Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2013
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Autodesk Digital STEAM Measurement

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Interactive, lab-like exploration of measurements is a good STEAM tool

Subjects & skills
  • Math
  • Science

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: Wide breadth of information included in interactive design.

Cons: No assessment options to check for understanding.

Bottom Line: Autodesk Digital Steam Measurement can be a valuable tool for exploring measurement and data.

Use as a supplement in teaching measurement and data, giving kids a lab-like experience with the interactive components. Kids can work through self-paced, too, making it a great tool for advanced students wanting to explore and learn on their own. Starting with the term and a simple one-line definition, kids learn each measurement method. They can click the Learn More section to read more in-depth explanations -- presented in two or more ways for most terms. Then they can manipulate the measurements using the touch screen, exploring hands-on as they would in a lab. Using Autodesk's 3-D visual design, kids can see the objects they are working with in three dimensions, making it more realistic as well as getting kids more comfortable with the look and feel of design tools. Be sure to check out Autodesk's Digital STEAM Workshop site for educators for more in-depth exploration of concepts.

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Autodesk Digital STEAM Measurement is an interactive textbook. The list of topics on the left serves as a table of contents, and kids advance through each topic consecutively or can tap to choose specific topics related to measurement -- like perimeter and area, volume, proportion, weight, temperature, power, and btu. Each topic includes a definition of the concept with an interactive demonstration of the concept (for temperature, students can drag the mercury in the thermometer to different temperatures and see the impact on the beaker of water). More detailed information about each concept is included with pictures and text.

Of the three Autodesk Digital STEAM apps, this one is least likely to stand alone in helping kids fully grasp the concepts -- measurement, in this case -- but that is due to the complexity of the concepts. There are no verbal or written directions included, so the measurements in the hands-on sections are confusing to figure out. The amount of information included, though, is impressive and makes this a worthwhile app for kids to explore. Some of the concepts are more interactive than others, and some are easier to manipulate and understand. For concepts like measurement and data that take many introductions to grasp, this self-paced exploration is a worthwhile tool.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids are in charge of directing their learning. The lab-like interactions are engaging and helpful to build understanding.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Multiple modes of delivering the information help comprehension, but lack of assessment component makes it is hard to check for understanding.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids have to figure out the navigation on their own, as there are no instructions. It's mostly intuitive, but some of the interactive components are hard to figure out. Since there is no assessment, there is no data.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Rafranz D. , School district administrator
School district administrator
Lufkin ISD
Lufkin, United States
Kids are the architects of their own learning as they explore measurement in various forms.
For a free app, Autodesk measurement serves its purpose. A simple swipe can change and outcome and also help students to develop some sort of understanding. Again, I had a problem with it lacking instructions as well as several in-operable components within the app that were critical to understanding.
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