Monday, January 14, 2013

Creation Apps on my iPad

If the first blog post in this series is any indication there are a lot of people interested in learning what's on my iPad. This post I will focus the creation apps that I use. I need to preface this post by saying I love creation apps. There are just so much higher level learning that takes place when you let students loose with Creation Apps.Without further ado here is what creation apps I have on my iPad and what I use them for.

  • Kabaam - This is a comic strip app that allows you to use your own pictures. As part of your comic strip you are able to add customizable speech/thought bubbles as well as shout outs to up to nine photographs. I use this app regularly to create Comic Strip conversations to explain social situations to a number of my higher functioning students on the autism spectrum. Its easy to use, low cost and lots of fun which makes it a winner in my eyes. 
          Cost --- $0.99
  • AudioBoo -  This is a combination website and iPhone app. It allows users up to five minutes of recording time and then converts the recording to a digital format which is playable by anyone. These recordings are posted on the users AudioBoo website. You guessed it.... I use this as my recording app. I use it to allow my students to self evaluate what skill we are working on such as carry over of a phoneme to reading or conversation or using a specific component of grammar correctly at the sentence. The sky is the limit with this app.
  • iMovie - I'm not sure I need to stop and explain this one. Just like its computer predecessor it is a simple movie making app. A couple of uses I have for it in my speech-language program are; 1) Creating video models to teach specific skills to students on the autism spectrum. It works great and has really helped the kids I have used it with. 2) To work on sequencing. We might read a familiar children's book together and the students are required to make a brief movie (I have a number of images already on the photo roll for them to use) retelling the story in the appropriate sequence.
  • GarageBand -  This is a recent addition to my iPad. I think that I finally have the basics mastered. I plan to use it with the 4th-6th grade technology classes that I teach. Our first project is going to be podcasts that contain a 60 second book report. Stay tuned for future blog posts on this topic. I feel very good about the project so I hope lots of learning will take place.
  • Keynote - Like GarageBand I'm new to Keynote. As we start to use iPads more and more in school, I found myself needing a presentation tool. So far I love Keynote! It is simple to use and offers all the features of PowerPoint. Its also a great resource for sharing information with a large group as I use airplay to display it on my Smart Board using the reflector app for my computer. 
  • Book Creator - I love, Love, Love this app! Book Creator allows you to quickly create your own books. You can add text, pictures, and audio. After the books are created, you read them through iBooks. It is fun to see the kids faces when they find their book on the shelf in iBooks. This is how I do all of my social stories. They are much easier to store and I can easily share them with anyone that has an apple device with iBooks on it. It is a little pricey but well worth every cent you spend on it.
  • Educreations/Doodlecast Pro/ Explain Everything - All three of these apps do virtually the same thing but each has it's own little twist to screen casting. They all allow you to create videos and provide audio explanation of the video. Why three apps that do virtually the same thing you ask? They each have their own set of unique built in features and I like to bounce around depending what students I am working with. The list of uses is endless and allows you to provide modeling to students (which is a way I use regularly) or it allows you as the educator the opportunity to see what a student is thinking during a specific task. I also use the app to work on self monitoring.
          Educreations---Free     Doodlecast Pro---$0.99     Explain Everything---$2.99
  • Nearpod - I have written about Nearpod before.It is an amazing educational tool that allows the educator to create engaging interactive lessons. The lessons are deliverable on multiple iPads at the same time of which the educator has control. I have only used this tool with my technology classes but will be looking for ways to bring it to speech room. Recently I ran into an issue with Nearpod in that it requires a large wireless network to connect to or it runs extremely slow. 
  • Toontastic/Toontastic Jr. -  My students are hooked on Toontastic/Toontastic Jr. They love creating their own unique stories and bringing them to life on screen. I love the constant reminders they are provided with the components of a story. In Toontastic, they refer to the story components as setting, character, conflict and resolution. The vocabulary is more age appropriate for your children and they discuss the need to a beginning, middle, and end of a story. These two apps offer unlimited possibilities for working on literacy and language development. Having an all access pass to Toontastic is on my Wishlist. Hopefully someday I will find a way to turn that dream into a reality so my students can become even more creative.
          Toontastic---Free     Toontastic Jr.---$2.99
  • Sock Puppets - This app is very similar to Toontastic/Toontastic Jr.. Users are able to create a unique dialogue between two sock puppets that they place against the background of their choice. My students love this app. Just think of the unlimited possibilities that this offers in regards to social language and language development.
  • Popplet Lite - This is a graphic organizer app. Its a great app to use for turning your thoughts and ideas into a visual format. You are also able to quickly collaborate with others. A great replacement for the activities you've done for years with paper graphic organizers.
  • Study Blue - This app could be a replacement for anything you are using flashcards for. Users can create their own flashcards or find some shared cards that are stored on the Study Blue website. I love this feature because then students have access to them anywhere, anytime. 

I hope you take the time to check out a few of these apps. They offer a world of opportunity to you and your students for unique learning opportunities and require higher order thinking skills to promote quality learning.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What's On My iPad Part #1

I've spent a lot of time lately reading numerous blog posts regarding various apps other SLPs have on their iPads.  So I've decided to write a series of post regarding what's on my iPad since this is one of the most frequently asked questions I have from parents and colleagues.  Through the next several blog posts, I will work my way through all of the folders on my iPad and their contents.

The first folder on my iPad is labelled Articulation. Here is a sneak peek into what I use in my classroom to work on articulation skills.
  1. Articulation Station Pro - This is one of my favorite articulation apps. It does a great job of targeting each of the phonemes at the word, sentence and reading levels. The interactive games built into the app are simple but extremely engaging to all students. It has large variety of brightly colored pictures and in the professional version it allows you to have multiple users working on different phonemes. Finally, it has built in data tracking that is easy to use.
  2. Pocket Artic - I use this app when I want to do some fast intensive work on a specific sound with a student. It has an enormous number of pictures that target 29 different phonemes at the word and sentence level. It also provides a method of easy data collection and provides valuable feedback that is viewable in graph format.
  3. Webber Photo Artic Castle - My younger students think this app it awesome! We use AirPlay and display it on my the Smart Board and they go nuts. They love the wide variety of activities. Nine in total that work on phonemes at the word and sentence level. There also is a good variety of pictures that are more realistic then the other articulation apps. The data collection piece is also good. It allows you to collect data on multiple users on multiple phonemes. Once the session is complete you are able to email the results of the data collection. 
  4. Articulation Games -  This app provides practice at the word, phrase and sentence levels while playing three engaging games that are built on a candy theme. In addition to three fun games, it also has built in flashcards that can be used to provide more intensive drill work on specific phonemes. The pictures used on the flashcards are awesome. Multiple users are able to use the app at the same time and work on individual specific phonemes. Built in data collection is present too.
  5. Articulation Scenes-This is an engaging app that has a lot of versatility. My students are never bored and will frequently ask for this app. It focuses on 22 different phonemes with 72 scenes with four activities per scene. So needless to say it is packed full of things to do. Most of the time, I use this app to work on self monitoring/carry over. It also contains built in homework sheets that focus on the words that were practised in that scene. No data collection is present and it is not multi-user friendly so it does have some limitations.
  6. Speech with Milo Articulation Board Game - Like all of the other apps in the Speech with Milo family this is a brightly colored and engaging app that draws the users to it. It is similar to any other board game in that users race to see who can reach the final square first while encountering numerous benefits and obstacles along the way. This app features eight different speech phonemes in the initial, medial and final positions of words. Five users are able to play the game at the same time and every user can be working on a different phoneme. Data is collection is present and you are able to email right from your iPad. 
  7. Artic Questions - This app is great way to work on self monitoring/carry over with older students. The app is divided into three books (Multiple Choice, Open Ended, and Silly Sentences/Questions) that feature large variety of funny questions which feature one of the seven (S, CH, SH, TH , Z, L and R) phonemes that an adult reads to the student. The student then repeats the question back and provides and answer. For some reason my older students find these questions extremely funny. I usually pair this app with a board game so the kids have something else to keep them engaged.
  8. Say It Again -This app is a combination of Bingo and Connect Four for the iPad. Users shake a dice and must place a farm animal on their barn in a square that contains their number. They are required to say a word featuring their phoneme the same number of times as the number they shook. The first user to make a line of animals either vertically or horizontally is the winner. Up to four users can play at the same time and with each one working on a different phoneme. The app features fourteen different phonemes in all positions of words. Data collection is not available. Even though this app is limiting on occasion, it provides a nice change of pace and my students seem to enjoy it on the few days we use it.
  9. Speech Squares - An electronic version of the old paper and pencil "Dot Game". It features features the same fourteen phonemes as the Say it Again app I mentioned above. As you buy individual phonemes they are interchangeable among all of the Talking Tails games. Eight users are able to play at the same time. User are only asked to say a word with the target phoneme when a square is completed. This isn't frequently enough for me so I ask students to say a word with the target phoneme before each turn. This app does have its limitations but I do bring it out every now and then as something novel for older kids to do. 
If your interested in what else might be on my iPad, stay tuned for additional blog posts in this series. Next up will either be creation or game apps that I use at school.