Keys-by-TEARN mobile platform
Diary of a passionate, tech Dad
from TEARN i.e. teach to learn

Showing posts with label bio-series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bio-series. Show all posts

Apr 15, 2011

Save a Tree Using Mobile Apps

TEARN media has been compiling more anthologies like the 5,000 word SAT/GRE prep series and 5,000 term Biology series. This post attempts to convert these collections into paper equivalents - just for fun!

How Many Pages in an App?

An app is not the same as a book, magazine, or webpage. An app is hundreds of pages, and the content of each page can be video, interactive games, or 3D images that auto-scroll. (How else can we fit this great information on a small phone;-) We guesstimate that each typical app has 250 to 500 3D-type pages. A collection of 10 apps can easily match the contents of an encyclopedia-level effort which has multiple 500-page+ volumes.

What's A Book Weigh?

A quick search of Amazon shows that a typical, full-sized book of 500 pages weighs over 2 pounds - 2.5 with a hardcover. A collection of 10 apps would have 5,000 3D pages, save 3,000+ sheets of copy paper. According to, an app collection when presented as book equivalent would use a little more than one third of a tree.

By the way, these anthologies can easily cost $100 to $200 per set.

Isn't it amazing that 12 pounds of anthology equivalent fits on a mobile device that weighs 5 ounces?

Why Replace Books with Apps?

Each collection presents the best-of-the-best, evergreen information about each subject - as photos, links to articles, and videos. Can any book match the comprehensive nature of our crowd-sourced collections?

Let's summarize weight, value, and green impact. By adopting a collection of mobile apps, each app:

  • weighs over ten pounds less
  • costs $100 less to buy -- 80% of which is wasted on trees, transport petroleum, and chemicals for printing
  • is more convenient to use since it fits in your phone
  • saves 1/3rd of a tree

  • Thus, every download that displaces an anthology saves the earth over $80. Is that your personal giving to our green earth? FYI.

    May 7, 2010

    Keys - Version 4 - the Learning Experience

    Gaming brings addiction to learning. That is a good goal.

    Learning Challenge

    Elementary school content is simple to present. Flash cards entertain kids.

    As we add high school, college, adult-level content, the challenge increases to present the quantity and complexity of information; and context of knowledge.

    Our four-book series of biology related terms span:
    • elementary school learning of animals (500 terms)
    • life science studies in middle school (500+ terms)
    • understanding of anatomy and health in high school (1,000+ terms)
    • bio ap with comparative focus for college students (3,000+ terms)
    The series includes over 4,000 unique terms - while the average adult learns 20,000 words over a lifetime. Over 50 chapters, 200,000 images, and unlimited levels support the bio-series. Both the quantity and complexity of terms change how information needs to be presented.

    Look for more learning-series from tEarn as we expand other subjects using the same, new model. Also, give us time to update the content for existing games.

    Keys Version 4 Features
    • Our games deploy simple models. Match is the classic concentration game. Slots spins. And Keys is our Pictionary with a search robot. Our goal is for learners to spend time with content, not learn complex games.
    • For the bio-series, we bring over 200,000 relevant photos and links via search bots to aid learning.
    • The Flow-Selector activates the list of target words, phrases, and facts. Touch or swipe to activate. Also, touch or swipe to hide the list.
    • For long lists, touch to expand or hide sections of the cheat sheet.
    • Touch to select terms.
    • For the match and slots games, the flow-selector selects new terms to learn.
    • For the keys game, the flow-selector is an alternative to typing for guessing an answer - necessary with complex terms.
    • These changes simplify the model for the innovative keys game, hiding the 'cheats sheet' off-screen.
    • Use the chapter selector to select different chapters.
    Version 4 Improves Learning

    The grouping of related terms on the cheat sheet shows the context of terms within systems. This expands learning methods over an alphabetical list - which is suitable and still used in Version 4 for simple lists.

    For example, using the Mammals game, elementary students learn that:
    • Coyote, dingo, dog, fox, jackal, and wolf are related as canines with sharp teeth.
    • Kangaroo, koala, wallaby, and the common opossum are related as marsupials that bear their young in pouches.
    • Ferret, hedgehog, and shrew are not rodents even though they look like the same class as the beaver, chinchilla, chipmunk, gerbil, groundhhog, and mouse.
    For advanced subjects, glossaries often define new terms using terms that we don't know. We call this the recursive problem.
    How do learners comprehend the concepts when unknown terms define more unknown terms?
    Terms in context helps learners to comprehend complex knowledge through grouping.

    Identifying patterns and putting knowledge into buckets are a few of the advanced concepts for learning and innovation - identified through my AI days at MIT.

    ROI for Learning

    A recent report suggests that the average student learns only 5 to 10 words over a six-week period at public schools. This is a huge problem.

    Our goal is to achieve that reading comprehension - every day.

    Is this doable?

    Let us know.

    Version 4 Support

    There is no FAQ for Keys, no bugs, no complexity - just learning fun!. Over 100,000 users have downloaded one of our apps. But, Apple, Motorola, and Palm insists on having a support page ;-) So this page will have to suffice.

    Here's a link to access one v4 game.

    Do note that if viewed over the web, please use Safari or Chrome to best simulate the mobile user experience. Firefox and Explorer use delivers a very different experience - and is not supported.

  • Animals Collection: at Android Marketplace | iPhone App Store | Palm Catalog

  • Life Sciences Collection: at Android Marketplace | iPhone App Store | Palm Catalog

  • Biology Collection: at Android Marketplace | iPhone App Store | Palm Catalog

  • Bio AP Collection: at Android Marketplace | iPhone App Store | Palm Catalog

  • For email support or to just to send a compliment, click here or the Contact link in the footer.

    Feb 15, 2010

    Shellfish Game

    Added shellfish to the collection of mammals, birds, cats, dogs, frogs, bugs, and other animal games. $4.99 at App stores.

    Feb 9, 2010

    Keys - the Search Game

    First game, sampler of mammals. Be careful with the different breeds of monkey and horse cousins ;-)

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