Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Brainspace Magazine

Brainspace Magazine

Spring 2015 Magazines
Ages: 8 - 13 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $32.95 / 4 Issues

When the folks at Brainspace say their vision is "to push learning beyond the bricks and mortar of schools," part of that is aiming to reinvent educational magazines.

Brainspace is a traditional magazine and a digital magazine combined into one publication. On the traditional side, each 34-page issue is packed with stories and lots of short items, contests, fun facts and compelling visuals. Subjects range from math, history and geography to art, language, science and music - a diversity of subjects offering a broad range of informative and inquisitive stories that go well beyond textbook thinking. Recent issues included articles on polygons in nature, Brainspace cenotes, brain-power foods, and texting spelling skills.

On the digital side,Brainspace makes a big deal of its digital-image recognition technology, and it should. Install the free LAYAR app to your Apple or Android device. Scan any image in the magazine showing the AR icon and watch as that image scans and becomes a video and/or audio augmentation. The app's offer's include geo layers, a "recent content" folder to store items for later and an option to clear content - and make room for more.

Like what? Scan the short article about the "Singing Sand" on Prince Edward Island, for instance, and watch as its photo of bare feet on the beach turns into a video clip of someone kicking the sand to make its unusual sound. How about hearing the Aboriginal Alphabet? Another? The photo-turned-video of the Syrian school girl performing a Shakespearean play in a refugee camp is remarkable. So is the Bay of Fundy time-lapse video, and many others.

If there's a downside to Brainspace for U.S. students, it's that as a Canadian magazine some of its content, especially geography and history, is Canadian focused. But most of Brainspace makes includes topics that span the globe and a world of interests.

Don Oldenburg   ©2015 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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Brainspace Publishing Inc.

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