Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ipad App Reviews for Home, Special and Mainstream Education: Play School Art Maker and Injini

Most of my regular readers know that as well as being a mum to 4 kiddies and a lover of good food, I am also a Primary School teacher of 10 years. I am currently working in Special Education but I am a mainstream trained teacher. Working in Special Education has been one of the most rewarding experiences of not just my professional career, but also my life. Its an amazing experience to be part of the development of a child who has either mental or phsycial challenges, and in many cases both.

There are many forms of technology which hels us as educators and the students learn more effectively and one in particular I can't praise enough is the IPad. I love the IPad. I have seen many students who have not cared for class involvment come alive when the Ipad has been introduced to them. I have seen students understand concepts and learn word meanings and pictures more readily because of the use of the Ipad. I have also seen students become engaged, move their limbs and move their eyes because they enjoyed and learned something on the Ipad. Its amazing and I highly recommend any parent, caregiver, or educator to consider the use of the Ipad in their child's educational and social development.   For children in mainstream education, I can't say if the Ipad makes an appearance as much as it might in Special Education, but I truly hope it does. Computers have their place and I don't think can be replaced, but I think every classroom should be using an Ipad or tablet to reinforce learning concepts that may normally baffle some students.  I can tell you from experience that when you make learning fun, the children will respond!

So if you have an Ipad or tablet, what apps should you be considering? Well, there are truly thousands out there to consider. One of my best resouces that I always go to is TheImums, they are always reviewing and recommending something new. I also have some other resources that are on another post which you might find interesting and helpful, especially if you have a child with special needs.

Today one of the apps I will be reviewing is actually free and I came across by accident. I was searching for apps for the Ipad I use at work and discovered, ABC's Play School Art Maker. This is for Ipad only and so much fun. Its a little like digital scrapbooking, but with all the characters of Play School, like Big and Little Ted, Gemima, Diddle, Humpty etc. You start be choosing a background scene:

Then you can go about adding pictures from the selection at the top of the screen. Some of the actors from Play School make encouraging comments as you choose pictures and place them on the scene.  The other reason why I love this app is because other than the familar toys, the items you can choose are pictures that are made up of recycled materials and look handmade, just like in the show. So your little one, will feel like they are part of it all. The best part of the app is saved to last. You then get to either take a picture of your scene, or you can make a 30 second video and move the pictures around and speak or sing a song, which then can be played back.  All my kids, including the older ones love this part best of all. My 11 year old daughter can easily spend an hour making different scenes with different dramatic voices and mini songs! Its lots of fun! Scenes can also be saved in an album for later use
This is great fun for home, but it can also be incorporated at school. This could be used in a drama lesson for early stage 1 - 2 depending on how you make it work for your class. This is also good for turn taking in special education and also speech development.  There is a whole range of options with this app.

The other app I want to review is Injini. I came across this app via Theimums. There was a special education app giveaway happening and Injini was highlighted. So I gave it a go and I have to admitt, this is truly one of my favourites. I downloaded the lite version, which is very generous with what you recieve. The full version I think is around $30 and I will be upgrading sometime in the near future. I downloaded it mainly for school, but my son who is 3 loves this app.
As you can see from the picture, you have a range of activities to choose from( this I think is from the full verson, not all pictured is in the lite version). Each activity starts in its easiest form and then increases in difficulty. One of the main things that I liked about this app is that before each activity begins, you are prompted to wait and then a count down begins, 3, 2,1. Then you can proceed. I liked this because I found it helped students with autism to learn how to wait and when they saw the counting down paddle it let them know, " I have to wait". You can also use this counting down as a learning experience for the child as well. It really is a great app that I highly recommend for students with special needs, and children ages 2+. My son loves the matching game which is bottom left on the picture above. Each activity focuses on different learning experiences and developments for children.

I have many more apps on my Ipad which I would love to share with you all. I will post reviews as I can, but please do leave a comment if you would like to pass on an app that you like and think others would like to. I also have a Meandering Monday Blop Hop and if you also post about the apps you like, please link up on the blog hop too, this would be invaluable information for parents and educators alike. The Blog Hop stays open for almost 14 days, so there is plenty of time to add a post.


Grace said...

I've heard a lot of good things about the ABC Art Maker app. Thanks for reminding me to get it.
We have "In The Night Garden" and another favourite is "Bananas in Pyjamas"
Thanks for sharing your list ! :)

Kat said...

Hello! Following you from Flow Yo Blog Friday blog hop! Looking forward to reading more! Would appreciate the follow back!
Have a great weekend!!! :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you :) I've been looking for some apps to put on our iPad for when we go away soon. I will be checking out the Play School one.

Kaz said...


Thank you :) I've been looking for some apps to put on our iPad for when we go away soon. I will be checking out the Play School one.

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Hi there,
I just found your blog through DP and this post caught my eye as we are keen ipad users in this house too!
My son uses an ipad everyday at school- he is mainstrreamed but happens to have a very involved physical disability which affects his verbal speech significantly. I am more than happy to share which ones he uses via email. Coopersmum76@yahoo.com.au

Prathima Trellis said...

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile .
Play School in Tolichowki

B.S Bisht said...

Keep on posting these types of articles. I like your blog design as well. Cheers!!!

master Shef

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