Moonbot Studios deserves high praise. Its Oscar-winning team, led by kids’ book creator William Joyce and film director Brandon Oldenburg, was one of the first to create an app, IMAG.N.O.TRON, that features augmented reality—a technology that layers digital images and information onto the real world. How does this cutting-edge app work? Clutching an iPad, simply hold the app over a page of Joyce’s bestseller The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (S & S/Atheneum, 2012), an ode to the joys of reading. As soon as the app recognizes an image, the magic begins: books suddenly start to flutter, fly, and softly recite their lines; characters begin to wink; images are seamlessly transformed from 2-D into 3-D, and a bicyclist appears to glide off the printed page. Moonbot’s signature wit and originality are in evidence here, but with this app, seeing is truly believing.
Breathtaking visuals, a concise text, and a narrated tour of some of our nation’s most spectacular natural sites make Michael Collier’s WONDERS OF GEOLOGY (Mikaya Press/Tasa Graphic Arts) a contender for the Eighth Wonder of the World. Close-up views, animated diagrams, and arrows that point to the geographic features under discussion transform basic science concepts into fascinating brain food. Throw in flawless navigation, and this app is a secondary student’s go-to text.
In FRAGILE EARTH (HarperCollins/Aimer Media), 170 pairs of captioned, before-and-after photos, taken on the ground or by satellite, reveal the often-devastating effects of hurricanes, tsunamis, and other natural phenomena on our vulnerable planet—as well as the harmful consequences of urbanization, mining, and global warming. In one horrifying sequence, 15 minutes separate two black-and-white photos taken before and after a violent dust storm engulfed a Kansas town. These and other images are enlightening, and often, alarming.
iTunes U. More than 500,000 lecutres, v ideos, books, and other educational resources, from Harvard classes to kindergarten content. www.apple.com/education/iTunes-u
Common Core Standards. Quickly and easily find CCSS by subject and grade. www.masteryconnect.com
DIIGO. Bookmark and annotate your favorite websites. www.diigo.com
TED. All of the inspirational and educational TED talks, right on your mobile device. www.ted.com
Ranger Rick game apps for kids. http://www.nwf.org/kids/kids-apps.aspx
Hidden Objects: Gardens of Time. from iTunes, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hidden-objects-gardens-time/id473326170?mt=8
Wikitude (www.wikitude.com) gives more information about objects and building you point your camera towards.
Google Goggles (www.google.com/mobile/goggles) lets you point your phone at an object to access additional information.
L.L. Bean – Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder … to help you find the perfect park for your next outdoor adventure