FreeSpeech – Build Language and Learn Grammar by Avaz, Inc. – Review & Giveaway

FreeSpeech – Build Language and Learn Grammar by Avaz, Inc. – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

a innovative tool for those struggling to use grammar and syntax appropriately

What we’d love to see…

An expanded tutorial with several examples of how to build increasingly complex sentences. The ability to type in a sentence and then be shown how to construct it in the diagram.

Summary

Overall, this app has amazing potential for helping children expand their verbal and written expression.  It is an excellent tool to help students develop their grammar and syntax skills in a systematical way by using visual symbols and prompts in a fun and engaging way.

Our Rating

FreeSpeech - Build Language and Learn GrammarAvaz FreeSpeech is an app designed to help children build grammatically correct sentences. It was developed by an interdisciplinary team of Speech Pathologists, educators, and software engineers.  The developer also created Avaz Pro, a revolutionary AAC app designed to give a voice to students on the spectrum. The recommended age range for this app is 6-18 years.

The app allows students to explore the grammatical structures of English language in a visual and engaging way.  The format is very similar to augmentative communication apps with Boardmaker symbols that are color coded for quick reference.  However, this app is different in that it guides students in formulating grammatically sentences by prompting them with visual cues to increase the complexity of their output.

This is accomplished by the following features:

  • Expanding: using questions to cue users to increase length and complexity of sentences
  • Scaffolding: predicting likely word choices based on previous word selections
  • Contrasting: applying verb tense changes and other modifiers automatically
  • Recasting: adding articles (a, the) and prepositions as necessary
  • Errorless modeling: formulating a diagram of symbols into an appropriate sentence

iPad Screenshot 3

By using a type of brainstorming map, it facilitates the construction of ideas by automatically employing linguistic constructs to words placed within the diagram.  This framework allows for elaboration of the user’s utterance by systematically offering cues through a scaffolding approach.  For example- If you started with the word “want”, you would then be prompted to answer the following questions: when, who, or what.  By tapping on a question box, predictive analysis offers some likely word choices or you can select “more words” for additional categories.  There is also a place on the right side of the screen to “stash” words for later use.

iPad Screenshot 4

The word choices are organized in categories.  A tab of frequently used categories such as “actions”, “people”, “places”, “things” can be selected which then open additional subcategories to help narrow down the search.  For example, if the “food & drink” tab is selected from the main menu on the left, additional options such as “most used”, “meal”, “drink”, “meat”, “places to eat”, and “snacks” are offered to make selecting the desired word easier.  There is also a search bar where choices can be found by typing in the preferred word. The formulation of sentences is truly limitless as you can add your own vocabulary choices with actual photos.

This app has endless potential to help students unlock the power of language by teaching them how to construct and expand sentences to better express themselves.  For example, by simply pressing the “past” button, the verb will be automatically changed to the past tense verb.  If the “question”, button is selected, it will convert a statement into an interrogative.  You can easily change between single and plural nouns by hitting an icon on the noun symbol.  The meaning of the sentence can also be changed just by altering the location of one symbol.

The settings tab allows for the following options to be set at desired levels:

Pictures: show or hide

Access: tap or drag

Vocabulary: Level 1 – offers a limited number of word choices for beginners

Level 2 : has menu of 11 categories with up to 40 words in each

Level 3: has menu of 11 categories with several subcategories and corresponding words for each

Inflections: Level 1  Level 2  Level 3

Prompts: Level 1  Level 2  Level 3

Voice: 4 choices

Voice speed: 1-6

There is a bit of a learning curve to understand where to place the symbols in order to generate the desired sentence. It takes some practice to become familiar with the location of the symbols and how to arrange them in the framework to achieve the target sentence.  A short tutorial is offered showing how to formulate two sentences, but additional examples would be welcome.

I felt that the app is a innovative tool for those struggling to use grammar and syntax appropriately.  It contains well organized content, intuitive format, and predictive selections.  It has the ability to customize settings for all different levels of skill and knowledge.  I also liked the ability to create unique sentences of increasing length and complexity in a systematic way.

We would love to see an expanded tutorial with several examples of how to build increasingly complex sentences as well as the ability to type in a sentence and then be shown how to construct it in the diagram.

It is important to note that this app is not an AAC tool or speech generating device.  It would be a wonderful companion to the Avaz Pro AAC app, but it can stand alone as well.  This app would best be used under the guidance of a special educator or SLP.

Overall, this app has amazing potential for helping children expand their verbal and written expression.  It is an excellent tool to help students develop their grammar and syntax skills in a systematical way by using visual symbols and prompts in a fun and engaging way.


FreeSpeech - Build Language and Learn Grammar
FreeSpeech - Build Language and Learn Grammar
by Avaz, Inc.

Category: Education, Medical
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: 188.13 MB

$9.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
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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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!
 DragonBox Numbers by WeWantToKnow – Review and Giveaway

DragonBox Numbers by WeWantToKnow – Review and Giveaway



screen dragonbox numbers

DragonBox Numbers by WeWantToKnow AS is a fun and colorful way to learn about numbers, how they work and how to use them. WeWantToKnow AS are also the developers behind award-winning apps DragonBox Algebra 5+, DragonBox Algebra 12+ and DragonBox Elements. Children can play with cute characters called Nooms by stacking them, combining them, sorting them, slicing them or by just playing with them.

