Timbuktu bills itself as an interactive magazine for children. With animated components and a monthly subscription, this app brings new content that's both fun and educational to your fingertips.
Because this is a magazine style app, users purchase either one month or one year subscriptions as in-app purchases. Content changes monthly, with access to past issues available on the main menu. The menu resembles a digital magazine's table of contents, with both images and titles. Perusing the past issues, it seems as if a few of the segments are staples, while the rest change with the month.
In May's issue of Timbuktu, users can learn about mold with Lars and Yoko, be a rock star with Auntie Rita, learn about outer space, illustrate the Northern Lights, or edit Betty's grammar in her diary. Additionally, Math Mysteries and Spelling segments are staples, with the content changing monthly. Looking at past months there are features that range from Romeo and Juliet to learning about microbes. The app has a wide variety of content that will appeal to a variety of learners.
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Each segment of this magazine is unique and unexpected. At first I had a hard time stringing the content together. But the more I explored the different aspects and past issues, the more I enjoyed the app. The randomness of the topics was intriguing and exposed kids to things that they might otherwise have not learned about. While some of the segments aren't as deep and don't have a lot of content, other sections have a great deal to offer. I liked the variety of skills to practice and the fact that they are aligned to the Common Core Standards. I also like the idea of parents purchasing a subscription. The ever changing content will increase the usability of the app and give children fresh knowledge. The app is heavy on reading, which is great for older kids and solid readers - but makes this something younger students and struggling readers will need an adult's assistance with.
Overall, Timbuktu is a neat idea. With new segments being delivered like a typical magazine, children will have something to look forward to each month. Parents will have peace of mind knowing their children are reading suitable material that is not only fun, but educational as well.
Timbuktu is available for download via the iTunes App Store - Universal App
SUBSCRIPTIONS: Timbuktu Magazine is subscription based. The monthly subscription is only $4.99/£2.99/€4.49 (one issue). The one-year subscription is only $29.99/£20.99/€26.99 (12 issues).
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education and you read her findings at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.