Today’s interview is with Emma Mills. Please visit her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I graduated from university approx 20 years ago with a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Following that I gained a wealth of experience in software engineering and project management, working for companies such as Philips, Nokia and Conexant as well as some startups.
Six years ago, I started my hardest job of all…I gave birth to my son and became a full time mum. I now also have twin girls aged 2.
How did the idea for your app come about?
In September last year, my son started bringing home his weekly spellings. Trying to get him to learn them was like pulling teeth. I decided to play a variation of hangman with him on paper. I would tell him the word and he would spell it. An incorrect letter led to a hangman stage. When he got stuck I gave him a ‘sneaky peek’. He loves the iPad, so I had a look to see if I could find something that would replicate what I had been doing. I found plenty of hangman games and some spelling tests but didn’t find anything that would allow me to record the words vocally and play a game. I decided to see if my brain still worked and develop something myself. Hence the Spelling Hangman app was created, complete with ‘Sneaky Peeks’.
And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?
I started developing Spelling Hangman in Sept 13. I spent a few hours a night once the family had gone to bed. It was completed in January 14.
Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?
As I don’t have a company behind me, all the development and testing was performed by myself. However, my son was able to try it out each week with his new spelling list during its various stages of development and gave me his input and found various bugs. I still have to implement his character request of a skeleton pirate!
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
The hardest part of the development for me has been the marketing as I have absolutely no experience in this. I have found this very frustrating as Spelling Hangman really solved a problem for my son and I am sure it can help other parents (of boys in particular I expect). There are so many apps out there – it is really hard to get an app discovered. Thank you iMums for being so helpful and responsive!
Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?
The coding side itself has been fine due to my experience and the wealth of supporting information available. There are lots of code examples out there and I have found Apple Inc. Developer Forums really useful.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?
I already have another version of the app out there -‘French Spelling Hangman’. It is a little further behind in terms of releases but should be aligned with ‘Spelling Hangman’ in the Autumn. I would also like to add other modern language variants.
What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?
I have received plenty of really useful feedback from reviewers and teachers, including special education and have a number of features to add as a result. In general, all feedback has been very positive.
Thank you so much for talking with us today Emma and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!
by Emma Mills
Price: $1.99 USD
Designed specifically for those spelling lists from school
Appymall - 'Spelling Hangman is a neat app for practicing spelling lists. Parents or teachers can add their own spelling list for children.
French Spelling Hangman
by Emma Mills
Price: $1.99 USD
French Spelling Hangman is a fun and easy way to prepare for school French vocabulary tests.
To create your own tests, enter each of the words in French and record in English. You will then play.
App Friday Promo Code giveaway!
It’s Back to School time and to celebrate The iMums have teamed up with iTooch by eduPad for a fun giveaway. One lucky reader will win their choice of 32GB Nexus 7 tablet or a 16GB iPad Mini!! So whether you are an Apple fan or an Android fan you can get a great tablet for the new school year. If you win which one would you choose? To make the giveaway fun we have a little Spot the Difference competition for you – look at the 2 pictures (below) of iTooch in the classroom and find the 7 differences and you can enter to win.
iTooch make a great range of educational apps and they are available on iOS, Android and Windows 8 Platforms. The iTooch line of educational apps have been created by teachers and designed to meet US Common Core Curriculum standards from 1st Grade to 8th Grade. The apps cover Mathematics, Language Arts, Music, Health and Science. We have previously reviewed iTooch Elementary School and iTooch Middle School, our student testers found the apps engaging and we were impressed by the large amount of content and the fact that the questions kept changing.
The iTooch apps have had a recent upgrade (since those reviews were written), new features include:
– A brand new interface: the user experience has been completely redesigned in order to be clearer, more colorful and simpler to use.
– Multiple players: this feature is designed to handle multiple players such as students in the same classroom, siblings or friends.
– Speech synthesis: the most asked for feature is now available on the new version of iTooch apps! This feature will be very helpful to our youngest users who are learning to read as well as to students with special needs.
– Font Size adjustment: thanks to this new feature, users will now be able to adjust font size to their preference.
– and lots of other cool stuff, like an improved blackboard, a scientific calculator, tutorials… as well as lots of new activities.
You can check out their entire range on iTunes here:
You can check out the entire range on The Google PlayStore here
SPOT THE DIFFERENCES
Look at these 2 pictures of iTooch in the classroom and spot the 7 differences.
If you get stuck on finding all the differences check back frequently as I will drop hints here every few days to help you find them – one hint per difference!
1) Something is missing from on top of the desk
2) How’s the Weather outside?
3) What is in iTooch’s hand?
4) Look on the floor
5) How many planes??
6) What’s written on the board?
7) What’s drawn on the board ?
There are 2 compulsory entries in this giveaway- 1) correctly spotting the 7 differences and 2) the blog post comment. You can also earn extra entries via giving iTooch and The iMums some Social Media love and via sharing the giveaway. If you do any Facebook entries please like The iMums and iTooch and friend request Mary TheiMum, if you do any Twitter entries please follow TheiMums and iTooch. Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget. Prize will be shipped from USA, winner responsible for any import duties/ taxes.
Be sure to enter all our other great giveaways too!
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What we love…
Action words are introduced in sentences and not in isolation. Animations are used to illustrate meaning instead of photographs.
What we’d love to see…
Punctuation at the end of the sentences.
Perfectly designed for the younger children, this app teaches children 24 vocabulary words and 48 common action words by showing them how the words are used in context.