The app is divided into three games: Sandbox, Puzzles and Ladder.

What we love…

The cute Nooms which help you understand Math concepts.

What we’d love to see…

Ability to follow the players’ learning progress and achievements across devices.

Summary

A fun and colorful app with engaging games that help kids build strong number sense.

Our Rating

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The ‘Sandbox’ game lets children build up to certain numbers by adding up Nooms together. When you add a Noom to another Noom they change colour. Each number from 1 to 10 has a different Noom. When adding, slicing and placing the Nooms, a narrator explains the additions or subtractions and lets the child know what number they are at. Great for parents and teachers to explain basic maths.

The ‘Puzzles’ game lets children solve easy puzzles with Nooms. Once a puzzle is solved, coins are provided as a reward. After accumulating a number of coins, you can swap them for different shapes (numbers, animals, vehicles, microbes, food, etc .) which in turn can be solved by slicing and placing Nooms in designated shapes to obtain more reward coins.

The ‘Ladder’ game is slightly more complex than the other two games in that children need to build larger numbers with careful thought by adding, slicing and playing around with the Nooms provided until the number is reached.

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This app has no ads, no in-app purchases and has a parents area protected by a simple number solving query. The parents area covers what your child will learn from the app, how to play with it and choice of language (English, Danish, French, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish). There is also an option to check your child’s progress and change player in the main menu. Be sure to create a DragonBox account to receive a story book about the Nooms and a DragonBox Numbers manual.

Even if the app is made for ages 6 to 8, my three-year-old loves playing with this app as it is fun, easy to use, colorful and she gets to learn about numbers without thinking about it. We love this fun and colorful app which makes mathematics a fun discipline. It is a great resource for parents and teachers to introduce maths to children and I definitely recommend it.

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DragonBox Numbers

DragonBox Numbers DragonBox Numbers by WeWantToKnow AS
Category: Education, Puzzle, Games, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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: 330.98 MB

$7.99USD

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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.
Kensington iPad Accessories for the Classroom #backtoschooltech

Kensington iPad Accessories for the Classroom #backtoschooltech

wired keyboard 3

Over the last few years there have been huge changes in the use of technology in school classrooms. More and more school districts are investing heavily in technology and children are using technology in the classroom from an increasingly early age. In my own local school district we’ve seen the introduction of smartboards, Chromebooks and tablets into the classrooms. To make optimal use of this technology there are often other accessories that are needed alongside the devices themselves.

I recently had the opportunity to review some of Kensington’s line of iPad accessories. With my twin 3rd graders I tested 3 accessories that can be used both in the classroom and at home: the SafeGrip Rugged iPad Case, the Wired Keyboard for iPad with Lightning Connector,  and the Gummy Grip Stylus for Kids.

SafeGrip Rugged iPad Case

When using an iPad with kids a must-have is a good protective case. The SafeGrip is a protective case with a built-in carrying handle that also serves as a stand. It is available in versions for all models of iPad and iPad Mini, the different models are slightly different in color choices and shape but have similar construction and functionality. I tested the iPad Mini version.
 

The SafeGrip is made of a thick, flexible, cushioned material that reminds me of the material Crocs are made from. Installing the iPad in the case is easy, as the material is flexible and it feels secure once in place. It has a textured surface making it less likely to slip out of your hands, and the front of the case is higher than the screen giving it a bumper of protection if dropped face down. My kids loved the carrying handle – and carrying it via the handle is much more secure than carrying the iPad without. There is no built-in screen protector but it does come with an adhesive screen protector. It has a slot in the back to hold a stylus and a place to write a name.

 
There are 3 different angles to use the iPad- flat, upright and typing mode. In typing mode the handle is folded 90 degrees and the iPad lies at an incline, this position is very stable and works well. In upright viewing mode the handle is also folded to 90 degrees and used as a stand. This mode is stable if the child is not touching the iPad, though a child with poor fine motor skills could knock it over if repeatedly touching the screen.
 
My children really like this iPad case and I love how protective it is and that it make it easy to carry the iPad securely. I think it is a great case for the classroom.
RRP for SafeGrip for iPad Mini is $39.99 prices vary for other models.
safe grip mini

Wired Keyboard for iPad with Lightning Connector

wired keyboard

When using the iPad for school work children will often need to type and having a dedicated keyboard is easier then using the iPad’s touchscreen. There are many Bluetooth keyboards on the market but when using it in a school setting a wired keyboard can be a better choice. Having 30 different Bluetooth keyboards in a room competing to connect and ensuring each keyboard is paired with the right iPad can be a nightmare! The Kensington wired keyboard is designed to work with any Lightning connector iOS device and I have tested it with the iPad Mini iPad Air 2 and iPhone 5.

