Fractions App By Tap To Learn

App review by
Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Media
Fractions App By Tap To Learn App Poster Image
YouTube feature allows iffy content into math app.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a basic understanding of fractions as well as related skills such as converting improper and mixed fractions, finding common denominators, comparing fractions, and adding and subtracting fractions. The app offers tutorials with text explanations as well as visuals and examples to help kids learn the concepts. Though Fractions App By Tap To Learn includes helpful explanations and a way for kids to test their understanding, its dull tutorials, weak feedback, and potentially distracting YouTube videos detract from the learning.

Ease of Play

Navigating the app is easy. In each of the nine sections of the app, kids can view a tutorial slideshow, find videos to help them learn a concept, or take a test (though two sections do not have tests). Some kids might have a hard time understanding the tutorials, which have no audio support and are sometimes too brief. Kids who already know a bit about fractions and the vocabulary of fractions will probably find the tutorials less confusing. A few design issues also cause confusion, such as the font in the Mixed Fractions sections that makes 2 1/3 look like 21/3.

Violence

The "My Videos" feature gives kids access to a YouTube search tool and the ability to view and save videos within the app. Violent content exists on YouTube including videos showing weapons, real-life violence like fistfights, and clips from movies or video games.

Sex

With access to YouTube within the app, kids could encounter sexually suggestive videos. Kids can also use sexually explicit language in video search terms and see a list of videos with those words in the title.

Language

Kids could encounter profanity when using the YouTube video feature within the app. There is no language filtering, so kids can search for words like "f--k" and "s--t" to see a list of videos with those words in the title.

Consumerism

The info screen shows icons for other apps by the developer, which take kids to the App Store when tapped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Kids could come across videos in the YouTube video feature that show or suggest the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fractions App By Tap To Learn is a math app with tutorials and tests about fractions, but it also includes in-app access to YouTube, where kids could encounter iffy content. Each of the nine sections of the app includes a slideshow tutorial, a test on the concept, and a video search feature with a suggested search term pre-populated in the search box. If kids use the suggested term, the results appear to favor videos from educational YouTube channels like Khan Academy; however, not all the results are necessarily accurate or relevant.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybeiberfever101 February 12, 2011
very educationable app. mostly for 4th graders and up

What's it about?

Kids can set up a personalized profile or use the app under the default guest account. Nine sections take kids through various math skills and concepts related to fractions. For example, the Proper & Improper section helps kids learn to identify those two types of fractions. In the Improper to Mixed section, they learn how to convert an improper fraction like 7/2 to its mixed fraction equivalent, 3 1/2. Kids can search for videos to help them learn the concepts and can save those videos to a list for later reference.

Is it any good?

Though FRACTIONS APP BY TAP TO LEARN offers quite a lot in terms of instruction and review opportunities for kids, it falls short as an educational app in several ways. For one, the tutorials are static and rely heavily on text. Yes, there are a few visual examples in each, but kids will need to read a dense bit of text to get the meaning. This may be fine for older kids who are already familiar with the concepts, but younger kids are likely to need an adult to help explain.

In addition, the app allows kids to create their own profiles so they can keep track of their scores, but the data only shows the number of tests kids have taken and a total score –- neither of which gives any indication of kids' understanding of specific concepts. And finally, the inclusion of the YouTube search has the potential to be helpful for learning, but it also has the potential to be a huge distraction and expose kids to iffy, irrelevant, or inaccurate content.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Pre-screen the videos and save a few for each lesson that are accurate, relevant, and engaging.

  • Practice the concepts with everyday objects to help your kids better understand fractions. Anything that is easily divided will work. Experiment with a pizza or a bar of chocolate, as they do in the app.

App details

For kids who love learning with apps

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