Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Disney American Presidents Unofficial Oval Office Scrapbook – iPad Version

Disney American Presidents Unofficial Oval Office Scrapbook – iPad Version

Spring 2013 Mobile Apps
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

Disney American Presidents is a presidential fact book come to life. The app offers a photographic list of all 44 presidents to date, marked by historical era (with background music to match the eras), flagging those that have been viewed in more detail for easier browsing. Each president's individual page offers basic facts about the man -- birth and death dates, service dates, vice president and party -- as well as a few more colorful factoids. The highlight of each page is a video presented in a semi-animated, slightly comical style.

My 13-year-old has worked her way through each of the videos, enjoying the comic, active presentation of the summaries of each president's major issues. My 10-year-old also liked the style but seemed less interested in the content. This would be a more dynamic way to memorize the basics about the presidents, as middle school so often requires, so I expect we will continue to use the app.

My response was more mixed. Certainly for the historic presidents, whose legacies are long-established, the app was informative and entertaining. However, the videos on the presidents of the modern era largely betrayed the makers' personal inclinations, with even popular presidents such as Reagan being given a very lukewarm review, and Republicans since being given almost entirely negative reviews, while modern Democrats were met with more enthusiasm. Clinton's impeachment, for example, was barely touched upon,

Preteens and young teens will love the style and will learn much about the presidents. They may be inspired to delve deeper on some of the more intriguing individuals. Parents will enjoy the informative, if cursory, takes on the historical presidents. Parents should note, however, that for the presidents of the modern era whose legacies are not yet firmly established in the history books, the developers' political leanings are apparent. Parents may wish to use the app as a jumping point for talking critically about the objective accomplishments and weaknesses of each president.

Emily Crawford   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Disney Educational Productions
Available on iTunes

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