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  Lvl 4 - Expert

Heather T.

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 was a teacher for 4 years in a magnet school for technology; I taught 4th and 2nd grade. Since then, I have obtained my Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina, and now am a media specialist. I love learning about new technologies and helping teachers with them so we can enhance student learning.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Librarian - Educational Technology specialist

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-10-02

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

Total review Karma: + 9     ?

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

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I liked the bright colors and the picture quality of the app. Young children would like that and it would immediately engage them. I like that there are 3 different activities and that the Memory game has multiple levels to choose from. I can see that this app was created for very young children since there is hardly any reading involved.
Improvements In a future version, I would like to some directions. I was confused in the beginning because I only saw 3 flags (none of which were my country's - USA) and I did not know what I was supposed to do. Even very young children can recognize their country's flag, so if that is the way you want the user to choose a language (without directions), then more flags should be shown. To make the app more educational and challenging for young users, the developer could add simple directions to the Sticker activity. (Like "Place the pig in the pen.")
General review As a media specialist in a primary school, I was expecting a little more from this app. Very young children (pre-kindergarten) might enjoy playing with this app with its creative farm animals and bright colors, once they get to the main menu and learn how to access the Memory game. This is a very simple app that has very little educational value on its own, but could be entertaining to very young users. I would recommend this app for ages 1-4.

Little Digits - 1.02 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I loved the fact that it is easy for children to use, even if they can't read yet. I really like how they can record their own voice for the numbers and function symbols. It also follows them through several years of learning as they learn to count, then add, and then subtract.
Improvements I like the space/alien theme, but maybe there could be more theme options in later versions. I can't think of anything else to improve on. I really like the app and features. Maybe there could be a "Big Digits" app created that is for older children.
General review I love this math app! It is easy for children to use, educational, and fun. Children love the touchscreen and using their fingers to count, add, and subtract. The option of recording their own voice for the numbers is an added bonus. The price is reasonable and you get more than your money's worth.

Playground HD3 - ABC Edition v1.2.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I really liked the variety of activities in this app. This is an app that I can use with my kindergarteners at the beginning of the year as well as 1st and 2nd graders who just need handwriting practice. I also like the fact that there are multiple languages so students from different backgrounds/countries an use it. With the letters practice, I like the way it scores the user's handwriting.
Improvements In a future version, I would like to see more fonts for students to practice with. Where I work (in South Carolina), students are supposed to learn print with sans serif. The print in this app is more of a handwriting print, and does not actually help students in my school.
General review Playground HD3 - ABC Edition is a great app for helping students learn their upper and lower case letters as well as practice handwriting. Very young children can use the app to begin matching sounds with letters. Older children can use the app to practice their print and cursive handwriting. I recommend this app to parents of young children and early childhood teachers.

Baby Learns Simple Objects 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I liked the versatility of this app. Young children can learn about the names of objects (great for busy parents) and then play games showing what they know. I love that children can learn and play (it seems like many apps just have the playing feature). I like the different settings and the fact that they are factual places. I like the rewards users get for correct answers and the fact that they can play with their rewards as well as the game. I like that parents/teachers can change the avatar and even record personal voices!
Improvements In a future version, I would like to see real settings and objects, like photographs. The cartoonish features are fun to play with, but oftentimes it is hard for young children to make the connection between illustrated things and real things. Babies might learn the name of the objects in the game, but not make the connection and not realize they are the same names/objects in real life.
General review I love this fun, educational app! Babies, toddlers, and young children will love learning and playing with this game. There are multiple settings to expand the learning and options for the user to choose. With correct answers, users earn rewards and they can play with them too in the Prize World. Adults can change the language, avatar and even record their voices into the app. I highly recommend this app for parents, teachers, and babysitters!

Tomo Garage [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like that children play the game, learn to spell, and match words to objects all at the same time. I like that they are rewarded with more features in the garage scene. I really like that there is a language option because my young students got distracted by the British accent. By changing it, they were able to focus on the activity.
Improvements In a future version, I would like for the user to have to select the letters in the correct order. This will help young children with their spelling skills more than it does as it is currently. I would also like to see the garage scene more interactive. Users can't do much with their rewards, but I think they would enjoy it more if they could add objects to the scene and move them around at will.
General review This is a colorful and fun app where users will learn without realizing it. I think boys will like this app more than girls because most of the objects in the game are tools, vehicles, and other objects you might find in a garage. I would recommend this app for children ages 2-6.

