CONCEPT: Simply put: it's virtual Lego with the freedom to create whatever you ant.
DELIVERY: How many of the kids in your class play Minecraft? Depending on the age you teach the answer could vary but from experience I would guess quite a few is the answer! World creation software isn't new - I used to play the original Sim City back in the day myself- but with the current popularity there is huge scope for harnessing this type of interface in the classroom.
Bloxy World is a sandbox full of digital building blocks that allows users to design structures that are pretty much limited just by their imagination. It's like having an infinite Lego set that you can never lose a piece from and there's always enough of the colour you need.
With 250 blocks to select from, as well as figures and other decorations, the possibilities are pretty much endless. The characters can also have a note added to a speech bubble above their heads, meaning a student could label a piece of work or answer a problem in text.
Pieces can be rotated, recoloured and duplicated with ease and the controls are simple in terms of camera positioning and zoom. Holding on a block also allows it to be edited even after being positioned.
Upon completion, images of the project can be exported to Photos as well as social media. Then there's the Bloxy community where kids can share designs and even download other people's to view or edit themselves. So a teacher could make a specific model and then in a lesson, have students download it to use as a starting point!
The app uses the now traditional achievement system to gamify proceedings somewhat. Completing tasks earns the user money which can be spent on extra kit, thus sidestepping some of the in app purchases which are also on offer.
Though not necessarily intended for direct educational use, there are definitely a wide range of potential applications for Bloxy World in the classroom from DT modelling to shape work in maths. It's all in how you look at it.
LIMITATIONS: The system used to limit access to parental sections and social media is too simple for a child to bypass. Also, Price tags are placed on tempting model kits from the main menu, ripe to distract from educational use...
CONCLUSION: Well crafted and delivered with creativity at the forefront. In the right hands this could be a versatile learning tool. 4/5
Designing structures before physical creation
Teaching area, perimeter and even volume in maths
Looking and and constructing 2D and 3D shapes
Designing worlds as a part of the storytelling process