Award-winning apps where users manipulate physical objects to interact with a tablet

App of the Week

The Osmo for Schools Elementary Learning System is designed to outfit an entire school. These game-based activities can be integrated into any core or supplemental program to make it more well-rounded. Ideal for classrooms, makerspaces, before- and after-school programs, summer school, gifted education, adapted skills programs, and special education. There are eleven learning apps and sets of manipulatives that transform your tablets into hands-on tools for learning and address a variety of subjects including math, STEAM, creative arts, vocabulary, and language arts (ELA).

 

 

Formats/platforms used:

iPad and Kindle Fire

 

Primary website’s URL:

https://schools.playosmo.com/

 

Problem solved:

Integrating technology into curriculum in a way that bridges the gap from swiping on a screen to manipulating tangible objects in front of a screen. Passive learning on a tablet turns into active learning with a tablet. Supporting the skills/standards that are taught with an opportunity to practice and apply those skills in a more engaging way means teachers’ lessons become more meaningful and students’ understanding increases. Osmo has the ability to reach learners of all abilities, needs, and learning styles, including special education students and ELL.

 

Grades/age ranges:

PreK-5

 

Core, supplemental, special needs, extracurricular, or professional development?

Supplemental, extracurricular and special needs

 

Standards:

National standards in math, ELA, computer science; National Head Start standards; social-emotional learning

 

Lesson time needed:

Lesson times varies for these flexible learning tools. Osmo can be used in a quick 15-minute station rotation, or it could take up a 45-minute instructional period.

 

Pricing model:

Educators receive an evergreen discount when purchasing direct from schools.playosmo.com. The apps are free.

 

Additional services needed:

iPad and/ or Kindle Fire (compatible models: iPads: all iPads except Generation 1, iPad Air 4, iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 12.9-inch. The minimum iOS version needed is iOS 10+ . Compatible Fire Tablets: 8th Generation Fire HD 8, 9th Generation Fire 7, 9th Generation Fire HD 10. NOTE: Some Osmo games may only be compatible with select devices. Please refer to our complete compatibility list here for more information.)

 

What makes Osmo unique?

Osmo is the only product that seamlessly allows users to play and learn in front of the tablet with real-life learning manipulatives like number tiles, but with the tablet as the facilitator of the learning process. Osmo scaffolds to user behavior and offers immediate feedback to the user so that they know not only the result of what they’ve done, but also indicates what to do next.

Watch this video to see it in action: https://youtu.be/DO801W5o9Ic

 

Characteristics:

Osmo is a unique product that combines digital and physical design. This combination requires a team with very diverse backgrounds from game design, hardware design, art, animation, UX/UI, and even AI engineering. The UI is unique in that the focus is on the table rather than on the screen, so particular attention is given to elements like sound design to provide good feedback even when the user isn’t looking at the screen. Because the founders of Osmo feel passionately about ensuring that children’s interaction with technology is beneficial rather than detrimental, there’s a great emphasis on building wholesome and educational games, avoiding any addicting patterns.