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Apps Analysis

By Stefan Dubowski


Application icon for 'BrainPOP' app. The icon consists of a cartoon robot.

Looking for Grade 3 to 8 curriculum supplements? Try BrainPOP Featured Movie’s animated films! These five-minute shorts cover everything from current events, historic milestones in science, the arts and more. With a different movie every day and an interactive quiz, you can test your students on topics pre- and post-viewing. The app has hundreds of free movies, so your class will never tire of the content. Apple users can access even more by subscribing to additional services. Sorry Android users but the French version is Apple only. Be sure to visit the BrainPOP Educators site ( for video tutorials, lesson plans and more.

DEVICE: Apple; Android
SOURCE: iTunes; Google Play; free
RATING: 4+; Everyone

Earth Now

Application icon for 'Earth Now' app. The icon is the planet earth from space.

Take on the weight of the world with this amazing app. Tap into 3-D models of our planet’s deep dark data, as tracked by NASA’s Earth Science satellites. Gain unbelievable access to the globe’s vital signs, including gravity field and sea level variations, air temperature, carbon dioxide and monoxide levels, as well as ozone and water vapour stats. Animated maps are regularly updated and show climatic changes. Want to take a closer look? Spin the globe with a flick of your finger or zoom in and out with a simple pinch. Facts are presented in plain language — perfect for the ecologists, meteorologists and Weather Network enthusiasts in your classroom.

DEVICE: Apple, Android
SOURCE: iTunes, Google Play; free
RATING: 4+; Low Maturity


Application icon for 'Notability app'. The icon is a pencil and microphone.

Attention Apple acolytes, this note-taking app does it all! Type or write your next lesson plan, sign a form, explain a concept with a sketch, prepare a presentation and annotate a book or PDF. Worried you’ll miss a beat during a meeting? No need. Use Notability’s audio recorder — it works in lockstep with the notation feature. Just press record while you enter info, then tap a noted word later to hear what was said at that exact moment. Use the iCloud feature to synch your iDevices and connect to Box, Dropbox or Google Drive to create backups — you’ll never lose a single note. It’s available in English, French and several other languages.

SOURCE: iTunes; $2.99