Alphabots

Common Sense Media says

Robots prove not to be the best teachers of the ABCs.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids just learning letters may find the graphic representations confusing. They must tap the arrow button or play to advance through the games, which isn't intuitive for this target audience.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A link to other apps by the developer is visible only on the start screen and is protected by a kid-lock code.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The privacy policy states that the developer doesn't collect any personal information through its apps.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alphabots includes six mechanical-themed, alphabet-related activities -- learn, find, build, turn, slide, and spell -- to help kids master the ABCs. Some preschoolers may find the computer-generated robot voice difficult to understand and the letters assembled from mechanical parts hard to recognize. Kids also must tap arrows or the next word to advance to another activity, but there are no verbal or visual cues to draw their attention to it. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

What Kids Can Learn

While Alphabots was created for educational purposes, we don't recommend it for learning because the educational design and objectives aren't well-suited for preschoolers who are learning the alphabet.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

While Alphabots was created for educational purposes, we don't recommend it for learning because the educational design and objectives aren't well-suited for preschoolers who are learning the alphabet.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

What's it about?

Kids "learn" letters by viewing an animation of each formed by mechanical parts and hearing a robot-related word for each (such as "axle" and "bolt"). They "find" the letter from four options called out verbally, and then they "build" each letter from robot parts, dragging them into place. They "turn" nine puzzle pieces to create a picture and "slide" three pieces into place to complete the letter. They also "spell" robot-themed words (such as "fuse" and "volt") by dragging the letters into the correct order.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Incorporating STEM into everything isn't always a great educational idea. Letters formed using mechanical parts are a cute abstract representation, but preschoolers learning to recognize and form letters are not going to benefit from approximations. The interface isn't very preschooler-friendly, either, with no visual cues or verbal instructions. The vocabulary in the spelling section also isn't on-target for this age range. While learning specific terms such as "fuse" and "axle" is great, words such as "tec" and "klic" (if they're actually even words) will confuse emerging spellers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about other ways to explore with robots. For some robot-related fun, put out assorted building tools (bolts, nuts, screws) and have kids put together their own "robot" alphabets.

  • Save Alphabots for kids who are really interested in mechanics or robots and who have mastered alphabet recognition.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:May 23, 2014
Category:Education
Topics:Numbers and letters, Robots
Size:19.90 MB
Publisher:Five5ifty
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up

This review of Alphabots 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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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