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Charlene E.

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 am currently a teacher at an all boys high school. I teach Information Technology with an emphasis on Java programming. I hold a MSc in computer science from the University of Cape Town and a teaching diploma. I am married with 2 young children. I love my iPad and seeing how I can use it to enhance my life!

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 - Special education teacher or AT (Assistive Tech.) specialist - Homeschooler - Educational Technology specialist

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-11-01

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

Total review Karma: + 2     ?

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

Jolly Jingle 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I found the graphics for the App colourful and appealing. The music in the songs was clear and pleasant to listen to. I also found that it was nice to choose betwen the children singing and the lady singing.

The concept of using the christmas ball is clever. In all the songs that I reviewed, I thought it really cool to be able to move the characters around and have them add sound effects to the music already been sung. I liked that each song had its own unique way that you could manipulate the objects on the screen - Rudolph was Bubbles, Santa jumped from house to house.
Improvements When the song is playing, the lyrics need to be highlighted as each word is sung. This is how small children learn to identify the words that are sung with the written words. While the songs are being sung, I would like to change the voice over without having to start at the begining of the song.
It took me a while to work out the navigation on the first page. Perhaps the music button to play that song, needs to flash and there should be some animated icon which shows you how to go to the next song in the christmas bulb.
- more traditional christmas carols, rudolph bubbles should also pop
General review The app is for children aged 2 and up and is a really entertaining way to learn Christmas songs. The songs that are available are the enjoyed by children and the sound effects that you can add to the songs are fun and addictive. The graphics are festive. I feel that the App is great and there are just few things that need to be tweaked to make even more engaging.

Simplex Spelling Phonics - Advanced Phonograms [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This App is very comprehensive in terms of the selection of words. The way that the context of the words were given in sentence really helped. I also appreciated the hints as this was helpful to my son. There were some very simple words as well as some challenging ones. The instructors voice was clear. I liked that you could change the spelling to UK version.
Improvements I would like the accent of the instructor to change as you change from US to UK or to Canadian so that you hear the words in the accent you are learning in. This helps with pronounciation. I struggled initially with the master and scoring feature. I also battled to remember what the icons represented. Perhaps they should have a word written on them to describe the icon. The interface is a little boring. It would be nice to see pictures of the words like in gold or toe or aloe. I would like to see the audible sentence in text after you have spelt the word.
General review Wow! This is such a great App. As a homeschooling mom to be I am definitely going to use this App once my children have passed through the other Simplex Apps. It's also great that you can change it to British Spelling since I am South African and we use the British system. Even my 4 year old could follow some of the simpler words. I will recommend this to the school I teach at in South Africa.

He is Risen, An Easter Story [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I liked that you could Read the story in three different ways. I was easily able to navigate my way through the interface. My favourite part are the acitivities. I liked the different range of activities and that there were easy as well as hard activities which would appeal to a range of different age groups. The home screen music is pleasant and appropriate to this kind of story. The narration was clear and my son can easily follow the words because they were highlighted. I liked that if I changed how I wanted the book read, I can start over or i can just carry on from where i left off.
Improvements I would like to see more pictures for every page - page 1 & 2 had no pictures in the story book. The most disappointing part of the App is that that story is not completely Biblical has some extra-Biblical additions - for instance the boy Daniel, what Mary Magdaline said. I appreciate stories that represent the truth of the Bible as close as possible. Also the word apostle should be replaced with disciple as the appointment of apostles had not yet been made. The story does not emphasize with much depth why Christ died and should also perhaps include a salvation message.
General review This App contains a fairly detailed discription of Jesus' Ressurrection and life on earth before he ascended to heaven. The App is appealing to children and without prompting, I found my son went back to look at it. In general, I thought the App has great potential but the story is not historically accurate according to the New King James Bible. I would also appreciate that the story include a salvation message and have more application.

Fractions+ [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This App is a wonderful visualization of fractions. I liked that you could add a user and decide to do Challenge or Free play mode. The game is easy to play and I liked that you could choose between the answer first and then the model or vice versa. I found the game a challenge that allows learners to keep their focus while practising their fraction knowlege and they can have fun at the same time. While playing the game, I found the interface to be intuitive and the sound effects to be appropriate. I liked the questions on imperial and metric fractions. Each level had sufficient questions.
Improvements My biggest wish is that the "teaching text" in each level to be narrated to the learner so that the user can be taught the fractions concept by the App even if they cannot read. The hammer, shuffle and the lock tiles were not explained in the tutorial. I struggled to understand how best to use these tiles in the game. The level text for "Equivalent Fractions-Wholes" had a spelling mistake in the word "divide". I did not understand the sentence in the Zero as a Fraction which said ..."That would be silly (or philosophy class)".
General review Fractions+ is a fantastic game to help solidify fraction concepts in a visual and fun way. Their are 30 levels of game play which allows one to cover fraction basics in detail. Most importantly the fast-pased game keeps the child interested in the game while solidfying the fraction concepts taught. The instruction before each level can be improved by having an audible instruction in addition to written text.

Simply Missy:Shopping Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The game had some delightful graphics that appeal mostly to a girl. The game had a simple user interface and that at most times needed no verbal or written instructions. The balloon games were fun and the timer mazes also appealed to my children. The music in the game was effective and created a quiet mood which equated to my child being calmly engaged and therefore not disturbing others around them.
Improvements I mostly thought that the game graphics were quite slow especially when clicking on an icon for the next shopping item to buy. When playing the ball games, I found that the ball at times no longer followed my finger as I touched and I lost it. This is frustating for the kids. I would be nice to see some more interactivity with the girl as you shop - for instance she might comment on your choices. My four year old played the game once and was not interested in it again. For that age you may need something more challenging in the game.
General review Simply Missy is a delightful game that has great looking graphics and some fun activities. It has a simple UI that is easy for kids to follow. The game needs to have some more challenging activities and some unpredictable game-play that will encourage kids to return to the game over and over again.

The Miracles of Jesus [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I loved the activities in the App and how they appealed to both preschoolers and older children. I think the letter tracing was done well. I liked how the music in the app was of a Jewish nature which I felt was a nice touch. The App is very intuitive and easy to navigate. I appreciated the 3 different ways one could read the book - especially the Read and Learn option.
Improvements I would like the name of the boy who was healed, David to be taken out of the story. No where in the Bible is his named mentioned. The same for the little girl, Sarah. It would be great if the pictures came to life at important points in the story. I would like to see more of Jesus' miracles in the story.
General review This App is great for preschoolers and primary school children. In addition to reading about Jesus' miracles, there are many fun activities to take part in. I appreciated the various activities that will keep kids entertained for hours and the different age difficulties provided for in the activities. The pictures were clear. I would just like greater care taken on the accuracy of the story being told to make it as close to what the Bible teaches