By Fiona Passantino
Good educational apps for our expat kids
The Spring Edition: Learning about Science
Spring is the time to examine bugs under a microscope, follow the flight paths of butterflies, dig for dinosaur bones and learn about the stars. This spring we take a look at science learning apps for tablet and phone.
So, to the apps…
The Human Body
By Tinybop Inc.
A beautiful app for iPads, this takes a visual approach to learning about the human body. No reading required here, kids will have a little, layered person to work with and study, feed and manipulate. The many layers include the skeleton, nervous system, muscle system, blood circulation, and most fun of all: the digestive system which allows you to feed your little person a variety of foods and watch them go through the system. Fun little noises too.
SkyView® - Explore the Universe
By Terminal Eleven LLC
This is a classic, one of the first learning apps out there. With a remarkable number of updates, this app has only gotten better over time. Stand outside under the night sky and “read” the constellations. The interface is clear and intuitive and the app works fluidly and easily, giving off information in real-time as you move your tablet around. The only problem is you will need a tablet with a phone card to enable you to use it outside at night, which is where this app really comes to life.
by Distant Train
Pocket Dinosaurs is a small-scale dinosaur learning app for smartphones. It is fun and animated and can be used at home or at school, individually or in a group. Each short film goes into detail about how they lived, what they ate, how they developed and how they were discovered. All the favorites - Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Pteranodon – are there. There is also a special section about fossils, evolution and paleontology. This is a nice, little app to keep kids busy in the supermarket, on road trips or at the bank when you just need them to be occupied for a moment.
Fiona Passantino is the founder of The App Train (www.theapptrain.com), a small, app design and development company with a dual focus: building commercial apps, iPad magazines, folios and mobile content for clients and building learning apps for children as an independent micropublisher for Apple and Android. Fiona lives in The Hague with her husband and two small but highly competent app testers-and-debuggers aged five and ten.