Have a question about Noticing Tools? Please ask us at noticing@nysci.org.

Are the apps only on iPad?

Yes, all Noticing Tools are iPad apps that require iPad 2 or later running iOS8+.


Will the apps be compatible with iOS9?

We are working on updating the apps to support iOS9.

Playground Physics is updated (11-13-15).

v1.0.2 Release Notes:

  • Fixed order of operations issue that caused crash on iOS 9 devices.
  • Fixed issue where video export could become unresponsive, and fail to complete video port.
  • Disabled bitcode to ensure compatibility with third party frameworks.
  • Fix issue where video and other UI elements were not positioned properly on iOS 9.
  • Workaround iOS 9 issue where texture images were not loaded in SpriteKit nodes.
  • Disable Turtle Mode on iOS 9. We hope slo-motion playback can return in a future release, but we had to disable it in this update due to an underlying issue in iOS9.

There is one remaining known issue in Choreo Graph – deleting sprites does not work, anchor points are immobile (so you can’t move the joints).

Fraction Mash, Size Wise, and Volumize have a few quirks, bugs, and usability issues in iOS9 that we’re ironing out.

We will send out updates as soon as the apps are ready. We expect them to update on a rolling basis over the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience – we know you’re excited to use all the new features and capabilities of the new iOS.


Do the apps need an internet connection to work?

No. Once a Noticing Tool app is installed, it runs on the iPad without needing an internet connection, which makes it perfect for taking out to the playground or our in the world to explore, notice, and create.

You only need an internet connection when you want to share or send anything you make off the iPad.


Does every student need an iPad? What if my classroom is not 1:1? 

Noticing Tools work very well in a variety of device implementations – whether you have just one device, a handful, a classroom cart, or 1:1. Most of the activities and things you can make with Noticing Tools are best done in a group or with friends – groups of 2-4 students per device is very engaging for everyone. Each lesson has suggested strategies for how to adapt to various settings.


What ages and grade levels are these for?

Noticing Tools are open-ended, so what you make of them is up to you! We have seen them used well in upper elementary, middle, and high school settings.

We began our design work with middle school (grades 6-8) in mind, so the majority of the initial lessons activities and curriculum content are aimed at the content and standards in those grades.


Is professional development available if I want to take a deeper dive with Noticing Tools?

Yes! We are offering a series of online professional development modules that will begin in October and run through December. Details forthcoming – stay tuned!
If you’d like to discuss more in depth professional development offerings, or how we can help bring Design, Make, and Play to to your math, science with your school or district, please reach out anytime: Douglas Moore, dmoore@nsyci.org.


How many apps will be in the “Noticing Tools” family? When will the next ones be released?

We’re launching a robust suite, not only including the five apps but also supporting materials – lesson plans, online professional development courses for educators, and a website with ideas, inspirations, and community pages for educators sharing inspirations and feedback.

Second, we plan to grow the family over time, as we’re deeply committed to this work and realize its potential to transform STEM learning. We’re still prototyping and iteratively learning from kids, teachers, and parents so that when we do launch more apps, we’ll ensure they’re high quality,delightful, and support deeper learning.


Do you plan any formal research about the effectiveness of Noticing Tools?

Yes, we are launching a random control trial study of Playground Physics with 60 teachers in New York City in the 2015-16 school year to specifically examine impacts on learning.