MyZone

Rating MyZone - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 7+
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About MyZone

MyZone is a content-packed app which teaches kids about many topics by naturally linking between them. It allows kids to grow their subject and general knowledge while developing analytical, problem-solving, and cross-curricular understanding.

Parents create MyZone accounts for kids on the website, and kids use downloadable apps on iOS and Android for their learning. The current content for MyZone is suitable for kids aged between 10 and 12.

At the time of this review, MyZone is in beta and offers five substantial themes for kids to explore at no cost to their parents.

MyZone Review

What is MyZone app?

MyZone is a cross-curricular learning platform which encourages kids' curiosity and teaches them new skills and knowledge linked by a theme. These themes are called journeys in the app. The journeys are The Blue Whale, Photography, the Amazon Rainforest, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Human Brain.

For example, the Blue Whale journey leads kids through a journey to the Antarctic in search of a Blue Whale. This theme includes elements of math, zoology, geography, the media, and our ability to bring about positive change.

The Photography journey covers art, history, science, journalism, and computer skills.

The events and characters come through as messages that kids respond to with their choice of answers and actions. Within those messages are videos, animations, images, interactive exercises, mini-quizzes and more in-depth articles.

MyZone uses gamification to keep kids engaged. It awards points for kids stepping through the journeys and showing curiosity to follow the links to deeper content.

As users progress through the app, they complete real-world assignments, which the MyZone team check and feedback on. These can be text, photo, or sound-based. You can view (or hear)your child's uploads in the Parent Zone. There are also small interactive games to let kids apply their understanding.

MyZone is a newly developed learning platform still in its pilot phase. It has an advantage for any curious parents as you can give your child access to all of the existing content without paying anything. The finished app should have much more content, but what exists so far is substantial.

What we love about MyZone app.

MyZone provides a style of learning not typically available in schools where topics are taught in discrete subject-based lessons. Following a theme shows kids how their growing knowledge works as a whole and lets them build interdisciplinary skills.

Educational apps which don't follow oft-trodden paths are rare, and it is great to see one trying something different and executing the idea very well. The app is well designed, the content copious, and the writing and media are high quality.

The videos provide excellent examples or illustrations. Short ones offer context to a written fact, while longer ones have narration and graphics to help with more indepth explanations.

Kids realise they are learning alongside others as the app offers polls and feeds back the collated results. Kids see whether they are an outlier in their opinion or part of the majority.

The journeys are substantial enough to be split into chapters. Chapters make each journey less intimidating for kids and provide a handy marker for them. Knowing that a convenient endpoint regularly appears, they're more likely to continue until then. It also provides a convenient place to stop when they need to do something else.

We'd have been disappointed if poor execution had marred MyZone's excellent concept, but we're glad to say we were impressed by the presentation and quality of the material, the app's original approach, and the quality of the app itself.

What skills does it teach?

MyZone touches on most aspects of a typical school curriculum. Math, history, geography, writing, the natural world, physics, social responsibility and more crop up frequently throughout the journeys. However, the way this information links also encourages deeper understanding, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and general knowledge.

Through all of the journeys, kids do plenty of reading as the app presents them as a two-way conversation in the style of a messaging app.

What age is it appropriate for?

During the pilot phase of MyZone, the content in the app addresses kids with educational levels corresponding with the US grades 4 and 5. The content will be relevant for kids between 10 and 12 in other countries. Access is currently without charge in the platform's pilot phase, so you can test it with your kids at no risk.

Due to the app's cross-curricular thematic approach, it does not directly correspond with any curriculum.

Is MyZone app easy to use?

The Parent Zone has enough features and information to help parents understand their kids' progress and use of the app. It tells you how many journeys kids have completed, the rewards they've earned, and the files they've uploaded.

Kids should have no trouble using the iOS or Android apps. They work very similarly to a messaging app. Kids scroll, tap, and play the content that appears.

How will students benefit?

The app feels very friendly to use. The chat-style interface is partly responsible for this, as kids build a relationship with the characters in the app. The conversational approach lets the app integrate supporting media easily and naturally.

The app's message-style interface encourages kids to read a deceptively large amount without realising it. Kids not keen on reading books may find MyZone gives them a similar experience without the book-like feel.

