A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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.
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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Math: fractions
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, part-whole relationships
- Price: $.99
- Release date: April 22, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 43.00 MB
- Publisher: TapToLearn Software
- Version: 5.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
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