Posts Tagged Education
This week at 148Apps.com all eyes were still pointed at Firemint’s upcoming Real Racing 3. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, “Sister site Pocket Gamer editor Richard Brown discovered that Real Racing 3 is showing up in Game Center. The good news is that means it’s been approved by Apple and it can’t be long before the release now. While it’s not out yet, this does bring up something interesting. Something I noticed in the Game Center achievements lends a little to the accuracy of rumors and theories I’ve been hearing that Real Racing 3 will be released as a free to play game.
Last week we took you through a three part series about the history of the App Store icon, Real Racing. Rob Rich covered the history and design of the first two games in the series. He also covered time-shifted multiplayer and other new features expected in Real Racing 3. An excellent series and well worth a read. One thing we didn’t cover is how the game will be monetized as it has yet to be announced. That monetization method is likely to have huge implications on how the game is received by the fans of the series.”
GiggleApps.com writer Amy Solomon contributed a review of Whack A Bone: “Whack A Bone is a wonderful app for iPad that is truly an educational delight, teaching about the anatomy of bones found in the human body.
Nicely sectioned into groups, users will learn about the bones that make up one’s core, such as cranium, sternum or vertebrae which is grouped here into three different categories – cervical, thoracic and lumbar, as well as the arm and leg bones, each consisting of its own section as well.
To play this pirate-themed anatomy game, place the bones from the different sections back to their rightful places inside a skeleton with the direction of a talking parrot whose attitude kids will find witty and fun.”
And what week would be complete without a KickStarter Spotlight on AndroidRundown.com. This week, writer Joseph Bertolini focuses on Freedom Planet: “It has been a while since we have really taken an in depth look to one of the fields in which KickStarter has benefited the most; indie game developers. As most everyone knows, indie game sales have exploded over the last few years; bolstered by better distribution methods like Steam and a more willing Sony and Microsoft. It goes without saying that a strong indie market is one of the most important factors to a great gaming industry. Recognizing this, our choice for this week’s KickStarter Spotlight is Freedom Planet, a game that will harken strongly back to the days when Sonic and MegaMan were dominating the console market.”
Lots of fresh new content this week at 148Apps.com, including a three part series tracking the history and development of Firemint’s Real Racing series. Rob Rich writes, “The soon to be released Real Racing 3 is on a lot of iOS gamers’ minds these days, especially many of us here at 148Apps. Because of this we thought it would be a good idea to recap the series. In fact, we might have gone a bit beyond that and created a trilogy. First we’ll be taking a look at the series’ history and the history of Firemint, the Melbourne based studio that created the series. After that we’ll be taking a look at the design factors and what when into creating the first two Real Racing titles as well as a little of the third. And in the third part of this series, we’ll take a look at the new Time Shifted Multiplayer found in Real Racing 3.”
GiggleApps.com traded in the racing wheel for a stethoscope, as Amy Solomon reviewed Doctor Cat: “Doctor Cat is a cute children’s app allowing users to use different medicines to treat animals.
This app is bright and colorful, with a simple and sweet narrative about a cat finding a lost doctor’s bag and using its contents to treat creatures in need.”
Released: 2012-12-14 :: Category: Education
And we close out our weekly tour of sites by checking in on the latest KickStarter spotlight on AndroidRundown.com. Joseph Bertolini writes, “It is amazing how many times I leave my phone in the car or forget to bring my keys out with me. Consolidating these two would be a dream and there are a few solutions available but their effectiveness is very questionable. One of the more complete and involved KickStarter projects that we have spotlit here, Intellacase is a smartphone case that incorportes within it a key fab for any modern car with keyless entry. While this does nothing for most car owners who still reside in the land of metallic gateways, a growing number of affordable cars are adopting the keyless ignition as a viable offering. Certainly for anyone who has a car that utilizes keyless technology this is an incredibly attractive opportunity. Image going out on the town, with the increasing prevalence of NFC payments, and being able to bring just a phone which has access to both wallet and car access.”
Another week down, but oh so much more to report in the coming days and weeks! Keep track of the latest happenings by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. You’ll be glad you did. See you next week kiddies!
