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Daily iPad App: Motion Math HD

Kelly Hodgkins
12.06.11
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Motion Math HD is an iPad-based learning game for elementary children. Developed at the Stanford School of Education, the learning game teaches your child the basics of fractions and the number line. To advance in the game, the child has to place fractions and decimals in their proper position on the number line.

Unlike other learning apps which are more like flashcards, Motion Math is an immersive game with a story line and a goal. Unlike traditional games that require the player to collect gold or points to advance, Motion Math makes the player solve math problems. It requires him or her to think and move the iPad to play the game.

You play as a fallen star who must return to its place in the sky. The star bounces along a number line and the child tilts the iPad to control the position of the bounce. During the game, fractions appear and the child must bounce the star near the fraction's place on the number line. The 1/2 requires you to bounce in the middle, the 3/4 towards the end, and so on.

As you progress, the child has to solve problems like, "Is the fraction greater than or less than 1/2?" In some levels, the star is a pie that's partially filled. The child has to convert the fill to a fraction and bounce it on the number line. The child has to think quickly and move the star even faster which makes the game fun.

Children earn points for correct bounces and they level up on a regular baisis. Each new level gets progressively harder and faster which makes the game challenging for both younger and older children. There's also three difficulty levels, so parents can customize the game to meet the learning level of the child. If the child has a hard time solving the problem, there's an arrow to help them pinpoint the bounce and divider lines to improve the accuracy.

Motion Math HD is a clever learning game for kids. The game combines learning with action which challenges both your child's brain and their motor skills. It's fun to have to think fast about the fraction and move quickly to place the bounce. The game also has a variety of difficulty levels so you can find the perfect one for your child. This is a much overlooked feature, as it's frustrating to play a game that's too hard or too easy.

My only complaint about the game is that it doesn't seem to save your child's progress. When I paused the game and exited, I had to start from the beginning. There's also no support for profiles, so all players share the same data and high scores. The game would be ideal if you could create a new profile for each child to follow his or her progress.

Even without progress tracking and profile support, I still highly recommend Motion Math HD to parents of elementary school children. You can give the iPad to your child and not have to worry about them mindlessly tapping on a game. With Motion Math HD, your child is learning while playing. Motion Math HD is available for the iPad and costs US\$2.99. There's also an iPhone version that costs \$1.99.