A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Agnitus – Personal Learning Program is a collection of math and literacy games that increase in difficulty as kids progress. In addition to teaching academic skills, a few games address other topics, from tooth brushing to career choices. Once kids are in the game cycle, they can play indefinitely, without stopping, so parents may want to set and enforce time limits.
Agnitus is available through a monthly subscription; kids can access all available games, and parents get detailed progress reports (including weekly emails). For parents, there also are numerous opportunities to post information about your kids' progress on Facebook (though parents can always choose not to). There is a free version that allows limited access, and parents and kids can try out the full version with a seven-day free trial.
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What's it about?
Kids practice math and language skills like counting, tracing letters, patterns, and letter recognition, among others. Kids can choose where to start, but the games are presented at random and continue indefinitely, until kids click themselves out. As they progress, the material gets more difficult. Kids can collect stars by playing games, although the larger purpose of the stars is unclear. Parents can see very detailed progress reports, which describe what their kids are playing and suggest areas of strength and opportunities for growth.
Is it any good?
AGNITUS- PERSONAL LEARNING PROGRAM has lots of well-designed games that provide great practice and opportunities for skill building. The app's biggest strength is the way the challenge level grows, so each student is continuously challenged at his or her level. There's also nice in-game support for kids having trouble choosing the right answer. Detailed progress reports give parents valuable information about what their kids are learning.
However, there are also a few games that are either poorly explained or that present information witout enough context. For example, the purpose of a counting game with different types of food might be confusing to some kids. Also, when a letter-tracing game announces that "L is the shape your left hand makes," more explanation could help kids connect this concept with other knowledge. The app's overall functionality and design leaves something to be desired; games jump from one topic to another, there are "posters" for unrelated games during transitions, and the audio directions sound unnatural.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: Mac, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, reading
Math: addition, counting, numbers, patterns, shapes, subtraction
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, memorization, prediction, problem solving
- Pricing structure: Free to Try, Paid
- Subscription price: $6.99/month
- Release date: October 24, 2013
- Category: Education
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Size: 247.00 MB
- Publisher: Agnitus
- Version: 2.0.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later;
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