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Alien Assignment

Alien Assignment



Take real photos to help some aliens in this clever app that combines real world and digital play with parental involvement.
The Bottom Line
This excellent free app masterfully combines digital and real world play to encourage kids to look at the world in a different way.

Creates an Opportunity for Parents to Play with Their Child

Alien Assignment, an app developed by the Fred Rogers Center, creates a scavenger hunt for you and your child that uses the camera of your device to capture photos of specified items. Kids meet the Gloops, a family of friendly aliens who have crash-landed on Earth. To fix their spaceship, the Gloops need help with finding photos to share with their on-board computer. The computer uses the photos help it fix the spaceship. For example, to fix the sprinklers, kids are asked to photograph something you use when it rains. For the leaking gas tank, they are asked to take a picture of something that holds liquid.
The app involves parents by telling kids to "show your grownup" the photos taken; and the app then asks parents to give the photo a thumb up or thumb down. This is a perfect opportunity to start a conversation with your kids about why they photographed the objects in the pictures. You may be surprised at the clever ways your children respond. Once you approve of the photos, your kids get to watch as the computer repairs the alien ship.

Why This App Is Special

This app is replayable because the questions asked by the alien computer vary. Parents can set up the scavenger hunt to request 4, 8, 10, 15, or 20 photos. And you needn't worry about the photos eating up memory space; they don't appear in the device's photo gallery. Rather, they just disappear at the end of the game.

Encourages Creative Thinking

By asking kids to come up with photo solutions to questions asked, "Alien Assignment" stretches the way kids think about everyday objects. When asked to find something that has wheels on it, they may now notice that your office chair fits that request. Or don't be surprised to see them studying your bud vase to discover if it is something you can see through. Since there are endless solutions to the challenges issued by the alien computer, kids can be encouraged to think of new solutions every time they play.

Best For

Alien Assignment is a treat for all children. It offers an innovative way to use the photo-taking capability of your iDevice and turn it into a clever and exciting way for kids to become inventive thinkers.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Alien Assignment
Released: 4/2/2014
Company: Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College
Price: FREE
Platforms: iPad
iPod Touch
Available: Apple App Store

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