Learning Upgrade – Review


What we love…

Step-by-step instructions, summaries, examples in lessons are presented through fun videos and songs.

What we’d love to see…

An option to remove or adjust the timer for the final challenge in each course.

Summary

A complete Math and English learning app that keeps students engaged and motivated to learn and upgrade.

Our Rating

Is your child having problems mastering a particular Math or English lesson no matter what you do to help? My youngest has been struggling to remember the basic rules of writing a simple sentence despite having done many written exercises. Then I let him have a go at the app, Learning Upgrade. To my surprise, he picked up the skills easily within the day!

What worked for my son (who is a visual learner) is the combination of teaching through catchy songs, lively animations and entertaining videos plus game-like exercises that are fun to do. Learning Upgrade is a very engaging learning app. It has lessons that he likes to watch again and again, pop-style songs (highlighting the key words) that he tries to sing along with and exercises that he is willing to redo because all the questions are attractively presented and it is easy for him to input his answers. He especially likes the app’s positive and enthusiastic response whenever he submits a correct answer.

What I like, on the other hand, is the use of visual representations, summaries and examples to teach, the helpful guided exercises that reinforce the learning points, the different ways of questioning to ensure a student’s full understanding of the topic, the comprehensive coverage and the gradual and progressive manner in which skills are being taught.

Students are allowed to progress to the next lesson only when they have earned 100 points (from correct answers) and attained at least 75% correct. A rewards system is in place to encourage students to repeat the exercises in order to improve on their scores. At the completion of a course, students have to pass the final challenge before moving to the next course. But you can also choose to unlock all the lessons in your account settings so that your child can jump to any lesson.

I appreciate how the app supports students who need a little extra help in answering the questions in the learning games that follow each video lesson. Lines in passages are underlined as they are read out. There is a speaker button to tap if students need to hear the questions or instructions again. For answers that require reading, students can hear the individual words before attempting to answer. They also have the opportunity to check their answers before submitting.

The app doesn’t miss any teaching moments either. A short animation repeating the answer follows the correct answer to give further reinforcement. When an incorrect answer is submitted, the correct answer is always demonstrated and the app does not move to the next screen until the student has enough time to review the answer.

Learning Upgrade is free to download and comes with a video on the course descriptions and 6 demo lessons (with exercises) – 3 each for Math and English. If you register with an email, you will have free access to 8 lessons for each subject. To begin, choose between English or Math and then decide between 3 starting points. You can choose to start from the beginning of the curriculum, take a placement test to determine a course that is appropriate for your child’s learning needs or just select a course level that you want to review.

Currently, the app offers 60 lessons for each of the English Upgrade level 1-5 and Math Upgrade level K-8 courses, that’s more than 900 lessons in total. A course on Algebra was also added recently. To continue beyond the free lessons, you have 3 subscription plans to choose from – $7.99 for 1 month access to all lessons, $19.99 for 3 months and $59.99 for 12 months. You can access your lessons from the web as well as your smart phones and tablets. An internet connection is required for loading the lessons and saving the student’s progress.

Learning Upgrade is a comprehensive Math and English learning app that complements the school curriculum. Lessons are professionally done and enjoyable. Review exercises are varied and effective. Whether your child is trying to catch up or stay ahead of the class, Learning Upgrade is an excellent learning companion to have.

 

 

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Learning Upgrade

Learning Upgrade Learning Upgrade by Learning Upgrade

Price: $FREE

Students of all ages and abilities can successfully improve and master basic math, English, and reading skills with the Learning Upgrade app.

Since 1998, Learning Upgrade courses have been successfully.

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.



Smashing Grammar by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

six fun mini games which target grammar and spelling skills in a fun themed app which encourages play, self regulation, speed and fun!

What we’d love to see…

ability to slow down game play, multi-player option,  ability to have more time to “read” the sentence before play starts.

Summary

Fun grammar themed app which is great for practicing academic skills which carry over to reading, writing and school work.  The app is fun and encouraged my son to practice even during summer vacation!

