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Jessica C.

Status: Beta reviewer - Video Reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Productivity - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2

Description: I am a speech-language pathologist who works with students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade at a public school. We have a 1 to 1 iPad program at my school currently for 4th and 5th grades with future grades to follow. I currently run the blog Consonantly Speaking, which specializes in therapy ideas, app reviews, application giveaways, application lists, therapy materials, speech and language information/resources, and more. I have worked with children who have special needs since I was in 5th grade at a summer camp for children with disabilities (12+ years). Ages of students at the camp ranged from 1-14 years. Following graduation from college, I worked as a speech-language pathologist at the camp and following that summer, I started a job at a public school. I have been working at a public school for 2 years. I work with children who have a range of communication disorders and disabilities including autism/aspergers, sensory processing disorder, students who are hard of hearing, language/auditory processing disorder, articulation disorder, and more. I have a passion for technology, especially the iPad. Applications that I enjoy using include those related to communication, language, social skills, grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, pretend play, productivity, writing, reading, early childhood books, listening skills, emotions, autism, augmentative communication, categorization, asking/answering questions, synonyms/antonyms, sequencing events, and much more!

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - SLP

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-05-30

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

Total review Karma: + 4     ?

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

Bo's Dinnertime v 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I enjoyed the fact that Bo the giraffe goes step by step how to prepare, serve, and clean up after dinner. This is great for teaching life skills to children with and without disabilities. What's even better is the fact that the application is interactive with cute, motivating art and audio. After completing each task throughout the application, the user is applauded followed by specific positive feedback. In addition, this application is great for students working on following specific directions.
Improvements When the application tries to show what to do next or where to place an object, it often flashes. This is bothersome to the eyes. I would like to see slightly less flashing or maybe less bright flashing. In addition, I would also like the chance for students to make mistakes on the application and have to fix them.
General review Bo's Dinnertime follows a giraffe step by step through dinnertime. This involves not only purchasing ingredients, preparing and serving a meal, and cleaning up. The application is not only great for children to learn the steps to prepare a meal but the narration, animation, and flashing of the icons are also great for children with special needs to learn how to sequence through mealtime. The app would be perfect with a little more interactivity.

Word Wizard - Talking Movable Alphabet & Spelling Tests for Kids [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Word Wizard is a great application due to the ability to customize the application for each child. When a child touches a letter, it will read either the letter name or the sound depending on the settings you choose. When sounds are combined the application blends the sounds together. In addition to the ability for the child to create his or her own words/sentences, the application includes createable spelling quizzes. At the end of the quiz, accuracy is tabulated, which makes it easier for teachers to track student progress. The application is very motivating for children!
Improvements I would like to see some male voices for the application in the future to appeal to both genders of children. Another aspect that I would like to see in an update would be the ability to practice vocabulary words in sentences for older students. Also, I would like to see a grid to place the letters on that is locked so that children must fill in words/sentences in order rather than all over the grid. Finally, it would also be great to have additional punctuation available such as question marks, commas, and exclamation points to practice different types of sentences.
General review Overall, Word Wizard is a very ambitious application that is very customizable. The amount of work placed into this application is definitely noticeable. You can customize the voice, letter size, uppercase/lowercase, keyboard type, phonic reading/letter name reading, keyboard emulation, and create your own spelling quizzes. The application comes with so many amazing features and quizzes that it is definitely worth every penny!

Simplex Spelling Phonics 2 Syllables - Spell To Read [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the color coding of the buttons as a word was spelled as well as the ability to hear the word as a whole, phonetically, and by syllable. Also, I like teh ability to create user profiles for individual students to track their progress. Another great thing about this app is that you can change the keyboard for ABC or QWERTY with the consonants in blue and the vowels in red. Finally, it is great to be able to see each spelling list ahead of time.
Improvements The lessons to explain how to spell a type of word are very short. Also, it would be nice if the narrator/application showed a demonstration prior to each lesson. In addition to the image/text of the explanation of the button highlights, I would like to see a video demonstration of how to use the application. Visual images are nice, but often it is easier to see how to use an application through demonstration.
General review This application is great to help children learn the rules of spelling compound words, syllables, schwa e, and long a open syllable words. However, there needs to be a little more instruction on how to use the application itself prior to starting it. With individual user profiles to track student progress, this application is great for classroom use.

The Waterhole - Graeme Base (1.2 iPad) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I enjoyed the interactivity of the application in the fact that the child can click on animals to count them in any order on each page. I also liked that there is a narrator who reads each page for those who cannot read themselves. I love the artwork of the book and the hints that were given to look for scenery in the background of each page. Also, the hidden animals in each picture were fun to try and find.
Improvements The text on the first page of the app is a bit hard to read. In addition, the reading of the application is blunt and feels more like a slideshow than a book. At the end of the book, instead of going to the main screen, it starts over again. Many book applications have it seem like you are turning a page, which I enjoy. Also, the arrow to bring you back to the homepage can be confused for going back a page in the book. It would make more sense for the arrow to be a picture of a home instead.
General review The book's art is gorgeous and the interactivity of the application is great for young ages. However, the application feels a bit more like a slideshow than a book, especially since it goes back to the beginning once it is done and due to the sharpness of the movements when moving between pages. The text of the book seems like it is geared more towards young children, but the instructions for Animatch are more geared towards older children.

Grimm's Frog King 1.01 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked that this application was interactive and had different animations as well as sounds within the images. This allows the child to get involved with the story as it is read. The text in the story is great for later elementary or middle school students to read. The vocabulary in the story is rich and advanced. This is great for later elementary students to practice in regards to spelling, using context clues, learning new vocabulary, and putting the new terms into use in conversation and writing. Also, I love that it can be read aloud for those who have difficulty reading themselves.
Improvements I love the idea of the story with a funny twist, but it felt a bit misleading. Instead of a twist, there seems to be a conversation with the narrator and a female child throughout the story and no illustrations to go along with the conversation other than the originals from the story. The twist at the end is rather childish and list-like discussing relatives of the frog. Therefore, if possible, I would like to see a different twist in the story rather than a conversation and relatives. In the original story, some of the pages do not have accompanying images and that would be nice to have.
General review Available in Deutsch or English, this application allows you to read the traditional tale or the story with a twist! With whimsical illustrations and animations, the book draws you right into the story! The original story and images are great for upper elementary students; however, some of the pages do not have accompanying images. The story with a twist needs a little bit more twisting than a back and forth conversation and relatives.