Zumo™ Learning System by Zyrobotics – Review

Zumo™ Learning System by Zyrobotics – Review

ZumoLearning_Image3

What we love…

focus on critical thinking, fun and easily adaptable way for children of all abilities to be included

What we’d love to see…

parental dashboard to show progress within the apps as well as  a multi-player capability

Summary

e level of customization is something that I have not seen in any other type of learning system – and the ability to work with kids on #commoncore learning to their abilities and progress upward is a huge step in the right direction.  I can’t wait to see what apps come next!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

 

The Zumo(TM) Learning System by Zyrobotics is a learning system that makes apps switch accessible so everyone can use them.  In the box is Zumo the Turtle, an Android Tablet in a kid proof case which comes pre-loaded with Zyrobotics apps.

You can either buy the switch and use it with your own tablet or buy the entire Zumo Learning System.  As tested we used it both with the Zumo Learning System and with an iPad Mini.  Zumo paired easily to both devices and kept a charge for quite a long time (8 hours) despite multiple uses and play with the apps.  As a mom, I loved that the system made the apps accessible which meant that everyone could participate rather than having to limit it.  This would be great for a special needs child who may have limited fine motor function and has trouble using a regular tablet or stylus.  The ability to customize the games to the level of your child is a huge bonus in my mind!

zumo

 

My older son has loved many of the Zyrobotic math apps for a long time – and one of the things that I always thought was great is that the team has made them switch accessible so that everyone can use them.  You can read our review of Zyromath City Count to learn more about that app – essentially the apps are math or common core based and you can use the Zumo turtle to control the movement instead of having to use your tablet.  I tested the Zumo on both the included tablet as well as my iPad Mini which I used Reflector for to put onto our large screen TV.  It was a huge hit!  Zumo made it fun for my son to play with the apps – and meant we could all play while sitting on the floor and passing the turtle from person to person for each of the games.  My son also loved that he could use a switch to control a screen – and it helped him and I have a discussion about how different people learn using different abilities.  I also liked that the apps engaged and made it fun for my son to play – and that he was able to move from using the iPad with his fingers to the switch quickly and easily.  I had both of my kids using Zumo although my iToddler is a bit young, he quickly got the concept of touching the turtle to make an action happen on the screen. I liked that it could be customized for individual learning goals and also that my son was able to demonstrate mastery of specific counting and math goals by using the provided apps.

Zumo Learning System

In terms of enhancements, it would be great if in the future Zumo became compatible with other switch enabled apps.  This would allow for more usage across a wider variety of apps.  I would also like to see some sort of a dashboard which can show the skills that your child is working on and areas that may need focus.  This helped me to understand that my son was struggling a bit and adjust the complexity of the app for him.  I’d also love to see the apps become multi-player like my son and some of his friends did while they were playing with the Zumo Learning System together to solve the Forest Fight.  It was fun to see how he and his friends used critical thinking skills to solve a problem or move to the next section of the game.  My son loves math and he loved learning and experimenting with Zumo to see how different touches made the players or characters on the screen act differently.  Each of the apps includes  rewards and motivators that engage kids and leave them wanting more or to complete a task.

I can’t wait to see what new apps that Zyrobotics comes out with that we can test Zumo with!

Overall, this is a great system designed to help kids of all abilities have a level playing field.    The level of customization is something that I have not seen in any other type of learning system – and the ability to work with kids on #commoncore learning to their abilities and progress upward is a huge step in the right direction.  I can’t wait to see what apps come next!

 

The Zumo Learning System is regularly priced at $299.00 but is currently on sale for $159.99 and includes a 30 day money back guarantee.  You can purchase one at Zyrobotics website.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Read – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio- Review

Read – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio- Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

Lots of great activities to engage readers including  letter formation, sight words, reading comprehension, writing pad, alphabet, listening skills,  Multi-user capability.  Interactive word pad lets kids experiment with word and sound formation.

What we’d love to see…

a test to skip materials already previously learned, some sort of “trophy” or awards case to demonstrate progress and ability to export the lesson progress.

