Five Stars for Duck on the Run from the Educational App Store

By Monica McDonnell
On May 28, 2018

Five Stars for Duck on the Run from the Educational App Store

Duck on the Run is officially a five star maths app!  The app was reviewed by The Educational App Store (EAS), and has been given their highest rating of 5 stars.  EAS evaluate apps against specific learning outcomes, which have been created in collaboration with Mike Sharples Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University, their teacher community, as well as the UK National Curriculum.  They are trusted by thousands of families around the world to provide guidance on apps to help make screen time more educational.

Below is the full review as published on their website.  You can get more also get insight into the app via our Explainer Video.

Pig is in hot pursuit of Duck and the player of this app must aid Duck in his attempts to evade capture. This is done through the answering of a series of maths questions. Why is a pig chasing a duck? If the player is unsuccessful you find out that, fortunately for Duck, Pig only wants a few loose feathers to stuff his pillow.

The game-like graphics and surreal chase add entertainment and charm to what is essentially the answering of a series of maths questions. The well-animated characters bound through the colourful, scrolling landscape with the distance between them opening up or closing depending upon the accuracy of the given answers.

The game’s sound comprises of a jolly version of a classical piece, a few sound effects and some spoken words. All are high quality. The speech avoids robot-like speech synthesis and uses an easily understandable child’s voice. The tune, while fitting the game well, can be a little repetitive over extended playing and having a few more to break the repetition would be welcome.

The questions are varied in type and are distinctly presented. What each question is asking as well as how to answer it is clear. As well as the common multiple-choice questions, there are other styles of questions where children enter digits, select numbers of objects and so on. Some questions are purely visual and others give spoken instructions as well as the on-screen cues.

In addition to the main challenge, which has many levels that introduce more complex maths as it goes on, a number of mini-games can be played in the app. Each of these covers a different type of maths and, while short, form a good way of ensuring that children understand the aspect of maths that is covered by each mini-game.

A useful feature for schools and parents is that the app can be set up to allow multiple children to use it and save their individual progress. As well as giving children continuity in the app, and setting them an appropriate start point determined by their age, it lets parents and teachers check on the performance of each user. A nice touch here is that adults can also record promised rewards within the app for challenges that they have set. These can either be in-game boons, like extra lives, or real-life promises. The number of correct answers and the speed with which the questions are answered are recorded and can be analysed over different periods of time. There are enough spare account slots for most parents but schools will need to pay for extra ones if they wish to give a full class of children access to the app.

An interesting aspect of this app is that it has been created for another reason as well as providing maths practice for children. Usage of the app, both its main game and the mini-games, provides data to help academics conduct their research into learning. This is invisible to the user and if the app’s developers did not responsibly make it clear that this was an aspect of the app, you would never k

now. The full details are given on the app’s website but the key point is that the data is fully anonymised meaning that no child can be identified within it. The app’s cost is said to be set at a subsidised price point, recognising the contribution users are making to furthering understanding of education. If you would like your child’s use of the app not to contribute towards the data, you can pay extra via an in-app purchase.

Duck on the Run is a high-quality app that will make the practising of maths more enjoyable for children. As with all such apps, it isn’t really a game but, by using a style that children will associate with entertainment, it offers a similar level of practice as do worksheets but without the associated boredom. The app will have longevity as it has so many levels in the main challenge and children will be able to revisit it as their understanding of maths grows over time.

5 Stars for Duck on the Run

 

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Access to the Cognitive Research PlatformLeveraging the Duck on the Run App to collect specific data points for a studyOther advisory services around digitizing studies