By: Carisa Kluver
The Digital Media Diet

imgres-3Jamaroos Musical ABCs, by Iggy Learning, is a fun new ABC app, inspired by characters from a storybook app series. Readers can whet their appetites for these cute animals with a musical version of the whole alphabet; it’s pitch-perfect, featuring “104 words, 416 movable icons and 26 original musical performances.” For an ABC app, this one is chock-full of content, beginning with a drum image with a scrolling alphabet below. Touch and hold any one of the letters, then drag it to the center of the drum for a musical, literacy treat. This lovely app from Iggy Learning has polished audio that shows off an assortment of musical instruments. scaled_JamaroosEach screen includes several sentences, using 3-4 words in context, with the sounds of each of the 26 letters in the English alphabet. The app features the following instruments: Alto Horn, Banjo, Cornet, Drums, Esraj, Flute, Guitar, Harmonica, Ingoma, Jingle Bells, Kalimba, Log Drum, Mandolin, Niagara, Ocarina, Piano, Quad Drums, Recorder, Sitar, Tuba, Upright Bass, Vibraphone, Washboard, Saxophone, Yang Ch’in and Zither. The combination of high-quality musical education with top-notch educational content makes this an exceptional early literacy app. This title is also well-designed with easy navigation via an alphabet page guide that scrolls along the bottom of every screen, along with nice settings for adjusting narration and music. The initial navigation for the app is a bit confusing, however, lacking any instructions. Touch-tablet savvy kids will likely explore the app intuitively, discovering that you must “touch, hold and drag” the letter to the drum on the opening page to get to the bulk of this app’s content, but adults may get stuck and assume there is nothing more than a series of letters that say their names when tapped. The addition of a simple hint, showing how to ‘drag & drop’ the letter might be a nice addition, if given to users who do not advance beyond the initial page after a minute or two. I spent a long time on the opening screen before realizing that there was a world of content beyond that first page and suspect many other adults may get stuck in the same way. Once users explore the full range of this app, they will be impressed. Jamaroos Musical ABCs has a ton of quality content and is especially useful for toddler and preschool storytimes (for library or school programs). This is definitely an app that will jazz up your ABC learning with polished animation, interactivity and musical interludes that are well-crafted and thoughtfully tied to early learning concepts. – See more at: http://digital-storytime.com/review.php?id=843#sthash.5JnTGbAB.dpuf

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digital-storytimeThis review was originally published by Digital Media Diet on January 14, 2014.  Carisa Kluver, a mom & educator, created Digital Media in December 2010 with her husband Marc Kluver, an app developer. Marc was a computer engineer who decided to teach himself Android & iOS app programming, as well as web design after a career in various programming jobs. Carisa Kluver had been a school counselor, health educator and researcher in child & maternal health prior to starting this project. In addition to this site, they have developed several apps, including “Dash & Ditto’s Playground” for iPhone. For more information about their other projects see: catglo.com
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