What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that American Presidents for iPad is an attractive app with information about U.S. presidents and history that is best for older kids. The app contains a timeline from 1789 to present with major U.S. events, alongside the term and a cartoon representation of each president. Tapping on a president takes you to a description (of about 1500 words) of that president, his policies, and a photo gallery. Also included are descriptions of historical events, including wars, alcohol prohibition, and presidential scandals. Descriptions tend to be at least three paragraphs long, so strong reading skills are necessary. There are eight quizzes and a map showing the growth of U.S. territory. Users can share a link to purchase the app on email, Facebook, or Twitter, and the written descriptions contain links to external websites such as Wikipedia.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
Engagement, Approach, Support
The cartoon caricatures of the presidents might interest kids, but most of the info here comes from dry blocks of text; not so engaging.
Info on the presidents goes deeper than the usual brief biography; kids can visualize history's people and events using the timeline and interactive maps.
An information screen shows how to play, which is pretty intuitive. Quizzes are scored, but no data is saved for each user.
What's it about?
American Presidents for iPad contains a timeline from 1789 to present with major U.S. events, including the terms of each president. Users can scroll through and tap on events or cartoon images of the presidents. Presidential pages include 1,500-word descriptions and photo galleries. There are eight quizzes and a map showing the growth of U.S. territory. Users can also use simple menus to view the text of important documents and speeches. External links suggest further exploration on sites such as Wikipedia and Real Clear Politics.
Is it any good?
AMERICAN PRESIDENTS FOR IPAD does an excellent job of presenting a ton of information in an integrated and appealing format. Kids will like the cartoon illustrations, which are supplemented by high-quality photos and paintings. The timeline format is easy to use, and it's helpful to see major events alongside presidential terms. The lack of descriptions for some significant events (such as the Civil or Vietnam Wars) is surprising. Having the amendments on the timeline along with the text of important documents and, in particular, the presidential speeches, is a great touch.
Families can talk about...
Read together about historical events and decisions immediately relevant to today, such as previous financial crises, the Bill of Rights, or the presidential election process.
Challenge your kid to see who can answer more quiz questions correctly, and try to track your joint progress over time.