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App of the Week: U.S. history straight from Ken Burns


Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from the editors of Graphite.org, a free service from Common Sense Education. Click here to read the full app review.

Ken Burns

What’s It Like? 

The Ken Burns App provides iOS users with a new way of viewing Burns’ award-winning documentaries. Burns partnered with the digital agency Big Spaceship to pare down hundreds of hours of documentary footage into six playlists. The app is organized by themes in American history (Innovation, Race, Politics, Art, Hard Times, and War). Each playlist runs from 20 minutes to an hour and covers the theme by pulling clips from the different documentaries.

Price: $10

Grades: 6-12

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Short, engaging video clips will enhance a thematic approach to United States history.

Cons: If you’re purchasing multiple copies, high cost may limit access.

Bottom line: A huge time-saver and an effective way to share Ken Burns’ brilliant documentaries with students.

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