Coin Math- App Review for IEAR

Grade Level: Elementary (including Pre-K)

Purpose: A

Program Functionality: C  

Overall Educational Value: B+

Cost: $1.99

Overview:  Coin Math bills itself as an app to learn about dealing with coins.  There are 5 different activity types available within the app:
1. Learning what the coins look like.  Each coin has a section where the picture, name and value of the coin are shown; additionally, a short paragraph about the coin's history and/or design.
2. Match the coins. A drag and drop activity to match coins to piggy bank amounts.
3. Count coins. A coin counting activity, where coins are displayed and you select the correct amount from four choices.  The user can manually drag the coins around the screen if wanted. There is a basic and advanced level.
4. Shopping.  A price matching activity. The use drags the correct change to the "counter" for a listed item displayed with price and clicks a button to pay the cashier.  There is a basic and advanced level.
5. Make Change. A making change activity.  An item with price is displayed along with how much the customer paid.  The user drags the needed change to the "counter."  There is a basic and advanced level.

Recommendation: We gave this application to several children ages 4-8.  All of them liked this application best of the coin counting applications we looked at.  It can be used either at home or at school for learning to identify and count coins, and learning to make change.  It can also be used to learn or reinforce counting by 5's, 10's and 25's.  As a teacher/parent, I appreciated that both sides of the coins were used within the application, and the coins were to scale.  The kids quickly noted that they looked like real money.

Different parts of this application work well for different ages/grade levels.  For instance, since the Shopping and Make Change activities require the user to be able to read it would need to be used with higher grades (readers) than the Match the Coin and Count Coin activities which can easily be used by non-readers.  The advanced activities allow for the additional use of half-dollars and dollar coins.

Other: Some basic tweaks to the app would help enhance its usability.  For instance, if the user could tap on the sentences for them to be read.  Also, a second (non-kid) voice choice for the readings would be helpful for those that struggle with the pitch of the voice that is used.  A simpler What the Coins look like screen with just the picture, name and amount would be nice when using it with students in grades K-1.

Developer Website: http://www.recessionapps.com/
iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coin-math/id296596459?mt=8

Reviewer Name: Melinda Waffle

Would you like to see some more iPod Touch App Reviews?  Check out http://www.iear.org/

Hey, check out our Ning (Online Community) devoted to helping teachers utilize these devices to the their fullest.  Please leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or have other creative uses for this app in the classroom, etc.

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