Application: Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa
What it is: Now this, my friends, is what I’m talking about! Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa is everything an educational kids app should be. The app is truly spectacular with animations, quests, puzzles, games, excellent graphics, fantastic storyline and plenty of ways for kids to engage in play and learning. Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa was designed for kids aged 4-9. When students enter the app, they are introduced to Ansel, a friendly inter-galatic travel photographer from the planet Virtoos, and Clair, a brilliant robot. Ansel and Clair introduce students to Africa where students can explore interactive locations including Nile Valley, Sahara Desert and Serengeti Plains. As students explore, they are asked to discover, help Ansel and Clair find spaceship parts and help Ansel take pictures. As students explore, Ansel asks questions that Clair answers with her encyclopedic knowledge. Students are deeply immersed in story and learning of:
- Geography: continents, oceans, rivers, monuments and landmarks
- History: pyramids, pharaoh, mummy, hieroglyphics, Sphinx
- Science: Metamorphosis, migrations, climate seasons, temperature changes, animal characteristics, behavior, habitat and food habits
- Concepts: Camouflage, migration, nocturnal, herbivore, predator, vertebrate, cold-blooded.
Students can learn more with more than 50 screen overlays complete with text and illustrations. Throughout Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa, students will find fun games and puzzles with multiple levels to challenge students at different ages and developmental levels. Games include a treasure hunt where students learn about actual Pyramid and tomb artifacts; a clock puzzle where they learn to tell time; Frog Life Cycle where they learn about the life cycle of a frog; a maze where they learn about omnivore, carnivore or herbivore animals and Fur Ball-a-tor where students identify animal patterns.
There is SO much attention to detail in this app. Students can spin, touch and learn geography on a 3D globe, explore the Sahara in the day AND night (that way they can interact with nocturnal animals), experience a sandstorm, learn about extreme temperatures, experience the wet and dry season of the Serengeti and watch animals migrate.
Throughout the app, students observe Ansel asking questions and using higher order thinking skills to learn about Africa. Critical questioning is modeled in every area of the desert.
How Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa can enrich learning: Ansel and Clair’s Adventure in Africa is one of those wonderful apps that packs in all kinds of learning and important thinking skills. This app could be used to teach students how to ask critical questions, to improve listening and reading comprehension, to learn more about geography, to enhance a unit on Africa, to strengthen audio direction following, to enrich an animal adaptation unit or to let students “experience” history in a new way. Honestly, this is what I WISH every text-book looked like. This app immerses kids in learning in a fun and engaging way that encourages discovery and inquiry.
Rating scale: 1= low 5= Highest
Overall satisfaction 5
Easiness to learn 5
Educational value 5
Overall performance 4.5 (Some screens take just a few seconds to refresh)
I cannot wait to see more from Cognitive Kid, they know how to make an educational app!
Devices: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Price: $1.99 (iTunes Link) – I know!! You were probably expecting it to be more like a $10 app, at $1.99 it is a steal!