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I learn

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A delightful interactive story book to help prepare children for the new school year.

Teacher Review

This app is targeted at young children moving into a new class or setting. The developer states that the app was developed with children aged 3 to 8 in mind, although it seems better suited to the lower end of this age range. That said, it has many features that would make it a useful tool to help children with transition time throughout early years and the lower primary classes.
 
The app is simply organised as a narrative of a child's first day in e-book format, although it is the personalisation within the story that really sets this app apart from others. Children love to see themselves as a character in stories and the app places them at the centre of the narrative from the very start. Upon first opening the app, the user has to set up details for the child, their adult at home and their school or preschool teacher. This involves taking pictures, choosing from the photo gallery or using a simple line drawn illustration for each of the faces, adding in details about each character, customising outfits for each and recording the name of each character for use within the spoken narrative.
 
Whilst the setup itself is quite enjoyable for children to complete, the app really comes into its own once they start working through the e-book pages. Each page is beautifully illustrated in a suitable and engaging style, with the narrative spoken and written on the page for able readers. Each character and mention is customised according to the initial setup, meaning that the story is about your child and the experience of preschool, nursery or school that they are looking forward to. The story progresses through a whole day in the child's life, starting with getting up and getting ready, the journey to their school or other educational setting, a typical day of learning and a conversation before bedtime with the designated parent or home adult.
 
Throughout the app, the developers have had a very keen eye for the details that will really turn the experience into something enjoyable and worthwhile. There are game aspects included, such as a board game to represent the journey to school in the morning and a game of "I spy" to help with literacy learning. There are also many opportunities to reflect on the emotions and expectations that the child has about their upcoming educational experience. It is well designed to help instigate real life conversation about the child's feelings and potential anxieties. The app also intersperses several non-threatening curriculum linked learning opportunities, such as writing your name, some basic numeracy activities and literacy learning.
 
In essence, this app would be enjoyable for a child to work through on its own merits, but the fact that it is so useful for children anticipating a transition point is of huge benefit. Especially for young children, those starting at a new setting or children who struggle with changes to routine, this app would be an invaluable tool to help children and the caring adults in their lives to anticipate and negotiate any worries or problems that might become apparent.

Screenshots

  • I learn-1I learn-2I learn-3I learn-4I learn-5

From the Developer

Kids create the characters to put them self, their teacher and a parent into the words and pictures of the story. I learn blends photos (or you can use our illustrated options) together with chosen hair styles, outfits and voice recordings into a beautifully illustrated interactive story.

Seeing their face and hearing their own voice in the narration helps kids connect with the story and engage with the educational activities that are included in it's pages. These activities include:
- writing their name (younger children can start by tracing, older kids can choose different colours and write their name without assistance);
- learning letters and words with a game of I spy;
- practicing their numerical skills with a multiple choice question and answer activity on the classroom blackboard;
- learning to read by following the story text which is highlighted as it is narrated; and
- social education, so important for kids of this age, is subtly sprinkled throughout the story pages with children encouraged to identify how they and other children in the class might be feeling. Conversation prompts are included for parents with kids who sometimes feel nervous, shy or sad.

I learn, although fun at any age, is ideal for children between 3 and 8 years old. Produced in association with Screen Australia 'I learn' is Bizzibrains follow up to their award winning 'I imagine'.

I learn (mobile app) is certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program. To learn more, go to www.kidsafeseal.com.
No advertising.
No access to websites other than through our secure parental gate.
Designed for children 3 to 8 years old.
Made for iPads, iPhones and iPod touch.

Features:
√ 11 interactive story pages, hand drawn illustrations, music, sounds and narration.
√ Use of device camera & microphone.
√ An intuitive, fun 3 character creation stage including:
* Enter and record your character names;
* Enter your age and where you go to learn (school, kinder, preschool, care or enter your own place);
* Add a photo face or use our illustration;
* Choose hairstyle, clothing, shoes and colours.

√ Educational features and interactions:
* Text highlight as narrated;
* Learn to write your name;
* Get dressed, brush your hair, make your bed and pack your bag ready to go;
* Roll the dice and play a fun take on the classic board game: can you get to school, kinder or preschool on time?;
* Numerical problems tailored to child's age;
* Play I spy, learn letter sounds and identify those letters in words;
* Talk about how you might feel about going to kinder, preschool or school;
* Identify the emotions felt by other children in the classroom;
* Play in the playground.

√ Ability for parents to enter our parental gate to:
* Access our website for resources for parents with children starting kinder or school, view our privacy policy, etc.

√ I imagine contains no third party advertising. Website links are safely behind our parental gate so your child can play safely and without interruptions.

You can choose not to use the photos and microphone, however we think the app is much more fun if you do! We take your privacy seriously. This app is designed for you to add a photo of your child's face and to record their name. If you choose to do this, the photo and recording is not sent to or received by us. If you would like to know more you can read our privacy policy at www.bizzibrains.com/privacy.html

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