Monday, September 23, 2013

So....what's new in the world of apps?

It has been a VERY long time since I posted anything on new, fun apps.  So, here are a few that I found during Summer:

Toca Boca Builders:  As always, Toca is wonderful.  This app allows you to build and create, each 'robot' or character has a different function (painting, dropping blocks, moving blocks, deleting blocks).  This feature alone is awesome for language!  Talk about the function and describing what each character does...and which character you need for a job!  This is great for students who need to verbally explain a process...tell them what you want built ("Build me a tall tower") and have the student verbally explain which characters they will use and what their 'plan' is.  Or, reverse roles, the clinician/teacher/parent is the builder and the child must describe what you are doing as you create.  You can also model the describing as well...tell your child what they are doing ("Ahh, I see that you are going to delete a block...").  This app would also be fun for Before/After directions, "before you paint 1 box blue, add 2 boxes", etc.
iPhone Screenshot 2

Toca Cars:  Toca has added an app, Cars! It is on sale for $.99, so grab it now! The app has two drivers to choose from and you can use Toca's roads, or you can make/edit your own roads!  Students can have fun driving on (or off) the roads.  Cruise through ice cream puddles! Knock things down, and then use the restore button to rebuild them!  This app would be useful for:

  • Describing: Students would need to describe the type of map/road they are using or creating. "I am making a map that has giant puddles of soupy, messy, pink ice cream!"
  • Sequential terms: Students could again describe their 'map', but would be required to use sequential terms that focus on the order of steps (First, second, next, third, last, etc).
  • Answering questions: The clinician and student could build a map together, the clinician could ask basic or higher level questions:

    • What do you think will happen if we add giant ice cream puddles?
    • What did we add at the beginning of the map? What did we add at the end?
    • What will happen if our car goes off the road?
    • What will happen if our car crashes into _____?
    • Incentive Game: This app would serve well as an incentive during other therapy goals as well.  If a student is practicing articulation, the student could produce 10 words and then work on their road or take a turn racing. 
iPhone Screenshot 1

iPhone Screenshot 2

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iPhone Screenshot 4

Dr. Panda:  Which Dr. Panda? ALL of them!  My children at home LOVE the Dr. Panda apps, and we bought all of them.  The Dr. Panda apps are great for social interaction, role play, articulation practice, vocabulary, and just about any language goal. Some include: Hospital, Garden, Airport, Hair Salon, Supermarket, Handyman, Art Class, Garage, Teach Me, Daycare, Restaurant etc.
The link sends you to the Dr. Panda website...from there you can look at all of the apps vs. me listing the links for each one. You can get a good idea of what Dr. Panda is all about!  The one caution I would make is that Dr. Panda has more visual stimuli than something like Toca Boca.  There is a lot to look at and for some children, it may be too much visual stimulation.


I'll be adding more to this post in the next few days...I need to flip through the apps on my home iPads to remember what I like and what is new that I haven't mentioned!

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