Tag Archives: accessibility

Memory King!

Name of the application: Memory King

Cost: Free, with additional in-app purchases of $0.99 each

About the app: The app is an app version of the classic card game Memory. The platform is free, and there are many adaptions possible to tailor to diverse age groups and their corresponding needs. In settings you can fluctuate the number of card sets from 2 to 32 pairs, and the reveal time can also be adjusted from one second to five. The version offers memory cards of animals and toys, but decks can also be self-created by the user. There are additional decks available as an in-app purchase for $0.99 each. These decks are all highly educational, and consist out of numbers, letters, shapes, colors, fruits, and musical instruments.

The app functions on both the iPad and iPhone, and can be used for one or four players. Memory King has two “wild cards.” The first is Total Recall, which once more reveals the cards that have been turned in the game. Crystal Ball, the second “wild card,” shows all cards in the game. These two enticing cards can be omitted out of the game in the settings.

Possible classroom applications: The customization option of this game offers a great opportunity for educators to give their students a playful entry point to learn content-specific words. It could be applied in ELA classes, math units, and of course the arts! Yesterday, I created a card set of ballet terms that my dance students have learned over the last few weeks, and just had a first trial run with them. I linked the iPad to the smart-board, so the pictures looked bigger than on the iPad. The students loved the interactive aspect of the smart-board, and it was a playful way to reiterate key ballet definitions. Like in the real game, students take turns, and the child who wins the most (virtual) cards wins! I used laminated gold stars as a tangible substitute for each matching pair made.

Having a distinct knowledge of the ballet idiom is essential for every dance student, but since learning ballet jargon can be perceived as a tedious task for dance students, the game offered a covert way to get the proverbial job done! The game offers audio and visual hints offering support for ELLs and other children that need strong aural and visual supports. Again, the reveal time can also easily be adjusted. This, and the opportunity to adjust the number of cards make the game suitable for all age groups.

Lastly, it’s important to note that the game doesn’t only (covertly) build and reiterates the ballet (or other) vocabulary of the participants, but also aids in the overall retention skills.

Pros: The app can be adapted in many ways, which makes it a great tool for all ages. The number of decks, the reveal time, and presence of the “wild cards” can all be altered. Additionally, the audio and visual hints tailor to students varied intelligences (i.e., music, spatial, linguistic, kinesthetic).

Cons: Unfortunately, the created decks can’t be shared between different devices or between users.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

2wice – Great Supporting App for Cunningham Units

Name of the application: 2wice

About the app:
2wice is the perfect app for units based on the work of Merce Cunningham, and features a series of photos and videos of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company taken between 2001 and 2011. The app is completely free, and also provides the user with several interview that provide insight into Cunningham’s unique creative process. 2wice is developed by Rubenstein Technology Group, and developed by 2wice Arts Foundation.

Possible classroom applications:
2wice can be used in lessons interactively through iPads, iPods, or iPhones. The platform is created specifically for iPad, but, since the only actions needed for the app are swipe or tap, it’s easy to use on smaller devices. An alternative is projecting the app on the smart-board. Students can copy the body shapes featured in the app, and combine them during introductory unit assignments. From there the class could progress to devising dance phrases through the “I Ching” (find an online version for lessons here!) or other chance methods like dice. The videos of the app also offer rare footage that give voice to Cunningham dancers. This gives students the opportunity to identify with the intricacies of being a professional dancer.

Pros:
Firstly, the app is free, which makes it accessible for all students. The app is user-friendly, so can easily be used for elementary students. Only actions needed are tap or swipe. 2wice also has a succinct biography of Merce Cunningham included. It’s also possible to “like” specific images within the app, which allow for student-dancers and educators to retrieve the photos quickly. In short, I discovered a myriad of pros to use this app.

Cons:
The three videos in the app stream directly. Fast-forwarding, rewinding, or pausing the video is not possible. This is particularly challenging if you’d like to have a brief class share while sharing the footage.

Rating:
4 out of 5

Easy-To-Use Common Core State Standards App!

As public school educators we all have to adhere to the Common Core State Standards, and matching your lesson plan to a corresponding standard can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

I have looked at a myriad of Common Core State Standard apps, and found that CommonCore   designed for iPad and iPhone platforms, is the most user-friendly of them all. Not only does the (free) app include the traditional and integrated Mathematics and Language Arts, but it also contains the newer History/ Social Studies and Science & Technical Subjects standards. No other app does so!

The application designers, MasteryConnect, have done a great job here, and the most impressive element is the search engine that allows you to type in any key words that might help align your unit with the standard. Also, the additional resources for Math, ELA, as well as ELL and SPED application are unparalleled. There is no easier way to link to the CCSS, since it’s free and usable while offline.

I must note that the iPad version of the app is more user-friendly than the iPhone version. When looking at the Standards on the iPhone you don’t have a good overview on the iPhone. Also, the resources are not available online, which can be a challenge when you’re on the go and wish to look at these materials.

Whenever I create my lesson plans, I always have this app at hand. It has helped me save time and energy though using the nifty search engine. Download it now, and use the time saved by using this A+ (5 out of 5 stars) app to sharpen your pencils or ponder over color-coordinating your classroom materials!

Access4Kids input device allows disabled children to control touch-centric tablets

Limited mobility access to computers has been closely addressed in the past decade. Now it’s the tablet’s turn to become even more user friendly.  Video and Engadget article linked below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc6eygC5eQ8&w=560&h=315]

http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/11/access4kids-input-device-tablet-control-disabled-video/