Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2013
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Monkey Preschool Fix-It

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A fun, frenzied monkey guides superficial learning of basic concepts

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Teachers say (1 Review)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
Pre-K-K This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: A cute monkey character guides kids through relevant, age-appropriate learning content.

Cons: The game is a bit of a frenzy, learning potential is superficial, and there are no options for adapted learning or personalization.

Bottom Line: It's an engaging game with excessive sound and visual effects; the learning content is good for fun, but not as good for real learning.

Teachers could use Monkey Preschool Fix-It to give kids some practice with basic concepts, but don’t expect much in terms of in-depth learning. Up to three kids can have accounts, but kids can't save their progress as they play (although they can collect their own toy rewards). Without learning assessments, progress reports, or personalization, the app may only help kids meet learning goals in a superficial way. To make the most use of Monkey Preschool Fix-It, teachers could work with students in small groups and choose answers together; this way, they could discuss the concepts together in more depth.

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Kids jump right into Monkey Preschool Fix-It with its continuous, random loop of six games, each addressing different learning content: numbers, puzzles, patterns and shapes, letters, shapes, and colors. The tasks vary depending on the type of content. For example, in the numbers game, kids are shown boards labeled with different numbers; they're asked to cut the board with the number "2" on it. In the letters game, kids are asked to bring a robot back to life by dragging and placing a battery labeled with the correct letter. 

When kids enter correct responses, the monkey flips and makes happy monkey noises; for incorrect responses, he shakes his head. After four games, kids choose an animated toy for their shelf and then keep on playing. The games continue indefinitely; there isn't any leveling and, seemingly, there isn't any end to the cycle. Adults can create up to three separate accounts for play by different children.

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The learning content in Monkey Preschool Fix-It is age-appropriate, the monkey is adorable, and the games are fun and very engaging. The option for up to three children to play on their own accounts is nice, but the only aspect of the app that's really personalizeable is the toy shelf. There aren't any learning assessments, progress reports, or other ways to actually individualize learning. 

Overall, the content is covered in a very superficial way. In the robot letters game, kids choose the correct letter to bring the robot to life, but rather than reinforcing this concept, right away they're on to something totally different. The app would have much more learning potential if it covered fewer concepts but with more depth. Though the design is visually appealing, the frenzied animation and loud narration lead to sensory overload. Overstimulation like this just isn't necessary; it's actually a distraction from learning. With no clear way to end the game, play can continue indefinitely, for better and worse.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

The design is appealing, but the transitions between games are wild and frenzied. Kids will enjoy fixing things with the cute monkey; the games never end and encourage kids to keep playing.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

Learning content is age-appropriate but lacks depth. There is no leveling, and kids can't choose which concept they want to explore. The games aren't adaptable and don't grow as kids learn.

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 instructions are clear, but the game is easy enough that kids won't need them. The option for multiple accounts is nice, but more adaptability and the ability to assess learning and see kids' performance would be great.


Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Rachel B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
3
App Dives Right In, but Very Basic Overall

Upon booting up this app, it just dives right in to the games. For preschoolers, this is great because they don't need to do much to start it up. The games are very fast-paced, and come one right after the other. There's no particular order to how the games appear. Every so often, the child can earn a toy for their toy shelf to keep. The graphics and music definitely keep the young ones intrigued and they do want to keep playing.

However, on the teacher side of things, it's not very beneficial to the classroom environment. It does better in a home environment. The teacher can only have 3 different accounts set up for students, which is hard to do in a classroom. There is no way for the teacher to check progress made by a student, or select areas for the student to work on. There is no way for the program to go above and beyond the basics that it already presents. Once a child has mastered the very basic skills presented in the game, there is no reason for them to continue playing. The game would benefit from having multiple difficulty settings.

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