than one sitting. The ability customize mixes and record them, along with scratch effects is entertaining, but it would be repetitive to have only these options over and over for ech song. My initial impressions video was split between 2 separate videos. Here are the links: rPZ85XURayk; http://youtu.be/6OtRG2ZhP7I
First 5 minutes video review
Video review once the app was mastered

"Mulberry FingerPlays" v1.7 [video]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
First 5 minutes video review
Video review once the app was mastered

Baby Phone [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Baby phone was very appealing to my 2 year old. The large buttons are easy to tap, and the random wiggling made her want to try to catch them as they wiggled. The real phone sound was good when pressing "call," and the nursery rhymes were a great added feature.
Improvements I would love to have more than one verse of the nursery rhyme play. Also, the audio quality of the songs is less than great. The buttons to add sounds to the nursery rhymes were clever, but it would make more sense if they pictures on the buttons corresponded to the song (i.e. animals instead of fruit).
General review Baby phone appeals to every young child's desire to press buttons on the phone in order to hear beeping and ringing noises. This app has the added feature of playing nursery rhymes upon making a "call." The colors and "buttons" are bright and engaging for the young user, and with slightly better audio files, this would be the perfect app to keep your little one entertained.

SIMPLY MISSY HD [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The story and narration are very sweet. My 2 year old daughter loved Missy coming to life and the graphics in general were very appealing. The rhyming patterns of the text are beneficial to phonics development and vocabulary words are also reinforced (colors, foods, animals). The choices in each store are appealing as are the general categories (which are primarily not gender stereotyped). The app is easy to use and having the buttons light up gave helpful clues to my daughter as to what to touch. She also enjoyed popping the bubbles. The end is great, displaying all of the selected options.
Improvements The app does not save the progress made through the story once it is closed, so my daughter and I became frustrated at having to start over each time. Perhaps a shortened version of the story might be an option, so that the child with less time could complete the story in one sitting.
General review Simply Missy is an engaging and adorable app for any little girl. Missy comes to life with a list of shopping errands to complete by the end of the story. The rhyming text is rhythmically narrated, taking the user to each virtual shop where choices are presented for the user to select clothes, food, a pet, etc. the end of the story provides a surprise for the young user, displaying all of the choices made throughout the shopping trip.

Matryoshka! deluxe [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The graphics are very visually appealing. I like the different scenes and themes, and the music is entertaining. The characters include diverse ethnicities and I like the different facial expressions. The activity of taking apart and putting together the Matryoshka dolls is easy and an appealing task.
Improvements For a younger child, it would be an appealing game but might be challenging. Perhaps a prompt when the child is attempting to connect the wrong top to bottom would be helpful. In other puzzle games, this in done by flashing or highlighting the correct match. Also, in the community workers scene, the background is a classroom, but there is no "teacher" doll.
General review Matryoshka Deluxe is a visually appealing, clever puzzle app for young children, including nesting dolls with different themes (transportation, community workers, insects, etc.). Children "pull apart" each doll to find another doll inside that matches the theme and then matches the halves in order to nest the dolls again or to play with them in the scene. A fun and sweet app!