Archive | Money RSS feed for this section

Apps for Money Skills Part 3: Academy Coins

27 May

app iconThe third app in my Money App review series is Academy Coins by Wesley Dyson.  The app has currencies for Canada, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and the Euro.  Unfortunately the app is limited to coins so children don’t get to work with notes.

Activities

Academy Coins has activities that range from very basic coin recognition to the more advanced addition  with currency.  The levels are unlocked as children progress through the levels, although you can unlock all levels via an in-App purchase for $1.29

  • What are Coins? Cheat Sheet – Identifying coins. The “tails” side of each coin appears with the amount written in words, in different currency forms (e.g. as dollars and as cents) and there is a description of the images on the coin.  (I love that Canadians Have Loonies and Toonies.  We have plenty of Loonies in Australia, but unfortunately you’ll find them running the country rather than in your wallet.)
  • Dollars or Cents? – A coin is displayed along with a numerical value, and you need to select whether the amount is shown in dollars or in cents.  5c may be displayed as 0.05 or as 5, and children will need to select the appropriate symbol. Although the title of the activity doesn’t change, the currency symbols change for the Euro and the Pound.
  • Matching with Numbers – Match the coin to it’s numerical value by dragging it into the appropriate slot.
  • Matching with Words – This is identical to Matching with Numbers, except the values are shown as words.
  • How Much Money? There are three levels to this activity, each getting progressively more difficult.  Level one begins with coins with lower value coins (less than a dollar) and larger value coins and amounts are added in levels 2 and 3.
  • Making Change Subtraction  – Show a given amount as coins.  I can’t really see where the subtraction is in this activity.  I would have imagined an activity in this category to be more of a shopping style activity, e.g. buy an item for $1.75, pay with a $2 coin and select the correct change. Instead, this activity is really an addition activity, and I like that children can use any combination of coins to make the correct amount. There are two levels of difficulty.
  • Sum it Up – This is a addition with regrouping using currency symbols.  Level 1 uses the cents symbol (or pence) and Level 2 uses the dollar/Euro/Pound symbol.  Some children may need a paper and pencil handy to work things out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Other Features

  • You can drag coins around the screen, which can help when adding or by sorting into value.
  • Reporting is  very basic and gives you a percentage figure for each activity and level.  (I had to turn notifications off on my iPad; it tends to nag you if you haven’t used the app for a while.)
  • The one app has 5 different currencies.  While you’ll probably only use one, it is fascinating for children to see the similarities and differences between the different international coins. This is one of the few apps I own that has currency for the United Kingdom.  The images of the coins are excellent quality.
  • Parent controls are protected by a password and allow you to turn off In-App purchases and sharing features, and reset progress reports.

Wish List

  • Feedback needs to be more supportive.  It would be great for children to have a clue as to why they have made errors, e.g. “that is too much” or “that is not enough money.”
  • Faster progression through questions – The app is a little slow to progress through questions as each successful answer results in fanfare and fireworks (or other visual display) and then a prompt to go on to the next question. My boys found it a bit frustrating, even with the positive affirmations. They actually found it faster to answer the question correctly, leave the activity and reenter it.
  • All levels should be able to unlock without the in-App purchase.  If teachers are to use this app in a classroom, they really need to know what the activities are like in advance.  At $3.75 Aus, I believe you’ve already paid enough.
  • I know the name is Academy Coins, but it isn’t really comprehensive without the notes.
  • Individual Profiles – for use in schools or families with more than one child, individual profiles are an advantage.
  • The Tutorial should be more comprehensive with information about each of the activities in the app, particularly if these are locked.  Currently it lets you choose your currency and has a single image telly you that you can collect stars, and you can tap to play. There is nothing about the different activities or their aims, how many questions you need to answer to progress, and what the progress reports mean.

Verdict

Academy Coins could be a useful app for basic money skills of coin recognition, recognising amounts in words or numbers, currency symbols, showing coins in different ways, and adding coins.  Unfortunately it lacks activities for giving change, and there are no notes in the app.  At $3.79 Aus, it isn’t as good value as iCan Count Money (cheaper) or the STAAPS Money apps (same price) that are  more comprehensive in both activities and in the use of both notes and coins.  If more features are added to future updates, I’ll happily look at this app again because it has great potential.


Publisher: Wesley Dyson
iPad only: requires iOS 8.0 or higher
Price: $3.79

Apps for Money Skills Part 2: iCan Count Money – international apps from Ahmed Tawakol

26 May

Today I’m reviewing iCAN Count Money by Ahmed Tawakol. Like yesterday’s app, this one has different iPad and iPhone versions for different countries, and currently you can get the app for Canada (iPhone only), New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Europe (Euro.  The one I have on my iPad is the Australian version, so the screen shots I am using come from that, but the activities are for each international version, the only difference being the currency used in the activities.

Activities

There are three activities in the iPhone version of the app:

  • I Know How To Pay! – Children select the exact change to pay for an item.
  • I Know How Much To Get Back! – Give the correct change for an item.
  • I Can Catch The Coins! – This is a coin recognition game.  Children are asked to find a number of a particular coin.  Coins fly across the screen, flipping from time to time so that children can see front and back of the coins.
  • Bonus activity – Both versions include a Money calculator which could be a useful aid for those learning to add their currency.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

An extra three activities are included with the iPad version. Continue reading

Apps for Money Skills Part 1: Counting Money from STAAPS Interactive

25 May

A friend on my Facebook group recently asked for some apps to help her son learn some money skills.  There are heaps of money apps out there, including general Mathematics apps that include some money activities, but many of them are specific to just one currency.  I have several apps on my iPad that use our Australian currency and others and I intend to write a review of each of them for you over the next week or so.

aussie kidsFirst cab off the rank is Aussie Kids Count Coins from from STAAPS Interactive. International readers, don’t let the name put you off, as there are three other versions available for the USA, New Zealand and Europe.  Each has a different name, but all use the same activities and all use both notes and coins.

Activities

There are six activities:

  • Pay for things – drag the exact amount of cash to a box to pay for an item.
  • Lemonade Stand – calculate the cost of a customer’s order by typing on the keyboard.  It is great for “mental Maths”calculations, but some children may need to have a pencil and paper handy to work things out.
  • Give Change – The customer pays for an item and you give them the correct change from the till. If you put too much change or don’t give enough, the customers will let you know and you can try again.
  • Piggy Bank – Smash the piggy bank and count the money inside.
  • Go Shopping – Spend an exact amount of money by dragging an exact number of items from a shelf. This is a pretty difficult task and requires a bit of logical thinking and problem solving.  The feedback for errors is supportive as it gives the child a clue as to why the answer is incorrect, e.g. “You haven’t spent enough money.”
  • Who Has More – Two creatures have different amounts of money. You need to tap the one with the most. Children can’t get off the hook by random choices, as they are then asked to add up the money for the creature they have chosen, and then both collections of money are totalled.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Features

  • The app uses images of real currency.
  • The parent section show how many times your child has played each of the game modes.
  • You can change the difficulty level to restrict activities to coins only (parents section).
  • There is an incentive system that awards stars as children reach target in the activities.
  • The app is compatible with iOS 4.0 and above so will work on the original iPad.

Wish List

  • Individual profiles would be an advantage for families and for classrooms.
  • More feedback – The reporting system is only useful in that you can see if your child has been playing the game.  I’d like a little more feedback so that I could see if there were areas where they made lots of errors and needed more support.

Verdict

This is a great app for children who can already identify currency but need to practice the transactional skills involved with money, e.g. selecting change. The app is aimed at children aged 6 to 8 but some activities will be quite challenging even for children in upper primary.  Use of “real currency” images will help children translate these skills into real life.  The app is great value for the price.

As mentioned earlier, there are four international versions for this app. All of the apps are $2.49 Aus but prices will be different in other international stores. All apps are iPad only and require iOS 4.0 or higher.

Australia: Aussie Kids Count Coins

 

USA: Kids Count Money USA

New Zealand: Kids Count Money NZ

Kids Count Money: Europe

Jungle Coins

29 Jan

Most educational money Apps in the iTunes store use the currency of the United States. Jungle coins is an App that allows Australian (and 15 other nationalities) to use their own currency in a variety of activities. There is a lot to love about this App, and hopefully this post will explain why Jungle Coins is permanently on my iPad. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: