Like the 2011 version of The Fiske Interactive College Guide (Sourcebooks; Gr 9 Up; $19.99), the 2012 edition contains thorough and detailed reviews of more than 300 institutions of higher learning, providing a tantalizing glimpse of the academics, social scene, and quality of life at each school. Information has been updated, and there are minor tweaks here and there—for example, percentages are now displayed instead of plain numerical totals for statistics such as number of students “Accepted,” “Enrolled,” and “Graduate in 6 Years.” However, the basic functionality of the app is similar to the earlier version.
Options include the ability to tag schools of interest, to view college websites and embedded maps, to add notes, and to email admission offices, among others. Unfortunately, the app’s graphics do not hold up well on the latest iPad. Some of the headers and photographs have not been optimized for the iPad 3’s high-quality retina display screen, and appear lightly pixelated. As in the previous version of the app, access to a full-featured search function is still buried within each school’s individual profile rather than being displayed on the home screen. Considering the age and digital habits of the target audience for this resource, the lack of social media sharing capabilities appears to be a missed opportunity for increased interactivity.
Despite the fact that it’s a somewhat underwhelming update, the valuable content of Fiske 2012 remains a compelling reason to purchase it. Explore the app for its wealth of useful information and reviews. As a bonus, those who purchased the 2011 version can download the 2012 update for free.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA