App Title: MathTappers: ClockMaster
Grade Level: Early Elementary (K-3)
Program Functionality: A
Overall Educational Value: A
Cost: FREE (Until September 30, 2011)
Overview: Clockmaster is a game to help children make the connection between hours and minutes and to help them become fluent in both reading and setting time on digital and analog clocks. Clockmaster offers both a practice mode to support exploration and tutoring activities and a game mode.
The app can be used in a few different ways. You are able to add different user profiles to the app (there is no limit as far as I could tell, I stopped at 25). Once a user profile is selected, you can select the level of difficulty: easy, medium or hard. The game (and practice mode) interface has a large analog clock in the upper portion and a digital clock (or words can be used instead of a digital clock) in the bottom portion. You can also decide whether you want to math the analog clock with the digital clock or the digital clock with the analog clock. Once you begin a game, you will be given ten clock questions to answer. You will be told immediately if your answer is correct, close, or incorrect and if you are close or incorrect, it will show you the correct answer. After you finish your ten questions, you are directed to a screen which shows your score and time. This score and time is saved in the app and progress can be tracked for that user and even emailed to an email address if desired. This app does everything it claims to be able to do in a very effective way.
Recommendation: This app could be used both in the classroom or for students' personal use. It could also be used by older students who struggle with telling time on analog clocks. The nice thing about this app is that the various difficulty levels can make it useful to a large amount of students, including those who are just learning how to tell time to those who are fairly proficient and everyone in between. It is a great tool to visualize the relationship between the hands of an analog clock and the time shown on digital clocks.
Classroom Use Examples / Ideas: This app actually has suggestions for use in the classroom integrated right into the "Advice" portion of the app. The app suggests that the app could be used in group activities to allow students to explore and discuss the relationship between the moving minute and hour hands and the time on the digital clock, and vice versa. Students could also do this individually if they have access to an iPod or iPhone. The feature that surprised me most, was having the option to use words instead of a digital clock (ie. quarter to three, half past five). This app can be used to illustrate the meanings of these phrases that are used so often in everyday conversation. The progress tracking feature will also encourage students to try to become both more accurate and quicker as they do more and more exercises with the app. This progress can also be observed by a teacher or parent to ensure students are on the right track, or so extra assistance can be given if needed.
App Website: http://www.mathtappers.com/
Developer Website: http://www.heavylifters.com/
Reviewer Name: Kyle Webb
Reviewer Blog: http://www.kylewebb.ca
Please leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or have other creative uses for this app in the classroom, etc.