Archive for the ‘App A Day’ Category

Student Created Multimedia eBooks on the iPad in Grades K-3

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The second session I attended on Tuesday, Feb. 12th was titled “Student-Created Multimedia eBooks on the iPad in Grades K-3.”  The presenter was Jeremy Brueck, Director of the Digital Text Initiative at the University of Akron.  He did very little lecture and more demonstration and hands on learning.


In his presentation, Mr. Brueck shared a great website “Getting Started with Student and Teacher Created eBooks.”  This site will be limitlessly helpful when preparing for lessons on creating eBooks with my students.


Book on the website and in the presentation, Mr. Brueck shared many free iOS Apps for creating content like PicStitch, Photo Crop, Skitch, and Doodle Buddy.  He also shared free apps for creating the books like Story Creator and Little Story Maker.  These elements are striking to me because he has tried each of these Apps and suggests them for use.


I plan to share these Apps and Mr. Brueck’s website with the staff at my school during our morning PLC meetings.  I also plan to share these ideas with other teachers in our district and my PLN by sharing my website, and directing them to the eTech Ohio section.


Using more eBook creation Apps will certainly change the instructional level in my classroom.  Rather than using only content Apps for “drill and kill,” I will now be able to effortlessly implement more creation Apps.


I enjoy following Mr. Brueck’s work through twitter and find him to be a valuable member of my Personal Learning Network.

Evernote for Audio Tests

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Monday morning, first session, totally useful!

I learned how to start an Evernote account and create a notebook to then store notes that I can add my voice to so that kids can have tests read aloud without having to go to the back of the room or out in the hallway to take a test with their appropriate IEP accommodations.


It was cool.

It was the first time that I felt like Evernote could work for me. I started to get excited.

You mean I can use tech to help my kids be more included? To be more independent? To help themselves?


So, here’s how:
1. Get the Evernote app on your device or desktop.
2. Set up an account. Its free.
3. Create a notebook.
4. In the notebook, create a note.
5. Give it a title.
6. Type the question in, if you want.
7. Record the question using your own voice.
8. Add a picture if you want.
9. Save it and start a new note for question 2.

The part I’m not sure about yet is how to share it to a student notebook and put it on the student iPads. I will figure that out… This weekend… I swear.

This is the review I wrote about the session for 2 credits from The U of Akron-


The first session I attended on Monday, Feb. 11th was titled “Pairing Evernote and iPods to Benefit Diverse Learners.”  The presenters were Beth Kingsley, a 3rd grade teacher, Gerri Bolin, a 5th grade teacher, and Tricia Kluener, a Technology Integration Specialist. Their presentation style included lecture, some demonstration, and then hands-on learning using the iPad App, Evernote.  Evernote is a free App and participants were able to get it from the App store during the presentation.


The three presenters shared how they use Evernote in their classrooms to record and then play “audio tests” or “tests read aloud.”  This was the most striking element for me. I could see how students could be more included and not pulled to the back of a table or even out in the hallway to get appropriate IEP accommodations.  The students could easily be part of the class with an iPad, the Evernote App, and a set of headphones.


When I share this with the staff at my school, I plan to show the power of inclusion.  I’d like to show how students can easily be accommodated in the general education classroom without ostracizing them or making them feel any different.  This will also help teachers of resource rooms to be more efficient in their practice.  Running a multi-grade resource room can be very difficult, but using audio recordings in Evernote could help.  I plan to share this with other teachers in my district and PLN by sharing my blog,, and directing users to the category “eTech Ohio 2013.”


I can’t wait to have the time to further reflect on how this will be beneficial in my classroom.  Again, it will make running a multi-grade resource room much more efficient.  It will also help me to become more familiar with the other many beneficial uses of Evernote in the classroom.



Conversation Builder and Conversation Builder Teen

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Have you seen these apps in the iTunes App Store?

Conversation Builder

Conversation Builder Teen

Conversation Builder is listed in the iTunes App Store by Mobile Education Store for $19.99.  This app is worth every penny as it “promotes development of this skill that so many elementary aged children struggle with in a fun and engaging way.”

“The auditory pattern of conversation is presented in a visual format to help students recognize and master the flow of conversation. Students will learn when it is appropriate to introduce themselves, ask questions, make observations and change the subject of the conversation.”

Additionally, this app allows the educator (or parent or therapist) to create multiple users and personalize the app to each user.  The app allows the user to put in their name, city, age, and primary interest.  It also allows the educator to choose a base conversation or conversations about animals, friends around town, holidays, playground, water, or winter. The user can also earn award certificates after completion of each module.

The one and only reservation about this app- younger students would need to be able to read or use the app with a reader to help repeat back conversational phrases.

Conversation Builder Teen is the teen version to conversation builder and is listed in the iTunes App store for $29.99.  This App has over 300 different simulated conversations as well as 8 conversation themes.  The conversation themes in Conversation Builder Teen are school, relationships, sports, entertainment, bullying, sarcasm, clothes, and summer.

Check out both of these awesome apps, Conversation Builder and Conversation Builder Teen, in the Apple iTunes Store.



Geography Drive USA

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Found a fabulous social studies and geography app for kids in grades 3-8, or higher (as a 31 year old, I enjoyed this app for hours!) called…

Geography Drive USA!

Find this app in the iTunes Store for $4.99 and fill your time with lots of history and geography fun.

To be honest, I am NOT a fan of history… BUT, when I can earn points for it, paint your car, travel around the country, buy plane tickets, play games at the county fair, and earn trophies for “clearing” states, I’ve become a fan!

There are a few components I might change (note to developers) but they are minor…

First, in order to make the game more appropriate for younger students or those with special needs, you might consider having the app read the questions aloud and highlight each word.

Second, you might have an option to hear the commands but turn off the repetitive music.

Lastly, the buttons you need to push to move on, drive to the next state, etc., might be more clear. When I was first engaging with the game, I felt that I wasn’t sure what to press next.

Aside from these few things, I think this app is well worth the money. I found myself learning new things about states and remembering them when the question was asked again later.  I really enjoyed playing the games at the “State Fair” and I liked being able to buy new cars or change their paint colors.

Although I could play this game for hours, I think it might be a good idea for teachers to use this App with small groups for 15-20 minutes or less at a time OR with the whole group (using teams) and project it onto the interactive white board.  It might also be used to study for an exam on state capitals, state history, or geography.

I cannot think of any other apps that cover the same amount of material with the level of “fun” as this app.

Grab it now, Geography Drive USA, for $4.99!



Toca Hair Salon 2- Awesome!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Is anyone else in love with the Toca Boca Apps in the iTunes App Store?!?!

We LOVE the Toca Hair Salon 2 that was released last week and remains on sale for a limited time!

Although the Toca Boca Apps appear as “games,” we LOVE the language possibilities.  Sure, if your child plays the game alone, it might be just for fun (or fine motor).

BUT… if you sit with your child/student to use this really fun app, the language possibilities are endless!

I can hear this now…

“Whose hair are you going to do? I like to choose the character with the beard.”

“What color are you going to choose?”  “You chose red.  Make his hair red.  You are coloring his hair red.”

“What will you do next?”  “You picked soap!”  “You are washing his hair.  You are washing.”  “He is laughing.”

Etc., etc., etc.

You are using categories (hair supplies, colors), pronouns (he, she, you, I), and verb +ing words (washing, coloring, choosing, picking, drying, styling, straightening).

I’m no speech therapist, but I know that we use these language components daily in the classroom, and now you can do it with a fun (and meaningful) activity on the iPad!

Great job Toca Boca!  Another great App!

Get Toca Hair Salon 2 in the iTunes App store today for only $.99!



New Apps Post! 11-21-12

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

With the day off before Thanksgiving break, I’ve finally had a chance to take a look at some new apps for our class.  Check out these 3 awesome additions!  Worth the money for each and every app!

Three awesome apps from the Mobile Education Store!

Rainbow Sentences

Preposition Builder

Tense Builder

Tense Builder is an app “designed to help students learn how to identify and use correct tense forms by playing movie quality animated videos to demonstrate past, present, and future tenses” (iTunes Store).  Like other Mobile Education apps (Sentence Builder, Story Builder, etc.), Tense Builder provides the chance for students to build a sentence with the correct verb tense (based on video modeling) and then record the sentence in their own voice to provide for reading and speech fluency.  This app also provides the opportunity to track students’ progress.



Another great app is Preposition Builder by the Mobile Education Store!  Preposition Builder offers the same opportunity to complete a sentence, this time with the correct preposition (like under, in, out, etc.).  The student can complete the sentence, hear the sentence, and repeat/read the sentence back for reading and speech fluency.  This app provides animations for each preposition and provides the chance to track students’ progress as well.