Our Rating

Smashing GrammarSmashing Grammar by Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS which targets spelling and grammar sounds.  This app targets slightly older kids ages 9-12 compared to other apps in the Fairlady Media series.  The app has a variety of six mini games which target specific skills to practice.  Each game has words that pop up and you touch the right word to correctly answer the problem.  If you miss, you get a deduction, if you succeed you get points and once you get multiple correct in a row you can get a bonus.  There are other objects which pop up including a heart, a leaf and a bomb.  Each of these has their own actions — sometimes good and other times not!  The app helps promote self-regulation as kids have to scan and hit the correct answer before they disappear or points will be deducted.

iPad Screenshot 4

 

The games are:

  • Noun Disco – which has you smashing nouns to complete the sentence in a timed series of questions.  Don’t hit the bomb or you miss points!
  • Verb Garden– this watermelon garden themed mini game has you smashing verbs to complete the sentences similar to the noun game
  • Syllable Spaghetti – guess how many syllables are in a specific word type
  • Spelling Slumber Party – hit the pillows to smash the correctly spelled word
  • Tense in paradise – practice cur rent, future and past tenses all while hitting coconuts
  • Plural Piggies – find the plural or singular word and smash it

I liked the variety of mini games and that I could target specific types of skills with my sounds without having them all mixed together.  I also liked that you could turn on and off the music in case your child found it distracting as mine did.  Each mini game also has a “help” which defines the type of item you are targeting such as syllables with examples.  The games were well thought out and included appropriate grammar for the targeted age bracket.  My son liked the games because it made practicing school “fun” even though it was summer vacation and I liked that he was working on academic skills even in the summer.  I would like to see a multi-player mode because I enjoyed the app and got to the harder levels which meant my son couldn’t play because it was simply too hard for him.  The app has narration which is well done and very clear in articulation with the spoken portions.  As each level gets harder, more word choices are presented and it goes from a one handed tapping app to two hands if you want  to select multiple answers within the game.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to see a way to slow down the words – my eight year old struggled a bit to move to the next level a few times because he needed more time to complete the activity.  As he progressed, some of the higher levels got too hard for him and even got a bit harder for me.  Another thought, it would be nice if the sentence at the top appeared for a few more seconds so a child could start to think about it before they blindly start trying to find the right words.

Overall, this is a great app which encourages a variety of academic skills related to grammar.  Teaching grammar is one of the hardest academic skills because sometimes, kids simply have a hard time with spelling or visualizing a word.  This app makes it fun and entertaining with the end goal of moving on to a new level.  I enjoyed the app a lot as did my son – and played it enough that we reached level 11 in most of the mini games!  There are no in-app purchases or advertising contained within the app.

 

Smashing Grammar
Smashing Grammar
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76
Size: 165.29 MB

$2.99USD

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Screenshots for iPad
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.



Bla Bla Box by Marbotic – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

easy to use app that allows kids to play with letters, syllables and even create words in both a touch screen format as well as using an optional toy

What we’d love to see…

ability to save words you have created, way to align words to the far left when starting them so you don’t run out of space or have to drag them over to finish creating them

Summary

Overall this is a brightly colored fun app that encourages preschool and early elementary aged children to practice their spelling and letters. I liked how it sounded out each of the letters and words in a dynamic way.

Our Rating

Bla Bla BoxBla Bla Box by Marbotic is a iPad only app that lets kids explore how letters make sounds and form words.  The app is designed for preschool through early elementary school aged children and is available with five different languages.  When you move the letters onto the screen from the bottom, the letters are sounded out and as you form words they are spoken aloud.  It is helpful for emerging readers – my emerging reader used it to spell out some words in his library book before asking me what the word said.  The app can be used stand alone or with a companion wooden toy that allows you to put the letters on the screen.  The app is available in English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch with some of the languages requiring an additional in-app purchase.

To use the app, you pull the letters from the bottom where they are listed and put them up in the middle part of the screen,  Each letter is sounded out as you put it on the screen and if you run low on space, you can click the word as it is underlined and move it over toward the edge so you can finish it.  Once the word is completed, you simply click the underlined word (or letters) and pull it to the top of the screen where it disappears.  The app is great for emerging readers who may do “creative spelling” or helping kids to break down sight words or even those who are creating shorter words and then learning to add endings like ing, ed, en to help understand how it changes the sound of the word.

iPad Screenshot 2

I really liked the flexibility of the app – you could create a word and then lengthen it easily to include a new ending or move around the letters entirely to make a new word.  If you accidentally pulled in a letter you could put it in the trash can and start anew.

