Ginko: A Day in the Time of Dinosaurs by Moona Group has just been released and it is no surprise that it has quickly risen to the top of the iTunes App store in several countries, including the US! It deserves this recognition, the app is wonderful for any age if you are interested in this genre. The family team of Maria and Stas Stavinski, along with their children worked in collaboration with several teams of expert paleontologists and it is evident that this app is not fiction but - FAB FUN with loads of factual information all written by scientists that they have collaborated with. These talented developers have managed to stick to the fidelity in all of the facts presented and provide an entertaining adventure. The Moona group also did an outstanding job of producing an app that is bright, engaging, and interactive. It also has a lasting shelf life as Ginko has the charm to appeal to a wide range of ages. On opening the app, kids have the choice of reading or listening to an interactive story or going directly to the game area. In the story section or encyclopedia as Moona refers to it, are small factoids interspersed with minigames like unearthing fossils and solving puzzles to piece together dinosaur bones. Ginko is the main character in guiding you through the vast terrain in the game section, you get to explore the life led by these creatures and help to unlock stars for quick stories. Ginko is appropriately named after the respected/revered Ginko Biloba tree. Both the book and the game are chock full of facts and children will be experiencing playful learning throughout the app!One of the most impressive features in addition to the FUN factor is the combination of plentiful learning opportunities. The app is easy to navigate and it has really put the kids in charge of their experience. During the story they can use the back and forward arrows to self-guide their direction. In the game, they have control of where Ginko goes by manipulating him anywhere on the screen by having him follow their finger. If they choose to revisit a certain species over and over again they are given that opportunity, if they want to put Ginko in a bubble or take him out to the extreme edge of the device, it is all up to them. This is an app that has what we call MAGIC, it has found the fine line between too much or too little and developed a game with the user in mind – no down time, no lapses in action, and not too many bells and whistles or other annoying repetitive reinforcements. Kids start and stay playing this app from the get-go, it keeps their attention and they stay with it. The game has unexpected discoveries which increase its shelf-life, who doesn’t love a surprise? Ginko keeps children engaged over time and helps develop attentional skills. There is extensive information accessible to the parent or teacher from the Moona developers, they have literally left no rock unturned, it is presented in an easy to read format and is concise and clear. So, what are you waiting for? Run and download this app now! Check out A Parcel of Courage by the Moona Group
Written by Jayne Clare
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.
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