Kuinji! — learning art movements and painting styles can be fun and competitive!

Category: Art

Ages: 7-11 11-14
Price: iPhone/iPad - £0.99

Do your students know their pop art from their realism or their abstract from their surrealism? This app is designed to build and reinforce knowledge of the different art styles by quizzing its users on the subject.

Screenshots

  • Kuinji! — learning art movements and painting styles can be fun and competitive!-1Kuinji! — learning art movements and painting styles can be fun and competitive!-2Kuinji! — learning art movements and painting styles can be fun and competitive!-3Kuinji! — learning art movements and painting styles can be fun and competitive!-4Kuinji! — learning art movements and painting styles can be fun and competitive!-5

Teacher Review

Most people could name and identify a few art styles.  For example impressionism, cubism or pop art.  A few more could be named but, perhaps, not so confidently identified.  As the developers of Kuinji! say, the distinction between divisionism and pointillism is not so easily spotted as the difference between pop art and cubism, say.
 
This app aims to raise the art education of children and, perhaps, even their teachers.  It is a quiz app with multiple levels that are progressed through by deciding on the style to which a pictured artwork belongs.
 
Before downloading the app, you might notice that it has a 12+ age rating.  This is due to the content of the artworks within rather than the app itself.  Whether you think this app is appropriate for younger children will depend on your viewpoint regarding the nudity found in paintings.
 
Two clear ways of using this app in a classroom present themselves. The most obvious one is for students to work through it as designed.  The alternative is for a class to work on it together.  Discuss each picture as it appears and look closely at its style before making a class decision, perhaps by taking a vote.  Teachers might have to be prepared to be wrong occasionally but learning alongside children is no bad thing.
 
Not only are the users of this app learning about art styles but they are looking more closely at pictures than most people do when they flick through the pages of an art book.  Seeing artists names alongside the images and their styles builds a familiarity with the art world as a whole - at least the painted part of it.
 
The app tracks its usage.  If only a single person uses the app, this creates a very clear view of progress.  It identifies weaknesses and strengths in relation to the different art styles, identifying where the player should do more reading.  Unfortunately, as there is no facility for multiple accounts, this won't be as useful if the app is used by more than one student.
 
Each picture is presented with a multiple choice of answers. Early on in the app, only two of these are given, making each question a 50/50 choice.  Later there are four from which to choose.  The early levels are usually kept quite simple by having a choice of two very distinct styles such as realism and abstract.  Later the distinctions are less obvious.
 
So far so good, but there are a few issues with this app that may put off schools.  Firstly, it is a paid for app but it also asks for users to pay for its in-app currency to access the hints for each picture.  You don't have to do this as the hints are such things as removing 50% of the possible answers.  However, when three coins cost £0.99 and that 50/50 choice costs two of them, it doesn't seem good value.
 
Much of the text within the app is derived from Wikipedia and, indeed, this is where many of its own internal links take the user.  They are catalogued in a very pleasing to the eye and clearly laid out fashion but it is freely available information nonetheless.  Many students already display too great a dependence on Wikipedia as a single source of information as it is, without apps pushing them towards it too.
 
These faults don't take away the potential uses described in the first part of this review but they must form part of a teacher's appraisal of the app. They do mean that in schools Kuinji! is much better for teacher-led and class-based activity rather than individual study.  In this case, it is a very useful tool for filling spare minutes and continuing to build familiarity with artists and styles.

 

From the Developer

Kuinji! — is an educational quiz game, where you are given a famous artwork, four options and you need to guess the art movement/painting style.

It starts easy with correct answers being almost obvious, but becomes harder further and at some point you'll have to tell between very close styles, like pointillism and divisionism, suprematism and neoplasticism, etc.

Reading about art movements and painting styles helps understand the context and reasons, history and consequences of a particular art movement, but to tell the style of a specific painting you need to train your eyes, and learn to connect what you've read with what you see.

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Curriculum Aligned

Yes (Find out more)