Baby Phone [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the whole idea of this app along with its colors and musicality. My favorite part is the nursery rhymes. I like that users can take pictures of themselves that appear when making certain "calls." The fact that the musical notes and animal sounds stay with the same number/fruit is helpful for young children so they know what to expect.
Improvements I was frustrated by the ad at the top, covering up the numbers and titles of the nursery rhymes. I noticed that the user has the option to pay to have those removed in the menu. Can you just make this an app that costs $1.99 and doesn't have any ads?
I would like for the nursery rhymes ("calls") to be attached to certain number sequences so children can begin to understand that certain numbers call certain people; that it isn't just random.
I would also like to see some more nursery rhymes.
What is the purpose of the animal sounds matched with fruit? The pairing doesn't make sense to me.
General review This is a neat little app with which toddlers will have fun. If using an iPhone or iPod, they can pretend like they are really calling someone while they listen to nursery rhymes. It is very colorful and interactive for young children. I wish that the nursery rhymes were attached to certain number sequences ("phone numbers") to make it a little more realistic and educational. Overall, a fun app for youngsters.

Fuzzy Little Caterpillar [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I really liked the interactive way that this app teaches young children about music reading and the fact that it goes step-by-step, going at the users' pace. I love that it integrates music and science! I love the different animals that move across the screen during use and the many different forms of feedback. I liked that it wasn't the same child's voice talking through the whole app and that different phrases were used to encourage the user.
Improvements In a future version, I would like to see an assessment option on the home screen. Maybe the user could hear a song and try to place the notes in the correct place. Just a little something to take this app to the next cognitive level.
I experienced a couple of glitches. 1 - after the drumbeat section - the screen zoomed in to tree and froze. I had to shut the app down to continue. It didn't freeze again when I went back into the app. 2 - sometimes the "next" arrow doesn't twinkle. 3 - twinkling happens sporadically on the screen where the caterpillars are in their chrysalis/cocoon and the next.
General review A very cool way to integrate music and science. I like the catchy song and how it teaches pitch, steps, skips, and rests in an interactive way with the informative song about butterflies and moths. The science facts are very interesting and told on the users' level. There were in few glitches, but I am sure that the developer will correct those soon.

Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a very cute app that my students love to use! It grabs their attention because they know Wubbzy and the story keeps their attention all the way to the end. I really like how users are able to interact with the pictures and add another dimension to the story. I also like the little bit of information at the end for parents.
Improvements In a future version, I would like to see an assessment where children are asked questions and given the opportunity to answer. I like that there is something at the end where a parent could ask the questions and the child could answer aloud (encourages parent involvement). But I would still like to see where the child could put an answer into the app and receive feedback.
Another great addition would be some more complex games for slightly older students (mid-kindergarten to grade 2).
General review This is a fantastic app that goes along great with the TV show children are already familiar with. The story is engaging and the user can interact with the illustrations to get even more action! I love the options to have the story read aloud, have the child read and interact with the pictures, and to just have the child read the story. I like the included number and letter games and the additional options to watch videos and "paint."

Weather and Clock for Kids [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like that the little mouse wears different clothes that correspond with the current weather. I really like that the time is displayed on a digital and analog clock and is read aloud with touched. The 7-day forecast on the TV is a neat feature. The fact that there are a few language options and the option to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius and 12hr and 24hr times make the app more versatile.
Improvements Perhaps I am missing the point of this app, but as an educator, I find it lacking. I was expecting it to explain different weather patterns and maybe even time zones. Maybe this can be an option in a future version.
I had problems choosing different locations. When I would touch a new location, the iPad would register my touch, but it wouldn't select the place and take the app there.
General review This is a very simply app in which young children can view the current time and weather. They can see a digital clock and practice reading an analog clock as well as see the current temperature and the (sky) forecast for the next 7 days. I was expecting this to be an interactive, educational app, but as a teacher, I do not see it as such. This app is lacking for use in the classroom however, it would be a practical app for parents to use at home.

The Lonely Beast ABC [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app introduced me to the Beast, which I think is a great character (it made me want to read the books). The pages/flash cards are very colorful and appealing, yet simple. There isn't anything to confuse or distract young users and there are just enough interactive features to keep them engaged.
Improvements Why is "Z" pronounced "Zed"? Perhaps that is a regional thing that I am not accustomed to hearing in the USA.
The only improvements I would like to see are lowering the price and possibly adding in a quiz at the end.
I really like the simplicity of the app and the easy-to-use features.
General review This is a great app to help young children with their ABC's. The Beast interacts with several characters and props as he goes through the alphabet. Some of the words that accompany the letters are commonly seen in ABC books, but several are not widely used, which helps children to see a variety of types of words when reading ABC books.

