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

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Pinpoints where history happened, but encyclopedic look lacks pizazz

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Social Studies
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
4-12
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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.

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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.

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Overall Rating

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

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

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

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

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

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


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

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