Wednesday, 18 May 2011

App for Students with Physical Disabilities

There are many apps that we use with students who have a physical disability, this is just a small selection. We would love to hear what apps work with your child/student. Please let us know!

 Developed by ambient pioneer Brian Eno and musician / software designer Peter Chilvers, Bloom explores uncharted territory in the realm of applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Part instrument, part composition and part artwork, Bloom's innovative controls allow anyone to create elaborate patterns and unique melodies by simply tapping the screen. A generative music player takes over when Bloom is left idle, creating an infinite selection of compositions and their accompanying visualizations.

From concert pianists to curious cats, Magic Piano has captured the imagination of the world. Experience the #1 music app in over 80 countries and add your songs to the 5 million already played. Create your own music or enjoy the app’s 45 free classic and popular tunes. No practice or patience required!

TouchyBooks is an innovative children’s interactive bookstore app for smartphones and tablets. It gathers a wonderful collection of stories to entertain children, stimulate imagination, clarify thinking, and to teach reading in multi languages, but above all to cultivate healthy influences. 

Answers:YesNo was designed with one purpose in mind. Provide an easy to use, affordable way for a nonverbal young man with autism and motor planning issues to communicate with those around him.   The application is straightforward.   It has two, large, color-coordinated for yes, and one for no.   Press either, and you will hear a voice read your selection.

This highly intuitive musical app is also incredibly amusing. It lets children create and play with chime, whistle, drum, barnyard animal and mystery sounds by simply tapping and tilting. Repeated taps generate new sounds, while longer taps grow sounds and trigger surprise animations. Tilting makes sounds spin and collide in whimsical combinations. 

Alexicom AAC for iPhone/iPad lets you use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as an augmentative communication device. We offer over 300 pre-made pages and over 2,000 images in our public libraries, which include nine pre-made page sets: Child1, Child2, Child Intermediate, Adult1, Adult2, ChildPre, Healthcare, and Spanish Child1. You can easily import these pages into your own online library, customize them, and/or create your own pages. AT&T Natural Voices offer text-to-speech output in 20 voices and five languages.

★When touching existing stars, these are turned into shooting stars which fly away in a 3D-like animation and eventually exit the drawing!
★Draw with Stars ! is also full of sound effects : musical chimes when stars are created, background summer night sounds, "fly away" sounds... 
★Check the video demo on our Web site to see shooting spinning effects, stars 3D animation, glowing stars animation and hear the sound effects! 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Super Tech Classroom

I am having a Promethean Board installed in my classroom this week. I am very excited! I have been working away at researching and creating flipcharts and learning about how to integrate this new system into my classroom teaching.

One of the things I am really interested in trying is connecting my iPad to the board. I know that the students will not be able to control the iPad through the whiteboard (maybe someone at Apple is working on this?) but I am very curious to see how they react to a much, much larger screen image.

I think that the larger size and higher visual contrast will be beneficial to my students. I think that the hands-on kinesthetic interaction will be beneficial. I have seem them respond to the iPad positively for these reasons and am very interested in watching them learn to use the Promethean Board.

These are exciting times to be a learner, and a teacher!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bla Bla Bla: App Review

I recently found an app that has been very motivating getting some of my non-verbal students to vocalize.

Bla Bla Bla is a sound reactive app. The students make even the slightest sound and the image on the screen changes. Most of the images are faces and when you make a sound the face changes, grows or expands. The louder or more intense the sound the greater the change.

Some of my students are working on vocalizing for a turn in response to a question. They can see right away when they have made a sound by looking at the reaction on the screen. The feedback is immediate and a powerful reinforcer.

The description in iTunes says "This App is a little selection of an exercise called “Parametric Mask”. The exercise is a part of a one-day workshop held in December 2010 at the design department of IUAV of Venice and in February 2011 at the ISIA of Urbino"

For what ever reason it was created I am glad they did because the students (and staff!) have been having a great time with this app. It is sensitive enough to register and react to even the softest of sounds ensuring that every student can be successful, and you should see their faces when they make it work!