Listening Power K-3 by Hamaguchi Apps- Review



iPad Screenshot 1

Summary

Overall, this is a very high-quality app for targeting auditory comprehension skills of elementary school children ages 5-10 years. It is obvious that much consideration was placed on the customization of difficulty levels and the selection of the targets themselves. The colorful illustrations and animations are engaging and motivating. The variety of targets and ability to customize this app to meet the needs of many different skill levels allows this app to grow with your child.

Our Rating

Listening Power Grades K-3 HDListening Power K-3 by Hamaguchi Apps is a wonderful app for developing auditory comprehension of vocabulary and concepts in elementary school-aged children. The developer is a licensed speech-language pathologist and has several other apps which target verbal expression, following directions, and pragmatic skills. We have also reviewed Listening Power Preschool and Listening Power 4-8+

 

There are five different activities in Listening Power K-3: descriptions (adjectives i.e. shortest, cold, green), meaning (vocabulary concepts), grammar (pronouns, verb tenses, negation), word memory, and stories (with comprehension questions).  The app provides 150 listening opportunities for each activity (50 at each difficulty level) so your child will be presented with a wide variety of stimuli (over 1000).

 

In the Listening for Descriptions activity, children need to identify the picture showing the correct characteristics. On the easy level, there are 2 descriptors to listen for (“Show me the green truck with white tires.”) The intermediate level has 3-4 descriptive concepts to distinguish between (“Where is the man with a moustache holding a red guitar?”) The advanced level has up to five critical elements (i.e. Find the girl with long black hair who is wearing a red shirt with long sleeves.)

 

The Listening for Meaning activity involves identifying the correct picture or definition for a vocabulary word (i.e. Easy level presents pictures: luggage, duckling, triangle; Intermediate: disappointed, perform, container; Advanced: envious, wealthy, patient). The intermediate and advanced settings only present information auditorily although text can be shown if necessary.

iPad Screenshot 2

 

In the Listening for Grammar activity, children must identify the sentence that contains a mistake (i.e. Easy: “He put on hims shoes.” Intermediate: “Her cat finded a mouse.” Advanced: “The women is having a meeting.”)

 

Listening for Word Memory requires recall of a certain number of words in the correct order from a field of 9 (Easy: 2-3 words; Intermediate: 4-5 words; Advanced: 6 words). There are unlimited combinations for this activity.

 

In the Listening for Stories activity, children are presented stories of increasing length and complexity and then asked comprehension questions about what they heard. The easy level has fictional stories with questions about who, what, and where. In the more difficult levels, non-fiction stories are included and the content and questions become increasingly more challenging. There is the option of turning on background noise to increase the auditory demand of the task. There are 25 stories for each level with 5 questions per story for a total of 375 unique listening tasks.

iPad Screenshot 4

The app is easy to navigate and has highly-customizable settings. The ease-of-use is enhanced by a wonderful demo video highlighting the settings and features of the app. Each activity has individual settings for difficulty (easy, intermediate, and advanced) as well as the ability to select number of choices (2, 3, or 4). This ability to customize settings allows for the accommodation of a wide range of skill levels.

Another nice feature is that the choices are not made visible until the entire question has been presented auditorily. This helps the child focus on the verbal instructions and eliminates impulsive selections. You also have the option to make the text visible or only provide the auditory directions.

Additionally, only correct choices are reinforced. If a child selects the wrong picture, nothing happens although the data tracking will indicate a wrong choice. After the correct choice is selected, the target concept is restated which also helps to solidify learning.

Individual users can be tracked and in the full version you can even add members to a group while still keeping individualized settings and data tracking for each child. Data for each of the five different activities is also tracked separately to give an individualized overview of the child’s progress in each area. These are excellent features for speech therapy sessions.

 

Finally, there are two options for reward games. In the Door Game, kids need to open doors to find where the character is hiding. For Shoot the Basket, kids randomly make a basket when they press a button to shoot a basketball. These reinforcement activities can be set to occur at different intervals or turned off altogether.

Overall Impressions:

Overall, this is a very high-quality app for targeting auditory comprehension skills of elementary school children ages 5-10 years. It is obvious that much consideration was placed on the customization of difficulty levels and the selection of the targets themselves. The colorful illustrations and animations are engaging and motivating. The variety of targets and ability to customize this app to meet the needs of many different skill levels allows this app to grow with your child.

In terms of improvements: it may be beneficial to have wrong choices disappear as they are selected to help narrow down the choices. There were some wording errors i.e. mention of a “tire swing” when a regular swing was pictured; use of the description “red dress” when the picture showed a red shirt instead. These are simple fixes that can be implemented in future updates.

