Great New Apps for Music, Middle School, Math, And More

| October 31, 2011 | 2 Comments
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Continuing our monthly Educational Apps series, here are some of the new iOS, Android, and Web-based educational apps that caught our eye this month:

THE WORMWORLD SAGA

The Wormworld Saga is an online graphic novel about Jonas Berg, a young boy who enters an alternative fantasy world through a magical painting. Author and artist Dan Lieske held a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the graphic novel’s creation, and the response was overwhelming — almost doubling Lieske’s original funding request and enabling him to focus fulltime on the project. The Wormworld Saga has been available on the Web for a while, but it entered the iTunes store (link) this month with an iPad app that’s perfect for its vision of a continuous-scrolling story. (iOS, free with in-app purchases for additional chapters)

KILL MATH

Bret Victor has collected his ideas about making math more meaningful to learners and designed Kill Math around the idea. “We are no longer constrained by pencil and paper,” he writes. “The symbolic shuffle should no longer be taken for granted as the fundamental mechanism for understanding quantity and change. Math needs a new interface.” In thinking what this new interface might entail, Kill Math offers a number of projects and ideas, including a Scrubbing Calculator and an interactive essay about using visualizations. (Web, free)

SCRIBBLENAUTS

Scribblenauts isn’t a new game, but it’s new to iPhone and iPad this month. Scribblenauts was originally created for Nintendo DS and received a lot of praise for its open-ended gaming. The game is rather unique insofar as it lets players create almost any item they can think of in order to help the main character, Maxwell, complete the various challenges. link (iOS, $4.99)

INSTINCT

Still in private beta, Instinct offers a Web-based tool for learning how to play the guitar. The Web site shows you how to play a piece of music — with visual instructions on fingering, strings and the fretboard, you follow along on your own instrument, and the app uses your computer’s microphone to help give you instant feedback. (Web, beta)

CODIFY

Remember the argument when the iPad was first released that it was just a tool for consumption and not creation? Here’s more proof that that argument was wrong: Codify. The new app lets you write software and build games and simulations on your iPad. The app uses the Lua programming language and takes advantage of the tablet’s multitouch screen to help you easily edit your code. link (iOS, $7.99)

MIDDLE SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL

The popular series Middle School Confidential has released an app, bringing a book about character-building and self-confidence to iOS and to the Nook Color (link). As with other titles in the series, the book provides advice for common middle school issues, made accessible via its graphic novel format. ($2.99, iOS and Nook)

MINDNODE

MindNode allows users to organize their ideas via mindmaps (link). The app allows users to brainstorm, plan, and research. There are also Mac versions of the app should you want to share the files between your mobile device and laptop, but the touchscreen of the iPhone or iPad are well-suited for pulling out and scrolling to different “nodes.” (iOS, $9.99)

GEOLOQI

The location-based platform Geoloqi added an incredibly cool new feature this month to its mobile app (link): a Wikipedia layer. You can now turn on a feature with the app so that you get push notifications, based on content from Wikipedia articles, when you’re in certain areas. This isn’t just information of the “across the street is a good restaurant” sort, but rather historical and contextual information for the places you visit. (iOS, free)

VOICETHREAD

VoiceThread is a popular Web-based tool that allows you to build collaborative presentations with text, images, videos, and yes, voice. The company has just released an iPhone app that makes it easier to snap photos for VoiceThreads with your camera, to narrate or annotate slides, and to share them with others. (link) (iOS, free with in-app purchases)

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  • http://profiles.google.com/iphone6world iPhone 6 World

    We read the app reviews at iPad Instructions
    Guide
    before purchasing anything new for our iPad 2. There are tips and
    tricks for the iPad in their video download sections that work pretty
    well.  I’m not sure if this one has been
    reviewed there however.  They might be pretty light on the edu apps though.

  • gman thebrave

    I’m looking for some educational apps for my middle schooler
    and I have to say that I am impressed with many of these apps shown here for my
    son and me as well.  The graphic novel WormWorld
    Saga as well as the “confidence” app are very appealing to me.  I promised my wife that I would find some
    educational apps for our kids this Christmas to compliment the educational
    programming that we record for them on our DISH Network DVR.  We bought them the iPhones so they could
    watch TV in HD away from home which works well. 
    The Sling Adapter I have connected to my employee TV service gives us
    live or recorded TV anywhere we have internet and believe you me, we use it a
    lot.