Product Review of History Adventures, World of Characters
History Adventures, World of Characters presents a fresh approach to history education, designed for the digital generation. This interactive, multimodal learning experience combines mobile entertainment technology with the power of narrative design—bringing the pages of history to life. History Adventures foregrounds the power of story, narrativizing the experiences of people who lived in past centuries—in different epochs and locations around the globe. Students witness the very real moments these very real people lived through, as if they were there.
History Adventures, World of Characters is a fully interactive digital learning series developed by Spencer Striker, PhD, at Northwestern University in Qatar, alongside an international team of animators, artists, designers, and historians. The product represents a fresh approach to history education, designed for today’s digital generation. It is targeted at junior high school and high school learners, grades 8-11. The goal of the product is multifold: 1. prepare students for the AP World History: Modern exam 2. ignite a lifelong fascination for learning about history by sparking a drive for interest-driven learning. Put simply, the product aims to provide the antidote to the unfortunate refrain we sometimes hear from students: “history is boring.” The product’s unique combination of entertainment design technology with immersive, character-based storytelling seeks to reframe student appreciation for history as dramatic, high stakes, unpredictable, and inherently fascinating.
What Users Love About the App
“Not the normal textbook approach. Instead this ebook encourages students to use their imagination. Very visual, with nice sound effects and music. I’m showing it to my students in class and they are responding to it. Great new history app.”
“It helps me discover anything and everything about history once all the content is downloaded! Very good app for studying at school!”
What Users Dislike About the App
“The readers aren’t told what happens to the characters at the end because the character sections are closed with a ‘choose your own ending’ out of two options. At first it seems really cool, but is one of the options correct? Is one of the options how things actually ended for this person, or are both made up? The book never specifies, and that really bothered me because it is an educational book that is supposed to enlighten readers. Especially a book that is centered around its characters.”
“Great idea for an app, but could use more development in places. There are a few bugs still.”
“The only qualm I have is that some of the videos glitched on me, and some of the images that allow you to zoom in on and read (like historic documents, letters, etc.) would cause the app to freeze and I’d have to exit out of the app and reload the book to resume my reading.”