The easiest way to learn an action word is to see it in action. While there are apps that pair the actions to the words, not all of them do as well as First Words: Action Words for Toddlers and Preschool Children by Codegent. It is not only captivating and engaging, it’s also more educational than the average app.
First Words: Action Words introduces 48 action words in simple sentences accompanied by fun animations (starring 24 cute characters/toys) to illustrate the meanings of the action words. 8 of these characters (Baby, Girl, Car, Man, Ball, Boy, Cat and Dog) are included in the free app and an additional 16 (Bat, Boat, Bird, Rabbit, Fish, Sun, Duck, Woman, Pirate, Firefighter, Balloon, Policewoman, Rocket, Princess, Chef and Dinosaur) are available via a child-protected in-app purchase of $2.99.
Even from the locked menu, children can benefit as they learn to recognize the name of each character. These look like flash cards where there is just the character (some with props) and the name against a plain background, enabling younger children to focus better. There is a good variety of animals, persons, toys and imaginary characters available here and I particularly like the inclusion of the Policewoman (instead of gender role stereotypes).
From the unlocked menu, your child can tap on any character that he fancies, to hear the name as many times as he wishes. When he taps on the screen again, the character will perform an action. This is accompanied by a narrated sentence (option of US or UK English voiceover) that describes the action. Swipe to the left reveal a new action/animation and a corresponding sentence that introduces yet more vocabulary words. To move to another character, kids just have to swipe to the left/right or go back to the menu to choose.
Action words taught include familiar ones like singing, hopping, saying and less common ones like floating, steering, diving but there is more to learn beyond the 48 target words. Kids get to learn what are the unique actions that each character can do (The bat is hanging in the dark) and the related vocabulary words. Learning the words in context and seeing them in action makes it easy to understand and remember their meaning. More importantly, kids will learn how to use these action words correctly, it is really a great app for introducing the concept of verbs in a fun and age appropriate way.
Download First Words: Action Words for free now and let your child learn 16 action words as he plays with the first 8 characters. Your child will love it!
First Words: Action Words for Toddlers and Preschool Children – Codegent
First Words Home Edition
Category: Education, Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 109.1 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
Avokiddo ABC Ride by Avokiddo is a universal app for iOS designed to help your children learn their ABC’s in a fun and interactive way with Beck and Bo. This app allows your children to ride a bike along a path and for each letter there is a “stop” where they learn and practice a specific letter while having trying out each letter in a way that helps them remember. The app not only practices letters, it also includes spelling practice, a game along with each letter along with interactions which help children remember each letter and familiarize them with a specific word to remember it. This app practices expressive and receptive language, spelling, fine motor skills including dragging, gripping and pinching. Read our full review of this five star app which we felt was a top notch ABC app that also teaches spelling and phonics in a fun and engaging way!
Avokiddo ABC Ride – Official App Trailer from Avokiddo on Vimeo.
Avokiddo ABC Ride
Price: $2.99 USD
Have you ever seen the letter E hatched from an egg? How about a K popping out of a kangaroo’s pouch? Ride your bike and enjoy an exciting hide and seek, letter adventure with Beck and Bo! Solve fun.
Beck and Bo is a unique fun, educational app for children aged 2-6 years old. It is available as a universal app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and is also available for Android. It is part puzzle, part free play. Children play with objects in the scenes, listen to their names and sounds, and see how these words are spelled in the interactive albums. It contains twelve different scenes to explore. There are no adverts, social media links or in-app purchases. It can be enjoyed in English or Swedish. The app is accompanied by lively background music and realistic sound effects. In the sound settings you can choose from sounds only, sounds and names or mute settings. Read iMum Mary’s review.
Beck and Bo – Official App Trailer from Avokiddo on Vimeo.
Beck and Bo
Price: $2.99 USD
Build beautiful, animated scenes with characters, objects and animals, play house and learn new words! Beck and Bo is a puzzle game and pretend play adventure that helps children become familiar with .
Avokiddo Emotions by Avokiddo is a delightfully interactive universal app for iOS featuring a giraffe, zebra and a shy and sleepy sheep. The app allows you to select one of the animals and explore the “cause and effect” of hats, objects, foods and even backgrounds to see what they like and do not like. Avokiddo was founded in 2013 as a spin-off of react-IN and previously released an iMum favorite, Beck and Bo in 2012. The app targets children aged 2 to 8 with a variety of activities that include dressing the animals, feeding them a variety of foods which drop from the sky as well as musical instruments, and a variety of other objects. Children simply choose an animal, and then when they are done with the objects on the screen, pull down a handle and then a variety of new objects fall from the sky. . To test an object with the animal, you must simply touch it and then it will perform an action, sometimes the object will stop the action when it is released like the bubbles, and other times the object like the radio will continue to play. This app is a great one for practicing speech, mimicking of specific patterns like blowing a bubble or breathing through a snorkel as well as looking at how the animal feels about the choices you have made for them and creative free play. Read our full review of this five star app! Delightful app that will provide hours of fun for your child and practices so many different skills including speech, understanding of feelings, creative and free play as well as teaching us that we are each unique.
Avokiddo Emotions – App Official Trailer from Avokiddo on Vimeo.
Price: $2.99 USD
Give your children a serious case of the giggles when you introduce them to a zany zebra, shy sheep, jolly giraffe and modest moose! Dress up, feed, play and care for these cute animals and discover dozens.
If you would like to win an $100 Amazon or iTunes gift card, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
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