Saturday, February 25, 2012

Drop proof your iPad 2 with Ekto2


Ekto2 iPad2 Case by Uzibull

The Ekto2 case is a relatively inexpensive, $29.95, alternative to some of ther more expensive and bulkier iPad2 cases. This case is made from a softer silicone material with many air cells and ribs inside that provide cushion and create a "bounce" effect. If you  happen to work withyounger kids and the iPad2 is dropped or if you are just one of those drop prone sort of people then this is a case that you should consider.

Product Details
  • Inner cells make the Ekto2 for iPad 2 more drop proof
  • Protective ribs add an extra layer of durability
  • Extra silicone in the edges and corners provide for more reinforcement
  • The raised bezel on the around the perimeter of the screen protects against iPad 2 face plants
  • All ports are easy to access. Speaker and camera lenses are completely unobstructed  

Uzibull sent me this case to test out. I tested it for a about a month, using it throughout my work day. My caseload consists of varying age ranges from toddler through teens, so the case definently was challenged. I drop tested the iPad from 3 feet, 4 feet, and while walking which was approximently 5 feet off the ground. I was hesitant at first to drop test my iPad but it's still working perfectly without a scartch on it!

My only gripe about the case is that the silicone that sits on top of the iPad2 glass doesn't fit snuggly enough for my liking and in my opinion should be a little thicker. I did speak with a spokesperson from Uzibull and they said that it wasn't desinged that way and that that was a mold flaw when pouring the silicon. Either way it still does what it claims and that's protecting your iPad2





Uzibull also has a new FLEX system that will be coming out soon.  The name most certainly stands for the systems flexibilty and the amazings things you will be able to do with it. The FLEX system will give your iPad 2 an assortment of strap and mounting options. The FLEX frame fits perfectly under the silicone cover and over the back of the iPad. All attachments are quickly released from the FLEX frame and can be interchanged easily. This handy system allows your iPad 2 to be strapped onto your hand, carried over your shoulder, fastened around your car headrest, mounted on a wall, attached to tripods, or connected to accessories that can allow your iPad to be mounted on a desk, workbench, chair, or most anywhere.

The FLEX system recently met its goal on kickstarter, you can find out more and pre-order the FLEX system at  www.ipadflex.com


















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Friday, February 24, 2012

Move Like Me

Editor's Note:  This post originated on YourTherapySource.  Thank you to Margaret Rice for sharing this information about Move Like Me: a Motor Memory and Planning App.


App Name/Developer:  Move Like Me by Ten Toed Inc.

There are constantly new apps coming out for the iphone and ipad.  Here is a cute one that actually involves physical movement - Move Like Me.  This game is suitable for young children to practice copying movement patterns and motor memory.  Basically, the child picks a character.  That character then performs a simple movement (hop, clap, march or sway).  The child then has to repeat what motion the character did.  It continues adding motions each round and the child must remember and repeat.

In addition there is a dance along option.  This allows the child to create a dance and then follow along to practice the dance.


Nice, novel app that encourages body awareness, physical activity, motor planning, coordination and motor memory.  Not bad for $1.99.

Move Like Me is available at the App store.  

Margaret Rice
www.yourtherapysource.com


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MadPad

This post originally appeared on SpeechTechie.

MadPad is an app that has received a lot of press in 2011 and was available free for some weeks as the Starbucks App of the Month (I do occasionally wander into Starbucks); the app is a creative outlet for "remixing your life." Essentially, what you can do with MadPad is download or create "soundboards" for your iPad or smaller iDevice (there are different versions, MadPad HD is the iPad one, priced at $2.99, the iPhone/iPod version is currently $.99 and adequate even on the iPad for the purposes I describe below). I find myself struggling to describe what this app actually does, so check out the video demo of creating and playing a "set" below.



That car set actually comes with the app and inspired me to tell you about it.  The creation of sets is as simple as it looks within the demo (note, not so simple on the cameraless iPad 1), and there are also "hundreds" of sets you can download easily through the app, including sound/vid combos within a grocery store, arcade, train, coffee shop, and zoo.  How could you use MadPad in speech and language therapy?

