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Apps Analysis

By Stefan Dubowski

Busy Water

Application icon for "Busy Water" app. The icon is a cartoon fish in a drain.

Poor Archie the fish has been flushed down the drain! Can your students help him get back to his tank? This isn’t your average homeward-bound adventure. Players have to spin and assemble pipes, install paddle wheels and spray water in the right direction to help Archie go on his way. There are multiple levels, each more challenging and engaging than the last. And there’s a build mode where players get to develop their own levels. Designed for six- to 10-year-olds, Busy Water speaks to a number of important curriculum topic areas including innovation and problem-solving, which matter across the grades.

DEVICE: Apple, Android
SOURCE: Apple App Store ($5.49), Google Play ($3.99)
RATING: 4+, Everyone


Application icon for "Digestix" app. The icon is a stylized graphic.

If your students are hungry to learn about the human digestive tract, this app is for you. In Digestix, players organize various body parts (teeth, liver, stomach and glands) in the necessary order that will allow them to properly transform food into energy. The game helps students see which parts take care of which nutrients (salivary glands for carbohydrates, gastric glands for proteins) and how much energy they require. They’ll learn, for instance, that your stomach has to work harder to manage a steak than an apple. Surprisingly low on the “gross-out” scale, Digestix aligns with Ontario’s Grade 5 curriculum, which includes learning about organs.

DEVICE: Apple; Android
SOURCE: App Store, Google Play (free)
RATING: 4+, Everyone

Sworkit Kids

Application icon for "Sworkit Kids" app. The icon is a cartoon silhouette of a person jumping inside a stopwatch.

Students can hop, lunge or crunch their way to fitness at their own pace with this app. Sworkit Kids offers exercises and routines suitable for ages seven to 14, that can be done at school or home. The app’s developers share that many teachers use it as a digital helper in physical education or as a way to get students moving throughout the day. You’ll find programs focused on strength, agility, flexibility and balance. Or you can create custom routines. Each program has adjustable times (five to 30 minutes), so no matter the fitness level, you and your students can find the right workout.

DEVICE: Apple; Android
SOURCE: App Store, Google Play (free)
RATING: 4+; Everyone