In terms of enhancements – I wish the words would align left when you place the first letter on – sometimes when we worked on longer words we ran out of space on the tablet even if the word was not fully spelled out. I would also like to see a place where the words you have spelled out go to because right now when you drag them to the top of the screen they disappear.

There is no advertising, a gated parental area has external links and is accessed via a math problem from the front page.

Overall, this is a fun app for practicing spelling of words.  I liked how it encouraged my son spell out his sight words and work on his creative spelling when he heard that the words were spelled differently than the sounded.  It has external links that are protected via a parental gate and bright colors and illustrations which encourage kids to interact with the app.


by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.



Bitsboard PRO – The Best Educational Learning Games and Flash Cards in 1 App by Innovative Investments Limited – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

Fully customizable lessons with lots of different learning modes.

What we’d love to see…

Even more boards on math.

Summary

Bitsboard Pro is the ultimate educational app with top-quality content and outstanding enabling features to meet the learning needs of every child.

Our Rating

How many times have you wished that you can modify a well-developed learning app just that little bit to better match your child’s skills. Or thought of replacing some of the content with your own instead? Have you ever wondered if there is this ONE App that can meet most (if not all) of your child’s educational needs? What about an app that can accommodate the educational goals and learning difficulties of an entire class?

This is a tall order for any app considering children learn at different pace and thrive in different learning environment. And to be able to add our own content in an app seems like an impossible task! But Bitsboard Pro has all our wishes covered. It is the ultimate educational app for children from preschool right up to elementary school level, giving you access to thousands of topics (with many new ones added every month) and the ability to customize the way students learn in the app as well as the app content itself.

Alright, most of us don’t have the time nor inclination to create our own content. We just want an app that has ready-to-download learning materials and Bitsboard has lots of content to offer. After creating a user account, you can browse through Bitsboard’s extensive lessons catalog or search for specific lessons and download (over the internet) the ones that you need. Here, lessons are presented in individual boards, each containing a series of flashcards (bits). Topics include languages, vocabulary, grammar, reading (sight words, word families, phonics, readers), sentence maker, speech, spelling, letter tracing, math facts, math operations, money, time telling, sign language, routines, sequences, emotions and many more! The free version of Bitsboard itself comes with lots of shared resources that you can start with right away.

What I really love in Bitsboard is that you can choose up to 30 fully customizable learning modes or games that help children to learn and retain the information presented in the lessons. You can start with the simpler games and progress to the more complex ones. With so many different ways to learn the same materials, students remain engaged and learn better. Check out Bitsboard’s long list of fun learning games – Flashcards, Explore, True or False, Photo Touch, Photo Hunt, Memory Cards, Pop Quiz, Match Up, Word Builder, Sentence Builder, Spelling Bee, BINGO, Letter Tracing, Sequences, Related items, Word Search, Word Chunks, Crosswords, Unscramble, Say It, Missing Item, Puzzles, Reader, What’s Next, Odd One Out, Sort It, Side by Side, Story Time, Genius, Review Game and Board Creator

For each game, you can modify things like the session length, with or without visual/audio hints, spelling order, display options, number of tiles, matching options and answer mode. Customization is easy but it would be tedious if you have more than 1 user. Luckily, you don’t have to keep adjusting the settings and preferences as these are saved for each user (unlimited users for the Pro version). Likewise, the tracking of detailed progress and lesson plans is stored at the user level. Bitsboard’s learning algorithm also ensures that each game automatically advances according to the individual user’s skills.

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If you are an educator, you will like the ease of creating custom lessons with your own cards (from photo library, dropbox, web search or Bitsboard Catalog of images), audio recording and text (words, phrases, sentences, description). Your students can learn anything you present to them using the Bitsboard learning games. You can also set up your own exclusive class with your own selection of boards for sharing with your students or fellow teachers privately.

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I’m truly impressed with all the meaningful features that have been continually added in Bitsboard in order to support students and educators. There are many more that are not mentioned here. This all-in-one educational app far exceeds all my expectations in terms of content and ability to be customized. I don’t think you’ll find another app that is as versatile and comprehensive as this. Bitsboard Pro is an essential learning app that all families and classes must have!

Bitsboard PRO – The Best Educational Learning Games and Flash Cards in 1 App
Free lite version –

Bitsboard Flashcards PRO Bitsboard Flashcards PRO by Happy Moose Apps
Category: Education, Games, Family, Word
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76
Size: 199.72 MB

$19.99USD

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.

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