Presidents By the Number

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Presidents By the Number App Poster Image
Simple app has fun facts about presidents, American history.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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.

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
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

What 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.

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love educational apps

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