Tam & Tao in Numberland
by Les Trois Elles
Lets go on an adventure through the jungle, the high seas or even outer space. Tam and Tao are two very adorable characters that travel through Numberland. While exploring number, Tam and Tao visit various locations. As you enter the application, a user has four choices: 123 play, draw, count and a parent note. Of all the preschool applications that I have downloaded, I do not recall any other developer which thought to include a note to parents.
Prior to beginning this review I happen to read an article on technology gadgets and children in the latest edition of Parent Magazine . Debating on the validity of using TV and technology as a way to babysit or teach our children according to some. Deborah Linebarger, Ph.D, director of the Children’s Media Lab at the University of Pennsylvania said, that an educational app can be summed up in one word: CONTENT. “A well-designed program can improve literacy or math skills and boost school readiness no matter what format it’s delivered on.” Numberland is definitely well-designed app that can most certainly improve a toddlers number sense.
As mentioned in their parent note, Numberland expands upon just being able to sing their 123’s. Regardless of being a part of the Montessori school pedagogy or not, it truly develops their knowledge of one-to-one correspondence. As you enter each number adventure, numbers are said and then written. I loved that the “directional arrows” were present visually showing users how to create the number. To expand their experience with each number, users can touch various objects that represent groups of that chosen number. The graphics are adorable and almost seem origami like. Just a thought to the developers – might it be useful while in 123 count to also have them drag their fingers over the number to better understand the purpose of the directional arrows?
As mentioned earlier, there are different modes. If a user chooses “Counting” a child will get a first hand experience of what the number really means. Various visual aides are provided. When reviewing this application, I happened to be on my iTouch. I was a little concerned as I think this app was initially designed for the iPad. I only use the word “concerned” because the sticks that the user has to drag were very close together and I was not sure if it might cause frustration. I wonder whether the appearance of the sticks might be different for a user on an iPad.