Language Lens:

  • At its core, MadPad is a dynamic and multisensory way to present items in categories or break wholes into their parts.  Think of the car demo above and the parts demonstrated: hood, door, window, tire, handle, keys, ignition, emergency brake, glove compartment, horn, brakes. Use the available sets or make your own, which would be a...
  • Great functional and pragmatic project for a group.
  • MadPad aligns well with curriculum areas including science units on the 5 Senses.
  • The items in sets could also be easily mined for articulation targets.
If you end up creating a set, please let me know!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Make Your Own iPad Activites using pdf-Notes for iPad

Editor's Note:  This post originated on Your Therapy SourceThank you to Margaret Rice for allowing us to cross post it here on TherapyApp411.


I was so excited when I learned from @lloydcrew on Twitter about this app that allows you to mark up pdf's on your iPad. Basically this free app allows you to mark and draw on the iPad with pdf documents. Therefore, if any of you have ordered some of our visual motor electronic books you can now store them on your iPad and have the children practice visual motor skills using the iPad instead of paper. Here is how you do it:

Step 1: On your iPad download the free pdf-notes app from itunes.

Step 2: Email yourself a copy of a pdf document. Try our free sample page from Visual Motor Workbook.




For large files, i.e., Visual Motor Workbook, click on the download link you originally received from us. If either of those don't work try using a free service like sendthisfile.com to email yourself the larger document.

Step 3: Open the pdf document on the iPad. In the upper right hand corner the option will come up to "Open in pdf-notes". Tap on that option.

Step 4: Wait a few seconds and your document will open. Now you can mark up the pages directly on the iPad. At the top of the page is where you can change the thickness of the mark, erase, change colors, undo, redo and more.



Step 5: Tap at the bottom of the page to email or print the document. Tap on the books to return to your bookshelf of other pdf documents.



Step 6: Try out some of our other pdf documents that you could use on the iPad like What's Missing? Patterns, Patterns, Patterns or Follow the Path. Here is an example from Follow the Path:



Step 7: Think up other uses - If you have iPad2 you could take a picture of worksheet using app which converts it to pdf and let students complete the worksheet on the iPad. Text can not be written on the pdf's but it does say it is coming soon!!! Imagine that - you could scan in tests, job applications, etc and someone could create fillable forms right on the iPad. Amazing! Email us at contactus@yourtherapysource.com if you have any questions on how you can turn our ebooks to use on the iPad.

Margaret Rice
www.yourtherapysource.com

Monday, February 13, 2012

Action Movie FX: Lights, Camera, Action… no let’s not be quiet on the set



This Very Creative post originally appeared on Cindy L Meester's blog.


