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Anny G.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Entertainment - Games - Lifestyle - Photography - Productivity - Utilities - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2

Description: I am an Autism Inclusion teacher in Seattle. I teach primarily language arts and math. I am also the parent of a preschooler and a toddler. I am an avid reader, who also enjoys spending time outdoors. I use iOS devices in both my home and work environment daily.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Teaching kids ages 0-2 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Special education teacher or AT (Assistive Tech.) specialist - Homeschooler - Gamer

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-11-04

User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.

Total review Karma: + 3     ?

Each time a developer thinks a review from a reviewer is useful, he give to this reviewer +1 in review Karma. The more Karma a reviewer has, the better her/his reviews are assessed!


Her/His app reviews

The Ant and the Grasshopper v1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I liked that the interactive elements were on different pages than the text. This keeps the focus more on the story. My daughters enjoyed the book, and to my surprise asked to read it a few times in a row. The art was also nice, and the story itself has a good premise. I like that it has sophisticated vocabulary, it made for some nice teaching moments. It was certainly easy for my kids to navigate, and I liked the chapters option as well.
Improvements I would really like to see a lower volume for the music. It was really loud, and made it hard to hear the story. The only option was to turn the music off, and I did like the music otherwise. My 3 and a half year old daughter had some difficulty moving the food items to the characters, at times they disappeared into the background-may be an issue with layering? My almost two year old couldn't get the food items close enough to the characters for them to register, and this made her frustrated, I would love to see better narration as well, it kind of sounded robotic.
General review This is a basic storybook app. It has a short, simple story with a good message. The interactive elements aren't too distracting from the text, and my daughters 2 and 3) made me read it over and over again. There are some annoying parts, like the music is too loud and my daughters had a hard time getting the "food" close enough to the characters for it to resister. Overall not a bad app, but is doesn't stand out among its competitors.

Simplex Spelling Phonics - Advanced Phonograms [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is the first spelling app I have tried that actually teaches students to spell. It's short lessons are easy for my students to understand, and I liked how they could review the lesson during the exercises without leaving the exercise. I love this app looks like school and not a game, and wasn't babyish. I have a hard time finding age appropriate materials for my 6th graders who are reading and spelling at a much lower grade level. I also liked the multi leveled hint system, the hints weren't too obvious, and made my students think about the other sounds they heard.
Improvements I would like to see more words in each level, and the opportunity to choose which words students need more practice on. I would really love a way to export student use data. I would also love to be able to make custom word lists for students. A way to organize the different users into class periods would also be great.
General review This is a great spelling/phonics app that is clearly designed by people who understand reading instruction. I was able to set it up and implement it into my reading intervention class in one day, and every student who used it reported that they liked it. It's rare that I find an educational app that allows multi-user support, and this can support a full class of students. This app is great, and I look forward to continuing to use it with students

Legend of Fat Ninja [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I enjoyed the concept, music, and artwork of this game. The game is beautifully designed. I liked the physics of it, and the idea behind it. It is a really fun game, that is quite addictive. It certainly wasn't too easy! I like the characters that I saw, and that you can pause and see the directions at any time.
Improvements The first level is really hard. I played it about ten times last night, another 10 times since,and I still haven't beaten it. The chef moves so quickly on the screen that it is really difficult to maneuver him. If there was a way to slow down the graphics overall, that would be great. I felt dizzy while playing it, and so did my husband. Neither one of us could beat the first level, and.we are both avid gamers. Perhaps a couple easy levels as tutorials?
General review Bottom line, this game is addicting. I keep going back to it even though I can't get past the first level. This game is fast paced with great artwork, story, and music. But, it's really hard. Even after Assn hour of gameplay, neither my husband nor I could beat the first level. I am not frustrated yet, but I can see it happening soon if I can't figure it out. This game has a great concept but just moves too quickly for me to control the character

iTooch Elementary School [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like that this app is aligned so closely to Common Core Standards. Looking at the third grade math, it is broken down into the exact categories of Common Core. As a teacher who uses these standards to track students' progress and set goals, it is in to see an app that can augment that.
Improvements I would really like to see the "lesson" portion presented before students start answering questions, as well as explanations for wrong answers. Expecting students to independently read the lesson (which is hard to find) and then understand why they got a wrong answer is too much. In order for this to be an effective teaching tool it needs to follow the same format as a teacher would teach: lesson, guided practice, independent practice. A it stands, this is a quiz app. A a classroom teacher I would like to also see some way to track usage data and multi user support.
General review This is a good app for students who have already learned a concept but need additional practice. It is a "worksheet replacer". It is not, however, a teaching tool, unless an adult is working 1:1 with the student. Much of the lesson language is fabove the reading level of the targeted grade, and this app doesn't provide any feedback for a wrong answer. It is great that it is aligned to Common Core Standards, it is a good extra practice tool.

PhotoGridPro v2.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked First of all, this app has an abundance of features. It is a full service photo editing and collage app. It was incredibly easy to use. There were a ton of effects included, as well as the typical cropping, contrast, etc. I spent no time figuring out how to use it.
Improvements Honestly, the only fault I have with this app is the giant full page ad at the beginning. The tiny "x" in the corner is too small for my students with special needs to navigate. I would rather pay money for an app than have to worry about my students making in app purchases/clicking ads. Other than that, the app was simple. Perhaps more graphics where there are words to illustrate what the slider bar does (where it says rounded corners, etc.) for non readers.
General review This is a great, easy to use app that I am excited to add to my collection of content creation apps in my classroom, as a special Ed teacher, I am always needing technology for my students to express what they learned. This app is great for creating photo collages, memes, comics, or just editing photos.you can share creations Ian the usual outlets like Facebook and Instagram, but you can also export to your photo album which is great for teachers

Simplex Spelling Phonics - Rhyming With CVC Words (v 2.0.0) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked As a teacher, I love educational apps that allow me to track a number of students' progress for no extra charge. Simplex Spelling lets you have up to 40 students, which is great for classroom teachers or reading specialists. I love that I can export student progress reports. This app has a clean, no nonsense interface. It's very much an educational tool, and not a game. This app gives learners an error-free way to learn to spell simple CVC words.
Improvements Since this app is targeted at the earliest spellers, I would like to see the word augmented with a picture. This reinforces the word being taught by engaging different parts of the brain. I did have some trouble exporting the data, when I open the spreadsheet the columns don't appear to be in any useful order, at least in Numbers. I didn't try it in Excel, and Google Spreadsheets wasn't able to view it at all. I use Google Drive for almost all my data collection at work, so a different export format than .csv would be great.
General review This is a great educational tool for teaching early lirteracy. All the Simplex Spelling apps are great, and I'm glad to see they've added one for younger learners. This is not a game, but it is a powerful teaching tool for pre-K and Kindergarten students, or older students still learning to read. It's not a game, and your child probably won't love playing it. I let my 4 year old play a different phonics game after this one as a reward.