Appealing Apps for Educators: Early Childhood

Sep 17, 2012
Education

Here’s a look at three great apps that are perfect for young children. Motion Math helps develop basic mathematics skills while Dino Dan uses augmented reality to help youngsters learn to inquire about and investigate the world around them. Finally, Art in Motion, though not originally designed with kids in mind, can help develop creativity […]

Here’s a look at three great apps that are perfect for young children. Motion Math helps develop basic mathematics skills while Dino Dan uses augmented reality to help youngsters learn to inquire about and investigate the world around them. Finally, Art in Motion, though not originally designed with kids in mind, can help develop creativity in young children.

Here’s an interview I did with Appolicious explaining how I approach app development from the perspective of being an ex kindergarten teacher.

Motion Math: Hungry Fish (Free)

In this tranquil setting of a muted underwater scene, there lives a special math game where young players use a combination of intuition, exploration and child-friendly tutorials to explore addition and subtraction. It is rare to find a game that can help teach number value, addition and subtraction, all essential to later learning, but Hungry Fish does. The player’s swiping action brings together bits of food in just the right amount to be accepted by numbered fish. The finicky fish only accept the correct number value in their “diet,” so players must be able to come up with a variety of combinations through adding and subtracting to feed the fish. The colorful, cartoony sea creatures react with excitement and aren’t afraid to show off a little personality, which is refreshing to see in a math game. Help make young learners hungry for math with Motion Math: Hungry Fish.

Dino Dan: Dino Cam (Free)

This is a fun augmented-reality app that helps bring together dino-loving members of a class or family with the rest of the group, because now everyone can use the camera function of the iPad to search for lifelike flying pterodactyls. This app may add play value to real-world moments in the same manner good prehistoric-themed books or toy sets do. Whether used at home, school, or on the go, the visual effects in this simple app spark imaginations as little ones describe the pterodactyl soaring across the living room or backyard. For those parents, teachers, day-care workers or camp counselors who enjoy inspiring young learners to take on habits of investigation and inquiry, this app can assist in that process. If you want the young paleontologists in your life to use better teamwork or collaboration in their interactions, try this app as they work together to search, describe and ponder these magnificent creatures, try Dino Dan: Dino Cam. It’s fantastically Jurassic!

READ  Top iOS Apps for Kids Ages 3-5

Art in Motion ($2.99, for iPad only)

Although Art In Motion was not originally designed with young kids in mind, recent updates make it an app that I can now recommend for families and classrooms with young children. Like experimentation with colorful finger paints or magnets that attract and repel, Art in Motion offers open-ended explorations. The game’s 10 modes include painting with fleeting streaks of color, experimenting with faceted gems that are attracted to the player’s touch, and moving orbs that can be maneuvered in interesting ways. Children will delight at their interactions with geometric shapes, waves light and compelling physics. Adults will happily note that one can adjust the speed of Art in Motion so these displays are not too fast-paced for your child’s particular learning style. More mature players will enjoy exploring record/edit/replay features as well, but for very young players and children with special needs, I find just enjoying the open-ended interactive play, at various speeds, can become a thought-provoking app experience for the budding artist.


Frances Judd is a concept designer, teacher and educational consultant who brings her unique expertise and passion for creative learning to the Mrs. Judd’s Games app line, developed by KBooM! Games. She integrates important classroom lessons, Common Core Standards and popular children’s play themes into her games such as superhero or puppy play. Her titles include Chalk Walk, Snowflake Station, Left Right Pup, Rhinomite, and the soon to be released Crabby Writer.

Mrs. Judd utilizes relationships with classroom teachers, parents, occupational therapists, after-school experts and reading specialists to provide input and feedback as she creates and revises apps that place children at the helm of their own learning. She posts her research notes and a teacher’s guide for each app.

Mrs. Judd taught kindergarten for 25 years at the prestigious Francis Parker School in Chicago. She posts about technology and early learning regulary to her blog and her column at Examiner.com and Edutopia.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Frances Judd

 

Frances Judd is a concept designer, teacher and educational consultant who brings her unique expertise and passion for creative learning to the Mrs. Judd’s Games app line, developed by KBooM! Games. She integrates important classroom lessons, Common Core Standards and popular children’s play themes into her games such as superhero or puppy play. Her titles include Chalk Walk, Snowflake Station, Left Right Pup, Rhinomite, and the soon to be released Crabby Writer.

Mrs. Judd utilizes relationships with classroom teachers, parents, occupational therapists, after-school experts and reading specialists to provide input and feedback as she creates and revises apps that place children at the helm of their own learning. She posts her research notes and a teacher’s guide for each app.

Mrs. Judd taught kindergarten for 25 years at the prestigious Francis Parker School in Chicago. She posts about technology and early learning regulary to her blog and her column at Examiner.com and Edutopia.com. She can also be found on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

 

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