148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Education »

Vocabulary.com Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 8th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EDUCATIONAL AND FUN
Educational yet fun, Vocabulary.com is an entertaining tool for boosting one's vocabulary.
Read The Full Review »

The Story Behind Grammar Girl's Grammar Pop and the Quest to Make Learning Fun

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014

Learning is so much more rewarding when it's also fun. That's part of the reason why recent educational app, Grammar Pop HD, garnered such a positive review from us last week. The brainchild of Mignon Fogarty, otherwise known as Grammar Girl, we were lucky enough to have a chat with her to find out more on how the game, as well as the persona, came to be.

148Apps: What's the story behind Grammar Girl? What made you decide to embrace that title?
Mignon Fogarty (MF): When I was a science editor, I saw my clients making the same mistakes over and over again - little things, such as using "a" when they should use "an" or misusing commas. Podcasting was new at the time, and I decided to also do a quick, simpler writing show because I saw that there were so many people who needed writing help.

Much to my surprise, the Grammar Girl podcast took off right away and essentially took over my life. I worked like crazy for about six months trying to do both Grammar Girl and the science writing and editing, since that work paid my bills, and when I finally got my book deal with Macmillan and we formed the partnership to grow the Quick and Dirty Tips network, I was able to switch to Grammar Girl full time.

The name Grammar Girl just popped into my head and I knew it was perfect right away. I believe it works because of the alliteration and because "girl" is a nonthreatening word. People have a lot of anxiety about their writing, and a lot of the grammar advice out there is delivered in a high-brow or condescending way. Being Grammar Girl sends the message that I'm friendly and approachable.

148Apps: How did Grammar Pop come about? What was the inspiration for creating a game like this?
MF: After finishing my last book, I wanted to do something different. People were playing games on their tablets and phones - I was playing games on my tablet and phone - and it seemed obvious to me that there should be a game in which you match words with their parts of speech. In fact, I was incredulous when I looked for such a game and found that it didn’t exist.

So on a plane on my way to Macmillan for a different meeting, I sketched out the initial idea for how I thought the game might work. They wanted to do it, so we went about investigating ways to make it work. I ended up coding it myself with a tool called Game Salad and working with Margo Goody, an artist at Macmillan.


148Apps: How important do you think it is to make learning fun?
MF: Grammar Girl is all about making learning fun!

148Apps: What has the feedback from players been like?
MF: I get great feedback from parents and teachers who use Grammar Pop and say it has really helped their kids learn parts of speech. It's not a chore to get their kids to play it; the kids love it and learn parts of speech without even realizing they're learning.

148Apps: What's next for the Grammar Pop series of games? Are there any plans for new installments or updates?
MF: We came out with a special Winterfest edition for the holidays, and we're getting bids right now to expand the game with more levels.


Thanks to Mignon Fogarty for taking the time to answer our questions. To find out more about Grammar Girl, check out the Quick and Dirty Tips website.

Grammar Pop is available now for iPhone and iPad.

(Image of Mignon Fogarty courtesy of Quick and Dirty Tips.com)

Grammar Pop HD Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 16th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FUN LEARNING
Learning the different parts of speech isn't always fun, but Grammar Pop HD makes it much more entertaining than it has any right to be.
Read The Full Review »

Web Defense Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 9th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: HECTIC LESSONS
Handy lessons about web security are available through this sometimes chaotic time management game.
Read The Full Review »

Piano Mania Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 18th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LEARNING IS FUN
Learning to play the piano has never been quite so fun, or as simple.
Read The Full Review »

Brian Cox's Wonders of Life Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on February 26th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ATTRACTIVELY FASCINATING
Exploring the wonders of the world, this is a fascinating app of discovery.
Read The Full Review »

The Great Photo App Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 7th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: CLEARLY LAID OUT BASICS
Teaching the fundamental basics to photography and busting some tricky jargon, The Great Photo App is a useful starting point for the most inexperienced of photographers.
Read The Full Review »

Blinkist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Mike Deneen on December 6th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CHEAT SHEETS FOR THE MODERN AGE
Blinkist will be right up the alley of anyone who has ever enjoyed SparkNotes as a kid.
Read The Full Review »

Henri Le Worm Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 3rd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CUTE AND EDUCATIONAL
Charming, educational, and cute, Henri Le Worm is an ideal way to teach kids about the importance of eating well.
Read The Full Review »

LingoCards Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 7th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: ROUGH BUT PRACTICAL
It's far from attractive to look at, but LingoCards offers the basics that someone learning Japanese could do with knowing.
Read The Full Review »

Verb Challenge Spanish Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SI SI
Learning how to conjugate verbs is dull, but Verb Challenge Spanish makes it much more interesting.
Read The Full Review »

Modern Spanish Flashcards Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Angela LaFollette on September 6th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: MUY BUENO
This flashcard app makes learning Spanish fun by providing users with beautiful photographs and clever animations.
Read The Full Review »

Symmetry School: Learning Geometry Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Amy Solomon on August 6th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HANDS ON LEARNING
Enjoy this hands-on approach to learning about symmetry both simple as well as more complex.
Read The Full Review »

EarWizard Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 16th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: MUSICALLY EDUCATIONAL
EarWizard makes recognizing music by ear much more enjoyable, boosting any user's potential to learn.
Read The Full Review »

Mental Case 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By David Rabinowitz on July 11th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STUDY HARD
Mental Case 2 is a powerful and comprehensive note taking and study app.
Read The Full Review »