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  Lvl 2 - Apprentice

Kristina C.

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- iPhone3GS- iPhone4S

Description: I am an educator & mother of 2 children, ages 5 (kindergarten) and 8 yrs old (grade 2). Both are excellent readers who perform above grade level on both math and reading. I prefer my children to play educational apps, but do allow them to play some non-educational apps too. I use productivity, photo, & utility apps and some games myself.

Profile categories: 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 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Homeschooler

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-10-08

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

Math Summoner [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The game is very eye catching and cinematic. I like the idea of magic being used to introduce math concepts it will hold kids curiosity. The rating and scoring section is also done well allowing people to track the progress of kids doing the math. The additions is age appropriate for first grade. I found myself being drawn into the game.
Improvements I believe the program needs to have a better plot and better direction from one scene to the other. Some explanation of the concept. A better progression of concepts. For example, flowers introduce the additions concept. Flowers power a rabbit. The rabbit spits out a triangle. Kids need to transform the triangle onto the given shape. These two math concepts are very different. Not easy to see the link.
General review The app is has a good theme and eye catching graphics. Kids will want to play with it and use it frequently. On the down side I think the app would do well with a storyline or plot to the magic and a logical progression of math concepts in some respects.

iVocAudio, your memory chum (v 2.1) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I really wanted this app to work and I was excited to try this app. However, there is nothing I liked about this app b/c it would not open on my device. I deleted it and re-installed it several times over the week without success. I cannot write anymore b/c it would not work. Each time I attempted to open this app on my device, it would crash and close. I could not get past the opening title page each time.
Improvements There needs to be some severe re-vamping of this app b/c it would not work on my device at all. It would not open and I could not attempt to use this at all. For a paid app, I should NOT be experiencing this type of problem. I deleted it and re-installed it several times over the week without success. Each time I attempted to open this app on my device, it would crash and close. I could not get past the opening title page each time.
General review This app is extremely unstable. I could not enjoy this app at all b/c it would not open on my device. I could not believe that a paid app would give me this type of result. I deleted it and re-installed it several times over the week without success. Each time I attempted to open this app on my device, it would crash and close. I could not get past the opening title page each time. If I could give it zero stars I would.

Christmas Karaoke: Christmas Carols & Christmas Songs vers 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the color scheme of the red words on the blue background with the white snowflakes. It was easy to read. The way the words turn red as you are to sing them was great. It was easy to navigate. Loved the history/ info listed below the UTube screen for each song. I used it as a mini-history lesson for my girls for some of the songs. Liked the variety of songs, but could use more kids' songs like Frosty & Rudolph.
Improvements It's not really Karaoke. It's just a song sung on UTube w words streamed across & highlighted. With description, I thought I would be able to use speaker to sing into phone & hear myself (& possibly record it). Was strange how some songs sing entire song and some songs have only some singing in middle. Needs more singing in difficult areas. We had no idea how to attempt to sing some of the songs at all since there was no guidance. Singing for some songs is way off. Poor English use when app asked to rate it. Disliked being asked to rate after 2 songs. Expected to be able to turn phone on side.
General review I was very disappointed in the app. It's not really Karaoke. Although it does have some good qualities, I don't think I would pay for this app. It is very unstable. It crashed the first time I actually used it. I opened it up, sung one song, and it would not display the song list again, thus not enabling any songs, even the first song to play again. I had to delete app and reinstall. Kids, ages 5 and 8 were not that impressed.

iTooch Middle School [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Liked the blackboard feature, but would also like to see a small version right next to the actual question for smaller scrapwork. Loved animations when correct/incorrect. Lessons on how to do question/ more info awesome but needs to be a bit more intuitive to get to it. I got it by accident the first time. I'm a math teacher, so looked at math mostly. Math content is awesomely correct... mostly. Math 6 and Math 7 content right on. Math 7 should be named "Math 7 & PreAlgebra". Math8 very hefty on content. Needs to be renamed "Math8 & Integrated Algebra", as it's a mix of both, ¬ one or other
Improvements Confusing when opened app first time. Kids got into it and so then I couldn't figure out how to get back to the main screen. Kept forgetting how to get back to that screen so you can pick topic and grade. Not intuitive. Shouldn't have calculator on easier math questions. The red/ white strip graphic with + = - etc is inappropriately placed and confusing in most questions. "Next question" needs to be larger. Need a "previous question" button. When in typing mode, "enter" or "done" button not intuitively placed. Same with zero button in number mode. Should be to right of 9. Need more directions.
General review Generally awesome, but still needs work on some content, written math presentation, and directions. Some math incorrect or incorrectly written. Don't use x for Multiplication in algebraic expressions; use dot or nothing. Function questions worded strangely. Math8 questions were all over place; some questions too easy and more appropriate for PreAlgebra; some more like Integrated Algebra. Needs a bit more enticement for motivation. Great potential

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This version was very different than the version both my children & I knew. We did not care for this version. The illustrations were wonderfully beautiful. We expected much more "popup pages" after reading the description. The first page with the genie was great, and the following "popup pages" were wonderful. The previous ones were boring and uneventful. The fireworks pg was awesome. However the app crashed after we pushed too many times for lots of fireworks. Needs a pg count such as "pg 5 of 25" so readers are aware of how long bk is. Needs a bkmark feature due to length of bk.
Improvements This translation was very unexciting. The book was unexpectedly long. We were bored after the fourth pg. We had trouble staying awake & following along. There were many awkward phrases that didn't make sense. Not sure if that was a translation issue or just a grammar issue. We expected the book to have the option of being read to us. The text of the book is written at a much higher level than the expected target audience.Text rdg level seemed about 6th grade or higher. No 6th grader will be interested in Aladdin or the illustration effects.Illustration effects of the first few pgs were boring
General review Beautiful illustrations &some great illustration effects. Don't expect to be able to play with too much of the illustrations; only minimal interactivity. Very long book to read. No feature to enable the text to be read to the child, nor is there a bkmark feature, so be aware. The text of the book is written at a very high level; this bk is not a good one for young readers younger than 6.Even rdrs as old as 10 may have trouble staying on task.

Tic Toc Time: Break down the day to learn how to tell time [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Great games. Great graphics. Has great potential. Needs more clarification on where buttons are and what they do. Liked option of having directions spoken vs. written. Couldn't figure out how to get beaver to talk vs. read directions. Often when reading directions, we tapped too soon and directions disappeared. Liked the hold 3 seconds for parent info. Liked option to have 3 kids login but too difficult to get to work. When creating a login w email or facebook, often got a connection error. Finally worked, then had a very tough time adding 3 kids and saving properly. Unclear how kids login.
Improvements Can't get About tab in parent settings to work. Did not save my games when turned off app and later got back in.Desperately needs feedback when answer is wrong.Good feedback when answer is correct, but absolutely no feedback if incorrect. Child was extremely frustrated b/c he couldn't tell if he was right or not. "It's not doing anything!" In clock game, asked to "set the time to 3:15pm". No OK button so child extremely frustrated.Needs enter button.Had tough time getting it exactly on 3:15 and wouldn't answer her if she was right. "I did it but its not working". What is the Montessori Garden?
General review Loved the way the clock was shaded for half past and quarter past etc. This has huge potential for success if they fix some things. One of the biggest problems were the lack of instructions on where the buttons were and what they were for.Never did figure out what the stamp-like square in upper right corner of screen was for. Touched it &it did nothing. HUGE issue is lack of feedback when the child makes an error. We couldn't tell if were correct

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

Link to the App Store

What I liked The characters are cute. We loved the way it’s layed out. I loved the quiz at the end of the lesson so the kids do it automatically. The game option is great but needs improvement. Great photos & illustrations of the science. I loved the glossary.
Improvements Would love it if there was an option to read the experiments to us. Just a button option (not automatic). I think it would also be nice to have a button option to turn off the music. Experiments need a better explanation during the experiment. We found the summary did explain some of our questions, but not all. What’s a rubber magnet? What is iron powder? HOW do you make an object float in mid air? Confused about “which object blocks a magnetic force?” Games: did not understand how to play them. Especially the UFO. Directions not clear.
General review Overall we liked this app. Has great photos & illustrations to demonstrate concepts. Glossary has great definitions & illustrations to explain terms. Even has section for “scientists” & “aha” section w interesting info such as “the secret of Christmas lights”. Science is presented well with a bit of room for more explanation but overall very good. Keeps kids’ attention. The games need improvement with directions but have lots of potential.