This app would be particularly useful for speech pathologists who work with elementary students in groups; but I would also recommend this app for any K-3rd child needing to work on attention and listening skills.

 

iTunes Link: Listening Power Grades K-3 HD – Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Listening Power Grades K-3 HD Listening Power Grades K-3 HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Price: $19.99 USD

This app is the proud winner of the Academics' Choice Award for Smart Media! http://www.academicschoice.com/apps/listening-power-k-3.php

This is the app you’ve been waiting for! Listening Power.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must redeem their code 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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Shari is a married mother of four from Illinois. She works as a speech pathologist in a rehab setting and loves to use apps in therapy. She is a self-proclaimed “Appaholic”- always on the look out for great apps!



PUZZINGO Puzzles (Pro Edition) – Animated Kid’s Puzzles by 77Sparx Studio, Inc. – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

fun and jam packed with lots of fun

What we’d love to see…

few adjustments to the exit buttons and changes to the mini after games as well as a more “natural” ending

Summary

fun app loaded with lots of puzzles to keep the little entertained.

Our Rating

The Puzzingo Puzzles app by 77SPARX Studio is packed with engaging puzzles of different sorts. This app is great for children under 5 and will have little ones coming back for more.

Children will go ‘Puzzingo’ for all the puzzles this app has to offer, each contained within the 16 different games available. This app comes with hundreds of puzzle pieces in over 50 puzzles with new puzzles added constantly. Once empty shapes are filled with matching objects, you can feed a clown, race a car, fly a plane, decorate a dessert, feed or catch monsters in rewarding mini games.

My miss three is obsessed with puzzles so this app is perfect for her, she loves matching empty shapes with objects and the app has great audio and visual to teach her the alphabet as well as new words, shapes, colours and numbers. The added dimension of extra mini games once you complete the puzzles is very enticing and entertaining for little ones.

Our favourite games are the pets, dinosaurs, animals, princesses & fairies and core concepts and it keeps her very entertained which is great for road trips, trips to the coffee shops or a quiet play before bed.

My daughter finds it tricky at times to exit the games as it has a swiping option and then an exit door option but she is getting the hang of it. The only other downside is that the mini games keep going and don’t seem to end which can be a bit frustrating for little ones.

The Puzzingo Puzzles Pro edition includes all the puzzles from Puzzingo Puzzles Free edition not including in-app purchases which is great especially when there are so many games in the app. It does however come with a preview of the Wonster Words app which has a download option.  In terms of price, I’d like to see the price a bit more on par with the $10 range even though a lot of content is offered since I believe it would mean more people would purchase it.  Spending $15 on an app can seem like a lot, especially if you are not sure of the longevity of the app.

We love this app, it has so much to offer and is both educational and entertaining at the same time.

alison

Your child can spend hours exploring all of the different puzzles in the app and still not play every one of them. My son has used Puzzingo since he was three (when we first introduced the iPad and still enjoys playing it at 7!


PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro)
PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro)
by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Category: Education, Games, Puzzle
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: 393.46 MB

$14.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.



ConversationBuilder by Mobile Education Store –Review & Giveaway #BHSM



For Better Hearing and Speech Month 2015 we have 2 copies of this app to give away. We reviewed it in 2011, you can read our full review below.

20111105-172332.jpgConversation Builder is part of the Builder series of Language apps from Mobile Education Store, which was founded by Kyle Thomson, to create engaging language apps for children with high functioning Autism. In doing so he has created a range of apps that are not only suitable for children on the autism spectrum, but for any child needing to work on their language skills.

The app includes a very detailed instruction page, which explains all of its features and also includes a link to a video tutorial. Before you can start to use the app you need to create a user profile including name, age, city and interests, this information is used to personalise the app for the individual student.

The concept is simple – the student sees a photograph of a child engaging in an activity, and then has a conversation with the child based on the activity. At each turn the student has to choose from 3 responses, and pick the best one for moving the conversation forward in a natural way. If they choose an inappropriate response they are gently redirected to try again, once they have the correct response they can record themselves, and then hear a pre-recorded response. This pattern is repeated, and then the student gets to play back the whole conversation – and basically hears themselves conversing with the child in the picture. This provides incredible feedback – they just love to hear themselves having a successful 2-way conversation.

20111105-200111.jpgYou can continue on this level or increase the conversation length to 8 utterances (4 from the student and 4 pre-recorded). The app can also be used in a group setting, where instead of the app providing the responses it just gives a picture to start the conversation and then the iPad is passed from child to child for their part of the conversation, and then they can listen to the recording of the whole conversation. You can also save or email recorded conversations.

