Ultramedia - More than just media
In 1984, Michael coined the phrase "edutainment" as he applied it to his band SEAL, regarding the songs he was writing, including "Warrior" and "Seal of Approval." Knowing that the best way to teach something, is to ensure that the student is having a good time, he rolled that concept into the K-12 education market in 1993. Making computer games to teach everything from color and pattern matching, hand-eye coordination, and cause and effect, to multiplication, grammar, and physical sciences, it seemed only natural to become a Macromedia and Apple Developer.
Right now, there are several games available for free download (or for under $2) developed by Ultramedia. If you click here, you'll be taken to POD-education, where you'll find several very affordable and useful apps.
If you search the AppStore for "Just 6," you'll find several apps created by Michael for free (for a limited time).
More are in development, so check back every so often to see the new ones!
This is the app that started it all. Using a spaceship metaphor, this game has kids going from 0 to 30 wpm in just a couple of weeks. The student is motivated to keep their space ship from exploding by typing the correct key to destroy oncoming asteroids. It was originally written in Director for CD-ROM sales, and has been ported to iOS for iPads. It does require a blue-tooth keyboard (not included).
• Just 6 Numbers
The brainchild of Peter O. Dixon (POD-education founder), this game teaches the critical 6's to 9's multiplication tables. There are only 6 answers to the 12 combinations. That's what started the "Just 6" game structure. It's amazing to watch kids commit these equations to memory so quickly, then be much better able to advance in math classes.
• Just 6 Word Types
Math isn't the only area where students and adults alike need help remembering. That's what caused Michael to code this app. It provides sentences, and highlights one word at a time. Each sentence contains no more than 6 Word Types, so the answers are always at the bottom of the screen throughout the lesson. How well do YOU remember the English word types?
• Just 6 Trig Functions
Michael found that the key to being successful in a math class, is to have a solid understanding of the processes that the class is built upon before classes start. For Trigonometry, it's the ratios of the lengths of the sides of right triangles. There are only 6 trig functions at the basic level, and this app quizzes you on your knowledge of them. As with all of the "Just 6" series, if you get ALL the answers correct, your time is shown. Keep practicing or challenging your classmates (or parents) for the best time!
• Just 6 Pieces
Interested in chess? Even some long-time chess players, don't necessarily know how to set the board up correctly, or know the relative values of the pieces. This app is great for chess beginners and those who have not played for awhile. Challenge yourself to get all the answers correct! Who is worth more, a bishop, or a rook?
• Just 6 Colors
This app is fun, and crosses the worlds of pigment and electronic color facts. If you mix blue and green on a physical pallete, you get aqua, but if you mix blue and green with light, you get yellow. Do you know the hexadecimal value of Red? Which of the 6 main colors can you eat? Have fun challenging your friends to the fastest score on this educational app.
• Just 6 Decades
Disguised as a game, this history app has only 6 answers. In which decade did a given event happen? There are many historical events in this app's library, but only 12 are provided in each game. Get them all right to see your time. The decades are from the 1950s to the 2000s. To get the answer correct, you just need to identify the decade. The year will appear in the correct button's place, even if you don't get the correct answer the first time.
• Just 6 Networks
Perhaps the least educational, but most nostalgic of the Just 6 games is this gem of a collection of TV shows. Which network did they appear on? Shows from the 1950s all the way to the 2000's are included. Again, only 12 shows are provided in each game, but there are MANY shows the game chooses from to present to you. This is a great party trivia game.