Product Review of X is for X-Ray (iPad)
X is for X-Ray (iPad) is a beautiful alphabet book containing detailed descriptions, funny audio poems, and amazing, progressive X-ray images of 26 everyday objects that kids can interact with. The app covers a variety of information about each object — its history, scientific information, fun facts, and some extension ideas for further exploration (some objects don’t have extensions). From viewing the internal engineering of a toaster to seeing the way bones shape a hand, X is for X-Ray gets kids investigating the parts that create whole objects. Kids swipe, tap, and pinch to view each photo as an X-ray, zoom it larger, spin it around, and view it in 3-D (with purchased glasses). It may take a few tries for kids to get the hang of using the tools, and some images are easier to manipulate than others, but overall navigation is fairly easy.
X is for X-Ray can be a good teacher-led whole class introduction to a lesson about inventing, engineering, or the physics of X-rays. Teachers will need to read (and perhaps synopsize) text-heavy portions of the app for younger learners, but pre-readers can also simply listen to the poems and view the images. X is for X-Ray may also be an interesting way for kids just learning to use an iPad to practice swiping, tapping, and pinching on their own — with rewarding visual results. After learners have explored the app fully, educators may want to choose a suggested activity, such as performing a science experiment, to extend learning.
The amazing X-ray images combined with catchy audio poems and fascinating informational text make the learning experience on X is for X-Ray highly engaging and effective. Multimedia information about each object helps with retention by reinforcing learning in different ways. Interacting with objects to expose their insides will leave a lasting impression on learners.
Overall User Consensus About the App
X-ray images, witty poems, and information-packed text engage kids’ sense of wonder, sense of humor, and curiosity about everyday things. Prereaders and readers both will find ways to engage.
Curriculum and Instruction
One page per object explains all about each image, helping kids expand vocabulary and science and history knowledge — although not deeply. X-ray-enhanced photos allow kids to see the inner workings of objects they’re familiar with.
Lots of text makes this well-suited for readers; images and audio poems make it accessible for prereaders. You’ll get great ideas for extension activities, but kids will need to use trial and error to learn how to expose the x-ray images.