|REVIEW: Bible Teaches
Category: Reference | Review Added: August 19, 2011
Bibles Teaches is a great educational Bible app for children that has a wonderful foundation but is still needing some construction. The concept of the app in its current form is pretty simple. The goal is to have kids move 6-8 brightly colored pieces of a random puzzle into place to form a picture from a popular Bible story. The app has a great snap mechanism ensuring that even the littlest engagers will be able to complete each puzzle. The graphics are bight and colorful and I love the encouraging words that are spoken when each puzzle is completed, revealing a full color photo and the name of the story with a Bible book/chapter reference. I can see this app being incredibly useful in a Sunday School setting, or even at home in personal devotion time with your children.
That said, I was left desiring the app to take the idea to a few more levels, and I hope the developers can continue to add onto the great foundation they have built here.
The biggest thing I was missing was for the app to pause on the completed puzzle. Instead, it automatically moves on to the next puzzle leaving little time to engage with the final photo or story. This puts almost 95% of the focus on simply solving the puzzle with little time to actually study, or talk about, the result. In a Sunday School class setting, I can easily see this being on an iPad 2 (the app is available for both the iPhone and the iPad, however one universal version is not available, which means you have to buy it for both devices for it to work on the iPad), hooked up to an HDTV for a room of students to see, and allowing a random child to solve the puzzle. How fun would that be for the kids? But by immediately moving on to the next puzzle, you lose a lot of the educational value of what a Bible app should be.
I would also love to see some sort of menu that allowed the user to choose a specific puzzle/story to solve, or maybe even a category of stories grouped in "New Testament" and "Old Testament" or stories about "Jesus" or "The Disciples." This would allow some greater flexibility from the "teacher" to use the app in multiple settings. The app comes with many puzzles, but they are displayed in order, so every time you close the app, you start the order of puzzles over again and there's no way to skip forward.
Right now, the app is a fun and engaging tool for a child to use by themselves and I'm sure this would keep my own children entertained for long enough. As an educational tool however, there isn't as much opportunity to "teach" as there could be.