Thursday, April 23, 2015

App Review: Think Like Churchill

THINK LIKE CHURCHILL is an outstanding biographical app produced by Touchpress. This high-quality app tells the engaging true story of Winston Churchill, a statesman from Britain who had a major impact on world history.
The app begins with an introduction by Boris Johnson explaining that the app is intended to focus on Churchill’s most difficult dilemmas. The biographical experience is divided into chapters beginning with THE BRIDGE in 1893. As users move through the short, true stories, they learn about the increasingly difficult decisions Churchill faced in his life and career.
At the end of each chapter, readers are asked to “stand in Churchill’s shoes” and make a decision. Users then learn how their choice was like or unlike the decision Churchill actually made. Participants are invited to identify the reasons for their decision, learn about traits involved with this type of decision, and examine how they compare to Churchill. It’s also possible to “challenge a friend” using social media to see how they would react in the same situation. This sharing aspects has many possibilities for teachers who could ask students to email them about their thoughts and actions. Each chapter concludes with an archive showing primary source materials related to the incident. This emphasis on historical documents connects well with the Common Core standards.
Displayed using an interactive, graphic-novel style approach, this beautifully illustrated app incorporates audio narration, sound and music effects, along with animation elements that contribute to the appeal of the experience. Hot spots woven throughout the app display informational pop-ups associated with the narrative. Orange boxes indicate Churchill’s own words.
Each fast-paced, thought-provoking chapter brings Churchill’s experiences to life. From a daring prison escape to making difficult war decisions, each new, dramatic situation draws readers deeper into the life of this fascinating statesman. The app is regularly updated and the producers plan to continue adding episodes to the experience.
THINK LIKE CHURCHILL is a stunning example of the potential of apps as engaging environments for learning. It’s an important addition to middle school and high school library app collections. Ask students to use this app as a model for writing their own story about another important figure and the decisions he or she made.
Touchpress is known for their high-quality, content-rich apps. Check their website for other apps for you library at
To learn more about this app, go to