Matryoshka! deluxe [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like all of the different scenes and types of nesting dolls. It was nice to see that there were different numbers of steps in each scene, making it more of a challenge and a little less repetitive. I like the bright colors, relevant sound effects, and the connections to real life. I liked the additional challenge option that gives a score, but I wish the user was told how they would be scored. (Is it by accuracy, speed, or both?)
The celebrations are fun as well! The users love to pop the balloons, etc at the end.
Improvements Sometimes when moving the dolls around, the touch feature seemed to be disoriented. The user would be touching a part on the bottom of the screen, but a piece close to the top would move. This must be some type of bug within the program. In the future, I would like to see some directions on the home screen that could be read aloud when a button is tapped. A young child is not going to automatically know what to do within this app.
On the last option (the one that gives a score), I assume that it is timing the user because of the stopwatch picture, but there is no timer shown during play.
General review This seems like a simple app, but is definitely a challenge for young users. The colors, sounds, and themes are great, but some instructions would be nice to guide users through the app. The most entertaining part may be the celebrations after the user correctly puts the dolls back inside - things flying across the screen that can be tapped and effected.

Wubbzy The Superhero [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love everything about this app! It is colorful and interactive. I like the 3 different ways to explore the book so it can be used for different ages and even during quiet reading time. I love the forward and back arrows, sound effects, and games. The feature to control the volume of the music, sounds, and voice is perfect! Personally, I want to make sure that my students can hear the story even though they may be touching everything in the picture. The added feature of entering the year of birth is a great way to control access to the store.
Improvements I cannot think of any improvements. I look forward to seeing more Wubbzy apps/stories in the future!
I do not like to pay for apps since there are so many good, free ones available, but I do understand the charge for this one. It is definitely worth $1.99.
General review All of the Wubbzy apps are fantastic and Wubbzy the Superhero is no different. I even think it is an improvement from Wubbzy and the Fire Engine. The story is great, captures kids' attention, and has a good message. The app is very interactive and has so many options and features! This app can definitely keep a kid (ages 3-10) interested for a while. The games included are fun as well as educational, and there is a little bonus info for parents.

4 Dice: Fraction Games v1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a great, challenging app. Fractions are typically difficult for students to understand and work with, and this app makes it fun to practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing them. Adding the two-player feature definitely stepped up the fun factor in this app.
Improvements I can't think of any improvements that need to be made. I did not experience any difficulties when testing the app.
I LOVE the instructions at the beginning. Not only do they explain how to play, but they also explain what icons do (many apps skip those instructions). AND they review the procedures to working with fractions. Great!
General review This is a fantastic app for 4th grade students and up. It reviews the procedures for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions in the instructions and gives the users challenges. The best part is probably the ability for users to challenge their friends and connect using different devices close by!

Fractions+ [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app starts with the most simple fractions and gets more difficult as the levels increase. I like that it monitors the user's speed to determine understanding and to predict the user's ability to perform at the next level. The use of numbers, pictures, and equivalent fractions is helpful too.
Improvements I do not understand the benefit of matching 3 of a kind in the practice of fractions. I think the app should focus on matching the written fraction, number fraction, and pictorial representation to be more effective.
Some more advanced users might like the ability to skip the lower levels.
General review This app does an excellent job of making matching forms of fractions entertaining. I got distracted by the various goals of the game and would prefer that it only focus on one goal - matching fractions. Young users like the game probably because it does not focus on the work of fractions the entire time, but personally and as a teacher, I would prefer more focus on the work.

Animal Planet Hide & Seek Pets [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I loved the colorful interactivity of this educational app. There are so many facts embedded into the app that adds more value. I love all of the games that go along with the different animals and the easy and hard options. The voiceovers make this app easy to use for children of all ages.
Improvements I would like to see more animals added in a future version. Another option would be to have more advanced games for older children. Perhaps have 3 options for for each game: easy, medium, and hard. The current "hard" games could be moved to medium and more advanced games could be created to reach a broader audience.
General review This is the perfect app for young children who are interested in animals. Facts are read to them as the words are highlighted so they can learn while they play. Users trace letters, learn to write words, play matching games, and put together virtual puzzles. The easy and hard options allow the app to grow with the children.