Summary

Content rich app which will help kids with a number of skills including letter formation, letter sounds, reading comprehension and sight words.

Our Rating

Read - Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessonsRead – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio is a universal app for iOS targeting kids aged four through 8 (or second grade) which helps them to acquire core reading skills including letter formation, sight words, reading comprehension, writing pad, alphabet, listening and more.  The narration can be done in a United States narrator, English narrator, Australian narrator or Indian narrator.  You can also speed up or slow down the words per minute and pitch of the speaker as well as turn on and off the background music.  The app uses phonics teaching sight words in combination with word decoding.    It also includes multi user capabilities and lesson progress

The app features twenty different lessons with over 100 different exercises and interactive stories.  It is designed for the beginning reader through approximately second grade.  Letters are introduced in the app by frequency – something that my son struggled with a bit because he felt they were “out of order”.

Content includes:

  • Letter tracing: Using a finger or stylus your child traces the letter using a supplied model and repeats five times to demonstrate mastery
  • How do you spell it: Listen to a sound and pick the correct letter from a field of six options.
  • Choose the right word: Listen to a word pronunciation and pick the correct answer
  • Listen & Write: Listen to the word and put the letters on the line to spell it
  • Match Words & Sounds: Match a sound with the written form of it – perfect for practicing sight words
  • Interactive Writing Pad: Children can “construct” words and sentences by dragging and dropping individual letters, making letter combinations which are read aloud as the app is played.
  • Stories & Questions: Starting at lesson 5, stories are given in the context of the app and the user is tested for reading comprehension
  • Learn the Alphabet: This helps kids connect letter names and letter sounds with both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Sight Words & Phrases: Over 100 sight words and sight phrases used in the English language

iPad Screenshot 4

This is a brightly colored app that engages kids to learn core reading and writing skills.  The activities are presented in a patterned way which requires children to finish specific tasks before moving on which is important for early learning skills.  I also liked that as you traced letters or spelled words out that they were sounded out which helped kids attribute the letter sound to the written letter.  Our favorite section – since my son knew many of the sight words was the original story content.  My son enjoyed hearing the stories – although I did have to adjust the word speed so he could follow along more easily – the words were spoken quickly and at times the highlighting and words didn’t match what was being said.  We also liked the sight phrases since my son has moved on beyond his core sight words and wanted to work more on putting words together.

 

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In terms of improvements –  at times it was hard to discern the word as it was spoken and it would be nice if you could have a second choice.  It would also be nice if the app dynamically adjusted based on if you were getting answers right or wrong.  A visual cue especially for the easier lessons would be helpful too if a child is getting answers wrong – for example showing a picture of a mat along with the spoken word and spelling it out.  I would also like to see the option to “test” so that children can test out of content they might have already learned which would make it repetitive.  Some of the letter formation was different compared to what my son learned in school, but that may vary based on geography.  My son also asked for some sort of “trophy” or reward that you could earn after completing levels which would demonstrate mastery.  It would also be nice if you could transfer progress from device to device – my son played both on my iPhone and iPad and was frustrated when he had to repeat things he had done before.  I’d also like to be able to export my lesson progress. I’d also like to see more options for the letter formation as my son didn’t learn with the manuscript option in school.

Overall, this is a content rich app which will help kids with a number of skills including letter formation, letter sounds, reading comprehension and sight words.  It is a great app to help kids with learning or one to help them practice over the summertime and prevent the #summerslide.  The app includes a parental gated area with a multiplication problem that does have external links.  There are no in-app purchases.


Read4Kids - Kids learn to read in 20 easy lessons
Read4Kids - Kids learn to read in 20 easy lessons
by Olivier Romanetti

Category: Education, Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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
Size: 33.01 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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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 sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo – Review

Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

great graphics, cute characters, fun rewards and the great learning potential

What we’d love to see…

the words read out at first and then as children select them and once solved to reinforce learning

Summary

a great little app for children to learn new words in a fun and rewarding way

Our Rating

Children can learn new words in a playful and colourful way with the Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo. KidDotCo are also the creators of such apps as Division / Patterns / Subtraction and Multiplication by Ibbleobble. Words with Ibbleobble is a word game which lets children, learn new words, improve their vocabulary and communication skills. Its simple format is easy for children to follow and understand and is a great app for children with autism.

