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Review: “History Maker” by MultiEducator, Inc. for iOS

Organization, authority, scope, accuracy, documentation, and accessibility: whether examining a reference book or a reference app, the same criteria are applied. Today’s review takes a look at two apps for middle and high school students packed with primary and secondary resources on American history. One examines a period, and the other, a president’s life and legacy.

What do reference apps offer that their print counterparts can’t? Among other features, video clips, and the opportunity to tag, print, and/or email content.

TG Review thinbanner3 Review: History Maker by MultiEducator, Inc. for iOS

Title: Revolutionary War: Learn all about the American Revolutionary War
Developed by:  MultiEducator Inc.
Designed by: Spectrum Reflections Ltd.
Series: History Maker
Platforms: iOS, requires 4.1 or later
Version: 1.1.1
Price: $4.99

Title: JFK: A Biography of John F. Kennedy
Developed by:  MultiEducator Inc.
Designed by: Spectrum Reflections Ltd.
Series: History Maker
Platforms: iOS, requires 3.1 or later
Version: 1.1.1
Price: $4.99

revwar2 225x300 Review: History Maker by MultiEducator, Inc. for iOS

Screen shot from 'Revolutionary War' (MultiEducator, Inc.)

Gr 5 Up-”History Maker” is a series of apps originating from multimedia CD-ROMs and DVDs created in the 1990s. Revolutionary War is organized in tabs by major battles, biographies, causes, famous words, stories and myths, and more. Some categories consist merely of text versions of primary documents, such as the correspondence of John and Abigail Adams 1774-1782, the proceedings of the Continental Congress, or the category simply named “Documents of the Revolution.”

Clearly useful to middle and high school researchers are the brief, narrated historical documentaries on each battle, major cause, and story. Interactivity consists of zooming text, maps, and pictures, one battle simulation game (of one level only), and the menu of buttons allowing users to print, email, and cache as favorites these historical documents, photos, or mini-documentaries.

Built as research tools, the apps serve as a repository of primary and secondary source information. JFK draws almost exclusively from primary source material and the app is a trove of video clips and photographs of the former president. Unfortunately, there is very little or no citation information for the documents on either app, especially for the secondary source documents. The apps embarrassingly abound in typographic errors.

Nevertheless, the parchment paper look of the interface is pleasing and easy to use. The apps deliver gems like the Kennedy assassination video and the mini-documentary re-enacting Patrick Henry’s legendary pre-war speech, and package them conveniently. As of now, nothing else of their kind exists as an app, and they will both deliver and disappoint.–Sara Lissa Paulson, PS 347 – “47” The ASL & English Lower School, New York, NY

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TG ToPurchase3 Review: History Maker by MultiEducator, Inc. for iOS