Trading Cards

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Trading Cards App Poster Image
Create your own flash cards with photos, important details.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can use Trading Cards to organize and memorize information. Included topics are divided into seven categories: fictional person, fictional place, real person, real place, object, event, and vocabulary word. Kids can learn about technology as it helps them create unique, individualized study resources they can use on their own or share with others. Trading Cards is an easy, free way to help kids think about, organize, and study people, places, vocabulary words, literary characters, and more. 

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Three pages of visual instructions lay out how to create cards. Kids are guided by questions to input relevant information for each category. Multiple accounts are available for storing individual cards or sets for different users. One note: The "i" icon appears as though it may be an information tab for a tutorial, but when you tap it the sponsor logos reappear. Instead, tap the "?" tab on some pages for instructions.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Sponsors' logos -- Verizon Foundation, International Reading Association, and the NCTE -- appear at the bottom of some pages, including the main page. The "i" icon appears as though it may be an information tab for a tutorial, but when you tap it the sponsor logos reappear.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trading Cards is an educational app that creates custom digital flash cards using personally selected pictures and details. Trading Cards includes categories and guided questions to help kids, parents, and teachers focus on what's most important to study. Choose from topics such as vocabulary words, places, and fiction or non-fiction reading. For example, a card about a fictional character includes prompts such as "Appearance or Personality"; "Interesting Detail"; a "Problem" the character faces; the "Outcome" of the problem; a "Quote"; and more. Cards can be sorted into groups as well as emailed or printed.

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What's it about?

First, choose the type of card you'd like to create from one of seven categories. Then name the card, choose an image from your device's photo library -- or take a photo -- and resize it. Answer the questions by typing into each box. Tap the flip button to switch to the back of the card, where you'll find more questions. Users also can change each card's design, then group, print, or email them. You don't have to use photos, but they can be useful for creating attractive and memorable cards.

Is it any good?

Kids who create their own flash cards using TRADING CARDS can select images and choose from 12 designs, which is especially useful for visual learners. Questions specific to each of the seven pre-made categories can help kids organize ideas and improve comprehension. Parents may need to help younger kids identify relevant answers. Although the pre-existing categories work well, the app could be even more useful if it allowed users to create their own categories with customized questions.

Kids can trade cards by sharing them via email or printing them on paper. Simply creating the cards is a decent way to study and consider new information. However, whether kids retain the knowledge they pick up likely will depend on what they do with the cards after they're made. To that end, it's nice that Trading Cards encourages kids to share their knowledge with others; it's a much more empowering way to learn than simple drill-and-practice memorization.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of studying some works of literature beyond reading for pleasure. 

  • Using a familiar book or topic, parents can create their own cards. It's great to model the learning process this way.

  • Encourage visual learning: find and save images related to your kid's area of study, and suggest she take her own photos for cards, when applicable.

  • Print cards so your kids can use both digital and paper versions.

App details

For kids who love learning to read

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