Thursday, November 29, 2012

iLearn with Boing: Ocean Adventures

This review originally appeared on Consonantly Speaking.  Thanks to SLP author Jessica Chase for allowing us to re-post.  Be sure to check out her site!

Boing the alien has tackled math concepts as well as letters before, but now he is helping children learn language concepts! In Tribal Nova's latest application, iLearn With Boing: Ocean Adventures, children can work on vocabulary, sentence formation, and listening comprehension skills! Continue reading to learn how this adorable alien can help your students work on these language skills.

Main Page

The Main Page of the application is similar to other iLearn With Boing applications. There are three choices for learning games: Vocabulary, Sentence Formation, and Listening Comprehension. Each is paired up with a type of underwater animal.
There are also two blue buttons in the top corners. These are for tracking a child's data. The one on the left is to register for an account with iLearn With to track progress and receive news about upcoming applications and information. The other is a "Parents Center" in which you can log in with your iLearn With account to see progress and recommended skills for your student.


Application Play
Choose one of the following activities to begin application play: Vocabulary (octopus), Sentence Formation (crab), or Listening Comprehension (fish). There is a time-limit to complete each activity. The timer will begin to blink and make a ticking sound when the student is close to running out of time. If time a child does not complete the activity within the time limit, they do not advance and must complete the activity again. Boing will state "Oops, let's start again". Each time a student completes an activity within a certain amount of time correctly, they will advance on the segmented bar at the top right hand corner of the application. When a student has correctly completed three activities in a given time limit, he or she will receive a medal which will color in a segment on the bar. When three sets of three activities have been completed, the student will receive a reward and move up a level.

Vocabulary





This game is a one-player activity. When pressed, it will ask you to choose and recommend a level based on what the child has played through. This application asks students to find different vocabulary items. Level 1 asks students to find specific nouns. Level 2 will ask a student to find four items in a given broad category. Level 3 will ask a student to find four items in a given specific category. Items to find will be narrated by Boing, and pressing on him again will have him restate what to look for. Students must look under, behind, and inside of different underwater rocks, objects, coral, and animals. When correct, the octopus will juggle the bubbles with the vocabulary items in them.

Sentence Formation





This activity can be played with one-player or two-players. The child(ren) is/are asked to make a story and place the noun/verb/preposition/adjective images on the colored crabs in the correct order on the matching colored spaces. If one student is playing the application, each time he or she presses a crab, it will state the noun/verb/preposition/adjective prior to putting it in a circle. If two players are playing the application, it will not state the items aloud so that the sentence is a surprise for the other student, and the students take turns. Once a sentence has been correctly placed, the student must press the shell for the application to check and make sure the sentence is in the correct order. Level 1 focuses on a noun + verb + with + noun sentence. Level 2 adds prepositions and adjectives. Level 3 allows children to assign adjectives to various nouns by pressing, holding, and dragging them to nouns. In addition, in later levels, the color coded spaces will change to black spaces for students to work on sentence structure on their own. When correct, the sentence will be stated, appear in text, and an animation of the sentence will be shown.

Listening Comprehension



This is a one-player game. Boing will give a direction of a preposition of a circle to touch. Prepositions could include next to, in, behind, in front of, to the left of, to the right of, or on top of. 3-4 different circles surround different underwater objects. Level 1 gives one direction and objects that are their normal colors. Level 2 adds a color component. Level 3 includes a color and size component. When the correct circle has been pressed, a fish in a costume will appear. Once all four directions have been correctly touched, the fish will dance under spotlights.

Progress Tracking



Go into the Parents Center to view student progress. Then press the "More Details" button to view more specific details about each part of the application. Press on the Vocabulary, Listening Comprehension, or Sentence Formation tabs to view a graph with the number of attempts, success rate, and age group average for each level. You can also view skills from other iLearn With applications that have been played by the particular student.

Rewards



Every so often a child may win a prize (usually every three trials). These prizes are collected within the application and can be opened to play within iLearn With's free application: Planet Boing! You must have downloaded this application on your iPad to play with them.

What I Like About This Application:
  • The application focuses on three different areas of language.
  • The games on the application increase in difficulty/language complexity.
  • I like how the entire application has an underwater theme.
  • There are different levels of difficulty.
  • You can track student progress through the Parent Center.
  • Directions are stated aloud and can be restated by pressing on Boing the alien. Some words are stated aloud.
  • The games are motivating from the inclusion of searching for vocabulary items to dancing fish to creating silly sentences with matching animations. My students in particular were jumping up and down yelling to check different places for vocabulary items and pointing on the projected screen where to look.
  • iLearn With applications are integrated together through the Parent Center and rewards.
What I Would Like to See in Future Updates:
  • I am not a big fan of in app purchases on many applications. I had a bit of difficulty accessing them due to the fact that they were blocked at my workplace. Therefore, I only got to trial the Vocabulary game with my students. I would much rather pay for the full version out-right.
  • Some of the vocabulary is a bit above some of my students' levels. For example, apples and forks are more common than plums and colanders. Most vocabulary is appropriate while I am interested in knowing how other vocabulary was chosen.
  • It would be great to have a setting in which text could be associated with directions or vocabulary.
  • I agree with the iMums' review in the fact that it would be nice to have a setting to adjust the time for students. Some of my students had difficulty recalling which objects they looked by already, knowing where the hot-spots of places that they could look by, or understanding different vocabulary for the Vocabulary game and ran out of time.
  • I would love it if I could choose the level of difficulty for a child rather than having a student master each level.
Therapy Use:
  • Articulation/Fluency/Voice - Have students state where to look for various objects on the Vocabulary game or read the sentences created on the Sentence Formation game using age-appropriate speech sounds, fluency strategies, or vocal strategies.
  • Expressive Language - Have students state where to look for various objects including nouns and prepositions on the Vocabulary game. Have students state the sentence in which they have created prior to pressing the shell to check their sentence on the Sentence Formation game. In addition, discuss nouns, verbs, prepositions, and adjectives and have students discuss which words on the crabs fit in each category. Discuss the prepositions in the Listening Comprehension game.
  • Receptive Language - Have students describe different vocabulary items, what group they fit into, what they do, what they look like, and compare/contrast. Talk about what different prepositions mean.
  • Categorization - Play the Vocabulary game Level 2 or 3 to have students place items in a given category.
  • Following Directions - Students can play the Listening Comprehension game to hear directions stated aloud increasing in length and complexity in which they must follow by pressing on the screen.
Price:
You can download iLearn With Boing: Ocean Adventures for free and try out the Vocabulary game. If you would like to download the two other games, Sentence Formation and Listening Comprehension, you can buy them through an in-app purchase of $2.99.
Disclaimer:
Consonantly Speaking was given a copy of the application to review. No other form of compensation was received.

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