Longtime educational media developers TribalNova have launched iLearnWith, a suite of four iPad learning apps backed by a parental tool for monitoring childrens’ progress across educational areas. Aimed at learners aged 3-6, the initial iLearnWith offerings cover science, literacy, language and math skills by way of timed, game-like activities. The first app, Planet Boing!, is available for free via Apple’s App Store, and users will also have to create a free iLearnWith account to take full advantage of progress tracking and other tools.
TribalNova claims iLearnWith, “is the first of its kind: a cross curricular, game-based school readiness program developed with experts in early childhood development and designers to deliver to children 3 to 6 years old a fun and truly educational experience.” The company’s PR touts the apps’ ability to adapt difficulty levels to match a learner’s success rate while also offering individualized recommendations for additional content along with email alerts for parents. Given the team’s pedigree, which includes experience at PBS Kids, they seem to know what they’re talking about.
I tested Planet Boing! and Ice Land Adventures! just ahead of launch, and was impressed by the production values, responsiveness of the UI and game elements, and the relative thoroughness and simplicity of the Parents’ Center. I had some minor quibbles with design clutter on a few screens, but nothing that raised any red flags.
Having put in some years as a teacher myself, I wanted an expert opinion on the “learning value” of the apps. So I showed them to an early childhood educator I know. Said educator holds an MA in Early Childhood Education and spent about seven years as a classroom teacher before becoming Director of a preschool in San Francisco; so while everybody’s got an opinion on education, hers is informed by a decade’s worth of study and practice in the field.
After about a minute of guiding a penguin down icy slides by completing simple letter and sound matching tasks in Ice Land!, she nodded knowingly and summed her thoughts up: “It seems fine: There’s nothing really wrong with it, I guess. But I just wonder how kids playing apps like these will ever learn what to do when they get stuck. They get so much instant feedback on everything they do, how will they ever learn how to figure things out for themselves when there’s nobody – or no iPad – to tell them what to do next? That’s so important for preschoolers to learn. But maybe we’re headed for a world where iPads are always around to tell kids what to do, I don’t know.”
Whatever your thoughts on raising a generation of kids who turn to Google Apps and Siri for guidance on darn near everything (ahem, just like their paernts do?), it’s worth keeping an eye on iLearnWith as a forerunner of melding informal and formal education. The initial offering of iLearnWith apps combines the informality of bite-sized, gamified iPad experiences out of the classroom with more traditional features including cross-curricular progress tracking. If TribalNova can make good on delivering quality adaptive learning experiences for youngins and solid content recommendations for their parents, they could well be on to something here.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
You don't have to be a size 2 to rock these gorgeous swimsuits!
Tired of finding the perfect swimsuit only to see that it's only offered up to size 14? Not anymore! Here's a list of the most flattering, gorgeous plus size swimsuits 2020 has to offer.