The Land of Learnia

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
The Land of Learnia App Poster Image
Solid educational journey lacks tour guide, has purchases.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice age-appropriate spelling and math skills and need to show basic mastery before moving forward. 

Ease of Play

Educational activities have tutorials; overall app does not. There are features that are never introduced, mini-games with no instructions, etc. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

No ads, but there are in-app purchases for additional content with no parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Land of Learnia is an educational app that aims to make learning fun for kids through third grade. Kids can access any of 14 lessons (of the nearly 200 available) for free. After that, they'll need to purchase "islands" of content, each of which corresponds to a grade of spelling or math. The math islands are tied to the Common Core State Standards, so kids should be able to make connections to what they are learning in school. The three spelling islands are $4.99 each and three math islands are $7.99 each. Note that while the app is designed for kids even younger than 8, these in-app purchases aren't blocked by a parent gate, which makes it problematic for little kids. Also, there's no overview or instructions for mini-games, so kids may miss some features or get confused. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

THE LAND OF LEARNIA is meant to be a fun and engaging way for early elementary school students (kindergarten through third grade) to practice spelling and math. Kids start at a central hub where they meet an owl friend who asks for their help in clearing his path. Each lesson is a roadblock along the path through Learnia, and kids can clear them by completing quizzes. On the spelling path, kids get a list of words that they can tap to hear in a sentence. They practice spelling them, and then they need to pass a quiz. Winning has rewards, and kids will be showered in coins and time, which they can trade in for special items or mini-games. The math path is similar, but the lessons are more varied in content, with lessons and activities around a math topic before the quiz, which they can take multiple times. Each grade level for each topic has its own themed island with special animals and toys kids can purchase with the coins they earn. The animals need to be fed and enjoy having toys to play with, and there are also four mini-games that kids purchase with their time allotment.

Is it any good?

Kids will likely find some of this learning journey to be fun and entertaining, some to be boring, and some to be confusing. The Land of Learnia does some things really well: The 3D environments are colorful and whimsical, and the animals kids can purchase are fun to watch as they play with their toys. The math activities are engaging and use a variety of approaches to teach each skill, making it more likely that any given child will be able to understand. Many of the lessons ask kids to draw the answer on the screen, and the accuracy or recognition is impressive. It also displays what it thinks you wrote, so you can tell the difference between a wrong answer and a misunderstood number. On the other end of the spectrum, the spelling lessons are tedious, because there are no images and each lesson feels just like the one before. Also, the sample sentences for each word, all of which are read out loud, aren't age-appropriate or particularly helpful: "You shall not dishonor your family name," "I hurry from tree to tree to shun the light," and "The man killed the rat with the stick," are just a few of the odd choices kids will find (for "shall," "shun," "man," and "rat"). The mini-games and animals come with no instructions, not even on how to access them, and having separate "reward" activities not only can take a kid out of the learning but also send a message that the learning isn't fun on its own. While the landscape of The Land of Learnia is a beautiful 3D environment, the mini-games are so minimalist they seem out of date. The good news in all of this is that you can simply purchase the lessons that make sense for your family, so you can avoid the content that doesn't appeal to you or your kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning with apps like The Land of Learnia. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why or why not? What can you learn? 

  • Talk about studying and practice. Does practice help you remember things like spelling and math skills? How much studying do you need to do to help you remember?

App details

  • Devices: iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, spelling
    Math: arithmetic, fractions, graphing
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try (14 lessons free; additional lesson bundles (by grade/subject) are $4.99-$7.99)
  • Release date: March 1, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Wild Animals
  • Size: 220.60 MB
  • Publisher: Learnia Inc
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up

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