DreamscapeEDU

Rating DreamscapeEDU - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 5+
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About DreamscapeEDU

DreamscapeEDU helps kids between seven and fourteen develop their English literacy skills within one of the most game-like services available as an educational app. The game is very similar to popular base-building games but incorporates reading practice and comprehension questions as part of its in-game resource acquisition.

The service can be accessed by players on iOS, Android or through a web app. The apps are free to download, and players can play a feature-limited version for free indefinitely. A subscription unlocks the app fully, and schools that subscribe can provide log-in details for kids to use at home.

DreamscapeEDU Review

What is DreamscapeEDU app?

Is DreamscapeEDU a game with an educational core or an educational app within a game-like framework? This literacy-practice app blurs the lines between play and education more than most.

DreamscapeEDU has taken many of the most popular aspects of modern games and built them around an educational core. The closest game type to the one featured in this app is that of base-building. These are popular with adults and kids alike as players enjoy seeing their base (dwell in this game) grow and become better able to take on more powerful enemies.

Players can't just build ever more impregnable forts without earning the resources first, and that comes from the learning content in this app. Kids have to read the text and answer questions about it to complete challenges which the app rewards with in-game bonuses, currency, and items.

What we love about DreamscapeEDU.

In this part of the review of DreamscapeEDU, we will look at the app's game section and educational content separately.

The game

DreamscapeEDU's graphics and sound are equal to those in many mobile games. An out-of-context screenshot would not be discernible from a pure entertainment title. DreamscapeEDU keeps players engaged with daily targets, rewards, challenges, and the core gameplay experience. Variety is provided by earning new upgrades, both cosmetic and gameplay-based.

DreamscapeEDU adds one more popular feature—the ability to take on friends. Students can pit their skills against their classmates in multiplayer battles. That's the game part, which is excellent. What about the educational aspect of this gamified app? Do we love that too?

The learning

In pure base-building games, players earn upgrades in various ways, such as completing challenges. This is the case in DreamscapeEDU, too but with the addition that players gain in-game currency by reading passages of text and answering comprehension questions.

You might feel that this aspect interferes with the game, and, to an extent, you'd be right, but in pure games, there is what is known as 'grinding'. Players have to plod through tasks that they may not find especially interesting to build up their resources.

In comparison, reading some text and answering a few questions is more interesting. The text varies in length and complexity as the player advances. It was good to see that the comprehension questions were not ones that only required simple surface reading but also incorporated more advanced reading skills like inference and technical knowledge of the English language.

What skills does it improve?

DreamscapeEDU focuses on building English literacy skills and can take children from beginners to advanced readers. Its basic skills content include summarising and identifying events and characters. As players become more advanced, they look at symbolism, mood, and considering the author's purpose. Alongside their reading development, kids learn about the English language, including the use of punctuation, types of words, and other technical aspects.

What age is it appropriate for?

DreamscapeEDU targets the US grades 2 to 8, which is age 7 to 14. Whichever curricula your child follows at school, the rate of progress expected of them in reading is not likely to vary much from this app's structure.

Is DreamscapeEDU easy to use?

Teachers needn't fear that it will take them long to understand how to use DreamscapeEDU to its fullest, as schools have the option of a training session with the app's support team. For day-to-day reference and further insight before buying the app, there is a selection of helpful tutorial videos on YouTube.

Students have access to video and text-based gameplay instructions and guides. Many kids will be able to apply their existing gameplay experience to this educational game.

How will students benefit?

There are many gamified apps, but few that fully embrace the whole aspect of modern gaming. Kids don't just play computer games; they live and breathe them by refining their approach and learning tricks and tips from video tutorials. The developer behind DreamscapeEDU has replicated this with a well-populated YouTube channel that trains kids to get better at the game and make them more able to beat their friends.

As kids improve and practise DreamscapeEDU's gameplay, they cannot avoid practising and developing their reading and literacy skills! It all feels like part of the game, though.

How will teachers benefit?

DreamscapeEDU has not made the mistake of many apps by focussing on the home market and leaving schools as an afterthought. The service integrates superbly with a set of teacher-friendly tools that will help administer, assess, and support kids as they learn to read.

DreamscapeEDU's teacher dashboard is very comprehensive but has a shallow learning curve. Any teacher will pick it up quickly, but those who have used similar features in other apps will get going immediately.

Setting up the service for new classes is easy. The service is compatible with Google Classroom, so you can import class lists, create student accounts manually, or invite your kids to link their accounts if they have already discovered the app.