Children choose a friend they want to play and learn with from a range of characters like Mr Mousey the mouse, Lola the chicken, Fin the hedgehog, Tom the frog, Nancy the sheep, Kelly the rabbit and Florence the fox. Each friend also has an info sheet to learn about them, their likes, favourite colour and favourite friend. Each character is linked to seven learning themes – Shapes & Colours, Food & Drink, At my school, On the farm, My home, Holidays & Travel and All about me.

Children can learn at their own pace or against a clock, can choose the game level of their choice – easy / medium / hard and can solve hundreds of different puzzles. When children answer correctly to a multiple choice word game of three words, the character is rewarded with their favourite treat or object which in turns makes the character happier as more games are solved and gives children an incentive to keep answering correctly.

My three year old liked the fun characters and rewards system. Although she cannot read, she understood the concept of the game. She knew what the images represented and took some guesses to the answer but even though she didn’t win all the time, she was shown the correct answer after a few guesses and as she played the same themes. I also read out the options which helped her understand the order of each word and in turn improve her visual memory of the words.

We would love it if each word was read out by the character at first and then as the child selects it to solve the multiple choice game. It would also be great if when solved the word appears and is read out too to reinforce learning.

We love this app as it has great graphics, simple concepts, it is easy for children to understand and learn from. We really like the use of cute characters, themes, rewards that children can appreciate as well as the multiple choice game. This app has no ads or third party advertisement or in-app purchases. There is however a parental area which has access to other apps from the developer as well as other options which is locked by a parental gate.



Words with Ibbleobble Words with Ibbleobble by KidDotCo

Price: $1.99 USD

Winner of the 'Highly Commended App' award at the Lincolnshire Digital Awards 2016.

Words with Ibbleobble is an incredibly fun word game that helps to teach children new words. The app will help.

Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.
 Ooka Island Reading Program by Ooka Island, Inc. – Review

Ooka Island Reading Program by Ooka Island, Inc. – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

comprehensive reading app, interesting games, progress report, worksheets

What we’d love to see…

make it playable offline, customizations, better narration,  less loading and wait time, more interactivity in Pencil Playground

Summary

Ooka Island is a reading app that teaches children phonics and reading comprehension through play.

Our Rating

Ooka Island is a reading adventure game. Geared for preschoolers, Ooka Island helps children become excellent readers by teaching them five essential skills for reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. It does this through short and simple games that follow and adapt to the child’s individual progress.

In Ooka Island, children are on a mission to help free the Ooka Elves from flying pigs, otherwise known as the the Mischievous Fliggs. They are accompanied by Auntie K and Zobot the robot who directs them on where to go around the island. As they play in different areas of the island, they earn virtual stickers, unlock items, earn Ooka Mist (Ooka Island currency), and get a chance to find missing books. For every five books they find, an Ooka Elf is freed.

There are nine games in the island. Eight games help children with phonemic awareness and phonics. The Cave of Sounds teaches children phonemic awareness and phonemes by encouraging children to listen to a sound prior to showing them the sound’s corresponding letter(s). Cake Factory, Bubbly Troubly, and Submarine Listening helps children associate sounds with letters or blends. Z-Doo encourages children to say the sounds out loud. Clumsy Wacky Moving Company shows children how to combine sounds to make a word. Alphabet Mountain helps children with letter recognition. Word Ball helps children differentiate between a word and a syllable.

Fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are addressed in the Popcorn Library. There are a total of 85 missing books. When a book is found, it is immediately added to the library. Children will first read through the book with help from Auntie K and Zobot. Auntie K explains what is going on in the story and Zobot reads the words. After reading through it once, children play a pop the bubble game where they are tested with comprehension questions. Next, they go back and read the book again with Zobot narrating. Finally, they play a game that corresponds to their reading level. In Emergent Level 1, they play Seashell Words where they match a sound they hear with a word on the seashells. Then they play a card matching game with the same words they learned in the Seashell Word game. In Emergent Level 3, they select the correct sequence of events in the story and work on learning some antonyms. After collecting the first 5 books a new play option “Read” becomes available in the main menu (prior to the that only the Play option is available) allowing children to go the Popcorn Library directly instead of playing the game. In this mode, there are 3 options to read the book: Read with With Us (with Zobot and Auntie K), Read with Zobot, and Read By Myself.

