18 apps from GAMeS @RU November 17, 2011

Radford University has educational apps that cover: fractions, geography, binomial factors, history, economics, grammar, spelling, antonyms, synonyms, time.

Last week I came across a text book publisher that advertised a group of apps for free. Within the time of my post the majority of the apps changed from free to fee. ($1.99 each) This time I can guarentee that these 18 apps will remain free. These apps were developed by Radford University and tested by schools in southwestern Virginia through a grant with support from the Governor ’s Productivity Investment Fund and the Virginia Department of Education. This project focused on exploring how the iPod Touch can be used to enhance effective teaching and learning. Their website includes support videos, a teachers' section and complete list of the apps they designed. You can visit their website to find out more: http://gameslab.radford.edu/iLearn/

 I typically don’t find a deluge of education apps categorized as ‘Games’ but this time I have. At first, I thought I was going to have to play these apps through the games center, but quickly learned that the two apps I downloaded don’t use the game center at all. All apps indicate which grade levels are most appropriate and are aligned with Virginia standards.

Out of this collection of 18 apps I chose to download two to review. I started off with Portion Platter. I had to answer 15 questions to complete a level. Questions included pizzas with slices missing and an empty milk glass with a fraction labeled above the glass. I had to enter the fraction of the pizza that was displayed and draw a line across the glass to demonstrate where that fraction would appear on the glass. Sometimes I drew my line a little high or low but it still counted for credit, so I figure if it’s close I agree that the student could be correct; however, I was off one time by a complete block and the game said I was still correct. Keep an eye out for accuracy in this game.

I also downloaded Zeppelin Adventures. I've been reviewing so many math apps lately that I wanted a change of pace. Zeppelin Adventures is a game where you travel in a zeppelin. As soon as I opened the game I was captivated. The music was very dramatic and the graphics very authentic. You start by using the accelerometer in the iPad to collect coins in the sky as you navigate your zeppelin. (your view isn't inside the zepplin as I was expecting, but a side view of the zeppelin in the sky) Next, you use your coins to pay for passengers. The list of historical figures includes: Aristole, Zeus, Michelangelo, Augustus, Marco Polo, Julius Caesar, Zhang Liang, Alexander, Qin Shi Huangdi, Leonardo, Siddhartha, Li Si, and Hannibal. I bought the two artists a ride and I was given a map view to select a country. I clicked Italy and I was again navigating my zeppelin to collect coins. I got postcards from both passengers indicating that I dropped them off in the correct place. To check how well you place the people you are supposed to go to the settings. I could not find settings, so the only way I know how well I did was by the post cards and the message from the passengers. If you deliver them to the wrong country you have to collect more coins and try again. Don’t pick up people from mixed countries because you can only pick one country on the map per delivery. I don’t think this game has direct social studies value but would engage any student with interest in history. When I have more time I want to go back and delivery the 13 people to their respective countries and see if there are more people waiting for a ride.

Other games from Rudford University include:

Portion Platter

Disaster Chasers

Factor Race

Zeppelin Adventures

Governomics

European Exploration

Grammar Dragon

Spelling Cat

Opposite Ocean

Same Meaning Magic (instructional video)

Apples in Hour Hands

Same Sound Spell Bound

Sticker Shop

Egberta's Equations

Equation Creator

Computer Carl (Instructional Video)

Fraction Factory

Freddy Fraction

Don't forget to check out the videos and resources provided in addition to these apps: http://gameslab.radford.edu/iLearn/
I am leaving this article up for two weeks, there are a lot of apps this time so use the long holiday break to check a few of them out!

NOTE: After using these apps more I have come across misspellings. Keep in mind that college students created these apps. I recommend reviewing each one for its accuracy.