Title: Pines to Vines – Forest Biomes
Rating: 5 stars
Ages: 7 – 12
Price: $18.99 (well worth it)
I do not want to sound too excited but Mobile Education Store’s new book app series, Crack the Book, is the closest thing to perfection in replacing the old school textbooks. Their first offering, Pines to Vines, is a science textbook app that explores in depth the forests biomes. Developed in conjunction with Oregon State University’s Department of Forestry, the app not only offers interactive features we would hope to see such as videos, interactive maps, narration, and interactive quizzes; but the golden key to this new series is that it presents the user with a choice of five different readability levels within each book app. This makes it possible for students to access the science content at individual independent reading levels. Once comfortable with the content students reading at first and second grade levels can challenge themselves and switch to a higher reading level. If students are are reading at a fifth grade level but reach a section that they find challenging, they can step down a level and have the meaning deconstructed for them.
Under settings users can choose the type size, have the text read aloud, have test questions read aloud, ask for images in the tests, use speech to text dictation, and have their work synced with dropbox. Accessing the company’s website gives you access to lesson plans, work sheets, activities, study guides and standards correlations. The videos give the reader comparative insights into different types of forests, maps spin and zoom, and the captions to the visually compelling photos gives readers additional avenues that lead to better comprehension.There is nothing this company has not thought of when considering both differentiated instruction and teacher needs. There are many more features in this app series but I want to leave something for you to explore. Because of all it has to offer the app is priced at $18.99 but I feel it is well worth the price. This is close to, if not perfection, in what a mobile textbook can bring to today’s classroom. I cannot wait to see what they do with space and the human body. Great job Mobile Education Store!
Look for other titles in the series:
Seashores to Sea Floors
Cycles of Earth