Discover almost everything you want to know about Lewis and Clark’s famous four year exploration of the Louisiana Purchase with this educational app.
The Lewis and Clark app from Gibbs Smith Education is a reference application filled with information and beautifully rendered visuals. The app is rated for ages 4+ and it’s essentially an e-book as it presents the content in a chaptered, side-swiping fashion that is easy to navigate and explore.
The app consists of seven chapters including: an overview of the expedition, an interactive timeline feature, maps, biographies, an explanation of the Louisiana Purchase and a list of the supplies used and discoveries made during Lewis and Clark’s famous trip. The reader is able to jump to any particular chapter they wish from the title page screen and it’s always easy to return to the main screen by tapping the ever-present “main menu” icon.
The app is really targeted towards school aged children and adolescents to learn the basics about Lewis and Clark and the Louisiana Purchase without overwhelming them with information overload. The text and photos seemed to be designed with that goal in mind and this is not an app for adults to research the topic of Lewis and Clark with any real depth.
Seven chapters of content
The quality of the Lewis and Clark app is quite high and that is really evident in the graphics, more specifically, the artwork. The vast majority of the visuals are not photographs, rather they are artistic renderings or drawings. This presents the app content in a way that makes it almost like reading a storybook which will be appealing to the targeted age range.
The app interface functions smoothly and swiping left or right or tapping on menu buttons and chapter headings react quickly and I experienced no lag or frustration. Other than the timeline feature and some close up views of photos and gear, there is not much in the way of interactivity built into this app and it really does have the feel of an e-book.
There is an educational component to this app, specifically related to the history of Lewis and Clark, the Louisiana Purchase and the United States during that time. It’s interesting to learn more about relations with the Indigenous People of the times and the gear that the explorers were using over 200 years ago.
There are no reviews, quizzes or educational games built into the app which would be a nice addition in future updates. The content provided is limited to the Lewis and Clark expedition and there is nothing else presented from that theme period that might also be of interest to readers of the app.
As mentioned in the educational section of this review, there are no interactive games or quizzes that might help to make the Lewis and Clark app a tad more entertaining. With that said, the artwork in the app is top notch and it is entertaining to tap on the various pieces of equipment and supplies that the explorers took with them in order to learn more about them. Who wouldn’t find a list of medical supplies used in 1805 entertaining?!
The app is iPad only and is priced at $1.99. Although the app is not overly long or in depth, it does provide a fairly vast amount of content for the beginning learner. It’s priced quite similar to other educational e-book type apps and there are no in-app purchases to reveal additional features. What you see is what you get: a storybook app with seven chapters presented in an e-book format. This is totally worth the price tag.
The app does not have the ability to present its content for the visually impaired or pre-readers as it has no audio component built into it to read the text. There are no social network sharing options present or in-app purchases.
There are a couple of external links however, more specifically, there is a link to the app developers website on the “back cover” of the e-book and there is a link to a National Geographic article on Lewis and Clark present in the “supplies” chapter of the app. Although when clicked, these links open without a URL address bar present that other websites could be accessed from, there is an icon in the bottom right that allows the user to open the links in the devices internet browser.