StudyBlue

 

Learning(i)

Super study concept has some privacy issues.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The interface requires some thoughtful navigation, with pages layering on top of others, requiring swiping. Creating cards and reviewing them is easy and intuitive.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A free version lets students create and review flash cards, and they can upgrade to a subscription.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

StudyBlue's social nature is both its blessing and its curse. Although social flash cards have a lot of potential, privacy and safety become an issue when users are kids and teens. Users can search by schools located near them and find listings of students, the classes they're in, and their email addresses -- and possibly even a photo, if the student has uploaded one.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that StudyBlue is a flash card-sharing app targeted at high school and college students. Email addresses and phone numbers are collected at registration, and public access to personal information can be set to include these as well as a physical address. The free version has relatively benign banner ads; an ad-free subscription to SB Pro is a pricey $9 per month or $30 per year but also includes some extra functionality. Although the interface looks clean, it isn't always functional and can be frustrating to use. If your kids use the app, take a close look at the privacy settings with them.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • memorization

Creativity

  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • self-assessment
  • work to achieve goals
  • academic development
  • effort
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Communication

  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Shared flash cards may motivate kids to study more frequently and efficiently.

Learning Approach

The collaborative study approach has the potential to be empowering, but the quality of the content varies dramatically. Drill-and-quiz memorization can only take you so far.

Support

Kids can take quizzes, self-reporting their answers, and view their progress. They also can set up push notifications as reminders to study.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • memorization

Creativity

  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • self-assessment
  • work to achieve goals
  • academic development
  • effort
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Communication

  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

College students and older high school-age kids can learn organization, memorization, and study skills with any content they enter, from Shakespearean sonnets to S-curves and beyond. Decks are organized by school course and topic, and since they're user-created, quality varies. StudyBlue could be useful as a social studying tool, but it presents significant privacy issues for younger users.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

Kids say

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What's it about?

STUDYBLUE is a flash card-creation and -sharing app targeted at high school and college students. Content syncs between the Web and mobile devices, which means you can create two-sided flash cards and study at home, at school, or on the go. The information you'd like to study can be viewed as a review sheet, a quiz, or a set of flip-through flash cards, and cards can include images as well as text. Students (or their teachers) can organize materials for multiple classes, set up study reminders, and share cards with classmates. When using StudyBlue, kids will see immediate feedback on how well they recalled the information.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The idea is a gem. Students are in control of how they study material and can collaborate easily with classmates within the app. Unfortunately, the quality of the content varies dramatically depending on the author. On the technical and design side, navigation can be confusing at first, with a lot of information layered upon more information. Once you get the hang of navigating, though, creating and reviewing cards is quite easy.

However, the potential for publicizing personal contact information is a concern, especially for high school students. Email addresses, school names, classes, and photos can be shared. Users can search by school name and easily pull up lists of classes with student names and email addresses. Privacy preferences seem to share information with everyone by default, making StudyBlue a questionable choice for younger users.

Families can talk about...

  • Have kids use a school-only email address, if possible, that restricts emails received to those within the school's domain.

  • Talk with your kids about the difference between memorization and critical thinking.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook, Kindle Fire
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free, Paid
Subscription price:$9.00/month; $30.00/year for full (Pro) version
Release date:September 3, 2014
Category:Education
Size:13.70 MB
Publisher:StudyBlue, Inc.
Version:8.1
Minimum software requirements:Requires Android 2.2 and up; iOS 6.0 or later

This review of StudyBlue was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byRobM 1 December 24, 2014
age 10+
 
LEARNING

edit function not working

edit function not working on mobile app -- site not too user-friendly for feedback -- what does this tell you? + too expensive
Adult Written bycelysen November 17, 2013
age 12+
 

Very good for study purposes

I just started using this app last month. You do have to create your own lists, but that's not hard. Not only is it an app, it is also a website that you can use to create the flashcards as well. I use the website to create and the app to study. Sometimes I use the website to study as well, it just depends where I'm at. I think this is a great way to study.

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