Teachers can rely on the app's adaptive algorithms to allocate tasks of the appropriate level or intervene to assign tasks where they feel that their insight into their students' ability warrants it. Teachers allocate assignments on a calendar-style screen.

The dashboard provides real-time assessment feedback so that teachers can monitor and check on kids during lesson time and provide input if needed. This is always valuable as it puts less time between students making a mistake and teachers giving correction and support, but it also eases the after-class workload burden on teachers.

The app also involves teachers in the in-game rewards. Using the dashboard, teachers can give treasure chests to kids alongside a message of encouragement or explanation.

How will parents benefit?

The multi-device approach of DreamscapeEDU is valuable for parents. Schools can never take it for granted that kids will have access to any technology, but having the app work through downloadable apps on iOS and Android, alongside a web-app version that works on any computer or device, minimises the problem. The app works equally well on all of the devices and automatically saves progress. 

Parents aren't left unsupported by the app. Whether they subscribe to the app independently or their kids' school provides access, parents can learn about the app and how to support their kids who use it by accessing the parental guides on YouTube. Teachers also have access to an information letter that they can print and send to parents when they first set up the service for kids.

What can DreamscapeEDU improve on?

As well as taking many fun attributes of games and incorporating them, DreamscapeEDU has also borrowed the less welcome micro-transaction model.

Paying for these is not compulsory, and kids can play the app perfectly well without them, but their presence is a distraction.

A review of DreamscapeEDU is not the place to go into the suitability of consumable in-app purchases in apps aimed at children. Still, their presence in this app needs to be something that parents and teachers should consider.

Players who do not have a subscription and those who do can still buy mCoins and earn them in-game. The coins provide gameplay boosts and aesthetic upgrades. A straightforward subscription model would be preferable on an educational basis and a value one. It is an unwelcome surprise to see student accounts created by a premium teacher account still featuring opportunities to purchase coins.

How much does DreamscapeEDU cost?

The DreamscapeEDU app is free to download, and users have access to a DreamscapeEDU basic account. This version is still fun and educational, but it pushes the premium version quite heavily and the purchase of in-game coins.

What is included with the free version vs. paid?

A premium subscription makes the app fully usable and avoids distracting kids with upgrade prompts. It still has the option to make in-app purchases to gain the app's currency, although kids can earn this through the tasks they play as part of the game.

The supporting website claims that member accounts increase student engagement by 6x, which would lead to increased reading and, therefore, better progress.

Is DreamscapeEDU safe to use?

The gameplay in DreamscapeEDU involves cartoon-like combat between imaginary creatures that is not out of place in an app aimed at young children. None of the content is unsuitable for kids, and the service holds only their first name and last name initial.

First-party advertising sometimes appears on the side of the web app's screen, even in a premium account. The ad seen during this review was for special offers and disappeared if the player clicked to make the game take up the entire screen.

This review has described the presence of micro-payments in the app. They are not an ideal feature, but they are not essential to use. Parents need to consider whether their kids would be too easily distracted by the desire for new in-game items, and schools need to consider whether loot-box-style purchases fit with their ethos. 

Overall rating of the app.

DreamscapeEDU is a remarkable app for the extent to which it has built a game-like environment around learning material. Its presentation, features, and broader support feel like part of a true, modern game. We just wish it had left micropayments behind in the game world.

This high-quality game built around an educational core and merging with it, if not seamlessly, but certainly as much as can be expected, results in a fantastic learning platform. Teachers and parents are well-supported by DreamscapeEDU, and it gives kids an enticing and fun five-star learning experience.

App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Academic Relevance
Reading

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - Yes - 1st Party

Publisher

Eyeread Inc

Download DreamscapeEDU

You can download DreamscapeEDU on your iOS or Android devices from the app stores. Download the DreamscapeEDU app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS

Screenshots for DreamscapeEDU

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Description

Dreamscape combines the strategy and engagement of popular base-building games with imaginative reading passages and interactive questions to create a ferociously fun English literacy game! Players of Dreamscape are dropped into the realm of dreams and are tasked with defending their “dwell” (the place where their own dreams live and are created) from invading “reveries” (dream creatures). In order to collect resources and build new structures to defend their dwell, players must read passages and answer comprehension questions. The goal of the game is to build your dwell to higher and higher levels, create new reveries of your own, and collect shards to climb up the leaderboard and face-off against other players!

Compatible with iPad 4 or higher, iPad Mini 2 or higher, iPhone 5 or higher.

Terms & Conditions: https://www.squigglepark.com/dreamscape-terms-conditions/