This awesome app proves the iPad is the future of education

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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.