“If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
-- Ignacio Estrada

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Three Little Pigs: A 3-D Fairy Tale ~Review~

A little background on this app. While stumbling through my new found "worlds" of 'professional' facebook and twitter, I came across an app giveaway. I was to tell why I would deserve a copy of the app and with whom I would use it. I briefly explained my situation (part of iPad project, intervention specialist, mom of 2, etc.) and I was fortunate enough to receive an app compliments of Nosy Crow. With that said, this review was not influenced by the fact that the app was free. (I need to add this disclaimer to a few other reviews I have done.) I am here to give my opinion as a mom, teacher, lover of learning, and budding technology 'geek'. With all that said....let's begin:

The Three Little Pigs A 3-D Fairy Tale
Let me just start by saying, I am not sure how to classify this app. Is it a book? is it a movie?.....I think that The Three Little Pigs is more of an "interactive video". The creators took a well-known children's story and brought it to life with this app. After downloading it, I (yes, I...a 30-something year old) played with this story for over 30 minutes. The graphics were very engaging and the voices were amazing.

The app follows the traditional story: pigs leave home, build houses, wolf comes along to eat them. Yet this interactive book makes it so much more. It begins with the three pigs saying good bye to mom and dad pig and the pigs go walking along the road. Each pig builds his/her house with the assistance from the user. The user can touch various parts of the screen to interact with the story. If the user doesn't touch an area, a small blue dot gives a visual cue on where to touch. I liked the idea of the prompt and the color and size were very discrete. As the wolf visits each house/pig, the user is able to "be the wolf" and try to blow the house down. This can be done by touching wolf or blowing into the microphone. I was not successful at using the microphone to do that. (I think part of it might have been user error on my part.) I was a little worried about how the story might end. I was worried about how much explaining I was going to have to do to my own 3 year old or to the several 5-7 year olds whom I was planning on reading with at school. To my delight the ending was well done and kind of cute to hear a little voice say the big bad wolf "burnt his bottom!" I felt the ending was very age appropriate for ages 3+ and I received no questions or comments from students who I read this with.

Additional IEP applications
Besides being one of the most entertaining "book" apps on my iPad, I can see several IEP uses. I would definitely see this app being used as a way to teach sequencing as well as work on developing vocabulary. Since it is a "book", I could see the "read by myself" being used to work on reading skills and the "read and play" section as a reward. With the excellent graphics, character voices, and music, I could see this app being used to work on increasing attention to an activity or visual tracking. Lastly, it would also be great work on cause/effect skills, especially with the dots that cue user to touch and make something happen.

The app is great! If I had to give one suggestion, which I will, I would like to see the words be highlighted as they are read. So many students, especially individuals with special needs benefit from both the visual and auditory input that having the words highlighted while reading would assist them with developing new vocabulary and reinforcing existing vocabulary.

In conclusion, I just have to say, I truly enjoy this app. It is one that is not placed in a folder on my iPad, I have it out on one of the main screens, next to the folder of my book collections. The level of interactivity and the graphics really make the story come alive. With that said, I keep asking myself if I would have purchased this app on my own if I would have seen the $7.99 price tag?? The price exceeds my personal rule on app purchases. On this hand, I would say that I probably would not purchase because of the price. Then, after I have experienced it, I have started to think...if the app was only a trial and they were going to take it back, would I purchase it? I would have to say yes. Not only for my students (ages 5-9) and my own children (ages 3 and 5), I would purchase it for me to continue to experience this traditional story with a 21st century twist with all the children with whom I interact.

Thank you Nosy Crow for taking the time to create a great app that is fun for both children and adults. I look forward to Cinderella, but not as much as my 5 year old daughter!

developer: Nosy Crow
website: http://nosycrow.com/
itunes: The Three Little Pigs
category: Books
recently updated: May 19, 2011

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