Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2012
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Bobo Explores Light

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Cute robot guides kids through concepts in excellent science app

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Teachers say (3 Reviews)
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Grades
2-6 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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5 images

Pros: Amazing images, videos, and interactive elements spark kids' curiosity about light.

Cons: Kids must read the informational text, some of which contains no interactivity.

Bottom Line: New ways to play with light inspire kids to learn more from this hands-on science app.

In the classroom, Bobo Explores Light is an excellent science supplement, especially for lessons on light, energy, and electricity. It gives students practice reading science information for comprehension. It's one of those independent learning apps that will capture some kids' attention and be the go-to app for many, many reading and exploring sessions.

Teachers could use it by projecting its screen to the class or breaking the class into groups and assigning pages to each group and then having a class discussion about what each group learned. Another option is to rotate kids through some of the experiments, including one on photosynthesis and the use of lasers.

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Bobo Explores Light is a stunning science app that introduces kids to the incredible world of light, starting at the sun and moving through the first light bulb to modern-day lasers. Bobo the Robot guides kids through 3D images, facts, stories, videos, experiments, and more, as they learn about topics such as reflection, refraction, lasers, the color spectrum, how eyes see, why the sky is blue, and much more. From photosynthesis and fire to Thomas Edison and solar flares, Bobo Explores Light helps kids investigate light and its impacts in highly interactive ways. Kids can watch the videos, play many games, and even conduct experiments on this app solo. Featuring a unique and intuitive navigation system, its table of contents is presented on a wheel with visuals to help kids find and navigate to their favorite parts of the app by themselves. As they do this, kids can begin to make the connection between the concepts of app-based content menus and the tables of contents in paper books. Bobo makes the complex science of light accessible for kids in playful, color-filled ways.

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Bobo Explores Light packs a ton of exciting interactive science into the app. Kids can learn about light and other related science concepts through a variety of games, short videos, text, stunning photos, and hands-on actitivies (including holograms) grouped into specific subjects on more than 100 interactive pages. For example, a game on refraction lets kids play with colorful laser light beams at an imaginary disco to see how the beams refract off the balls bouncing around the room to the music. Some elements, such as designing a face out of glow-in-the-dark pieces, encourage free play; others, like an explainer about the sun, ask questions ("How many lights are around you?") to get kids involved in the learning.

The app explain topics in clear, simple language that elementary and middle school students should be able to take in with no problem. Bobo entertains while teaching by adding humor into everything he does. An excellent feature is the ability to seek out more information from right within the app -- it has pull-down tabs for curious students who want more depth on a given subject. Bobo utilizes as many learning methods as one app can squeeze in!

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Overall Rating
5

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
5

Highly engaging. Kids explore light concepts by reading, watching videos, and playing fun related activities with a cool robot guide.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
5

The app presents kids with concepts about the science and history of light via written text, videos, and fun activities. The table of contents empowers kids to move from topic to topic as they choose.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
5

There's an excellent tutorial. Some instructions are verbal, but a lot of the information must be read. Bobo demonstrates frequently how to do things.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Jennifer H. , Other
Other
5
This independent learning app is a great way for students to learn science concepts about light, energry, and electricity.

The colorful pictures, videos, sound effects, and exploration activities make this app very appealing for students. They can easily move through topics which helps to keep them engaged. Lots of scientific information is presented for students to learn and better understand topics. While there is a lot of informational text, the pictures, short videos, and experiments keep students interested and allow for self-paced learning. Bobo Explores Light makes learning about science fun and educational!

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