21-Tech

The 21-Tech initiative has allowed me as a Discovery Guide to push myself further on how much information I can process and share with each visitor I encounter.- Odis Garrett, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a bridge between our museum guides and the visitors in that it creates connections between educational concepts and the real world.- Shawn Waxali, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech has helped Discovery Guides engage visitors by extending their experience through the apps and applying it to the exhibits.- Ian Tibby, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a way of ‘hiding the vegetables in the fruit’ where the kids do not realize they are learning, but instead having fun and being fed knowledge that intrigues their minds.- Lauren Bell, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech provides a new outlet for our Discovery Guides to interact with the visitors in a way that further enhances their experience and makes the visit overall extra enjoyable.- Sylvia Garcia, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide

Jungle Coins

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App Description: This is a fun, kid-friendly app that uses a jungle animals theme to teach Coin Math in different languages, using various currencies such the US dollar, Australian and New Zealand dollars, Japanese Yen, Euro etc. You can change the difficulty levels, languages and currencies by going into the settings of the app. The coin Math problems include identifying different coins, counting coins, comparing coin values and word problems to calculate the correct amount of change. In addition, the app consists of a ‘Learn’ feature which teaches different coin values and how they add up. For example: 5 pennies make a nickel. The same feature also shows other international currencies if the currency settings are changed.

How We Use It: At the Children’s Museum of Houston, we use this app in the Kidtropolis, USA Bank area. There are no coins in KT banks, but only pretend currency bills. Therefore this app can be used as an activity to reinforce understanding of different coin values. The app features bills as well that connect to the exhibit.

If our facilitators see a child role-playing as a teller, they pretend to be a bank employer and ask the child if they would like to be a teller. They use the app as a “training tool” to employ prospective bank tellers and managers. If they pass the “training” (i.e. get the questions right), they get the job and receive a paycheck to deposit in the ATM. Furthermore, if children are interested in currencies from other countries, they can view those currencies, and even compare currency values. For older children who are familiar with subtraction and number comparisons, our facilitators use the Jungle Coins app to compare coin values (greater than and less than) as well as for counting change. Then, the children apply these skills when “visitors” come to deposit their paychecks at the bank.

Important Note: Always ask the child his/her age or grade level, so you can ask age/grade appropriate questions.

Museum RecommendingChildren’s Museum of Houston
Platform Used: iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
Cost: $2.99
Link: Jungle Coins

                                        Jungle Coins - Count money    Jungle Coins - Currency settings

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Project Brief

21-Tech partners study and share the effective use of Personal Mobile Technologies (PMTs) by gallery facilitators in their work with visitors. The initial three years (2011-2013) of 21-Tech are funded in large part by a 21st Century Museum Professionals award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is led by the Children’s Museum of Houston in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, New York Hall of Science, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Sciencenter. For more information, please visit the About page.

Major funding provided by:

Additional support provided by: