What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that World Book - This Day in History for iPad is a simple, straightforward app that lists approximately five historical events that occurred on each day of the year, drawn from the World Book encyclopedia. Users can navigate among days by swiping or using a calendar. Some events such as wars and executions are included, but the tone is historical, not sensationalist. Links to purchase books about the topics on Amazon are abundant.
What kids can learn
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
- collecting data
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids will have fun exploring favorite dates (like their own birthdates) on the calendar, and the short explanations of historical events may entice them to further explore the topic, but there's not much meat to the calendar.
The short snippets about each event don't offer much depth and there's little diversity in the people (mostly white Americans and Europeans) and events represented.
The calendar is very easy to navigate, so no help is needed. Links to purchase related books on Amazon are included with each entry.
What's it about?
The calendar opens to the current date, showing several events from that date in history, with a picture accompanying each. Clicking links within an event's description gives a brief encyclopedia entry on the topic, plus Amazon.com links to books related to the topic. Kids can easily scroll through the calendar to find other dates, and then return to the current date by clicking a button at the top of the page. Events have an icon next to them representing a category -- a molecule for scientists, a quill and ink for authors, and guns for military events, for example -- but categories aren't explained. Icons and images aren't clickable.
Is it any good?
World Book - This Day in History for iPad is a simple, but solid, app, all the better for being free. The descriptions are encyclopedic -- short enough to be accessible, but with thoughtful nuance and detail. Kids will enjoy seeing what happened around the world on a particular date -- such as their birthdays! The historical events included are from a pretty broad range of topics and countries. The focus is on the United States, but kids are exposed to many different cultures. The photos and occasional audio give the events a little pizzazz. It would be great to be able to search or browse events by category, rather than just looking up days, but that might take away the fun of seeing what tomorrow brings!
Families can talk about...
Check the calendar at a certain time each day -- during breakfast or after school snack-time, for example -- to read together about historical events.
Visit a library and explore the biography section to browse some hard-copy encyclopedias to learn more about history.