X is for X-Ray (iPad)

Common Sense Media says

Curiosity-boosting peek inside everyday objects.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very few instructions are provided in this app, so it will take some trial and error for kids to discover they need to swipe to reveal the X-ray photos and double-tap for the prism view. The prism view contains guidance on how to view the images in 3-D. Overall, though, the app is relatively easy to navigate: A table of contents is available on the main page and along the bottom of the screen, users can easily switch between an object's poem and its longer description, and the sounds and images are captured really well on the iPad.

Violence & scariness

Gunpowder is mentioned, and there's an apocryphal story about warriors using yo-yos, but no actual violence is included.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A link from the credits menu allows users to purchase more apps by the developer. To fully appreciate the 3-D images in the book, most users will need to order prism 3-D glasses from Touch Press for $4.95 plus shipping. More common, polarized 3-D glasses cannot be used.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is required to use this app. The developer's privacy policy can be read on its website.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that X is for X-Ray (iPad) is a beautiful alphabet-book app that contains descriptions and x-ray images of everyday objects. Each of the 26 objects is accompanied by a poem, a sound effect, a description of its history, an explanation of how it works, and a photo. Swiping, tapping, and pinching allow kids to view the photo as an x-ray, make it larger, spin it around for 360-degree viewing, or view it in 3-D (requires the purchase of glasses). There's a fair amount of text in this book, so it's most appropriate for older kids, although younger kids will enjoy the sound effects and images. Some users have expressed difficulty with the app crashing, but we didn't experience that.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Science

  • engineering
  • physics
  • substance properties

Arts

  • photography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

X-ray images, witty poems, and information-packed text engage kids' sense of wonder, sense of humor, and curiosity about everyday things. Prereaders and readers will find ways to engage.

Learning Approach

One page per object explains all about each image, helping kids expand vocabulary and science and history knowledge -- although not deeply. X-ray-enhanced photos allow kids to see the inner workings of objects they're familiar with.

Support

Lots of text makes this well-suited for readers; images and audio poems make it accessible for prereaders. You'll get great ideas for extension activities, but kids will need to use trial and error to learn how to expose the x-ray images.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Science

  • engineering
  • physics
  • substance properties

Arts

  • photography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation

Kids can learn what x-ray images of everyday objects look like as they learn one vocabulary word for each letter of the alphabet. Through observing the x-rayed inner workings of each object, kids can learn about engineering, physics, and substance properties. They'll also discover how humorous poetry can be used creatively to make any subject fun while reading important facts and history about the objects. X is for X-Ray is a beautiful way to bring kids to the intersection of reading with science, engineering, and history.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Tap an object -- such as a drum, teddy bear, or toaster -- organized in alphabetical order. The image gets larger, and a poem appears. Tap the speaker icon and hear the poem read. Swipe the object to view 360 degrees around it. Tap it for the x-ray image to appear. Tap the page icon at the bottom of the screen for a detailed written explanation about the object. Don't forget to go all the way to Z for an inside peek at an iPad.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The x-ray images on X is for X-Ray show density, not the inner workings of objects as you'd see in a book such as David Macaulay's How Things Work. Still, it's a beautiful and engaging app. The text encourages scientific curiosity, particularly by recommending such activities as cooking almond biscotti or using onion juice to write in invisible ink. Sound effects and poems enrich the app for younger kids, and everyone will love the treat at the end: unzipping the zipper to get a peek at an x-ray of an iPad!

Families can talk about...

  • Read the longer bits of informational text with your prereaders.

  • Consider trying one of the extension activities, like making almond biscotti or performing a recommended science experiment.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 2, 2012
Category:Education
Size:438.00 MB
Publisher:Touch Press
Version:1.0.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of X is for X-Ray (iPad) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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