I like that the games in Ooka Island are interesting and are neither too long so that the kids get bored or too short so they don’t grasp what is being taught. They are entertaining enough for children to want to come back and play them again and again. I love that there is also a time limit for both learning and play. After a few minutes of learning, children are given about 3 minutes of free play time where they can explore any part of the island. I also like that children get to unlock items as they play and earn Ooka Mist to purchase items to add to the playground. This gives them more incentive to come back and play and learn. I also like that children are not only taught how to read words but to understand what they are reading.. Finally, I like that there are weekly progress reports and worksheets to use off the app.

There are quite a few things I feel this app needs to make it worth its asking price, and I would love to see them on future updates. I would like to be able to customize the app for my child’s individual needs. I would like to be able to select a reading level or play level. I would also like to be able to choose target sounds and words to focus on. Forcing the child to start from the very beginning limits this app to pre-readers and very early readers. I think this app could be useful for those who have learned some sounds but still need help with others and with becoming fluent readers. These children need to start at their level or they would be bored and not be interested in this app at all. The app does adapt to the child so eventually my child was advanced to the next level. However, they only advanced her with the reading books. All the other activities on the island were still on the lower level and she was getting quite frustrated with seeing the same sounds over and over again, doing well with it, and still being stuck on that level. I believe the child earns a sticker every time s(he) passes a level, and it seems to take longer on some games than on others.

I would like to have different narrator voices for each of the characters in the book. Zobot as the narrator does not make sense in the emergent level books when Auntie K says “Listen to what Kayla says” and then you hear a male adult voice. Zobot also has an almost monotonous voice, making reading rather dull. I also Auntie K does not always have to explain everything to children, especially after they have passed the first 10 books or so. I would like the option to disable this feature in the Play mode to give children the opportunity to explain what they think is going on in the story and practice observation and deductive reasoning skills. I think it would be great of the same 3 reading options were made available in Play mode as they are in Read mode.

There is also a lot of loading and wait time every time you play a game in different parts of the island. There is no need to keep going back to the map before going to the next game or to keep repeating instructions at the beginning of the games. Instead, I would like an option to turn off the instructions after the child has played through the game at least once and already knows what to do. In the Pencil Playground, every time you get to an activity they always first ask “Do you want to play with X?” and then the child has to select yes or no. If they do select yes, the character plays with the item just once and for only a quick second or two. It would be better, faster, and more enjoyable for the child to just be able to point and click on an object to use it.

I would like children to be able to interact with the Ooka Elves they have freed and the pets they have bought. For example, there is a seesaw in Pencil Playground and it would be nice if they have one of the elves sit on it too The child’s character/avatar plays seesaw all by itself which looks, according to my daughter, really sad. When you unlock a pet, the app says you can play with it in Pencil Playground after you purchase it. Playing with it is simply letting it out of its house and following it around. You cannot pet it or do anything else with it. I would like to see the elves and pets be more interactive.

As I mentioned before, I like the weekly progress reports. However, I would find it more useful if it included a list of sounds and words that had been introduced and how well each one was mastered. This way parents and teachers can see what specific areas their child needs extra help with.

Finally, I do not like that you have to be online to play the app. Apps geared for children, specially educational apps, should always be playable offline or have an option to do so.

Overall, I think Ooka Island has a lot of good things to offer as a reading program. If you have child who is just learning how to read or is a struggling reader, you can check out their free trial to see if Ooka Island meets your needs.


Ooka Island Reading Program
Ooka Island Reading Program
by Ooka Island, Inc.

Category: Education
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
Size: 758.23 MB

$FREE

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Screenshots for iPad
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Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.

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