educational apps

educational apps

Cell and Cell Structure App Makes Biology Fun

I hated my freshman biology class! My professor was a billion years old and she made biology seem about as interesting as watching paint dry. Actually, one day, I did literally watch the paint dry on the wall across the hall instead of actively listening to my professor. Sadly, there were very few fun, interesting, and actually educational resources available in my classroom. If only my professor had an iPad.

Brand new to the Apple iPad, Cell and Cell Structure has been named one of the New and Noteworthy apps. So what is this app? Well, the name basically sums it all up. Cell and Cell Structure is a science-based app that teaches users about cells and their various structures through interactive activities, videos, and diagrams.

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MindSnacks Raises $1.2 Million to Create More Games

MindSnacks Slug LogoMobile game creator MindSnacks recently raised $1.2 million to create new educational games. MindSnack currently has two foreign language apps, MindSnacks Spanish and MindSnacks French. Each app features six games which help users improve their reading, writing, and listening skills, in addition to expanding vocabulary and sharpening conversational abilities. The games can appeal to users of all ages, and can be a fun way to get motivated about practicing another language.

The funding came from a variety of sources, reports TechCrunch, including 500 Startups, StartupAngel, DreamIt Ventures, David Jesk and Felicis Ventures.

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Vitamin Adventures of Don and Flip for iPad Offers a Lesson in Healthy Eating

Educational iPad AppOur wish has been granted! In my review of Punflay’s Kandy Fish app, I wrote that I hoped they would create a library of interactive stories. One of their newest iPad apps is another such story, called The Vitamin Adventures of Don and Flip. The interactive story is designed to teach kids about vitamins and the foods that have them.

The story follows Don and Flip as they intact with the fellow inhabitants of GoGoo Island and learn about the vitamins in different foods. Each food they encounter comes with a quick game, followed by a description of that vitamin. Kids will also learn what foods contain each vitamin and the list is unfalteringly healthy. In addition to the story book, there’s a learning page, that contains descriptions of each vitamin. Many of the storybook’s pages also feature interactive animations, in addition to the games.

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Mathomatix iPhone App Introduces Kids to Measurement Concepts

Measurement from MathomatixAnother app in the Mathomatix series from Emantras, Measurement teaches kids about the basics of weight, time, volume and length. Like other Mathomatix apps for kindergartners and young kids, such as Number Sense and Alzebra, Measurement features five animated games that teach basic principles of math.

Measurement, as you can guess, focuses on principles of measuring. The “Crazy Clock” game teaches the basics of telling the time. “Scale Tale” asks kids to pick the heavier or lighter of two everyday objects. “Fill Me Up” teaches a lesson in volume, while “Long & Short” asks the player about the length of objects. Finally, there’s “Action Month,” a puzzle game that prompts the player to assemble the letter of the month.

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Immersive German Helps Beginners Get Momentum

learn german appLearning another language is a horizon-broadening experience, but it can be hard to get started. Fortunately, new tools powered by mobile devices are helping students learn foreign languages by new and exciting methods. The Immersive German app for iPhone and iPad is one of these tools.

Some of my readers may remember me geeking out over French-Language apps from Erasmos because I’ve spent a lot of time studying French, but I have to say I know very little German. Immersive German, as you might expect, takes an immersive approach to teaching a German and uses as little spoken English as possible. It uses pictures an spoken words to convey lessons. There are ten lessons which teach you very basics, which is perfect for a beginner like me.

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Taking a French Class? We’ve Got the Apps

French Language AppI took a French course just about every year of my education, from second grade to my senior year at Sarah Lawrence College. I’d like to imagine that I’ve been exposed to a lot of strategies of teaching French, many of which are less exciting than others. I was recently sent two apps that aim to help students learn aspects of the French language from Erasmos: French Gender and French Numbers. I would have benefited greatly from these tools.

Even as an advanced speaker of French-as-a-second language, I know that gender is something I still struggle with using correctly. During the year I spend studying in Paris, I used my dictionary to look up the gender of words constantly. The French Gender app for iPhone comes with an impressive reference section that includes 66 word-ending possibilities, color-coded by gender. Click into each ending to find a list of examples and a list of exceptions, each accompanied by its English translation. You can also click each word to hear it pronounced. There’s a section to practice your ability to apply these rules. For those who want to give the app a test-run before purchasing, you can try the free version which only includes six word-endings.

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Punflay Expands Their iPad Library with Rhymes for Tots

rhymes-for-totsPunflay, the creator of the Kandy Fish picture book app, has expanded its digital library for kindergarteners and preschoolers with a nursery rhyme app. The Ryhmes for Tots iPad app features animated versions of classic children’s rhymes, including “Humpty Dumpty”, “Jack and Jill” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Each rhyme is currently available for 99 cents, and each comes with five related activities.

I took a look at the “Humpty Dumpty” rhyme. During the animation, children can see the words and hear them at the same time, which can encourage reading skills. The additional activities include a rhyming game, a matching game, a simple puzzle, connect-the-dots, and a shape search.

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Can Alzebra iPhone App Teach Kindergarteners Algebra?

alzebra-iphone-appThe creator of the Number Sense iPhone app, Mathomatix, has released another cute app to teach kindergartners about math. This round, they’re upping the ante with the claim that Alzebra can teach five-year-olds algebra.

While the Alzebra iPhone and iPod Touch app does teach children important pattern recognition skills, it seems like a stretch to call this algebra. Let us recall that algebra is the part of math that uses letters or other symbols to represent numerical quantities in equations.

Algebra claims aside, Alzebra comes equipped with five charmingly animated games: Pizza Mania, Tummy Time, Space Rock, Number Strike, and Sound Sequence. All the games involve some element of pattern recognition. Number Strike also develops hand-eye coordination. Tummy Time, a matching game using cartoon animals, uses the iPhone’s tilt sensor for a fun twist in game play: users move a character by tipping the device, not by touching the screen.

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Kandy Fish Is an Interactive Picture Book for iPad

kandy-fishReminiscent of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, Kandy Fish from Punflay is an educational iPad app that’s aimed at teaching preschoolers colors and shapes. The main feature of the app is an iterative picture book that kids can either watch as an animated cartoon or experience in a “book” format with a voice-over feature that reads the text as the user turns each page. The colorful fish teach a lesson in color, shape and direction.

The app also features four age-appropriate games. “Kandy Kolor” is a virtual coloring book, depicting the pages of the picture book. Preschoolers and kindergartners will enjoy this activity, although older users who wish to color “inside the lines” may find the touch-screen capacities on the iPad somewhat limited for drawing. The “Color Pots” game develops color and matching skills, and the “Kandy Fun” game helps kids identify patterns. The “Kandy Time” game teaches preschoolers about shape and direction. “Kandy Time” is slightly less intuitive than the other games, so kids might need a parent or older sibling to show them how to play.

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Study for Geometry Class with the Geometry Stash iPhone App

geometry-stash-viewAre you taking or teaching a geometry class? Then you’ll want to check out the Geometry Stash iPhone App created by Apparent Etch, a useful quick-reference tool for iPhone. The app is a dictionary of geometry postulates and theorems, and each is illustrated with a diagram. Users can find terms by using a search, or scroll through the definitions alphabetically.

Geometry Stash has an additional feature that turns it into a teaching tool. Users can connect their iPhones to an external display with a VGA adapter and project the diagrams onto a bigger screen. This feature would be great in a class room or for a group study session.

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