This is a wonderful app on many levels – it teaches the nuances of conversation e.g. how it’s often better to ask a question rather than just make an observation, how to stay on topic but also when it’s OK to introduce a new subject. It also helps by teaching ways to initiate a conversation and how to keep the conversation flowing naturally. Learning how to have a real 2-way conversation with your peers is a really important life-skill, but it can be hard to master. Trying to learn these skills by role-playing with adults or their peers can be a very awkward and painful experience, but by doing this with the iPad it becomes fun. Having the material presented in a visual as well is auditory format is also very helpful.

This app is very useful for special needs children who need extra help with their social skills, but it is also an incredibly useful tool for any child who needs help in developing their conversational skills. Being able to freely converse with their peers is a very important skill that many normally developing children also struggle with, and it is hugely important for helping to build and maintain friendships.

20111105-200120.jpgThe app includes 160 conversations. I highly recommend this app as it has really helped my own shy 7 year old with his conversational skills.

20111105-200120.jpg

ConversationBuilder™ – Mobile Education Store LLC

ConversationBuilder™
ConversationBuilder™
by Mobile Education Store LLC

Category: Education, Medical
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 123.45 MB

$19.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, 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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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).



So Much 2 Say – AAC app – Review & Giveaway #BHSM 2015



For #BHSM 2015 we have 3 copies of So Much 2 Say from Clode 2 Home apps to giveaway. This app was previously reviewed by Jill in 2012- you can read her review below, please note the app has had several updates since this review was written.

Reviewed by Jill

So Much 2 Say - Picture CommunicationSo Much 2 Say by Close 2 Home apps is a versatile tool for basic communication when used by the right learner and communication partner.  It was created expressly for the highly impacted segment of the special needs population. The app is recommended for individuals who are non verbal and lack an effective means to communicate basic needs and wants. Depending on the cognitive capabilities of the learner, it might first be used as a flash card app for vocabulary acquisition. Once familiarity with pictures and objects is established, the app can be set up as a choice board with up to twelve choices. As the learner’s ability to discriminate among the cards increases, category navigation can be enabled thereby transforming the app into a simple Picture Exchange Communication system with voice output.

The power of this app is in the ability to import one’s own images and create categories meaningful and useful for the user. Communication partners that have Velcro picture strips on their refrigerators or avid scrap bookers would be a good fit for the task of making the most of the app. Initial setup could prove daunting for some even though actually making cards is quick and easy. If one’s goal is to download an app and have conversations in complete sentences five minutes later, this is not the app to choose, it is not Proloquo Lite.

The mechanics of the app are solid. The preloaded cards and images are high quality if minimal. It can be used equally well in landscape or portrait mode. Cards can be hidden when not applicable to the exchange at hand. Editing can be password locked to prevent accidental deletions. Recording one’s own voice lends an air of familiarity and makes for a more pleasant output than the robo voices of most AAC apps. My favorite feature is the strong visual feedback. When a card is selected it comes to the forefront and is slightly expanded while other cards are grayed out. Since the app is aimed at more impaired individuals, I do wish that it offered even more accessibility features to expand its target audience.

The developer’s website has some helpful Getting Started tips, as well as You Tube videos demonstrating editing and various other features. I would suggest working with an SLP or teacher if available when creating categories. Another alternative to make the process easier would be to copy categories from the Lite version of a full featured AAC app. The app was recently updated to provide a Drag ‘n Drop card sharing support to enable copying of communication cards from one iPad to another running So Much 2 Say (read about the new updates below).   This is a great addition that will ease set up even further and provide schools and institutional users especially a head start.   Watch this exciting new feature in action in the video below.

[yframe url='[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7haJwcb1ZA&feature=player_embedded’]’

I am a big fan of “off-label” use of apps and So Much 2 Say is a prime candidate for stretching capabilities. Many families like this app’s developers juggle the needs of multiple children with communication challenges. For the dedicated do it yourselfer, So Much 2 Say offers the perfect framework for articulation practice. With a willing SLP providing the appropriate words for each target sound, it’s a simple matter of importing photos and clearly articulating for the voice recording.

This app enjoys very positive word of mouth and is among the better known apps in its category so it is a viable choice for the appropriate beginning communicator and his or her willing partner. I do recommend getting a refrigerator mount such as the one made by Modular if using this or a similar app as having a voice is no good if it’s kept in a backpack or other out of sight location.

So Much 2 Say – Picture Communication – Close 2 Home Apps, LLC

So Much 2 Say - Picture Communication So Much 2 Say - Picture Communication by Close 2 Home Apps, LLC

Price: $18.99 USD

.99 sale price(from .99) until April 6th in honor of World Autism Day!

"I highly recommend So Much 2 Say for the beginning communicator who needs a cost effective fully flexible and customizable.

Giveaway

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