Parents' Guide to

Our Choice

By Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Great graphics enhance Al Gore's climate policy message.

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What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

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OUR CHOICE is an innovative improvement on standard textbooks and e-books, with a relatively easy interface. By presenting an e-book as an app, Al Gore can include stunning photos, graphics, and videos that present tons of information in creative ways. For example, teens will connect with the videos like the one about William Kamkwamba, who built a wind turbine with spare parts when he was 14 to power a single light bulb in his home in Malawi. Compared to other apps, though, this is heavy on one-way transfer of information by an author/narrator, rather than true two-way or networked interaction to facilitate learning and response. (One exception is the memorable wind turbine graphic that spins in response to blowing on the iPad microphone.) The information is very current, including a photo of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan.

If you and your teen are interested in climate change, this is a great app to explore together as there will be a lot to learn for both of you. However, while the author is up-front about his agenda, the political tone may deter some learners. Also, some standard e-book features like searching are missing. However, the platform seems like a good sign of things to come. 

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