App review by
Andrea Zellner, Common Sense Media
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Curates super-searchable, mobile-friendly learning videos.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about lots of familiar school subjects at Mobento; it's all about assisting kids with most core school subjects and some electives as well. The most plentiful offerings center around topics in math and science, most likely because these videos are well-established online in other spaces like TED and Khan Academy. While this may be Mobento's bread and butter, it's clear they aim to include more on history, art, and even creativity. With its simple search and well-curated selection, Mobento is a great place for kids to learn on-the-go.

Ease of Play

Mobento's interface is simple to use, and searching through the well-organized video database is a breeze. 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mobento is an app that brings the website's functionality to mobile. Mobento focuses on pulling out the best learning videos from sites such as TED, Khan Academy, and others and makes them searchable. Kids with particular questions can quickly locate high-quality videos for answers or sign up to take "courses" on various science, math, and humanities topics. Content probably will be most helpful for high school kids, although middle schoolers could benefit as well.

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What's it about?

MOBENTO pulls together lots of high-quality learning videos from around the Internet, including the ever-popular TED talks and Khan Academy videos, all watchable on your mobile device. Mobento has developed its own search algorithm that allows you to search the words within videos so the most appropriate video for a particular learner’s needs might be quickly identified. Users sign up for "courses" based on topic and then proceed to view videos, with subjects including science and math as well as creativity and inspiration.​ Videos can be bookmarked for later viewing, and you're encouraged to favorite videos to make the best selections more visible to other users. In addition, you can leave comments and take personal notes on each. Users can share videos through Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Is it any good?

Mobento focuses primarily on topics in science and math but also includes a few humanities-based "courses" such as world history, world religions, and education; new topics are added from time to time. The app's search feature is its most powerful tool; the ability to quickly find the best videos from around the Web -- based on the video's content -- is an outstanding feature.

The app is easy to navigate, and its simple interface allows for users to quickly engage with the content. However, with such a strong search feature, it's disappointing that Mobento doesn't offer captions for every video. In many cases, determined users may be able to find the videos on their original sites and enable captions there. TED, Khan Academy, and other learning sites from which Mobento pulls its content offer a captions option; it would be great if this feature could work within the app. Overall, although it's nice to find these curated videos in one place, an even more extensive collection would help round out the site.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of curation. Who decides what's good and bad? Ask your kids if they agree that a particular video is an example of a strong learning experience.

  • Families can sign up for courses together and chat about the learning topics in the videos over dinner or in the car.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Math: algebra, geometry, patterns
    Science: biology, chemistry, physics
  • Skills: Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: November 21, 2012
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 3.50 MB
  • Version: 2.3
  • Minimum software requirements: Android or iOS
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning on the go

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