No-frills reference resource for US history facts and primary sources.

Submitted 8 years ago
Melissa Powers
Melissa Powers
School Library and Technology Specialist
My Rating

My Take

This app is a good reference tool, but not an instructional tool. Because it is free, I would encourage US history students to download this app on their personal (Android) device for quick reference. The app would be most useful in a US history class that does not have an assigned textbook, but relies on teacher-collected resources for instruction. Students who love US history trivia may enjoy reading the content for fun, especially the DYK section. The content is drawn from US government websites and credible reference sources and seems to be accurate. However, students are unlikely to use this app unless prompted. It is a simple interface and text-heavy with almost no graphics. It is not designed to entertain or engaged, but merely inform. Because students generally prefer apps with interactive features, videos, and games, they are likely to become bored with this app very quickly. I only recommend this app as a reference tool for advanced learners. I do admire that the creators have made the app available for free (without ads) and accept donations for the Wounded Warrior Project within the app.

How I Use It

United States History is a reference resource. It does not contain any information that is not easily accessible in an encyclopedia or history textbook. However, it could be a handy reference tool for a high school or college student studying US history. The collection of famous speeches and documents may set this resource apart from other collections of US history documents and facts. The app provides students with easy access to these documents on their mobile device if the teacher assigns the students to study or recite a famous speech (such as "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" or "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You"). My favorite part of the app is the DYK (Did you know?) section. Clicking on this menu button generates a random set of 5 facts on a wide range of topics, mostly about the states. There are currently 2580 facts in the database, but unfortunately they can only be accessed through random generation. The DYK section could be used for classroom trivia or to inspire students to learn more about a topic, though students would need another resource for research.