Presidents By the Number

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Simple app has fun facts about presidents, American history.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

This app has a very simple, list-based menu interface. This works fine for almost all of the app without any instructions. However, the quizzes section is a bit buggy, and occasionally it's not clear how to return to the main menu. Quizzes can be scored instantly and the correct answers are provided, but there is no saving or emailing scores or results.

Violence & scariness

Some of America's history is violent, as demonstrated by the section on America's wars, which includes the number of American deaths in each war. Acts such as the September 11 attacks, the use of napalm in Vietnam, and presidential assassinations are described in a historical, non-graphic tone. 

Sexy stuff

The presidential facts generally include information about each president's marriage and children.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There is a link from the main menu with a description of a booklet that can be ordered for $5.00 by sending an email. The booklets contain all of the short poems about the presidents.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor concerns. The developer's email is provided, and users are encouraged to send an email to submit a "fan fact" or order a booklet.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Presidents By the Number is a simple app with basic biographical information, fun facts, quizzes, and a short poem to help kids learn about the presidents of the United States. There are some political overtones; a video where the presidents' portraits morph from one to the next concludes with "Change Can Happen," and the descriptions of American wars have a mild political slant. The violence described in the war section is generally abstract and historical, but the number of American deaths in each war is listed. Also included are lists of the justices of the Supreme Court and vice presidents and their terms, as well as some facts about the Supreme Court. A book of the presidential poems is available to purchase by email.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • events
  • government
  • historical figures
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • memorization

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

While the portraits are engrossing and the poems tidy memorization tools, the wiki-style interface and text-heavy quizzes won't keep kids engaged for long if a school assignment isn't involved.

Learning Approach

Kids get the opportunity to learn essential facts for citizenship but short multiple choice quizzes are a bit on the dull side. Depth of information and interactivity are lacking.

Support

Simple menu navigation makes a tutorial unnecessary. The main menu links to a booklet that can be ordered by email. The lack of progress tracking limits assessment potential. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • events
  • government
  • historical figures
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • memorization

Kids can learn about US presidents, Supreme Court justices, and historical events –- all basics for citizenship. Kids apply what they've learned in short multiple choice quizzes and can submit fun facts via email to the developers. The app appears to be a migration from a paper brochure and employs only one interactive element (quiz results). Presidents By the Number is a good starting point for kids studying U.S. history but could use a serious power boost.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

The main menu gives kids content choices as well as quizzes. Each presidential topic has a portrait and number in extra large font, a pneumonic ode, and facts such as noteworthy prior positions and supreme court justices appointed. Kids simply read the facts then navigate to quizzes that test them on the facts, which give them scores out of 10 as well as the correct answers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PRESIDENTS BY THE NUMBER is a very simple but informative app. The interface is nothing fancy, but it's easy enough to use. The writing isn't pristine, but the poems about the presidents of the United States are cute and probably helpful for kids trying to memorize the presidents. The video with all the presidents' faces morphing into each other is a tad creepy, but harmless and entertaining. Most of the information you'll find here is easily found elsewhere, and it doesn't have the same authoritative tone as, say, a textbook. But it's nice to have it all in one place, kind of like a mini-Wikipedia. Users should note the Andriod version has some bugs and layout mistakes.

Families can talk about...

  • Seek out kid-friendly videos about the presidents and watch them with your kids.

  • Get your kids involved during election season. Talk to them about the election process, and share how you gather info and make election decisions.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:$.99
Release date:November 18, 2012
Category:Education
Size:14.10 MB
Publisher:JM Digital Consultants
Version:6.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later, Android 1.0 and up

This review of Presidents By the Number was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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