Developer: Tasa Graphic Arts, Inc.
Price: $3.99 Download on the App Store
The digital classroom is getting even closer to being a reality with interactive study aids such as Focus on Earthquakes, a comprehensive overview of the causes and consequences of earthquakes.
There's no denying the iPad can "resolutionize" how students consume, interact with and comprehend subjects that are otherwise antiquated by outdated textbooks that are in dire need of updating. Sure, it would be expensive to outfit every student with a $500 iPad, but think about all the money that is spent on paperback textbooks that need to be updated every year.
What if a school could get a digital license that would "automagically" beam interactive masterpieces such as Focus on Earthquakes that not only gives the student an in-depth and up-to-date account of earthquakes, but also treats them to beautifully designed illustrations, photos and narrated animations that help present challenging concepts in a visually brilliant way? What if, right?
Well, while we wait for tablets to take over textbooks, I highly recommend checking out this app, which was written by renowned professors and Earth science authors Ed Tarbuck and Fred Lutgens and illustrated by Dennis Tasa.
The app is extremely well laid out and features some of the most critical notes on earthquakes such as how they happen. One of the first animations shows how slippage along a fault can allow deformed rock to "snap back" and thus create something similar to what occurred during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake along the San Andreas fault. The app goes on to cover the relationship between earthquakes and faults, earthquake waves, seismometers and earthquake detection all the way down to tsunamis, firestorms, landslides and liquefaction.
The app doesn't just provide information, it also encourages the reader to actually learn by also including multiple choice and true-false questions throughout the app to ensure comprehension. This is a great measurement tool for teachers, parents and students themselves.
One of the greatest features of Focus on Earthquakes is its integrated Earthquake Tracker, which provides a visual display of recent earthquake activity on a 3D globe, which is updated from the USGS data feed every five minutes. It's fully interactive too and allows the user to pinch to zoom as well as use the swipe gesture to rotate the globe on a 360-degree axis. This highly interactive feature gives the user control over the display of quake magnitudes, focus depths, and events within the last hour to last week as well as historical quakes and recent volcanic activity.
As an in-class tool or for independent study, Focus on Earthquakes is perfect for the budding "earthquake-tologist" or student who wants to know more of what's going on underneath them.