MarcoPolo World School
By Dana Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Learning dialogue makes STEAM videos and games special.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn pre-reading, math, science, social studies, and the arts while using MarcoPolo World School. It's designed for kids age 3 to 7, with new activities added weekly.
Ease of Play
Very easy to use. Visual cues and audio instructions; icons that clearly show what they represent.
Products & Purchases
Subscription promoted. Parents enter date of birth to sign up for free trial.
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
MarcoPolo World School
Based on 1 parent review
Report this review
What’s It About?
To play MARCOPOLO WORLD SCHOOL, register for the free seven-day trial, and then tap Enroll Students and enter your kid's name and birth date. Choose one to eight favorite subjects: Literacy, Math, Science, Tech, Art, Animals, Food, and Vehicles. Scroll through the topics and tap on one. For example, tap the fish and watch the video on the great white shark. Then play the short game rearranging the letters to spell "shark." Parents can tap on account settings to view kids' progress and choose to receive weekly progress emails, newsletter emails, and "learner's sharing emails." Each week features new content and "field trips," though that feature wasn't available at the time of review.
Is It Any Good?
There's a world of early learning packed into this sweet-looking app. MarcoPolo World School is an adorable, dynamic app that will reel kids into exploring many STEAM-based topics in ways that are ideal for young learners. Though on the surface it looks like the app is just a series of videos and games, the videos are top-quality and brief, and include terrific kid-inspired dialogue between the kid characters and the narrator. The way the characters interject their active thoughts on the video they're watching and the way the adult narrator positively responds is a great way to model that skill for kids (and adults). The games are brief and educational (some more than others), although some seem a bit of a stretch to relate the theme to the video. Most young kids won't care about that, as long as they're fun, but a bit more connection and depth would add even more value. Since art is a topic kids can choose as a favorite, it seems that there might be art activities coming soon, though none were available at the time of review. Also, at least one game uses letter sounds that might be confusing for early readers: the individual sounds of "s" and "h" instead of the digraph "sh" to start the word "shark." With new content added every week, MarcoPolo World School is well worth the subscription price.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how to choose favorite subjects and topics to watch on MarcoPolo World School. Are there subjects kids already know something about? What are topics that are interesting but totally new?
Watch the videos with your kids and encourage them to voice their questions and comments like the app's characters do. What kinds of questions do the characters ask? Are they the same as the questions you have? How could we find the answers to other questions?
MarcoPolo World School was created by a Ph.D. and incorporates some of the best practices in early education, such as encouraging young kids to think critically while learning, promoting conversation, and tapping into kids' interests. Read Common Sense Media's "What type of media is best for learning?" to find out more qualities to look for in good educational apps and websites.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, vocabulary, writing, Math: addition, counting, numbers, shapes, subtraction, Science: animals, life cycle, weather, Social Studies: geography, global awareness, history
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: asking questions, thinking critically, Self-Direction: academic development, Communication: asking questions
- Pricing structure: Free to try (seven-day free trial then $5.99/mo. subscription)
- Release date: February 24, 2018
- Category: Education
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Horses and Farm Animals, Numbers and Letters, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- Publisher: MarcoPolo Learning
- Version: 1.0.8
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
- Last updated: February 15, 2020
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Download
Our Editors Recommend
Best Preschool Apps
Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate