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  Lvl 4 - Expert

Eileen L.

Status: Beta reviewer - Video Reviewer

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

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2- iPhone3G

Description: I used to be an oncology research nurse by day and a hospice nurse at night. Then I became a mom of a child with ASD and now I'm just Antonio's mom, a taxi driver, and a backseat BCBA/OT/SpPath/Allergist/Homeopath... He is 6 with HF ASD. He is reading at a 4-5th GL. Slightly below GL in Math, difficulty w/ fine motor. Will dive into any app. Thanks

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Can test apps with kids ages over 10 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Special education teacher or AT (Assistive Tech.) specialist - Homeschooler - Gamer

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-06-15

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

Total review Karma: + 6     ?

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

Jellybean Tunes - Learn to Read and Compose Music (version 1.2) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things we liked about this app.
1. Easy navigation and instructions.
2. Music theory lesson that children and adults could understand and follow.
3. The ability to practice songs, seeing the notes, creating music and recording it for playback.
Overall a wonderful app.
Improvements On my iPad, I did have lag time while in play mode, so my songs were not always in tempo. I really could not find anything else that needed improvement. Maybe adding a piano/organ option to learn hand placement and adding some additional songs to the play mode.
General review Jellybeans Tunes is a wonderful app that teaches music concept and theory with the added features of learning/playing songs and creating your own music with a recordable feature. It is easy to navigate and instructions are clear. The user has a menu on the right hand side that allows them to pick form Play, Learn, Create and Replay options. In Play, there are 12 well known songs to choose from. This app is suitable for kids and adults alike.

First Words Deluxe 5.3 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Great App!
Things I liked:
1. The variety of word groups to choose from.
2. The progression of 3 letter words on up to 10 letter words.
3. The number of words in each group (too many to count).
4. The ability to adjust word order, how long the word was, speech option and hints.
5. After child puts words in correct order, it spells it again as a reinforcer.
6. Ability to purchase in a different language.
Improvements This is a wonderful app. The only thing I have a problem with is the multiple in app purchases available. I did not click on them since I didn't know if it would automatically purchase without asking me if I was sure about the purchase. I would prefer an option like "parents" that is separate from the main app options, and everything that is related to a purchase be put there.
General review I enjoyed this app on so many levels. It is easy to navigate and the buttons are straightforward. The narrators voice is clear. It teaches children a great deal of vocabulary and how to spell, from PreK to about 2/3 grade. With the ability to change how long the word is, and speech on/off, you can customize it to each child in the family. It also allows you to customize phonics/sight words, word order, letter case, hints, and say word on entry.

Fire Rescue! [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things I enjoyed about this app:
1. The ability to type in the emergency number for your area.
2. The ease of use for all ages.
3. All the different modes of learning ( hands on instruction by dialing the phone and , visual by demonstrating stop/ drop/ roll, fine motor by puzzles and finger movement paths and target practice for aiming at the fire.)
4. Clever reward system by collecting pieces of a fire badge.
Improvements I honestly could not find much fault with this app. It was very thought out and pretty much all bases are covered. I would think a more realistic conversation when dialing the fire emergency number would be helpful for children so they know how a real emergency call would flow.I would love an add on of an ambulance rescue scenario. Maybe a little more realistic characters for the older kids. Maybe the ability to print out fire safety instructions.
General review We absolutely loved this app. What a well thought out plan of combining fire safety in an appealing kid friendly way that incorporates critical thinking skills and fine motor skills. It is an all in one app for a neuro typical child and a child with special needs. All 10 modules had my child engaged and wanting to learn more. We were able to change the emergency number to 000 for our area. He liked completing the fire badges and being Toby's pal!

Heidi story collection - 3 in 1, Version 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things I like about this app:
1. It came in multiple languages
2. There was a quiz at the end for reading comprehension.
3. You could change the story for early and advanced readers.
4. The words were highlighted as it read to you.
5. It was a learning app, not just a reading app. It had spot the differences, animal facts, jokes, the Heidi village and Alpine flower to look at.
6. The ability to tap on people and things during the story for additional interaction.
Improvements One problem area for us was that the arrow button an the bottom right appeared to be an arrow to turn the page. It was actually a button to repeat the text. Both my son and I had clicked on it to turn the page before we finger swiped the page to turn it. I did find the directions then in the parent section, but for most apps it is a universal sign for page turning. Also, for us, some of the text was mature (being called stupid and some negativity (which I do understand is part of the story), but had my 6 year old asking a lot of questions.
General review This is an accurate and informative story of Heidi. It allows the reader to read the story at their level while interacting with each a page along the way. It not only is a reading app, it also teaches and makes the reader use critical thinking skills. My son was engaged for all three books and went through them in 1 sitting. I think this app is appropriate for mature 6 year olds and up to any age as it is a classic story.

Cinderella : 3D Pop-up Fairy Tale v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things I liked about the app:
1. Classic story accurately told through modern animation.
2. Ability to self read or have a narrator.
3. Pop up interactive features.
4. Spin wheel game at the end for character recognition.
5. Ability to turn off sound.
6. Would appeal to boys and girls.
Improvements The only thing we had a problem with was the animation feature. After trying 5 minutes he gave up and walked away. I then tried and to be honest, it took me a few minuted to figure out I had to put the broken pieces in what I thought was the mop bucket. Maybe for the the younger readers, having a clue feature when they can not figure out the animations. I did have the same problem with the mice and wood.
General review My son and I really loved the story of Cinderella. I enjoyed the fact that a 6 year old boy could read the story, be entertained reading a classic fairy tale and not think it was too girly. As stated above, we both had trouble with some of the animations. Ii did not interfere with getting through the story but the added time it took to figure them out took away a little from the flow of the story and my son wanting to sit and complete the story.

Math Summoner [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The things I really liked:
1. Eye catching details and brilliant color throughout the app.
2. Range of math learning options (add, subtract, geometry) and levels.
3. The idea of it being an experience rather than a set game. You need to work through the levels to achieve the set goals. It is not (at least for us), a sit down play and finish on one sitting type of game/app.
4. Ability to adjust the sound and sound effects.
5. Ability to see the child's score and progress.
Improvements For us there was a learning curve and I needed to watch a youtube video to make sure I wasn't missing something. I felt like we continued to play the same game over and over. I would like to suggest their video be embedded in a parents section with a tutorial. I also found it difficult to find a home button while in some of the active gameplay.
General review The app has taken learning math to the next level. Brilliant! From the imagery to the imaginative play while learning, this app has all the appeal to draw a child in while teaching them difficult concepts. This is a game on a continuum but the child eagerly plays and awaits to see what characters will appear next. Again, the only thing I would love to see is a tutorial in a parents section somewhere.

Meet the Insects: Forest Edition [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things I liked about this app:
1. Amazing graphics and detail
2. Different modules for learning - Multimedia, Story, Journal, Viewing Insects and Quiz
3. Ability to go into night mode
4. Well thought out Home bar with incorporated all above tabs as well
5. The ability to take your own pictures for your journal
6. Just the sheer amount of information presented
7. The ability to find your insects by color and type.
Improvements There is not much to improve on in my opinion. Things to ask for on next update:
1. Volume problems - I had to turn the volume up when listening to the section Insect Story. When I went to the Multimedia section and clicked on a video, it was blaring.
2. Under Multimedia videos, I would love to have more dialog. The tone of voice from the narrator could be a little bit more upbeat.
3. The quiz is not suited for younger children.
4. Ability to turn music/forest sound off.
General review Wow! Amazing app. I do not even like insects and I was interested in the information. The visuals are stunning, the information is well presented, the different modules selections will help all learning types and the quiz for comprehension is great. My son jumped into this app and goes back to it regularly. This is well thought out and now I would like to see this as a learning series. It is worth every penny!

Jolly Jingle 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things I liked with this app:
1. The ability to change between kids chior, female voice, instrumental, and piano version on all songs.
2. The ability to have the lyrics visible to follow along while singing.
3. The interactive graphics, from Rudolph popping up out of know where, Frosty throwing a snowball at you, Santa jumping from house to house, snowflakes falling and gifts popping out of presents.
Improvements Things I had problems with:
1. Trying to purchase the in app extra songs. In my case it was difficult to purchase the apps and when it said I made the purchase on all of them, they did not show up. I had no way of knowing if I bought them. I had to actually go back to Itunes and download the app again and they did come up. Not until I clicked on the snowglobe again did I realize they were there.
2. The exit santa is very obscure. I found it by accident as I clicked around the page to find all the animations. I think a child would have a hard time knowing where to press to exit the page.
General review My son and I loved this app. He loved learning the songs and playing with the animations. We bought all the songs. One of the songs was not a song that we knew or was very popular but was very pleasant. It would be nice to have a few more traditional/classic songs in the mix. The graphics I thought were spot on to a TV Christmas special feeling. I did thing having an in app purchase for Egg Knock did not belong.

Present A Choice [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The concept of having visuals for quick decision making is a great concept. The ability to customize the individual choices for each choice board is nice. The ability to name the choice boad and have it on the screen when you open the program is helpful.
Improvements This has the potential to be a wonderful app but it appears to be in its infancy at this time. There are only 3 stock photos and not even for one full choice concept. You only have the ability to take photos from your camera roll at this time. It would be nice to have more images and choice concepts to choose from. The ability to have voice control would be even more helpful. If part of the original concept is to help an upset child make a choice, an emotion face board would be an idea.
General review Although the concept is good, this app only appears to be a lite version. Even with a free price tag, there is too much background work to do to make it a running app. It would have potential if the small details were added such as more stock photos,vocal recording, basic choices to choose from ( food category - 2 veg to choose from). I would even like to see it a step further and have the ability for an outcome choice( veg 1st then dessert.)

