Kandoobi: Animal Edition

Kandoobi: Animal Edition

by Kandoobi

Has your child “kandoobi” lately?  Are you wondering what that even means?  If so, then it’s time to meet the next educational app developers from Kandoobi.  They are a development group designing apps so “kids can do” on their own or with the support of a parent.  They recently released Kandoobi: Animals Edition for all Apple devices running iOS 4.3 or later.  It is a creative application designed for toddlers and preschoolers.  This target audience love to manipulate and explore.  Well, now it is time to accomplish those two things as they encounter 100+ adorable animals all dolled up.  For $2.99 and one simple download, users will get their hands on four interactive games.   Whether you are playing at home, school or on the go, your child will soon be saying they “kando.” Kandoobi: Animal Edition encourages letter recognition, builds one’s creativity and imagination and allows users to manipulate and match animals from all types of environments.  Come fly, swim, slither or walk in order to have some fun!

Knowing the population that this educational app was designed for, developers have certainly created a very kid friendly navigation menu, intuitive tasks and buttons as directions are very short and sweet.  In addition, we immediately noticed how both verbal and visual representations were incorporated on the main menu as a way to support all learning styles. Whether your child is a toddler, preschooler or grade level, they want to hear or see words of encouragement.  Throughout each game, reinforcements are presented as auditory sounds such as: a bounce, pop or magical stars. As they game for a reason, users will certainly not be surprised or confused when they play the pre-installed games – Letters, Coloring, Scratch & Fill or Matching.

Letters –  Upon entering the first academic game, users are presented with a 6 page catalogue of animals to choose from. Whether the animal is known as a creature to fear or “ooh and ahh” over, illustrators have done a nice job at designing colorful and eye pleasing graphics with their wonderful expressions and unusual accessories. It is up to the user where they would like to begin.  As an animal is chosen, game play within Letters continues in order from that particular animal.   Immediately, users will notice that the screen is divided into three parts: draggable Scrabble pieces on the left, animal graphic on the right and its corresponding word at the bottom, grayed out.  It is up to the user to match those grayed out letters at the bottom with those Scrabble like pieces by simply dragging and dropping them into their correct places. If a Scrabble like piece is tapped, the narrator will announce that letters name. As users begin to recognize and match letters, it is also important to note that they do not have to be dropped in any particular order.  If letters are dropped incorrectly, they will bounce back.  Once the animal’s name is spelled, both letters and animal will animate across the screen.  Game play continues as the train drops off and introduces the next animal friend.

The next gaming option is Coloring which allows users to be creative as they learn various art skills.  As they color with Kandoobi: Animal Edition, children will build their vocabulary of color names while manipulating three writing utensils: a pencil, paint brush and an eraser.  Coloring exploration can occur in two ways, with those animals previously seen in the “animal catalogue” or as free choice.  Regardless of which is chosen, users are given a paint palette of both primary and secondary colors. Depending on a users age and creative need will determine if a thin lined pencil or a thick stroke of a paint brush is required for their coloring page.  If mistakes are made, no need to panic, developers have also included an eraser.  As coloring pages are complete, share them with others by simply tapping the button in the upper left hand corner, as it is saved to your devices camera roll.

Does your child or student have difficulty with their fine motor skills, but love to be creative?  Then, the next gaming option of Scratch & Fill is just what you are looking for. Scratch & Fill does not require users to stay within the lines, simply swipe your finger from left to right, up and down and the colors will come alive within the picture. The last gaming feature called Matching is one that has children manipulating with puzzles.  At the top of the screen users will see an outline of an animal.  While at the bottom of the screen are three choices.  The goal is to simply drag, drop and match the correct animal puzzle piece.

Kandoobi: Animal Edition is very academically appropriate for this age level.  It provides just the right amount of repetition, supports ones creativity, and allows for independence.  It is an educational app that disguises learning as fun.  To learn more about the Kandoobi development group be sure to visit their website here.  If you are looking to stimulate your child’s need for creativity and imagination, then begin downloading Kandoobi: Animal Edition to your iTunes library by simply clicking here.

This review and many others are featured on Fun Educational Apps, AppStar Picks and iear.org

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Happipets

Happipets

by Happi

Come play with letters in order to build and spell words that look like animals or imaginary creations.  Use your fine motor skills to rotate, enlarge, move and flip objects to manipulate your ABC’s as you explore in three modes: plAy, Beasts, and Create. Launched in early February, developers from Happi created Happipets, an usual approach to spelling words for your iPad device running iOS 4.3 or later.  It is designed with a younger generation in mind, however, even the oldest of children and adults will enjoy exploring.  What pets will your child create?   With 12 real animals, 12 imaginary ones and over 140 letters to build just about anything, your child will feel like they are watching an episode of Word World on PBS Kids.  Drag, drop and recognize animal names or individual letters to your workable canvas as letters turn into a picture or scene.

