By Christy Matte,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Cool virtual models for learning; AR has limitations.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids learn about variety of topics, including engineering, biology, geology, history, design.
Ease of Play
Easy to browse/navigate; viewing objects with the AR may be frustrating for younger kids.
Violence & Scariness
Some images of real/imaginary weapons (tanks, lightsabers) and general descriptions of war.
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Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
JIGSPACE is like a digital encyclopedia, introducing new concepts to kids via 3D models called Jigs. Kids choose a topic -- anything from "How a Battery Works" to a Lego TIE fighter build to "What Is a Heart Stent?" -- and open it for viewing. They'll need to aim the device camera at a flat location to start the augmented reality experience. Once this step is complete, a 3D model will appear on-screen, and kids can scroll through a series of informational screens to learn more about the topic. The screens may show cross-sections or additional views of the object or location. Kids can also zoom in and out, rotate the object, and look at it from above and below.
Is It Any Good?
The ability to zoom in and look around an object or see a cross-section of an object creates a great learning opportunity, but augmented reality still has limitations. JigSpace certainly brings some topics to life, especially those that can't easily be viewed, like a cross-section of the heart, or a blocked artery. It's a chance to look inside and get a bit more detail. Kids can turn objects, zoom in and out, and see a progression of screens, but it's still not interactive in the way they're used to: It's like watching a 3D slideshow rather than truly engaging with the images. But kids will likely find this a much more entertaining way to learn than staring at a textbook. AR requires a room with enough ambient light to take a picture of a surface, and then it orients the device to that surface. It sometimes means viewing an object with distracting activity in the background or via an awkward camera angle. Most kids won't be bothered by that, however, so JigSpace is still a win, especially for teaching scientific and technological concepts. It will be an even larger win when they release the ability to create your own Jigs.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how things work in and out of JigSpace. Talk about household objects and how they work. If there are old items that can safely be disassembled, take them apart to see what's inside.
Discuss using digital images to learn. How can the use of digital images change how we learn about science and engineering? Are there things you have learned that you couldn't have without the use of digital technology?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows app
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading comprehension, Science: engineering, electricity, geology, Social Studies: events, geography, history
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, spatial reasoning
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: January 10, 2019
- Category: Education
- Topics: STEM, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- Publisher: JigSpace Inc.
- Version: 2.2.15
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later
- Last updated: March 25, 2022
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Where to Download
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