If you're finding your family too focused on fireworks and food this weekend, there's a good way to throw some education into the mix with a new app, "Revolutionary War," timed just right for July 4th celebrations.
The $4.99 app, for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, is great for the kids. But it's also a CliffsNotes of sorts for adults who may have forgotten some of the basics of the American Revolution, no matter whether they agree or disagree with Sarah Palin's take on Paul Revere's ride.
MultiEducator Corp., which makes other apps, and released its first history CDs in 1988 — yes, 1988! — has a good formula down with "Revolutionary War," a mashup of "old" information using "new" technology. (For example, you can use Apple's AirPlay wireless technology to stream the app's videos to your TV using a second-generation Apple TV device.)
View photos and read documents and writings from the era, as well as learn about various causes of the American Revolution, which are nicely segmented in the app including: "Overview of the Causes, " "French and Indian War," "British Response to War," as well as the colonists' response to the Revenue Act and more.
Videos of major battles are also featured, from Lexington and Concord to Bunker Hill, with journals and maps from the time as well.
There are biographies of dozens and dozens of revolutionary notables, from John Adams to Thomas Paine (who, for whatever reason, was so good he's listed twice, as are some others).
I did experience some freezes and crashes with the app, some of which may be due to its newness. But still, it's a good resource to have on hand this weekend or anytime when you want to freshen your knowledge about U.S. history. Make sure you're fresh on your mobile operating system in order to use it — "Revolutionary War" requires iOS 4.1 or later.
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