My Voyage

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
My Voyage App Poster Image
Videos and activities teach sustainability and some culture.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about some Hawaiian culture, including language, customs, and traditional beliefs around sustainability and caring for the earth. They can learn about a voyaging canoe and how people would have built canoes and other items without the use of technology. 

Ease of Play

Interactive sections are generally simple but sometimes finicky and hard to complete.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Voyage is an interactive video experience that introduces kids to the Hōkūleʻa, a Hawaiian voyaging canoe that is traveling around the world to connect with others around sustainability. The "appisode" includes video content alongside games and activities that teach kids about the voyaging canoe, as well as traditional materials and techniques used in Hawaii for building watercraft. There are about 35 minutes of video in an approximately 45-minute experience. Parent and teacher guides are available to help with study questions and further resources. Note that there's no privacy policy available. 

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What's it about?

MY VOYAGE joins Keola, Emma, and Uncle Billy as they learn about a traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe and how the Hawaiian people used natural resources to build their canoes. Videos show how the kids learn to make rope from a local plant, weave sails from leaves, and carve out a canoe from a large tree. They learn about the mission of the Hōkūleʻa canoe, as well as the meaning of "Mālama Honua," which is all about caring for the earth and all the people, plants, and animals that inhabit it. Through the interactive elements, kids learn to identify the voyaging canoe, help weave a sail, chop down plants for rope, and identify healthy trees for a canoe. They'll also need to think about provisions for their journey. Once they complete all the activities, they earn a virtual "Junior Navigator" badge.

Is it any good?

This unique educational experience relies heavily on video, with less hands-on learning, but it offers a positive message about taking care of the planet. My Voyage struggles somewhat to be relatable for kids who have no Hawaiian cultural reference, teaching a lot of Hawaiian words and concepts in a short amount of time. It feels like it's geared toward kids who are already familiar with the general culture, but who don't know much about traditional arts and natural resources. The activities are appropriate and engaging, but sometimes feel contrived, such as cutting down a certain number plants by tapping on them in just the right spots. A couple of them -- the boat assembly and weaving activities -- are sometimes tricky in terms of dragging items to the exact right spot on the screen, so kids may get frustrated. Despite its flaws, it offers interesting history and culture alongside a very positive message.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using apps such as My Voyage for learning. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What did you learn? 

  • How do you like this app as compared to other apps you could play? If you had/have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

App details

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