Common Sense Review
Updated August 2013

Autodesk Digital STEAM Measurement

Interactive, lab-like exploration of measurements is a good STEAM tool
Common Sense Rating 3
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.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

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? 3

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? 2

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.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

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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What's It Like?

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.

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Is It Good For Learning?

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.

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See how teachers are using Autodesk Digital STEAM Measurement