We love to find out more about apps that are not only fun to use but provide a great benefit to their users’ lives. So, when I heard about AutisMate, a new app aimed at helping those with autism develop their communication and behavioral skills, I jumped at the chance to find out just how it came to be.
The History Behind It
AutisMate has quite an interesting history, as it was created by Jonathan Izak, who was motivated by wanting to help his 10 year old brother, Oriel, who has autism.
“As with many on the spectrum, my brother was often frustrated by the inability to express himself and understand what others expected from him. I recognized that those on the autism spectrum generally have stronger visual learning abilities and that there was a huge need for a solution that could help my brother and others connect with the world around them,” he explained.
“AutisMate does this by taking well-researched visual therapy interventions such as video modeling, visual schedules, and visual stories and making them interactive and easily personalized.” Jonathan pointed out that while assistive speech technology is already available for some, it’s “limited to sentence building.”
“This starting point was too advanced for my brother. For this reason, AutisMate uses visual scenes as a starting point for communication and progresses to the more demanding sentence building. Research shows that visual scenes are more intuitive to the early communicator.”
Researching How AutisMate Could Help
Jonathan’s initial experiences with autism came from his brother, but he appreciated that while making AutisMate, it was “important to partner with a wide variety of parents, therapists, teachers and other autism professionals.” As anyone with experience with autism knows, every person on the spectrum is unique and has their own different challenges, and that’s without taking into account the different needs of caregivers and professionals working alongside the autistic person.
Jonathan worked to create a “flexible platform…designed in such a way that it can be personalized to each autistic child and caters to the needs of whoever is using it.” While he explains that he wanted to help Oriel, he also wanted to “build a solution that would help him and the many other children like him who are challenged by the wide variety of developmental issues associated with autism.”
Taking a year and a half to develop, Jonathan started by testing early builds of the app in local schools and private practices. “Along the way we built a network of over 300 industry experts, researchers, clinicians, educators and even parents,” he said, “who provided a 360 degree view of the wide variety of needs and strategies to promote communication and behavioral development for individuals with autism. We also formed an autism advisory board that is made up of some of the leading industry experts and researchers.”
Reaping The Benefits
Always wanting to create a new approach to overcoming the issues that many with autism suffer from, Jonathan was still stunned by the positive response. “It’s unbelievably rewarding to get to experience how something you are working towards is impacting the lives of so many families.”
He recounted to me examples of how a child was able to overcome a fear of elevators by “[using] a visual story to prepare him for what will happen.” and he’s appreciated the many “heartwarming emails” from educators and caregivers, “describing how their child is communicating for the first time.”
It’s been good news for Oriel, too. “Beyond the apparent increase in spontaneous speech, it has also helped my brother with daily activities like tying his shoes, behaving when going to a restaurant or doctor’s office, and learning how to interact with others.”
AutisMate is currently available solely for the iPad, but Jonathan informed us that besides numerous updates, they are also currently busy working on expanding to both the iPhone and Android platforms. Additional products are also in the pipeline, so things are looking very promising for those after a solution for various special needs.
Thanks to Jonathan Izak for taking the time to answer our questions.
AutisMate is available now, priced at $149.99. To learn more about it, check out the AutisMate website.
This week at 148Apps.com, we took a closer look at what may be the future of Disney Interactive Entertainment: Disney Infinity. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, “Disney Infinity will be a multi-property, multi-platform exploration game which will let you can combine various Disney characters and worlds to use your imagination to the fullest. It will be a combination of real world toys and video games, similar to Skylanders, but taken to the extreme. For example, in Disney Infinity you can answer the question: who would win a race between Lightning McQueen from Cars and Dash from The Incredibles?
This is both good and bad news for iOS users. While the mobile part of Disney Infinity will be initially limited to so-called support apps, it will evolve over 2013 to a full Disney Infinity platform, though we are still trying to get details on that.”
Over at GiggleApps.com, Amy Solomon reviewed My Beastly ABCs, saying, “I really appreciate not only the colorful look of this app, complete with wonderful illustrations and mild animated moments containing both a vintage sense of style as well as a modern look and feel, but also the pitch-perfect use of suspenseful, jazzy music and perfectly realized narration by celebrated voice-over artist Jim Dale as well.”
