App review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2014
HISTORY Here
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HISTORY Here

Pinpoints where history happened, but encyclopedic look lacks pizazz

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Editorial review by Common Sense Education
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Grades
4–12 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.
Subjects & Skills
Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Helps kids link history with geography by marking the location of key historic events.

Cons: Design doesn't display properly on tablets, and text-based descriptions are unlikely to interest kids.

Bottom Line: Pinpoints the locations of key historic events, but design flaws and a dull presentation limit its value as a learning tool.

Teachers can use HISTORY Here to get kids interested in local history, pointing out some of the more interesting historic places in their town. They may also opt to use a search to help give kids a more thorough understanding of a specific period of history. For example, when studying the Civil War, teachers may have kids browse historic markers in Pennsylvania to find the location of important battles, or they may look at markers around Birmingham, Alabama, to better understand where key events took place during the Civil Rights Movement.

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HISTORY Here seeks to connect users with historic locations and information about them. Locations range from sites of famous battles to unique buildings or landmarks with historic significance. When users first open the app, they have the option of allowing it to pinpoint their current location. Allowing location access instantly brings up a selection of nearby historic places. For those who restrict access or want to find historic places in another region, a simple search makes it happen. No matter which option is selected, users can opt to see historic places as red markers on a map or organized in list format. Clicking a place name in either format brings up a descriptive paragraph and contact information, such as a phone number or website. Users can then save favorite places or share them with others before moving on to browse other locations.

While HISTORY Here helps users understand the relation between history and geography, its text-heavy passages and lack of engaging photos, audio, or unique content may well fail to hook them. The wealth of historic places identified through a basic location search may, however, encourage kids to explore the history around them and introduce them to some really unique places to visit.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Strickly text-based, just-the-facts content lacks multimedia or interesting details to hook users.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Descriptions of a wide variety of important historic places can help kids link history with geography -- and with their own town.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Allows users to save favorites and provides some support to guide use.


Common Sense reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

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