The Digits: Fraction Blast

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Digits: Fraction Blast App Poster Image
Fractions rock in interactive, rock-band-in-space appisode.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn lots of fractions concepts, starting as simple as "What is a half?" to progressively more difficult concepts such as equivalent fractions and more. As kids follow the story line and the directions they're given, they interact with the app to solve problems that move the story along. Bonus: It's great to see a female main character helping set the example for kids that math is an equal-opportunity subject. Overall, The Digits: Fraction Blast is a great way to introduce kids to fraction concepts via a silly space adventure story with endearing characters.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Create a user account for each player, and then instruct kids to just follow along as if they're watching a TV episode. The interactive elements all clearly appear as such on the screen, and verbal directions often accompany them. Results of app sessions are automatically emailed to parents' email addresses.

Violence & Scariness

No overt violence, but there's far more yelling and screaming and good-guys-vs.-bad-guys stuff than on your typical math app. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Depending on which version you choose, the app may be free to play, $0.99, or $9.99. A $2.99 in-app purchase unlocks Part 2 of the story. The $9.99 versions include all content and the option to get notifications about your kids' activities on the app; you also can pay monthly at $1.99/month on other versions of the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Digits: Fraction Blast is a math-learning app that takes the form of a television-show-like "appisode." This rock-band-meets-space-mission show includes lots of interactive games for kids to practice the fractions skills they're learning. For $9.99, parents can receive email updates about what their kids have learned and some ideas for how to extend the learning. Note that kids can access YouTube from the app's main screen to see more Digits adventures, although this feature wasn't functional in some versions of the app.

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What's it about?

Parents enter an email address and then create a user account for each kid to track progress. Kids tap Play on the same main screen to watch the intro to the appisode, which explains, "This isn't one of those things you can sit and watch...we need your help." Interactive elements, such as "breaking" the screen in half by shaking it and then pinching it back together, pop up throughout the show. Some include direct fraction-problem-solving, while others don't.

Is it any good?

THE DIGITS: FRACTION BLAST is a great way to introduce kids to fraction concepts via a silly space adventure story with endearing characters. The "appisodes" feature three zany main characters -- one human, one alien, and one robot -- who form the space-traveling band the Digits. Their bad-guy nemesis, record label owner Doomfinger, is out to get them. Numerous challenges arise during the comedic drama that all somehow can be solved using fractions. As kids finish each segment of the show (about as long as most PBS educational shows), they earn a cool achievement icon.

A minor quibble: Some of the fights between our hero and Zoomfinger create some really loud (bordering on obnoxious) banter. If you can get past the noise, however, there's a lot to be learned here. The Digits: Fraction Blast approaches fraction concepts through visually memorable and repetitive ways.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Watch the appisode with your kid and mention when you hear science and math concepts as part of the band's problem-solving.

  • Talk about fractions in everyday life.

App details

For kids who love math

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