What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Curious Ruler is an interactive tool that kids can use to compare measurements. There are built-in reference objects from which kids choose a starting point. Then, they find another object to use as a comparison and snap a picture of both objects, side by side. The tool will tell kids how long the chosen object is compared to the reference object. It's fun to play around with, and kids will enjoy taking pictures of different objects, but don't expect to get a lot of learning value. Measurements cannot be saved, and the option to switch units is confusing and does not produce any significant information.
What's it about?
Kids start by choosing one of 36 reference objects, from different coins and bills to DVDs and legal paper. Then, they choose an object to measure and place both objects side by side within the camera's view. Kids tap anywhere on the screen to take a photograph, and then they drag sliding rulers on the next screen to measure both objects. The measuring tool will display a general comparison of the lengths of the two objects. It also will display a comparison of the measured object to a handful of other reference objects.
Is it any good?
CURIOUS RULER is an interesting way to expose kids to early measurement skills. Kids will like taking photographs of objects, and the visual comparison of two lengths is a great way to build visual-spatial skills. However, there's not a lot of depth to the learning experience. Without actual units displayed, kids will not be able to apply what they learn to other situations. And, without the ability to save measurements or to assess what they've learned, kids likely will not remember much of the experience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how measurements and comparisons are used in everyday life. When do we need to measure things, and what types of things do we need to measure?
Use rulers with different units to measure the objects and compare the results to the app's results. Encourage kids to do the math to find out if the comparisons are accurate.
Go on a scavenger hunt to find fun things to measure.