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  Lvl 2 - Apprentice

Lizz M.

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- iPhone4

Description: My name is Lizz and I am a librarian. A HUGE focus of mine is to integrate iPads and apps into the Children's department - so I've looked at hundreds of apps so far. In addition, I am hugely tech savvy and love trying out new apps! I use my phone/iPad for EVERYTHING! and I look forward to finding new apps I'll love and love to tell others about!

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 - Teaching kids ages 0-2 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Homeschooler - Librarian - Educational Technology specialist

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

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

Total review Karma: + 1     ?

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

The sweet song of the world [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The language of the story is beautiful and reads like poetry. The artwork has that classic modern flair that has become a trend in current children's literature. I love that the book is avaliable in both French and English because it allows children to experience different languages and sounds. As a current student of the French language, I enjoyed this bilingual text for practice and to grow my vocabulary. English speaking children will also increase their vocabulary with this text because it uses words that are not common in everyday speech.
Improvements First, there is a typo on page 24, I believe it should read "everyone has forgotten to grow old," but currently reads, "forgotten to grown old". The language is beautiful and I like that the story can be read aloud, but the content lends itself more to an older audience. I'm also curious if the character in the story is supposed to be on the autism spectrum (many of his behaviors and how his parents were reacting made me think this was a possibility). Finally, a small detail, there are times in the app that the animations run over the words, making them difficult to read, a bolder font maybe?
General review What a delightful app! A lovely story filled with poetic language and beautiful artwork that will capture older and younger readers alike. The animations are not interactive, leaving the reader to focus on the story. The story is most appropriate for older children (6-9 year olds) and the "read aloud" feature makes a book pre-readers can also enjoy. English/French book is great for language learners. Overall a great storybook for the price!!

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

Link to the App Store

What I liked The characters in this game are adorable and I love that they make "real" animal noises! So many other games use those computer generated voices that sound so fake. The "stickers" arer fun, especially for preschoolers who LOVE that repetitive play. I also like the different languages because even if a child accidentally changes the language - they are still learning.
Improvements I have my iPad upright when I originally logged in, and it switched the screen to be upright - however the screen wouldn't change even whe I out the iPad longways. I had to get out of the game and go back in with my iPad the "right" direction. I would also like the memory game to move on to a new set without having to go back each time - it is a pretty clunky feature. It should be clear whe buying the app that this is British English because it is geared toward pre-k and they should be learning American pronunciation of these words.
General review This app is adorable and I love that the animals make "real" animal sounds! There are some bugs - like the screen doesn't flip when you are in the game and you have to go back every time you want new cards in the Memory Game. Once the bugs are worked out (screen not flipping, memory game clunkiness, and clear explaination of the use of British English accents) this will be a great app!

metronome [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I love that this is so handy and ALL those settings!! The "design your own tempo" is great for musicians or for me, who uses a metronome to teach kids how to sound out words, understand rhythm, and how to break up the words into understandable pieces. The icing on the cake was the clean and modern interface.
Improvements Ideally I'd like to see more key choices in the tuning fork. The tutorial is such a great resource, I wish I knew about it before I had tried to play with it and figure the whole app out - could it come up on the first visit to the app? Not consistently, but occasionally when using the menu, I had trouble scanning through the pages. The screen would "jump" around and scan me straight to the end. This happened twice during about six different sessions with the app.
General review Musicians and Music Teachers will love this app! It does so much more than a traditional metronome for a fraction of the price, plus you always have it with you! I loved the "Tap Tempo" feature where you could set your own tempo and found it useful when working with children and teaching them about rhythm. I will recommend this app to anyone I know who is musical or interested in music.

Professor Chomp v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This app is fun and addicting like Tetris. The first time I turned the game on I played for a half an hour straight. The game itself is easy enough for children to play and challenging enough to keep me entertained for quite a long time. The idea of the
Improvements An explanation of the storyline is lacking. If I hadn't read the introduction when I purchased the app I wouldn't have understood the tie between the dog scientist and the game itself. In addition, the game doesn't progress and you can get the same "experiment" several times in a row. I would like to see the player building toward something - a bigger experiment, harder levels (more red dots), etc. Instead it is the same game with the same rewards every time. This makes it easy to get board.
General review I love how addicting this game is, it is like Tetris in the way that once you start you get pulled in and challenge yourself to go faster! However, there isn't a long-term challenge in the game - it is the same game every time you play and it doesn't get more difficult over time. The lack of challenge doesn't hold my interest for long and I can't see it interesting a younger player longer, but possibly shorter period of time.

The Legend of Momotaro - Version 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked What a BEAUTIFUL App! I love the art work and the interactivity on all the pages that were full of fun information on Chinese culture and language. The sound effects made the story come alive and the narrator had just enough of an accent to make the whole book feel like a movie! I also love that the story can be both read aloud to you or you can read it yourself and all of the interactivity is the same. As an adult I enjoyed practicing the Chinese characters and trying out the sounds of the words.
Improvements -- What is that flag that follows Momotoro while on his quest?
-- By disabling the interactivity while the story is being read, this app would better suit early readers who are distracted by these features.
-- If the words could be highlighted while they were being read, the idea that the words on the page and the words being read are the same could be taught - which is an important early literacy skill.
-- Finally, although I LOVE the art, the monsters are silly in comparison to how everything else looks.
General review The art is beautiful, the story is charming, the narrator is easy to listen to, and the interactivity teaches about Chinese culture and the language. Because of the variety of ways to enjoy this story, it is enjoyable again and again. By adding the important literacy features of highlighted words and disabled interactivity, this app would be excellent for any age group and especially wonderful for preschool through early readers.

Lulu in the Amazon [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Although I thought this was a storybook app, from the description, it is still a fun, interactive "game" that is like Dora and other popular cartoons. The benefit of having something like this on an app is that it doesn't move forward without the child completing the activity. Lulu is adorable and sweet
Improvements This doesn't feel like a book because not all of the text is on the page, I'd like to see a complete transcript. Also, I wasn't sure how to begin, that part could possibly flash. Since this doesn't feel like a book, maybe more interactivity on each page to make it feel interactive. I'd also like to see something let you know when you've completed what is available on the page (maybe a flashing arrow). The cat's voice is terrible - doesn't match how he looks, especially since they describe him as a young cat at the beginning of the story.
General review Although this app does is not like a traditional book app, it has a story and interactive features that preschool kids will enjoy. The adventure feels like Dora the Explorer and there are so many learning opportunities that children will both delight in the story and the "game" aspects. The app could do with some user guidance (knowing where to start and when to turn the page), but overall it is a fun app that children will throughly enjoy!

Tomo Garage [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The app is very colorful and animated, which makes it attractive before I even started playing. I like that the background is dancing around while I'm looking around and things don't stop moving. The "learning" portion of the game, where you spell the words that are written is charming and perfect for any child who loves tools!
Improvements The game looks quite different from the logo, in a good way. If I were looking for an app like this I would have passed on this one because the logo looks bland.
When I first logged into the app, it took me awhile to figure out what I was doing. I wish that the main page were more interactive, that you could pick the cars up and move them around, add some of the things that you've spelled into the scene, etc.
I was disappointed that there was only the "spelling" feature to this game. I'd like to see puzzles (just like how they are now, on the blocks) and more interaction.
General review Overall, the app is fun, it just needs another layer before it will keep a child's attention. The kids who I played with this app with were either too young to spell, but thought the tools were cool, or were big enough to spell but the game didn't keep their attention. Having more to do will help keep the appropriate ages entertained.