I have been having fun with an app call Action Movie FX. This is a free app (with in app purchases). It comes with a Missile Attack, Demolition Rock and Car Smash. I purchased (.99) the Action Pack which included Chopper Down and Tornado Action.
First a caution: The Missile Attach is very cool but…. even though blowing up our lockers was a great scene I decided this probably did not follow our no weapons policy. So now I do not give this as an option when letting the students choose which “disaster” movie they wish to create. It has not stopped me from blowing up the dirty dishes or garbage can at home though!
The expression on the faces and laughter of my students when they see the FX effect is… ok I’m gonna say it… Priceless!
This is how the app works. You first pick the action scene. You film/record for at least 5 seconds and then let the magic begin. The movie processes for a few seconds and then it is ready to view. The scene is whatever you recorded with the bonus FX factor added.
In therapy sessions this has been a big hit (pun intended). Initially I just record the group and then show them the movie I made. They get very excited and want to watch it over and over. So then I set the scene- The kids pick the effect and then I lead them into a problem solving lesson and script writing.
“Set up or Scene” What could you be doing? Or where will you be?  Ideas have been taking a walk, playing ball, etc.
“Your Lines” What could you be talking about?  Each student has a sentence to say which they create or I help if necessary.  We also talk about the effect and how that can be talked about in their script.
Here is an example from one of my groups: (This group is from one of the autism classrooms)
Scene- sitting in a circle tossing a ball to each other
Student 1: I hear something.
Student 2: (Points up) Oh no! I see it.
Student 3: Oh no! Look!
Student 4: Watch out! Run! Hurry!
And then the helicopter crashes!
I like this app for these reasons:
  • it allows for creativity
  •  you can work on sequencing skills
  • students need to think of a logical scene or activity to be in
  • they need to listen to each other, know when it is their turn and remember their line
  • You can work on nonverbal language skills- facial expressions, where do you look when you say look
  • you can work on what would happen next, how did this happen, etc.
  • of course there is always lots of new vocabulary to learn too
  • I plan on having a student become the “director” and another one could be the “camera operator or videographer” or how about an “editor”
  • the laughter is wonderful!
  • You can also share the movies via e-mail, Facebook or in your camera roll.
  • I e-mailed the movies to their special education teacher who was able to show it to class.
  • I have e-mailed it to parents. The student’s assignment was to watch it with his family and talk about it.
So what if you don’t have an iPad. Look into a familiar storybook to act out as you read it. Look for books that have simple scripts. Below are some sites that might work. Or better yet have the kids write their own play! Just have fun!
Disclaimer: I have not looked over these sites fully:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Attainment Switch


Editor's Note: This post is cross-posted from Margaret Rice's great blog Your Therapy Source.  Many  thanks to Margaret for allowing us to post this review here on TherapyApp411.





App Name/Developer:  Attainment Switch by Attainment

Wow! A new app was released for the iPad from Attainment called the Attainment Switch. For only $4.99 you can turn your iPad into a wireless switch device. I tested it out today and it works great. I only tested it on some simple games to play but was very pleased. Basically you download the Switch Helper Application to your computer. This allows you to run the app on the iPad. Once downloaded on your computer and you have purchased the app for your iPad, the computer and the iPad communicate over a WiFi network. You can customize the iPad to either have one switch or two switch access and you can change the colors of the switch. The company states you can even choose your own png image but when I tried this it did not work. I was satisfied with the color switches anyway.



I started playing some simple games with one switch access and it was very accurate. Then I tested out using two switches using one to scan and one to select. Again, the application worked great.

This is a great little app for only $4.99 if you have WiFi access. It is different than a regular switch due to the flat surface of the screen therefore there is less tactile input and no movement to indicate that the switch was activated. It would be even better if it would was Bluetooth enabled. Many schools do not have WiFi access. Overall, I give this app a thumbs up. You can get more information from Apple or Attainment.

Margaret Rice
www.yourtherapysource.com





Friday, February 10, 2012

Painting With Time

This post originally appeared on SpeechTechie.

Painting with Time is a terrific FREE iPad (only) app that allows you to interact with a pre-loaded series of images in order to show the effects of time.  For example, Spring Comes to Boston, one of the available "time sequences" can be "painted" with the finger to reveal the changes that take place over the Spring months, at 3, 5, and 7 weeks.  You can also "slice" pictures in various ways to reveal changes at different points in time.

The center of this picture of Boston Common and Public Garden is "painted" with the 7 weeks paint, while the perimeter shows the scene at the beginning of Spring.  As a picture description activity, Painting with Time also gives you the opportunity to develop vocabulary and conceptual language.
The sequences in the gallery vary over different levels of time, from seasons to months, weeks, minutes and even a "beginning/middle/end" sequence with a mural and ice sculpture. I especially like the Messy Room sequence, showing the stages of cleaning up a teen's room at Start/15 minutes/30 minutes.  Kids with language and executive functioning difficulties have trouble with time concepts, and Painting with Time is a nice, no risk tool for you to use to target these skills. Additionally, causals and past/future tenses can be elicited when you discuss the scenes with students and make predictions about what it will look like after they paint. Painting with Time is essentially a picture description activity with a really fun twist!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LetterSchool

Editor's Note: This post is cross-posted from OT Beth Lloyd's wonderful blog Thriving at School.  Please go on over to her blog and subscribe, and see the amazing series she recently created on apps for differing sensory profiles.

