Category Archives: Student App Reviews

Science Choreography- Wesleyan

Name of Application: Sciencechoreography.wesleyan.edu

Cost- Free

Pros- Fabulous site describing collaboration between Liz Lerman and the Wesleyan Science Dept. Integrating dance and science education a multiple learning levels (children through university.)  There are lesson examples, choreography videos, even student testimonials.

Cons- I have tried to contact any of the faculty involved, and have had no luck so far, so if anyone does have any luck let me know!

Conclusion/Commentary- Overall, fabulous ideas, only star deduction is due to lack of contact ability.

Stars: ****4

Inamojo

Name of Application- Inamojo

Cost: See cons

Pros- Very intriguing program I have been looking into since it was developed from its predecessor program Chakradance (also worth checking out.) Inamojo was originally named Storydance which describes it better (it was changed due to trademark issue) but it is a program which integrates for children movement, story immersion, and emotional connectedness.

Cons- The full program is quite pricey and involved, but the website does offer some free download samples, so it can be a place to get some ideas and inspirations.

Conclusion/Commentary- If I had the time/money, I would love to do the full program, but at this point it’s more just a fascinating idea- my star ranking is lowered by the fact that it is more costly and involved than just a quick, free app or website.

Stars: ***3

Khan Academy

Name of Application: Khan Academy

Cost: Free

Pros: This app has excellent science tutorials, which could be a fabulous asset for dance-science integration lessons and activities. Many offer 5 minute videos with both verbal and written explanations of concepts.

Cons: Since there is such a wide range of content levels, students may need specific directions as to which tutorials to view so the content level is not too difficult.

Conclusion/Commentary: Overall an excellent learning app for breaking down complex science concepts into easily digestible and understandable chunks.

Stars: *****5

PBS.org

Name of Application:  PBS.org

Cost: Free

Pros:  This app is a wonderful resource for educators. It offers different resources from science to the arts to cooperative resources for academics.

Cons:  Very difficult to provide criticism except for the possibility of getting lost in all the different content areas that provide a broad range of information.  The app was used to plan lessons for a lesson on literacy and movement for a class of older adult movers at the New York Presbyterian in Manhattan.

Conclusion/Commentary:   The resource provides great inspiration for lessons and lesson planning for all types of educators. The content is broad in range and provides a wide scope for teaching and instruction.

Number of Stars: *****5

Learn to Salsa

Name of Application: Learn to Salsa

Cost: Free

Pros:  The app  is an intermediate- high level of instruction for salsa dance partner work L.A. style. The app groups the partner work patterns in a great progressive way and provides detail for both follower and leader.

Cons:  The pattern does not break down the basic steps of salsa L.A. style or explore music options or musicality within the dance. There are progressions in the partner work but each pattern contains arm and footwork that are not explored separately to provide mastery without a partner.  The app was used in preparation for an intermediate salsa dance class in a private dance studio for a advanced beginner level class held once a week for one hour.

Conclusion/Commentary:  The app allows for great creative ideas for partner work and students can combine prior knowledge to the inspirational patterns. Progressions of partner work are clearly marked and there are great variations.

Number of Stars: ****4

Ballet Class

Name of Application: Ballet Class

Cost: Free

Pros: The app provides numerous musical options and provides the bars and allows you to speed up and slow down the actual tempo according to the ballet combination and level of students.

Cons:   Although the app allows for speed and tempo changes the list provides limitations for different combinations by labeling each song as a specific exercise. The app also does not provide any visual supports.

Conclusion/Commentary:  I used the application in the private dance studio with teens from ages 12-17 in a 40 minute class in the Bronx.  I appreciate the variation in music and the ability to change tempo and speed but the lack of visual support might take this app to another level and more accessible to  broader populations.

 

Number of Stars: ***3

 

Q Dancer

Name of Application: Q Dancer

Cost: $1.99

Pros: The virtual ballet dancer and hip hop dancers can perform many different movements. Watching these dancer  teaches student many different steps.  The movement is actually really realistic.

Cons: Limited selection of music. Ballet dancer is female and hip hop dancer is male. No male ballet dancer or female hip hop dancer.

Commentary:  Students can choreograph virtual solos on the iPad with this app. The Q dancer will perform a vast selection of ballet and hip hop dance steps that are stationary and travel. I think this app would work well for students who have physically limitations. It also can be used when teaching about Merce Cunningham and how he choreographed dances using computers.

 

Number of Stars: ****4

Ballet Class

Name of Application: Ballet Class

Free App gives you access to music for the warm up, tendus, plies, rond de jambes  and fondus.

$2.99 for access to the entire class

Pros: Very simple format with labeled music that corresponds to appropriate ballet exercise.

Cons: Only one selection of music per exercise.

Commentary:  This app provides music for Ballet Class. I can imagine it being a very effective tool for beginner teachers who are just learning to teach ballet. The tempos for the exercises are moderate and I like that is a sequenced progression of ballet music.  I believe that the student and teacher will become bored with the limited playlist after a few classes.

Number of Stars: **2

Simply Yoga

Name of Application: Simply Yoga

Cost of application: Free

Pros:  This a great app because it has videos with very detailed directions for a variety of yoga poses and sequences. I also like that the videos are labeled with name the poses so that students can hear and see the names.

Cons: There is no fast forward or rewind feature.

Commentary: I really like the fact that my students can follow the yoga master which will free me to make corrections. I will definitely be using this app with the smart board in 2017.

Number of Stars: ****4

Coach’s Eye-Video Analysis

Name of Application:  Coach’s Eye-Video Analysis

Cost: $4.99

Pros:  Allows you to record, then play back videos in real time or slow motion for critical analysis of student performance.

Cons: None!

Conclusion/Commentary: As someone who teaches in a classroom without mirrors, I am always looking for tools/alternatives for students to engage in critical analysis of their performance.  Coach’s Eye not only allows you to play back videos at different speeds, but you can also record your voice giving feedback to your students and share it (along with the videos).  Since I have two extra iPads that I can use in my classroom, this can easily be applied in my classes for peer to peer and constructive feedback sessions.  My only concern is to structure the time in which students can engage with the app and still get the feedback that they need to improve their performance.

Number of stars: ***** 5