Xperica HD, by developer IL&FS Education and Technology Services, is a stunning example of what education apps can do with a little iOS initiative and the iPad’s larger screen. It offers a set of four free experiments that will make you believe in science labs again, and with even more rich features on the way, it’s a hard deal to pass up if you have students with the yearn to learn.
What Xperica HD offers is a set of virtual labs that attempt to teach a basic component of physical science. All of the four included experiments are staples from High School science classes, and if you’re particularly geeky (as I am) they may make you wax nostalgic. However, unlike your memories, none of these experiments involves messy beakers, dangerous fluids, or heavy lead weights. Instead, each is presented in a digital format with virtual utensils and charts. It’s rather brilliant, in my humble opinion.
Gathering the necessary materials to perform a lab can be quite the hassle, and any app that presents each experiment so realistically—and at such a fantastic price—should sound like Summer Vacation to any professor’s ear. Not only that, but each set-up comes complete with detailed, step-by-step instructions, a guide to the equipment needed, and a brief explanation of what’s being learned through all the calculations. It’s well-designed and functional to the nth degree—something any cash-strapped teacher should enjoy.
I’m usually a stickler for design, but I have to admit, Xperica HD has done a fantastic job making these lab experiments look nice on the iPad. Things like weights, beakers, rulers, diodes, resistors, and springs all look top-notch and realistic. My main concern for the app was believability and practicality in a classroom setting, but I believe beyond a doubt that Xperica HD would pass any professor’s scrutiny with flying colors. It looks like a real lab, and the hands-on experiments were fluid enough to feel like it to.
Here’s a free app that offers four classic experiments for students to get hands-on experience with, all while saving desk-space and money by skimping out on expensive equipment. Not only that, but Xperica HD offers six more experiments for only $3.99 as an in-app purchase with more on the way.
The developer’s site also promises teacher resources are forthcoming, and the app is available for school-by-school customization upon request. If that doesn’t sound good to you, then you’re either not a professor, or you’re already using this app. Xperica HD deserves a hearty A+ and a five-star rating.
Xperica HD iPad app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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