Lastly, the app I’ve been searching for, Rainbow Sentences!  This app is “designed to help students improve their ability to construct grammatically correct sentences by using color coded visual cues.”  Nouns, verbs, and prepositions are all color coded to provide to improve understanding of sentence order.  There are 168 illustrations in this app for sentence creation and provide color coded words for added visual support.  Sentences can be recorded for added reading and speech fluency.  I can’t wait to use Rainbow Sentences on Monday!


Free and Sale Apps for you! 4/21/12

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Some free and sale apps for you.

Price check for yourselves depending on when you read this. 🙂


Curious George at the Zoo is FREE!

Times Table Bubble HD is FREE from $.99.

Homework Stopwatch HD is FREE from $.99.

Cool Science Facts is FREE from $.99.

Alphabet Blocks HD is FREE from $1.99.

Flashcards App HD is FREE from $.99.

face-cards F is FREE from $.99.

Picture Book of Cars is FREE from $1.99.

Math Bingo Games- A Racing Game for Kids is FREE from $.99.

Grand Prix Multiplication is FREE from $.99.

Math Mate is FREE from $1.99.

Explore Your World: Butterfly is FREE from $.99.

Consonant Blends and Digraphs is FREE from $.99.

Let’s Build a Bedroom is FREE from $.99.

Kidfolio is FREE.

Toca Kitchen Monsters is FREE.

Go Go Mongo! ABC Soup is FREE.

Rocket Speller is FREE.

Graphs by Tap to Learn is FREE from $.99.

USA Puzzle HD is FREE from $.99.

DialSafe Pro is FREE from $.99.


The Pirates! Band of Misfits Movie Storybook is on sale for $.99.

Grandma’s Garden is $.99.

Great Resources from “Appy Apps for Autism” April 2012

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Today, I had the opportunity to host a chat on the Facebook Page Technology in [Spl] Education.  I hosted a section in the Autism Awareness Discussion where we had a dialogue going based on IEPs.  Here are some resources that were mentioned in my area or the area hosted by Melanie Broxterman on Special Ed.  Keep in mind that these resources were mentioned during the chat and I am not necessarily recommending them all. 🙂

Discussion about IEPs:

– Re: a question about beginning writing with a child with CP who has limited hand control – Abilitations Integrations AbiliGrip Foam Holders

– Re: An IEP for a student with apraxia- “Apraxia-KIDS”

– Re: An IEP for a student with apraxia- “Working on Reading Comprehension…”

– Re: Questions about IDEA – Ohio’s Whose IDEA Is This? from June 2010

– Re: Conversation about transitions- “Everyone’s Favorite Part of an IEP Meeting: Continuum of Placement Options”

– Re: Conversation about transitions- “Transition to Middle School”

– Re: Conversation about transitions- “Transitioning a Child with Special Needs is Always Difficult”

– Re: Specially Designed Instruction – “Examples of Good IEP Content”


 Discussion on Special Education:

– For SMART Board Users- SMART Exchange

– For Resources from Starfall- Make a Calendar

– For Starfall Apps- Starfall ABC, Starfall Gingerbread, Starfall Snowman

– For wording at an IEP meeting- iAdvocate App

– For great blogs- Broxterman’s Bugle

– For great technology in special education- Teaching with Technology 2.0

– For IEP Accommodations and Modifications- A List of Typical Special Ed. Accommodations

– For more accommodations and modifications- Effective Accommodations for IEPs

– For even more – Special Education Terminology

– For programs/products that help differentiate- Learning A-Z

– For inclusion resources- “Re-Imagining Inclusive Supports”

– ShowMe Interactive App for the iPad- ShowMe Tutorial

– More Inclusive Ideas- Include. Belong. Learn.

– For materials- Making Learning Fun and KidsSoup

– For more materials- Childcare Land and Pre-School Printables

– For an Awesome Web Browser just for our kiddos- ZAC Browser

– Free Teaching Resources- Learning Page

– For a Special Education Resource- TinSnips

– A great collection of resources for autism- Positively Autism

– The book Tuesday by David Weisner- Tuesday

– Another web site- ABCmouse

– More resources- File Folder Heaven

– UDL/ Differentiation – UDL Bookbuilder

– For info. about Puberty, etc.- Puberty, Sex Ed. and the Child with Special Needs

Visual Recipes from Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs

– Another website – sqworl

– To use flash on the iPad- Use Rover.




Cookie Doodle Review by Zain

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Cookie Doodle

I like Cookie Doodle because I like to make cookies.  I like to eat them too.  You can put on sprinkles.  It can help you make cookies.It has many recipes to pick. It has many candies. I like it because it is so fun.

My First LiveBinder- Miss Kolis’s Favorite K-3 Apps

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Check this out-