Alien Assignment

Common Sense Media says

Cute storyline for problem solving; great family fun.

Age(i)

2
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8
9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The characters in the app give very clear, kid-friendly verbal instructions throughout the activity. It requires the use of the camera on the device.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alien Assignment is an app that encourages problem solving and family interaction. Kids help the Gloop family fix their spaceship by taking photos of objects they think might help solve specific problems like a leak or a stuck steering wheel. Then, they hand the device with their photos over to a parent or adult to review. The review is a great opportunity for parents to take part and talk with kids about their thinking. Alien Assignment is an engaging and active family activity that adults and kids can enjoy together.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • problem solving
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The premise of the Gloop family story is well thought-out and executed. Illustrations and animations are cartoony, and kids will enjoy them. A must-have for some family fun.

Learning Approach

The photo-assignment prompts inspire critical-thinking skills. Kids must apply information to their real-life environments -- for example, exploring to find an object that fits -- which may lead them to think outside the box.

Support

The photo review provides kids with feedback on their solutions and gives parents a way to begin conversations about important learning topics. Kids get step-by-step instruction on how to take pictures using an iOS-style camera.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • problem solving
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to problem solve, investigate, and think creatively as they figure out what is needed to fulfill their photo assignments. In searching their immediate environment, they might discover objects they weren't thinking of to solve the Gloop family's problems. Additionally, kids get step-by-step instruction on how to take pictures using an iOS-style camera -- a useful digital skill to add to their toolkits. Alien Assignment gives kids a chance to do some high-tech sleuthing with a clever blend of real-world and other-worldly fun.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

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What's it about?

In ALIEN ASSIGNMENT, kids are on a mission to help the Gloop family fix their spaceship. The narrator instructs kids to take photos of objects that can help solve various problems. For example, there is a leak, so they need something that can hold liquid. Parents can set the number of pictures required per round from 4 to 20. After each round, kids pass the device to an adult who verifies that the object photographed will solve the specific problem. If parents give the photos a thumbs-up, kids can watch the ship getting fixed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Alien Assignment is a fantastic opportunity for kids to be active while engaged with an educational app. It also does a great job of involving parents in kids' learning. The photo review provides kids with feedback on their solutions and also gives parents a way to begin conversations with kids about important learning topics.

The premise of the Gloop family story is thought out and well executed. The illustrations and animations are cartoony and something kids will enjoy. The picture prompts change with each use, so kids can replay for a new learning experience. Alien Assignment is a "must have" for some family fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Ask your kids to explain their thinking when they bring photos to you for review. Ask them questions like "Why did you choose this object?" and "How will this help the Gloops fix their spaceship?" 

  • Encourage your kids to come up with creative and alternate solutions to everyday situations. Ask your kids "How else might we do this?"

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:August 3, 2012
Category:Education
Topics:Space and aliens
Size:53.30 MB
Publisher:Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Alien Assignment 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.

Find out more

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