Reluctant readers will see each short message, answer, read the next and so on. By the end, they'll have read a whole topic's worth of information without ever feeling the intimidation of turning to page one of a long chapter.

As kids progress through the app, we expect their general attainment level to grow. They'll see links between subjects which will reinforce their understanding, and the fascinating topics will expose them to new interests.

How will parents benefit?

As mentioned earlier in this review of MyZone, the cross-curricular learning style it delivers is not one typically provided in schools. MyZone's approach gives parents an educational app option that does not feel like duplicating school learning.

Parents typically choose educational apps to extend able kids or support struggling ones. MyZone is an alternative for all kids which gives them extra practice at key skills, a new perspective on how to use their knowledge, and boosts their information-handling ability.

Homeschooling parents who have more flexibility to follow their kids' interests could use points of interest from this app to inspire other lessons. Kids who want to pursue an idea in this app could do extra creative writing or research. The app's methods should help parents think about how to use cross-curricular links to enrich learning.

The app lets parents set a restriction on using it to prevent them from racing through the content without absorbing it properly. Parents do not have to activate this, but it can limit kids to completing a single journey per day.

How will teachers benefit?

At the time of this review of MyZone, the platform is focused on home use. The admin dashboard is called the Parent Zone and is not built for managing kids by class.

Teachers could still use the journeys as a shared experience in the class to inspire further interest or motivate relevant project work.

What can MyZone app improve on?

The app assumes its users are all from the US. For example, the app illustrates the size of a Blue Whale by referencing the length of an NBA basketball court which kids from other countries might not get. To be fair, this is only one frame of reference, as the app also uses a more readily understood reference to a passenger jet.

However, it also references other countries' use of the metric system rather than the imperial system we use. A slight change of language and the app would be more appealing to non-US kids and perhaps feel a little less 'us and them' to kids in the US.

A common scenario for setting up an app like MyZone is for an adult to create the account on a desktop or laptop before downloading it onto their kid's device. Rather than searching the cluttered iOS or Android stores, it would be more convenient if the website had a QR link. A quick scan would then take new users straight to the correct app.

Some parents may feel more comfortable if the app could turn off photo-based reallife tasks. Alternatively, the app could allow parents to approve photos before they are uploaded.

How much does MyZone app cost?

At the time of this review of MyZone, the platform was in a pilot phase. The app has five journeys available and is entirely free to use. The app will have over 100 journeys and a subscription when fully released. No more details about pricing, trials, and subscription periods are currently available.

Is MyZone app safe to use?

As part of the sign-up process, the app will ask for the following information:

Adult's name, email address and password to create the account. Child's first name and year of birth.

These are all justifiable to help the app work effectively, and a commitment not to share them with third parties accompanies the form.

After registration, the app offers to send the link to connect your child's app to them via your child's email or phone number. This step is for your convenience only, as you can pass the code to your child, but the publishers promise not to store the details.

This parent-focused process reflects MyZone's prioritising child safety and data protection over convenience for sign-up. Instead of asking kids to accept privacy policies and terms and conditions, which, realistically, they'd never read or understand, the responsibility sits with their parents.

We appreciate this change of emphasis and feel that other educational apps should take a similar approach.

Some real-world tasks the app sets involve kids taking photographs of their surroundings, which the MyZone team reviews. The MyZone app reminds kids not to include themselves in the photographs.

You should also remind kids of appropriate precautions. A photo's background can include more than intended. Kids could capture their reflections, personally identifiable details or something else you would prefer not to be uploaded.

You can review these images at any time in the ParentZone, but not before your child submits them.

Overall rating of the app.

For an app in beta that only contains five per cent of its planned content MyZone is impressive. We urge parents to download it while it is free. The five existing journeys will feed their kids' curiosity at no cost to the family budget.

We hope MyZone builds on its first five journeys as it leaves its beta edition. They've earned it five stars, and we can't wait to see what the subsequent 100ish journeys offer!

App Details

Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Academic Relevance
Thinking & Reasoning
Reading

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Exponetica Ltd.

Download MyZone

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

Download MyZonefor Android Download MyZonefor iOS Visit Website

Screenshots of MyZone

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