Rover for Online Flash Learning Activities on iPad

Apple’s cavalier approach to the use of online flash activities on their expensive iDevices robs learners of the opportunity to access thousands of high quality learning activities. This is especially hard to take because many of these activities are ideally suited for use on hand held devices with touch screens! After trying several less than satisfactory options over the past couple of years, I think I’ve now found a free app that does a pretty good job.

Rover makes it possible for online flash activities to run well on the iPad. I’ve tested Rover with some of my favourite flash sites, including Peep and the Big Wide World, Storybird, Starfall.com and BBC Bitesize. Everything I’ve tried has run well. For good measure, I even tried Hyuyndai Canada‘s website, which comes up in Safari on the iPad with “THIS CONTENT REQUIRES THE ADOBE FLASH PLAYER AND A BROWSER WITH JAVASCRIPT ENABLED”.  Hyundai’s website opened and functioned perfectly in Rover.

Rover functions by running the content of the website you select on its servers, and then streaming that content to your iPad. This is probably why there is an occasional very slight lag. I can’t help wondering, too, if this streaming might challenge a school’s broadband capacity if multiple iPads are using Rover simultaneously. Nevertheless, I have found it to be surprisingly effective on a single iPad.

Rover is listed under “Education” in the iTunes store, and its developers (iSwifter)describe it as a “free education app”.  In this regard, Rover is more than a browser app. It offers filtering on its server in an effort to ensure that learners do not access inappropriate content.

As well, Rover “features” sites such as Discovery Education, and includes a built-in “bookshelf” of flash activities that target K-12 learners. It is worth exploring this collection to discover options that may be of value.  This bookshelf, pictured below, is organized into Elementary, Middle School, and High School activities.

6 thoughts on “Rover for Online Flash Learning Activities on iPad

  1. Paul, I read on Rover’s description that it could be used in French too. How can I access it in French?

  2. Hi Julia. There should be no problem opening French sites in Rover, but I can’t see how to run the app in French. For a definitive answer, I suggest you contact the developers (support @ the roverapp.com) When you do find out, please leave another comment here because the answer may be helpful to others. –Paul

  3. Hello Meiqin. Rover is available only for the iPad. All you have to do is go to the App store on your iPad, search for Rover and download it. At least, that works fine here in Canada. I don’t know if it is available everywhere.

  4. Hi, umm do you know what other app there is like rover for iPod touch? Thanks in advance

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