Tinybop Schools

Collection of STEM simulations that students will love to explore

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 1 review

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

K–8

Subjects & Skills

Character & SEL, Critical Thinking, Science

Price: Free to try, Paid
Platforms: Web

Pros: High-quality audiovisuals, a breadth of concepts that are well simulated, excellent paper supplements.

Cons: No built-in text-to-speech; younger students will need extra modeling and support.

Bottom Line: Tinybop Schools offers meaningful scientific exploration to students, particularly when partnered with good teaching and discussion.

Teachers can use Tinybop Schools to introduce and explore a variety of scientific concepts with high-quality models and simulations. Educators might have students work individually or in pairs exploring a specific system of the human body, the water cycle, the solar system, and so much more. As students work through the experience, teachers can facilitate class discussions. For younger students, teachers could project the simulation or conduct a class activity, and then have students try it on their own. Tinybop will display some questions or hints on what to click, but the design of the app appropriately emphasizes exploration, not explanation. It's up to the teacher to help students make meaning from their observations.

Tinybop provides great thinking questions and has created excellent handbooks and worksheets for students to complete. The simulations stand on their own, so these handouts aren't necessary. These pages are a great option for teachers who want to provide a little more direction or obtain a more concrete form of assessment. Teachers who use them will no doubt appreciate the quality of these printables.

Tinybop Schools is a web-based tool for modeling an array of science and engineering concepts. Until recently, Tinybop apps have been available only on Android and iOS. Tinybop Schools allows students on Windows, Macs, Chromebooks, and other devices to have the opportunity to use these apps. These web simulations are similar to if, not the same as, their iOS and Android counterparts. 

The full suite of titles available on the web platform includes Human Body, Coral Reef, Weather, Space, Simple Machines, Mammals, The Earth, Skyscrapers, and Homes. Each one of these has several simulations that students can investigate by clicking or clicking and dragging. Of course, touch-compatible devices will work as well. All of the simulations have labels, which can be switched from English to many other languages. The main text throughout the app (titles, descriptions, questions, etc.) is in English only.

The teacher dashboard is minimal. Teachers can create classes and add student accounts. It doesn't display any information on what students have completed, time spent in simulations, or any other data. The app doesn't have any built-in assessment data such as short answers or multiple-choice questions -- the focus is on student discovery. 

Some teachers may be frustrated that Tinybop Schools doesn't collect any assessment data. While that feeling is understandable, it keeps the student focus on exploring and interacting with the simulation. Even without direction, students will learn lots with Tinybop Schools and most will thoroughly enjoy discovering on their own. If teachers have some specific concepts they want students to walk away with -- or if they want to make sure to correct any misconceptions -- they should use the provided worksheets or supplement with their own activity or discussion. 

The design is simple enough that any student willing to click around to see what happens will figure it out. The app doesn't have built-in text-to-speech, but the device's text reader should be able to read texts for students that need it. Being able to read isn't essential for using the app, but younger students will need more support and modeling. Younger students may not be able to understand everything in the app, but they can make observations -- such as what happens when light shines on the human eye. 

Teachers should be aware that biological processes are appropriately represented. Mammals will demonstrate how a fetus grows in an animal and is born through the vagina. This also means things will eat, digest, and poop. In Skyscrapers, students (as engineers) will see the impact of clogged toilets, which people will continue to use. The toilet use isn't very graphic but involves some noise. This shouldn't steer anyone away from using the website, but some teachers may need to prepare students for these experiences.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

With high-quality design and lots of opportunities for discovery, students will be thoroughly captivated by each simulation.

Pedagogy

Through these models, students will explore science and engineering concepts on their own, but a teacher will need to make the concepts explicit.

Support

Tinybop provides strong supplemental materials such as handbooks, worksheets, and discussion prompts.

Common Sense reviewer
Shaun L.
Shaun L. Technology coordinator

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Unclear whether personal information can be displayed publicly.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

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