Hamster Chase [text] [video]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I enjoyed this app as it used a cute hamster game to teach critical thinking skills and practice on fine motor skills. I liked that the features, (main menu, volume, music speed) were easy to access and gave you a lot of control in your play. I liked that you could "best" your score. Someone that is keen on this type of game play could easily get lost in play to try and see how high of a level they could reach. The hamster cage special features area was very cute and a nice stress reliever.
Improvements There would be 2 areas of interest that I would love to see focused on for the next update. First would be the access to Facebook and Twitter. I would like to see a little more parental control for those features. For myself, a child under 13 legally should not have a Facebook account, so it is not a relevant feature. Second, you earned coins for completing each level but there wasn't a purpose for them. I would love to be able to earn coins and then buy accessories for my hamsters in the hamster cage special features area.
General review This is a very fun and useful app. It has unlimited potential in the special needs groups, as it helps with fine motor and critical thinking skills. If a child get frustrated, you can take some time out in the hamster cage special features area. The design and function buttons were well thought out. This game reminded me of the game we played as a child trying to get the little steel ball in the right place in the maze.
First 5 minutes video review
Video review once the app was mastered

Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This app was wonderful! It had ticked all the checkmarks of an educational app. Things I liked were:
1. Clear menu navigation.
2. Entertaining story using a popular TV character.
3. Interactive features throughout the story with prompts.
4. Ability to control music, sounds and voice.
5. Videos you can play in the app.
6. Coloring pages in the app.
7. Educational games in the app.
8. Read to me and read on your own feature.
9. Highlighting words read and voice prompts when you touch each word.
Improvements The developer has thought through this app throughly, so there are not many things I would ask for in an update. I would say the only thing I would have wanted to see would be to have the actual character voices. If you have the rights to the characters, not having the actual voices may confuse a child.
General review WOW! WOW! What a fun time we had reading the story an playing the games! Although my son has not watched Wubbzy for quite a while, he was engaged through the whole review process. The story was really fun to read while interacting with each page. There were some educational activities and some coloring that would suite ages 3-6. I would highly recommend this app for any child. Worth the price.

Talking Duke 2 3.3.2 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the ability of the user to have the dog repeat back what the child said and also the ability to record your interaction. There is an information button to let you know where to press in order for the dog to interact with you. There are 2 different scenes to switch back and forth to.
Improvements I did not like having a pop up ad as soon as I clicked on the app. The Eiffel Tower icon was another ad and and when i clicked on the "i" icon, yet another ad appeared. I also did not feel an owner finding a "bloody" dog was age appropriate for younger kids.
General review This is a silly fun app for older children but I would not recommend it for younger children. Just on a safety note, if you have a child that mimics the dog and eats the toothpaste like the dog, that could be extremely dangerous. I would like to see some more options for interacting with the dog and scenery and not so many adds. It is free, so I would tell everyone to give it a download and see if it is appropriate for your child.

Talking Duke 1 4.3 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I liked the fact that the dog had numerous scenes to interact in. The one of him with the horn hat howling is hilarious! My son liked the disco scene. I like that the dog repeats back what you say to him and allowing the child to record the interaction s fun.
Improvements I did not like all the pop up ads. They pop up as soon as you press on the app, there is one on the bottom of the page and when I clicked the "i" button, ads came up twice and there was a glitch, as no information ever appeared. Two of the icons to play on are actually a sponsor videos. When I clicked on one, it took me to the app store. If I didn't have a lock on the app purchases, my child could easily buy apps.
General review This is a cute and fun app for kids that allows them to interact with a dog cartoon character that will mimic them and do some funny things on their commands. Personally I would rather pay 1 or 2 dollars to not have the ads or have a parent secure portal in the app to purchase any other apps from the developer. My son was cracking up playing with it. Also, a passcode set by the parent so the child can't post endless videos to FB would be great.

Sparky's Birthday Surprise [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Things I liked about Sparky:
1. There were 3 different levels to choose from, so it targeted multiple age groups
2. It was very interactive for quizzical minds
3. It had an informative music video
4. The menu was easy to navigate
5. There were many other options for painting and games
6. There was a control option for music, sound and voice
Improvements Things I wanted improved in the next version:
To be honest, I did not see anything major that needed improvement at this time. The app ran smooth with no glitches, and I was able to access every component of the game/story. I think this developer has given the consumer a lot of app for the free price tag.
General review Sparky's Birthday Surprise was a charming storybook that took you through fire safety with Sparky the fire dog. Using the birthday story line as a backdrop for the fire safety lesson, it kept the reader entertained. There is many reader levels, so it will appeal to a wide age range and the interactions were fun. There are bonus features of painting and games and you can navigate the volume, music and sound on the app. Very good buy.