This awesome app proves the iPad is the future of education


This is how school textbooks should all look. Photo: Earth Primer
This is how school textbooks should all look. Photo: Earth Primer

When you consider their overall functionality, and just plain popularity among kids, it’s no great revelation that the iPad has a bright future in the education market. Apple clearly think so too, as it’s pushed for some big deals in the area, while also offering favorable rates to schools willing to adopt Apple’s tablet.

But while I can clearly how iPads could be great in a school setting, it’s all too rare that you truly see an app that makes you sit up and say, “That’s the future of education as we know it.” However, that’s exactly the feeling I got when I saw Earth Primer, an app which describes itself as “A Science Book for Playful People.”

Just as the iPhone made you sit up and realize that one day all phones would work like that (a mantra Xiaomi and Samsung took a little bit too literally), so Earth Primer represents the next step in textbooks. And as steps go, this one’s a pretty big one.

While designed primarily for kids aged 9-11, Earth Primer does a great job of showing you how our planet works, with “gamified” sections based on volcanoes, glaciers, and sand dunes, which lets you explore how they work.

It’s a nifty combination of science book, game and simulation that sets a high benchmark for what educational apps should be aspiring to. Sure, there are going to be some parents out there who feel that making learning into a fun game is setting a dangerous precedent, and that part of school is slaving over dusty textbooks, but to me that’s missing the enormous potential of today’s tech.

You can check out Earth Primer in the App Store for just $9.99. Considering the price of some of the pop-up books I remember enjoying as a kid, that’s pretty much a steal in my opinion.

Now we just need to wait for the rest of the education market to catch up.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Any smartphone or tablet could have that program so it will not cause the BoE to rush out and buy Apple iPads. The world has already declared the iPad dead and Apple along with it. Let them continue to think that way if that’s what makes them feel happy. Apple has nothing to prove. If the iPad hasn’t turned out to be the device everyone in the world needs, then so be it. Everyone doesn’t need a pickup truck if they don’t have a use for it. Same goes with iPads.

    Apple is selling more than enough of its other products to compensate for loss of iPad sales. That’s just the way it is. It’s only retarded thinking of people when they say Apple is at fault for not being able to increase iPad sales or there’s something wrong with iPads. It’s like saying G.E. is at fault for not being able to sell more refrigerators to households that already have one refrigerator. Some humans are just idiots when it comes to logical thinking.

    • Kr00

      “Some humans are just idiots when it comes to logical thinking.”

      You just proved this with your idiotic rant. Congratulations.

    • Matt Miller

      lol, who in the world has declared the iPad and Apple for that matter dead?

      • Amber

        Sorry, think someone might have been holidaying under a rock – ‘dead’? Apples quarterly profits just been declared biggest on record + idevices just re-outsold their Android counterparts, again…. Don’t think they are extinct in the immediate future. Besides, thats not the argument here in this article; believe this is a great idea, for any device. Schoolbooks are still good reference but children are in a world where technology is everywhere, why not embrace it? – if interactive is how they enjoy then it will only help them absorb data sooner – let them learn however they enjoy doing so. Best thing is to give them options; if one child likes interactive, give them access to a device, if a child likes reading quietly, give them that choice.

    • lucascott

      you are correct that yes it could be on any tablet but is it. There are a lot of great books and apps for learning that are only on iOS

  • Dutchman

    Just because you can turn science into a video game does not mean that it will be effective teaching. At a premium cost, unless Apple can make the iPad as cheap as a used/zeroxed 10 year old textbook, I do not think you will see them in schools very soon. On that note, schools can barely funds themselves at present, let alone for new costs (both capital and ongoing) – think of the maintenance costs! Apple might as well say ‘Lets the students eat cake!’ – unless of course we are talking private schools in Marin county – at which point I am sure Apple would donate the devices…

  • JimGramze

    One app does not make a proof. I will say that both my granddaughters have school-issued iPads which are used a lot at school. They report to me that the only problem is when their school has WiFi issues, which would be a problem with employing any computing device. The proof is in the actual implementation, and according to the two girls it is working quite well.

  • Skeptical

    I’m worried about any “science” app that suggest rain can turn mountains into sand or oceans Into deserts over “thousands” of years.

    • Kr00

      It’s called erosion, didn’t they teach that to you in 5th grade?

      Watch Cosmos with Neil Degras Tyson. Then you might get it.