AP Economics iPhone App Review.
AP Economics is targeted specifically at students prepping for their Economics exam. It features sections on both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, trying to capture all the relevant information these two classes have covered.
AP Economics features a very organized process of learning. Upon first starting the app, you can select the Microeconomics or the Macroeconomics section. From then on, everything is organized in units with each unit having one or more concepts in it. These concepts are each incorporated on a flashcard, containing a graph and a short explanation of the concept.
Adding all these concepts together you presumably get the overall depth of knowledge that you have already studied in class. Most of the concepts should already be familiar to you when you see the flashcards, that’s why most of the abbreviations won’t even be explained to you. In short, the app presumes you know most of the stuff, and all you need is some guidance in order to prep for the exam.
The app however is more than a point-by-point overview of these two classes. The learning processes may be based on the flashcard system, but it introduces the idea of “raise or drop” (or up and down) to learning every concept on the flashcards.
What is the Up-Down method?
Simple enough. When you’re presented with a flashcard, you can inform AP Economics whether you know the concept on the card or not by swiping it up or down. Up means you already know the concept, down means you don’t.
Automatically, the app will give you the next flashcard and remember whether you knew the previous one or not. Presumably, the app also figures out your knowledge level based on these cards and serves you appropriate cards. I say presumably because I don’t know squat about micro/macroeconomics. It was a subject that eluded me both in highschool and at the university level. (Perhaps because I didn’t have this app then?)
In short, that’s the up/down method, and if it works like I presumed above, then it’s one kick-ass style of learning and prepping for an exam.
Sure enough, AP Economics has a few issues. Number one. There is no instructions manual for the up/down method. I had to pay very, very close attention to the opening screen where it says simple “Up if you know it, Down if you don’t know it.” Explaining shortly this in a help section would do wonders.
Number two. What’s with the navigation at the bottom of each flashcard? The screen features a set of numbers: −3, −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 3, which I have no idea what they do. Tapping on one of them might bring up another flashcard, or it may just warn you that number doesn’t exist. What gives? Again, no help menu to explain this.
Number three. I know this is not the purpose of the app, but some sort of quizzes might help students out. It’d be silly to ask students to download one app to prep and one app to test their knowledge. Perhaps in future updates these might be incorporated.
Number four. The annoying sounds. Every time you swipe up or down, a male voice will tell you whether you swipe up or down. Swiping in any one direction consecutively will raise the tonality in the guy’s voice to the point of being a bit ridiculous. Thankfully, you can turn off these sounds in the settings panel. That panel may be difficult to notice, but look for a cog-like icon in the top left in the chapter selection screen.
Developer: CheongShim International Education Research Institute
Released: May 2nd, 2011
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