As you initially explore Happipets, Applicable2U would suggest that you collaboratively work with your child(ren).  As developers state in their iTunes description, this educational app is not the usual spelling app.  Regardless, with a kid friendly appearance and support systems in place, children and parents will have fun building a happipet.  Get the hang of Happipets by starting in the “plAy” mode. At the top of your canvas will be a scrolling feature which alphabetically lists your 12 real world animals.  Come play and learn about such animals as a dog, flamingo, lion or rabbit.  Amazingly letters are artistically designed in their color and detail.  With a single tap of the animals name your scroll bar will disappear and exploration can begin. The objective is to manipulate each letter around the page by enlarging, shrinking, moving, or rotating it to transform from a word to an actual animal picture.  Whether you are an adult or a child, this concept visually may be challenging, but not to worry.  At the bottom of the screen, users might find it helpful to click the “help” button.  This help feature is the giveaway to your end result, however, you will find yourself using it multiple times.

While building your animal, learn a few interesting facts about it by clicking the “information” button in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Need to start fresh and put your letters back to default in the scroll bar, click the trash can and it will clear your canvas. To access your scroll bar, simply click the pull down tab at the top of your screen.  Users will know that a letter has been manipulated and dropped into its correct place when they hear a locking sound. After the animal has been correctly draw, an appropriate background or environment will suddenly appear.  A note to the developers – might it be possible to offer in the scroll feature a single and double tap.  The single tap could say that animals name and the double tap option could drop it on the users canvas.  Without adult supervision as it is set now, users will not know what animal they are learning to spell or create.  In addition, we would love to see an audio feature added in two areas.  First, as a user manipulates letters, it would great to hear that letter announced for letter recognition reinforcement.  In addition, we would love to see that interesting facts could be shared aloud by simply tapping a microphone icon.

As you move from playing with real animals, it is now time to play with mythological ones.  Ever heard of a delipolk or a dufou??  With those same features found in the plAy mode, come explore the Beast mode.  As we navigated our way through this round, we immediately made a connection to a science project that was done in a 5th grade class.   Students had to create an animal of their choice, but were required to explain what it was, what were its predators or prey, what adaptations were necessary for it to survive and where could it be found.  With the implementation of a drawing and word processing program, this project came to life.  As technology has changed over the years, this Beast mode would be a great update to our animal studies project. As the animal comes to life and is locked into place, take a screen shot on your iPad device by simply clicking at the same time the home and sleep button.  This screen shot can then be found in your camera roll and inserted into any document.

The last area for exploration is the Create mode.  Here users will be able to select random letters as a way to create their own pets.  Since this design is by users choice, the help button is no longer present.  However, a saving, scene and sharing feature has been added. Choose from a laundry list of letters and designs, 24 different scenes to add your animal too and the option to share your creation via Facebook and/or email.  A note to the developers – might it be possible to put a parental lock on the sharing option for the safety of those using the application.  In addition, it might be interesting to add a feature to your website that would allow Happipet application users to upload and share their creations with your followers.

Overall, Applicable2U enjoyed our exploration with Happipets.  It is an application that fits at home and at school.  It endorses creativity and the possibilities to collaborate with others in a fun way.  If you would like to contact the developers, Happi, please visit their website here.  We were encouraged to see that new letters and animals will be added for free in the next round of updates.  To add Happipets to your iPad device, please click here to begin your $1.99 download today!

Animated Puzzles

Animated Puzzles

by Alexandre Minard © AR Entertainment

And so our review tonight continues with our “learning is fun” series from AR Entertainment as we travel across the world building puzzles to learn about animals, their habitats and the geography that surrounds them. With colorful graphics, Animated Puzzles turns your Apple device into a virtual wooden board as pieces are zipping around their environment while offering a 2 dimensional feel. Travel across the continents of North and South America, get a little chilly in the Arctic, dive deep into the Atlantic and Indian Ocean and explore what Africa, Australia, and Asia have to offer. Animated Puzzles is designed for all Apple devices running iOS 3.0 or later, however, for those implementing it with an iPad device, it works best with the latest operating system. Like all other “learning is fun” app collections, Animated Puzzles is initially a free download offering young builders two animals, a penguin and a camel. To extend their animal adventures seven additional animals can be unlocked with an in-app purchase of $1.99. Animated Puzzles has a great deal of potential as it enhances visual and spatial skills and works on one’s hand-eye coordination.

Upon entering this educational app, users will be presented with a map of the world as satellites hone in on particular parts of the world. Simply tap an unlocked animal and piece their environment back together. In a future update, we would love for users to hear the animals name when tapped prior to entering their environment. This would provide the target audience more exposure to new vocabulary. Environments will initially appear dull and boring, as it is your goal to drag and drop the colored images to their correct place. Each puzzle contains anywhere from 10-15 pieces. But be warned that parts of the wooden environment will move. By selecting one piece of the puzzle you will make all other pieces invisible, making it slightly easier to locate where that piece belongs. By locking all animals, plants and geography into place, users will make the environment come to life. As you navigate and learn about animals all over the world and ocean, users will find it very easy to navigate from one location to another. However, as we manipulated certain puzzles we found that the animation was rather fast and at times very busy. A note to the developers – might it be possible to incorporate a scroll bar feature at the bottom of each environment that would allow users to slow down or speed up those pieces that are animated. By adding this feature, children of all learning styles and needs can be successful without frustration. Whether you travel to one or all locations, puzzles can be repeated at any time.

