Review by Megan Leppla, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2014
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MoMA

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Museum companion can stand alone as a modern art resource

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Creativity

Subjects
  • Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6-12
Common Sense says (See details)
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4 images

Pros: Extensive library of images, audio descriptions, and capture tools make this a great resource for exploring modern and contemporary art.

Cons: The app is probably best suited for use on a visit to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, but not exclusively so.

Bottom Line: Free access to a wealth of images with detailed commentary from artists and curators makes this a great arts education resource.

MoMA makes it easy to bring the arts into the classroom. Teachers can keep a device available with the app for independent exploration. If there are enough devices for everyone in the class, consider taking the group on a virtual field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. It does feel like the app is designed with museum visits in mind, and it certainly makes planning your trip with a group of students easier. However, the catalog of images and commentary make this worthwhile even without access to the physical museum. Students can use the My Collections feature to catalog works within the app into their own sections. Teachers could have students curate their own collection on specific periods, techniques, artists, and media.

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MoMA is a resource app full of images, commentary, maps, and even curatorial tools to engage people of all ages in contemporary and modern art. Planning a visit to the Museum of Modern Art? This app is perfect for getting the most out of your visit. Can’t make the trek to Manhattan? Don’t let that stop you from putting these resources to use. A dedicated kids’ section includes prompts for kids to take a closer look at specific works from the collection. You can browse the entire collection as organized by museum highlights, location, department, artist, or chronologically. Take a virtual tour of the works on display, with commentary from artists and curators. The capture tool allows kids to engage in the process, documenting works of art and curating their own collection.

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Modern and contemporary art is made accessible with the MoMA app. On the surface it may seem like simply a portal into the Museum of Modern Art’s collection, but there’s a lot of potential for using critical thinking skills. The Take a Tour section includes audio commentary with some open-ended questions, challenging kids to take a deeper look at the works. Commentary can prompt kids to consider the cultural and historical context around a work of art, and can make for great writing prompts. Make sure to click on the image corresponding with the audio to take a closer look, and don’t be afraid to pinch-to-zoom for those fine details.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Browse through the museum’s collection with audio commentary from artists and curators, and create your own collection with the built-in camera. Some of the prompts may make you wish you were at the museum.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Detailed descriptions, open-ended questions, and a library of images from the museum’s collection help kids connect to modern art.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

The minimal design and well-organized resources make the app easy to use.


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