 
The keyboard has a very rugged feel to it and I think would hold up well in classroom use. It is a similar size to a laptop keyboard, so is more like typing on a computer than most iPad keyboards. Because it connects via the Lightening connector it gets its power from the iPad, so does not need to be recharged or have batteries changed which is another advantage in the school setting. I found it works very well, has comfortable responsive keys and for my 3rd grader son, who has handwriting issues and needs to type a lot of his assignments, it is a great choice.

For a classroom setting I think this is a much better choice than a Bluetooth keyboard, it is rugged, needs no batteries or Bluetooth connection and is comfortable and responsive for typing on. It is also useful at home for children who need to type on a tablet for homework assignments. RRP for the Wired Keyboard is $54.99

Gummy Grip Stylus for Kids

When using iPad apps, especially writing and drawing apps, a stylus can help to keep the iPad screen clean. It is also better for practicing handwriting than using a finger. The Gummy Grip is a stylus designed with children in mind and is sized to fit small hands. I love that its triangular cross-section encourages kids to hold it with a tripod grasp, which is something my 3rd graders are both working on in OT. It also has a hole for a lanyard so you can tie it to the iPad case to prevent the child from loosing it. The only issue I found that was too wide to fit in the stylus storage slot on the back of the SafeGrip case for iPad Mini, which seemed a pity, though you could still attach it to the case via a lanyard. I think the Gummy Grip stylus is a great choice for kids- it is relatively inexpensive at $9.99 and sized to fit small hands.

gummy grip stylus

 

recommended-by-the-imums

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

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).
 Imagistory: Schools Edition – Creative Storytelling by Imagistory Publishing – Review and Giveaway

Imagistory: Schools Edition – Creative Storytelling by Imagistory Publishing – Review and Giveaway



screen imagistory

Imagistory is a wordless picture book designed for children 3 and up. The objective of the app is to increase overall language skills while creating unique stories. The only tools necessary are an iPad and a great imagination.

What we love…

User friendly, customizable for author with picture, quiet read or recording option, different narrative each time the child uses the app, coordinates well with narrative programs, excellent potential for projecting with a Smart Board and using with the whole class at one time.

What we’d love to see…

Ability to actually write the story on the page, animate some of the characters, add my own characters to the story, start and stop recording on demand, edit each page instead of having to restart.

Summary

Imagistory is an excellent wordless story app with multiple academic possibilities. I recommend this app to both educators and parents looking to enhance their children’s expressive and receptive language skills using nothing but imagination and creative thought.

Our Rating

There is so much that I like about this app. The app is very user friendly. Page turning is easy and learning curve is small. There is a small guide in the parent and teacher section, but more about how to use the app in the classroom and not really how to use the app. The only hidden icons are to pause, return to home or restart, supported by an arrow in the top left corner.

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At the onset the “author” is asked to customize the story with their name and their photo. The photo taking is automatic, using a countdown before actually snapping your picture. There is no option to use a photo from your photo library. The next step, which I really like, is the choice between beginning to create the story (record) or to do a quiet read (silent picture walk, small icon on top right corner of the opening cover page).

As a Speech Language Pathologist, I love that the children have a chance to view the pictures first, and become familiar with the story. We chat about the pictures, sequence and predict. This allows for a very important step in narrative dialogue. The story walk allows for the integration of various narrative tools (Story Grammar Markers, SKILLS). Once the children have an idea of what they would like to say, and/or have written a story, the second option is chosen: recording the story narrative.

One thing that I don’t particularly like is that the recording starts automatically. I would prefer the option of starting and stopping when I want, allowing for reviewing what I want to say, before jumping right into the recording. If the child makes a mistake on a particular page, there is no option to redo only the single page. The child has to return to the beginning and either re-record or flip to the page you want.

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My favorite feature of this app is that although there are only 6 stories, each time the children chose the theme, there can be a different story. The developer suggests in the guide section the different language skills that are enhanced by this app, from story writing, to perspective taking, creating different genres and creative group work.

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Pictures are nicely animated, but for some books, particularly Bubble Monster, I find the pages too crowded. The “Bubbles” are mostly the same color and it is hard to distinguish the main characters from the other bubbles. Other books are less “crowded” and allows for more use of imagination.

The app saves stories automatically, at the end and the narratives can be shared with others. The stories are saved under the parent and teacher section, There are 3 categories: all stories, my favorites and shared with me.

There are 2 versions of the app available in the App Store. The free version comes with 2 stories – The Little Red Bucket and the Tree Boat Saga. In App Purchases are available for 4 other stories, with the developer suggesting there are more to come. The additional 4 stories are My Friends the Penguins, Backyard Adventure, Tree Boat Saga 2 and The Monster Bubbles. Parent and teacher section is locked. There is a separate school edition app which contains all 6 stories.

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Imagistory: Schools Edition – Creative Storytelling
Free lite version –

Imagistory: Schools Edition - A Storytelling App Imagistory: Schools Edition - A Storytelling App by Imagistory Publishing Ltd.
Category: Education, Books
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: 90.26 MB

$3.99USD

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Lisa is a Speech Language Pathologist who has been working in an inclusive school system for over 32 years. She works with children that have issues in all areas of speech and language. She loves her work and is always looking for ways to integrate technology.

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