Animated Puzzles is designed for children ages 2-6 and as most parents know their little sponges are looking for any new knowledge that they can. This educational app can be incorporated in a number of ways. For the early toddler population, it’s about having fun with animals as they build, manipulate and develop their fine motor skills. In doing so, they can most certainly be independent learners. As children near the preschool age, the question and need for information develops. With parent interaction and conversation, children could discuss animal names as they compare and contrast the different environments. For those nearing school age, they are capable of doing all of the above, however, I think they might like an added feature. In a future update, might it be possible as the environment comes to life that a WOW fact is presented and read aloud. It could be a feature that is turned on/off when necessary and with each return visit to an environment a new fact is learned.

Overall, Applicable2U liked Animated Puzzles. To gain the fullest potential and possibilities of return visits around the world, users will want to have access to the full version. Yes, having seven additional animals to build and play with is great, however, Applicable2U believes it needs a little bit more. Possibly some of our suggestions will come in handy. As mentioned in our previous post, to learn more about AR Entertainment and Animated Puzzles, please visit their website here. To set off on your animal travels of the world today, simply click here to add Animated Puzzles to your iTunes library.

I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! HD

I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animal! HD

By Tribal Nova

With the recent talk of iPads in education, particularly with those in kindergarten, it seems fitting that this educational app came up for review. With familiar characters like Babu, the meerkat from PBS Sprout, preschoolers to kindergartners will be able to make an immediate personal connection. Tribal Nova has recently launched to your iTunes library, I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! HD.  Designed for children and students ages 3-7, this science application will do so much more than entertain your little one.  With the wonderful components of the iPad, this educational app will appeal to any child, as it individualizes their experience, while developing their vocabulary and building upon the science curriculum.  Users will explore within three different life science adventures:  Level 1 – Appearance, Level 2 –  Habitat and Level 3 – Living Habits in order to find Babu’s friends: Bruce, Ronda and Wendall.

Applicable2U understands that educators need to provide their young population with a variety of educational experiences through various forms of instruction. Through the integration of technology like an iPad, children will flourish in a whole other way not necessarily seen with traditional forms of instruction.  Tribal Nova is making this happen as they are encouraging the concept of “gaming for a reason” as they connect mobile learning with the National Standards.  For this reason, Applicable2U whole heartedly believes that I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! HD should be added to your download library.

An educational app that appeals to all learning styles from visual to kinesthetic. With a very kid friendly main menu and clear directions, users will be able to navigate independently as it is appropriate.   Upon entering, simply select an adventure by tapping the volcano, statue, or the hut.  For first time users, it might be best if levels are completed sequentially.  Regardless of the level chosen,  users will need their map, listening and comprehension skills and science vocabulary in order to find Babu’s friends.  As they explore they will be learning and also reinforcing life science as it relates to an animals physical characteristics, natural environments and specific behaviors.  To avoid frustration, activities are not timed but difficulty will increase as it is adapted to the users progress.  I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! HD can be incorporated throughout a Life Science lesson or unit.  According to our district benchmarks, students should be able to: observe, classify, describe and compare/contrast as it relates to living things.  From an educators point of view, this early elementary application has many places within a classroom setting as a whole, individual, whole group model.

Whole Group – as life science is introduced to students, simply connect your iPad device to a large screen which is then projected overhead so all students can become apart of the learning experience. With the implementation of this science application, a teacher could explore a few pieces of each level in order to see what prior knowledge of animals the whole class has.  Without any judgement, teachers would be conducting the first parts of an interactive KWL chart.  As the class explores, the teacher could be observing and note taking child responses which would then guide further instruction and at what level each student should begin at when technology is applied individually.

Individual – within any preschool or kindergarten classroom, visitors will notice that children will move from station to station in order to develop academic skills.  If a 1:1 iPad model is accessible in your classroom or building, mobile learning is truly at its best.  We have suggested that Tribal Nova incorporate a multi-user option in case 1:1 is not an option which would store a users information as to continue the learning experience with each return visit.   Through this individual approach, students will progress at their own pace.  A note to the developers – it might be a nice added touch if you could tap on Babu or some other object/button to define certain science terms unfamiliar to the user.  If this is not a possibility, an accommodation could be added to this center which provides those in need, a vocabulary reminder sheet.  As visual or verbal reinforcement is accompanied, students can begin to self assess their own understanding of living things.

Whole Group – as a lesson or unit is finished, come back as a whole class and incorporate I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! HD to assess what was learned by the group.  Returning back to the initial interactive KWL chart, the teacher and students will be able to see where students are successful or repeated instruction is necessary.  An educator should observe students grasping key science terms, having developed their ability to compare/contrast and to observe through the use of clues.  For those that require repeated instruction, it might be useful to share with parents this application and how it too can be used at home with a parent and/or individually.

If you come in contact with preschoolers or kindergarteners, and you are an educator, home schooler or parent, this application applies to you. Through familiar characters, science and literacy is developed while having fun.  If you would like to learn more about Tribal Nova, please visit their website here.  Or you can begin downloading I Learn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! HD from your iTunes library here.