Autodesk Digital STEAM Visual Design

Common Sense Media says

Cool, free interactive textbook teaches design in 3-D.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

There are no instructions, but moving through each section is relatively easy. Kids need to be able to read independently to understand the concepts.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

You don't need to submit any personal information to use the app. There's no link to the Autodesk privacy policy in the app, but you can find it on the developer's website.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Autodesk Digital STEAM Visual Design is one of three STEAM -- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math -- apps from Autodesk, known for many professional-level engineering and architecture products. This free tool is like an impressive, interactive textbook putting kids in a 3-D design environment to learn terminology and principles of visual design in an environment they very likely will use for design.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Arts

  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpture

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The design is beautiful, and the material is high-interest for kids who want to learn about visual design. A few elements are interactive, which will help engage young users.

Learning Approach

Kids should get a pretty comprehensive feel for each design concept by reading about it and seeing examples both in created and real-world images.

Support

There are no instructions or help, but the interface is intuitive. Autodesk's Digital STEAM website offers ideas for applying new knowledge.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Arts

  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpture

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn elements and principles of visual design with this interactive textbook. They'll learn about the elements of space, points, lines, shapes, forms, value, texture, and color. They'll also learn the principles of balance, emphasis, rhythm, unity, proportion, contrast, continuation, and economy. Finally, kids can practice reading and gathering information from nonfiction texts. Autodesk Digital STEAM Visual Design is a good tool for individualized, self-directed learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

AUTODESK DIGITAL STEAM VISUAL DESIGN takes kids through elements and principles of visual design in the same 3-D design space used in design software. Each element or principle is defined and then shown visually. The "learn more" section further explains the concept with text and images, giving how-to examples as well as real-world examples. The other apps in the Autodesk Digital STEAM curriculum include Measurement and Applied Mechanics and are designed to introduce kids to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This interactive textbook does a beautiful job of showing the principles of visual design, with written explanations that are easy to understand. The visual examples clearly demonstrate the principles and reinforce understanding, although it would be nice if there were more audio options.

This isn't a game or creation tool, though. Kids will take what they learn here and use other design tools to put their new knowledge into practice.

Families can talk about...

  • Check out SketchBook Pro to give kids a tool to practice their newfound visual-design knowledge.

  • Visit an art museum to explore and discuss the design principles your kids have just read about, or check out art and design books from the library.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:May 16, 2013
Category:Education
Size:41.50 MB
Publisher:Autodesk Inc.
Version:3.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

This review of Autodesk Digital STEAM Visual Design was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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