Some time back we were invited to try the iTooch educational apps series but with so much going on, it took us a while to get around to it. I’m glad we finally made time for it because it is actually pretty good. The iTooch series of apps are created by eduPad. What’s great about them is that they are designed with older kids in mind. Most of the structured educational apps previously were created for preschool kids and there was a very limited range available for the older kids. I’m sure that there are a lot more apps available now but the iTooch series was the first I came across that helped to address the gap.
The iTooch curriculum covers materials for Grade 3 and up but I thought we could give it a go since Aristotle seems to be coping fairly well with the Math topics from Splash Math Grade 3. iTooch apps cover a range of subjects – Math, Language Arts, Science, Music, Health, and French. The Elementary School app only covers Math, Language Arts and Science – this is the only app in the series that we’ve trialed but as far as I understand, it contains the content for the individual subject apps (Math and Language Arts) from Grade 3 to 5. The individual Math and Language Arts apps that go by grade are designed specially for school use. For homeschool use, download iTooch Elementary for the Grade 3 to 5 Math, Language Arts and Science curriculum and iTooch Middle School for the Grade 6 to 8 Math and Language Arts curriculum.
Both apps are free to download and you will have free access to the first two chapters to trial the app. The rest of the curriculum can be downloaded via an in-app purchases of $4.99 per subject per grade.
The iTooch app functions similarly to a digital workbook. Each topic is introduced with a chapter.
Your child can then work through a series of practice questions on the material covered. If your child is progressing well through the practice questions, iTooch will recommend that your child shift to test mode. Each test contains six questions that are either multiple-choice or fill in the blanks. A score out of 6 will be given at the end of the test to determine whether your child needs more practice on with this topic or if she’s ready for the next one. Bonus points are given for beating the time limit.
When a topic is completed, it will be marked so you know what your child has completed. A star indicates full marks. A green circle indicates “satisfactory completion”. A yellow circle indicates “more practice required”.
Part of the curriculum covered in iTooch Elementary (we’ve only covered Grade 3 so far):
1. Language Arts
- Writing and composition
- Research and reasoning
- Vocabulary booster
- Physical Science – matter, magnets, motion, energy
- Life Science – living and non-living, ecosystems, habitats, life cycles, food chain, food web, pollution, conservation, recycling, endangered species, extinction, dinosaurs, fossils, human body, health
- Earth Systems – air, water, water cycle, clouds, precipitation, day and night, effects of temperature on water, night sky, moon phases, solar system, seasons, weather, land, Earth materials, rock cycle
- Numbers and operations
- Fractions, decimals and money
- Measurement and data
- Graphs and statistics
iTooch Elementary videos:
For an educational app, I thought they covered the curriculum pretty well. In terms of interactivity, it probably isn’t as fun as some other apps we’ve seen (Bobo Explores Light and Drago Box are two that come to mind). As a homeschool and supplementary school resource, I think this app certainly simplifies a lot of the teaching process (if you’re following conventional education methods). Unfortunately, there is no multi-student function so you can’t really have two kids working on it concurrently (or perhaps you can if you get the school version). The upside is that it’s good for the trees because you can re-set the app for a younger child rather than having to buy a whole new set of workbooks.
Another gripe is that the images cannot be enlarged and some of the finer print is hard to read. For instance, in the image of the composition of gases in the air, it is hard to read the key. Unless I’m missing something, there appears to be no way to enlarge the images the way we zoom in on photos.
Unlike Splash Math and Teach Me, there is no fun reward for completing the topics. Instead, it is similar to martial arts – a coloured belt is assigned after a certain number of points have been earned – e.g. white belt, yellow belt, orange belt, etc. I didn’t think it was particularly motivating but it seems to have Aristotle going. He looks forward to every new coloured belt he earns.
These are the apps currently available from eduPad (you should book mark their site because they seem to be quite active in releasing new apps):
- iTooch Elementary School – Math, Language Arts, and Science (Grade 3-5)
- iTooch Grade 1 – Math and Language Arts
- iTooch Grade 2 – Math and Language Arts
- iTooch Grade 3 – Math, Language Arts, and Science
- iTooch Grade 4 – Math, Language Arts, and Science
- iTooch Grade 5 – Math, Language Arts, and Science
- iTooch Math Grade 5
- iTooch Math Grade 6
- iTooch Math Grade 7
- iTooch Math Grade 8
- iTooch Language Arts Grade 5
- iTooch Language Arts Grade 6
- iTooch Language Arts Grade 7
- iTooch Language Arts Grade 8
- iTooch Recess
- iTooch Music – The Basics, Theory, Cultures and Styles, History
- iTooch French as a Foreign Language
- iTooch Health Grade 6 – Nutrition, Medical Musts, Physical Activity and Sports, Safety, Growth and Development
- iTooch Middle School – Math and Language Arts (Grade 6-8)
- iTooch SAT – Critical Reading, Math, Biology, US History
- iTooch TOEFL