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Again, don't use the videos unless you've viewed them first. The developer-produced videos are less detailed but more consistent, but only 20 have been produced, while the others are from a range of sources and might have iffy content. Have kids browse states and create their own quizzes or trivia games based on these facts, especially the state capitals and dates of statehood.Continue reading Show less
50 States is a flashcard and quiz app for studying basic facts about the United States. From the app's main screen, students can choose Learn to browse flashcards from all 50 states in random order, while the Search button gives access to the same content in alphabetical order or by tapping a U.S. map. Each flashcard features basic information about each state: its capital, population, area, postal abbreviation, and date of statehood. Some trivia facts also appear, including state bird, state flower, highest point, and largest city. The "Quiz" button on the main screen lets students take a 10-question quiz that covers these facts in random order, and each quiz ends with a score screen and the option to try again.
In addition to the flashcards, students watch videos that explore the states in greater detail. The Videos button on the app's main screen brings up a playlist of just 20 videos for the states whose names begin with A through M (the developer had only created the first 20 videos at the time of this review), while the Videos button on each state's flashcard brings up a unique page on the developer's website with random videos from diverse sources. Keep in mind there are in-app ads, including pop-ups and the More Apps button that takes kids to the Google Play store.
The simple progress tracking in the quizzes is terrific. Colored dots across the top of the screen track right and wrong answers, and kids always have a good sense of how they're performing on the quiz. It would be even better if kids could store high scores and adjust their studying as a result. The videos are an interesting value-add, and it's nice that they're hosted on the developer's website rather than taking up space on the device. Unfortunately, this feature is uneven. Check these videos before you let students view them: Some are more classroom-appropriate and detailed than others, and many contain ads. Meanwhile, navigating the states' flashcards from the map screen can be buggy and inconsistent, and tapping the map doesn't yield the response users might expect. Browsing the states' flashcards one by one from the alphabetical list on the Learn screen is the best bet.
At the time of this review, some features that appeared in earlier versions seem to be missing. For example, there's no Settings menu to adjust the info tested on each quiz; this option could be a helpful way to target study of particular facts, like postal abbreviations or state capitals. Overall, 50 States is a neat way to browse basic information about U.S. states, but look elsewhere for greater depth and flexibility.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.