I discovered this app from YourTherapySource and I was never so happy.  I have tried a number of letter formation apps and found some good ones, but none of them matched our handwriting curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears.  I have been waiting for them to come out with their own app and am still waiting.  LetterSchool fits the bill, however.  It gives your a choice of fonts: D'Nealian, HWT and Zaner Bloser.  How is that for choices?  That in itself makes me happy, but there is more.  This is a great app for sensory seekers.  It comes with high quality sounds, graphics and animations.  The design is motivating and engaging.

It provides three steps to learn each letter.
  1. Tap
  2. Trace
  3. Write
First, you touch the starting points of each stroke in the correct sequence.  It doesn't let you start at the wrong place, so kids don't develop bad habits.  Next, it gives you tracing practice.  Your finger does not leave a simple line, though.  It may be a row of dirt, a stream of suds or a railroad track.  After successfully forming the letter, flowers pop out of the dirt, soap bubbles rise out of the suds and a train chugs down the tracks.  Finally, you form the letter on your own.  If you are unsuccessful after several tries, it provides arrows to follow.

          
 
Definitely a sensory delight!  Uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers are included and there are two levels of play.  Check out the lite version to try it out, but I am sure you will go for the full version once you are hooked ($2.99).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Shaun the Sheep: Netflix and Home Sheep Home Apps

This post is part of a series on animation for SLPs over on SpeechTechie.


Shaun the Sheep is a terrific series from Aardman Animation, the UK studio that brought us Wallace and Gromit, among other gems.  Their productions are great resources for targeting language because they are mostly wordless, providing an opportunity for kids to talk out the story.  In addition, the large eyes and faces of the characters, plus the fact that the stories are really told through nonverbal actions, let us target inferential, nonverbal and social reasoning in a context that is funny and motivating for kids (Michelle Garcia Winner of Social Thinking often recommends Wallace and Gromit for lessons on "thinking with your eyes" to search for nonverbal clues).

Shaun the Sheep, a series of animated shorts depicting the humorous events on a British farm, is pretty much entirely wordless. Each episode therefore is a wealth of inferential talking points about what the characters see, know, think, guess, plan, and on and on...  Shaun is available on DVD (and you can find some copyright-violating clips on YouTube but I didn't say so, and don't count on them being there when you go back to find them), but can also be accessed by your laptop or iPad if you have a worthwhile ($7.99 monthly in US) Netflix streaming account.  Each Shawn episode--they have 2 seasons in one collection on Netflix-- is broken up into three 6-minute stories, many of which would make a great language lesson.  If you watch a 6-minute clip with your group, kids can usually tolerate/benefit from 1 or 2 stopping points for discussion and summarization, and then you can complete a story map or other post-activity.



You'll have to explore for yourself, but two starting clips I can recommend:

Season 1, Episode 1: The Bull- Shaun inadvertently angers the local bull, and his issues with the herd are complicated when the pigs play a plank and add some bull-maddening red paint to the situation.

Season 2, Episode 2: In the Doghouse- A passing truck ejects a grossly messy sheep who, when bathed, turns out to be a love match for Shaun.  Shaun and his love interest attempt to evade the rest of the herd to get just a little time together, and finally all conspire to keep her from being returned home.

The context of Shaun can be extended toward a nice cooperative group problem solving and verbal reasoning activity with the use of the Home Sheep Home free webgame or iPhone/iPad app ($.99, there is also a Part 2). This game has 20 levels, though you may just want to try a few, across which your students can work together to figure out which objects, actions, and sequence therein are required to get the three sheep past a given obstacle.  The game is slow-paced, and though a timer is displayed on screen there is no time limit.  It is conducive to turn-taking as on each level, kids could play the role of a particular sheep or however you help them structure it.  Lots of great causal and conditional language can be elicited as you verbally plan and review strategies!