Released: 2012-12-06 :: Category: Books
And what week would be complete without a new KickStarter spotlight from AndroidRundown.com? Joseph Bertolini writes, “I just wrote an app review about an app that really helps me keep my life organized called Catch Notes. In that post I talk about the struggles I – like millions of other people – have with remembering events and to-do items. Apps in this space are generally very similar and are just slightly different iterations of the same thing; the idea stays consistent and there is very little motivation to pay attention to them. This is most apparent when trying to work on bad habits or trying to start new good ones. This is not going to be a cheesy New Year’s post, but the best way to change for the better is to work on the small things instead of trying to make large drastic changes. Since the biggest problem with existing apps is that there is a lack of motivation to continue checking them, and the medium that has most mastered this addictive motivation are video games, it was only a matter of time before there was a hybrid love-child of the two. This chimera is one of the more creative KickStarter projects we have done here, and it is called HabitRPG.”
This week at 148Apps.com, site editor Rob LeFebvre examined why mobile games just don’t seem to have as much depth as their console brethren. He says, “Should gamers expect the same experience on mobile devices as on console? Probably not–but that may be changing. Michael de Graaf, the producer for the mobile version of Need for Speed Most Wanted, feels that the difference between console and mobile is narrowing. “At the moment, consoles still have an edge when it comes to raw power but that gap is narrowing,” he told us, “and we’ve seen possibilities continue to expand on mobile. The current quality of screens we are seeing and new form factors are increasing the quality and diversity of experiences that gamers can now have on a mobile device.”
Nick Rish, vice president of mobile publishing for EA, believes that comparing the two is futile. “There is something very immersive about holding a device 10 inches from your face,” he said, “putting on headphones and enjoying a game like Need for Speed Most Wanted while on your lunch break … It’s tough to say one platform provides a better consumer experience than the other; gaming is in the eye of the beholder.”
“Mobile gaming grew from very basic flash games we all’ve been playing on web browsers,” said Przemek Marszal, art director at 11 bit studios, the developer behind the Anomaly Warzone series. But that’s changing, he said, noting that even a hard-core indie developer like John Carmac sees the potential of iOS gaming.
Over at GiggleApps.com, writer Amy Solomon got back to nature with her review of Scholastic First Discovery: The Forest: “Scholastic First Discovery: The Forest for iPhone is an impressive adaptation of the printed non-fiction title “In the Forest” A First Discovery Look and Learn Book from Scholastic. A version of this app is also available for iPad.
The Forest is an impressive application about nature, with wonderfully bright colors and robust details on each page bringing the sights of forests to devices. Instead of text that one would read, this app consists of very good narration that leads children through interactive exercises that will teach them a lot about the forests of North America.
Six chapters are included that cover a lot of ground, such as learning about both deciduous and coniferous trees, tapping leaves or branches to learn about the trees they belong to, also allowing children to drag these realistic bits of foliage around the screen.”
Released: 2012-10-26 :: Category: Education
Last up, AndroidRundown.com writer Carter Dotson was happy to announce that one of our favorite games, Punch Quest, is coming to Android: “Android, get ready to start punching. Punch Quest is coming to Android very soon. The culprit? Noodlecake Games, who have made a habit (or a business model) out of releasing and supporting iOS-to-Android ports. Punch Quest combines and endless runner with beat ’em up gameplay, as players run through a dungeon, punching and uppercutting the foes they come across. Coins can be earned to be spent on new skills, power ups, and hats. Sweet, sweet hats.”
Released: 2012-10-25 :: Category: Games
Read the full story on AndroidRundown.
And we’ve cleared yet another week in 2012. Join us next weekend for another recap of the latest and greatest news from the week that was – and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest info on the hottest apps. Now go get the rest of your holiday shopping done!
This week at 148Apps.com, we got to known iOS developer Lady Shotgun. Jennifer Allen writes, “Doing things a little differently from the rest, Lady Shotgun considers itself as a co-operative of freelance game developers, with the team working remotely from each other rather than through a central office. It might be unorthodox but this team is made up of folks with some extensive experience in the game industry. Uniqueness continues through the fact that Lady Shotgun is made up, predominantly, of female game designers and coders with men forming the minority here.”
Released: 2012-10-28 :: Category: Games
GiggleApps.com headed to work for a review of the unique Grandpa’s Workshop. Amy Solomon says, “Grandpa’s Workshop is a fun interactive app which teaches about the tools found in a workshop as well as learning about simple math concepts.
I really enjoy how this app works, as a fun older gentleman walks children through workshop-related activities such as identifying tools, painting different projects or mending broken objects jigsaw style.
Simple math-related activities are also included such as using a tape measure to measure boards, cutting boards into fractions such as halves or quarters, choosing the correct number of screws or other parts grandpa needs as well as a spot-the-difference section involving tools that may be similar or different.”
Released: 2012-10-25 :: Category: Education
Finally, AndroidRundown.com’s KickStarter spotlight this week was for the BlueTube Amplifier. Joseph Bertolini writes, “Being a sort of audiophile I appreciate the sound of a classic tube amplifier and I recently just started re-downloading my favorite albums as lossless FLAC files to preserve that original sound quality. Looking around the market today, it is really a sad time for those who really care about the quality of their music as cheap parts are appearing from overseas and there is a resulting flood of bargain Bluetooth speakers and docks on the market. These sound terrible, and combined with the super-compressed audio files that the average user has in their music collection music really has taken a technological step backward at a time when there has been nothing but technological advances. Well, audiophiles and smartphone owners rejoice because I have discovered our savior and it does not come from the likes of Sony or any large corporation. Meet the BlueTube Bluetooth Tube Amplifier, and built out of solid cherry and walnut hardwood it promises to look as great as it sounds.”
Educators face a common plight, regardless of what they teach: how to inspire their students to be interested in the subject matter. Perhaps it’s down to human nature, that anything that must be learnt is immediately dismissed. I’m as guilty as many others, only truly appreciating the works of Shakespeare when it came to having the choice of reading his work. I’ve got a feeling, though, that if apps such as Explore Shakespeare were around when I was learning, it would have helped.
The Explore Shakespeare series has recently been released by the Cambridge University Press, offering users the chance to read the full play, listen to an audio performance of it (featuring the voices of actors such as Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale) as well as explore and analyze the content.
But how does it actually fare with its core market? Headmistress of St. Mary’s school, Cambridge, Charlotte Avery explained to us that the students were immediately enthusiastic during their time with the Romeo & Juliet app, she particularly enjoyed “the ease with which the students can find out the meaning of a word or phrase by simply tapping on it as they read,” as well as a “diagram of all the characters involved in a particular scene,” reducing any confusion that can come from understanding complex fight scenes in the play. The girls themselves explained that they appreciated the color photographs of professional productions “so that you can imagine what is going on” and that it was “fun to use.”
Given the school’s policy of “Bring Your Own Devices” into school, the Explore Shakespeare series looks set to be quite the hit there and hopefully elsewhere, too. Charlotte Avery explained it best that “bringing iPads into the classroom is the way to go!”, pointing out that it helps to “bridge the ‘disillusionment gap’ between what young people experience with technology inside and outside of school.”
It’s an interesting move for education and one that I’d heartily recommend. Anything that brings classic literature to life for a new generation has to be a good thing. The Explore Shakespeare apps are available now. They’re usually priced at $13.99, but currently on sale at $8.99 each.
Released: 2012-10-10 :: Category: Education
The summer break might be over but the quest to find new and exciting ways to entertain the kids continues on. We all want to make sure the kids near to us, whether they be our own kids or nieces and nephews, are suitably entertained while also instilling useful knowledge within them. DIY.org wants to do both and succeeds with aplomb.
The app helps kids build a portfolio of all the different things they make, whether they be fun drawings, technological creations or simply garden based projects. The app and accompanying website gives them a place to show off their talents as well as gain skill badges depending on what they’ve made. As a form of achievement, these badges focus the kids’ aim while also giving them a sense that they’ve gained something. We checked in with CEO, Zach Klein, to learn more about the site/app that has garnered around 20,000 users so far.
Zach explained to us that their main source of inspiration has come from the kids themselves and the “unique qualities” that the youngsters offer. “They’re simple people who are often passionate and capable of complex creativity,” he explains. “There aren’t many options for kids to contribute this special power to world. That’s what motivates us.”
Summing up what some of the best creations out there are, Zach demonstrated the sheer breadth of imagination from the kids using the service. Kids through DIY.org have made their own version of the popular game, Operation, a Stomp Rocket and a stop motion Nascar crash film. It’s great to see such variation, right down to the sweet tooth fairy pillow created for someone’s sister.
Each project can be assigned a positive comment or sticker with categories such as Awesome, Beautiful, Favorite and Genius ensuring that kids feel good about what they do. Zach explained that there are future plans afoot: “We plan to add social features to DIY so our members can make friends more easily. This will make it easier for them to share feedback and hopefully collaborate to make together.”
It all sounds quite exceptional and a great idea to keep the kids happy and stimulated. Why not try it out for yourself? The app is available now and it’s free.
While many parents are at least a little bit happy to have kids returning to school, a new school year also means new volunteer jobs for parents and volunteer coordination from the schools themselves. A new iPad app, Clipboard by VolunteerSpot, offers PTA members, coaches, fundraisers and class moms and dads a way to keep track of their obligations to their local schools.
The idea behind the app is to skip the sign-up sheets and mass emails in favour of directly accessing the necessary sign up information and then to let parents communicate efficiently with the right people to get the job done, be it planning a homecoming celebration or spending time as a classroom aide.
VolunteerSpot boasts that their coordination tools, which are primarily located on their website, “boost administrative and management efficiencies by up to 85 percent and increase parent participation by 20 percent.” If you or your school use the service or the app, we’d love to know what you think in the comments.
Reminding us that the iPad can be a great educational tool comes the rather impressively titled The Fun Way to Learn Algebra – FREE – Hands-On Equations 1 Lite.
The app, part of a series of educational tools from Hands On Equations, introduces the concept of algebraic concepts to children from the age of 8 upwards.
We’ve all experienced the difficulty of figuring out algebraic formulas at one time or another, while growing up. The Fun Way to Learn Algebra – FREE – Hands-On Equations 1 Lite hopes to make it fun!
An introductory video explains that users can move game pieces around a scale to represent the two sides of an equation, eventually simplifying and deciphering what’s going on. It’s a simple visual aid that should help those students who are struggling to understand it all.
The Fun Way to Learn Algebra – FREE – Hands-On Equations 1 Lite is free to download and use, while other products by the developer build upon the taster session. All are out now and priced between $3.99-$4.99. A small price to pay for unravelling the conundrum of algebra!
Released: 2012-08-07 :: Category: Education
Released: 2012-03-05 :: Category: Education
Released: 2012-04-26 :: Category: Education
Released: 2012-07-14 :: Category: Education
Fans of PBS Kids TV show Cyberchase will be delighted to see the arrival of Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader, an iPad app aimed at continuing the educational fun that the TV show is so famous for.
Aimed at 5-8 year olds, Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader offers a new story for fans to delve into, following an exciting problem that Hacker has left the Cybersquad with. Three hours of puzzles are promised as players set out to save Solaria from being transformed into a garbage dump.
Puzzles range from word hunts, spot what’s wrong with the picture, mazes, and create your own story sections. Topics that are taught include things such as alphabetical knowledge, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, as well as reading comprehension.
Together, it should prove an educational yet highly entertaining experience for kids.
Cyberchase: Ruckus Reader is available now for free, with an in-app purchase of $3.99 to unlock one story, or $5.99 to unlock both.
Medical students don’t always have access to cadavers, certainly not when outside of the classroom. This is a relief to many of us, but it’s far from practical for those students trying to study the human body. Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED aims to solve that problem.
Available for the iPad, Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED makes it possible to practice on a virtual cadaver, accurately replicating the cadaver dissection experience.
Five modules are available within the app, allowing for access to the skeletal and muscular systems, nervous system, cardiovascular, lymphatic and respiratory systems, digestive, urinary, reproductive and endocrine systems. There’s also room for body orientation, tissues, cells and chemistry.
Many different interactive slides, as well as detailed imagery, videos and animations ensure that this is a comprehensive package for medical students, along with a quiz facility. There’s even pronunciation tips for difficult to pronounce terms.
Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED might not be the cheapest of apps, costing $12.99 plus the same price again for extra modules, but for medical students, it should prove very valuable in giving them the extra edge in their studies.
Released: 2012-07-10 :: Category: Education
The Cozi Family Organizer has already given parents an easy, streamlined way to maintain their busy family lives. However, the back to school season is coming up and as usual it’s bringing a whole host of new problems to be dealt with. That’s why Cozi is lending another helping hand with their free, Back-to-School Survival Guide update.
The guide and its four main features are included with every download of the standard Family Organizer app. “What to Expect at Every Grade” is a list of educational and emotional milestones gathered from experts so parents can monitor their child’s development. It also has curriculum topics and school supply suggestions for smarter shopping. “Chore Guide” offers tips on how to handle chores and allowances while “Checklists for Kids” makes sure that once a family establishes a routine they stick to it. Finally, “Lunchbox Gallery” has ten lunchtime recipes for kids to try out.
Cozi is also offering a $100 back to school coupon pack to anyone who registers a new account online or through the app before August 31st. The Cozi Family Organizer with the new Back-to-School Survival Guide is available now for free on the App Store.
Released: 2010-12-21 :: Category: Productivity
I think there was a moment in my late childhood when my dad really wanted me to understand how cars work. I didn’t pay much attention, honestly, as I was generally lost in my own little world throughout my days of kid-dom. Today, though, there are times when I really wish I had paid more careful attention to the lessons of my youth. And that’s where How Cars Work comes in. Simply put, it’s an instructional app that teaches…yep…how cars work. From steering and suspension to powertrain and braking, pretty much all of the basics are covered in this tidy little app.
Now, in version 1.3.0, developer Aymen Alshawi has added a basic maintenance section to help those who may not know how to perform basic maintenance like changing a tire on their vehicle. It’s a handy and quick way to find information if it’s needed in an emergency, and while all makes and models are different, this app covers the basics that apply to pretty much every vehicle. And more is on the way in future update, including a guide to vehicle modifications.
Make up for those lost lessons of youth and learn a little more about your car with How Cars Work.
Thanks to advancements in technology, transportation, and communication, globalization is bringing the world’s populations closer together at an accelerating rate. As this continues though, it is important for us to stay aware of the hardships of those in places where safety is not guaranteed. UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, hopes to bring these struggles to light with My Life as a Refugee.
The game casts players as one of three refugees hoping to escape from any number of war-torn countries. As they attempt to find freedom they will be presented with the kinds of dilemmas facing actual refugees. How will they protect their families? What will they do if the smugglers become violent? Will they give up if they are caught by the army after coming so far? Through this virtual journey, players will start to understand why millions of people are so desperate to run, survive, and restart their lives.
“Every minute eight people are force to flee. What would you do?” My Life as a Refugee is available now for free on the App Store.
Released: 2012-06-28 :: Category: Games
This week at 148Apps.com, writer Carter Dotson explored all things Zombie with his Favorite Four list. He writes, “May is Zombie Awareness Month. While pop culture seems intent on making us aware of zombies on a regular basis, this is the special month for zombies. May is almost over, but that doesn’t mean there’s not just enough time left to celebrate with some zombie-themed apps.”
Released: 2012-02-27 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
Released: 2011-10-27 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, everything over at GiggleApps got dotty, as Amy Solomon reviewed Dot Collector, saying, “Dot Collector is a very nice universal app for the youngest children with simple game play, wonderfully bright colors and soothing sounds that babies will enjoy. This app is utterly intuitive to use as players need to simply drag moving dots into a black dot, clearing the board. A new dot is added to each additional level, adding to the game play.”
Released: 2012-02-29 :: Category: Education
Finally, Kevin Stout on 148Apps.biz reported on the increasing numbers of young children using smartphones. Stout writes, “There’s no such thing as to young when it comes to smartphones and tablets. When keeping in mind the younger audiences when developing apps, even the youngest of children have a high percentage of exposure to mobile devices. An infographic released by Schools.com has reported that 38% of 0-8 year-olds have used tablets or smartphones.”
That’t it for this Memorial Day week. Summer’s here, so keep your eyes on 148Apps.com, our Twitter and Facebook feeds to make sure you get the latest app news, reviews and contests. See you next week, tovarish!