it’s so easy to upload photos from my smartphone and share them with friends and family securely
What we’d love to see…
iPad native app, ability to create a collage
My go to photo app – I love the free version and the premium takes some of my wishes to the next level!
As a mom, I’m aware that I want my children to make their own digital footprint and not have me make it for them. Tinybeans, an Australia based startup has created an app for iOS, Android and the desktop/laptop computer that allows you to create your own private photo journal that you can share with friends and family for FREE! This app allows you to post daily photos, use a variety of photo editing tools including filters, enhancing photos, adding text and more all with the touch of swipe on your smartphone. Tinybeans was created after one of the founders had a child with a speech delay. It was first used as a speech therapy tool to include photos of various items that the child was learning how to speak, and once friends and family learned of how it worked and that it was secure the word of the app took off and has grown since.
I first started using the app, after the hospital photographer sent me a link to it. I had been looking for a secure way to send photos back and forth with family since we were living quite a distance from them but hadn’t found a solution that I was comfortable with. The Tinybeans app allowed me to have people install it on their smartphone, tablet or use it on their computer and pushes an update to them daily – or weekly with the moments I have uploaded so they can see from day to day what my kids are doing. I love the ability to put short videos (30 seconds for free version and up to 5 minutes for the premium version) as well as photos of our daily lives. I can upload photos either from my tablet/smartphone or directly from my camera when plugged into my desktop computer and they are ready and posted to the specific day I choose. I also love putting in my children’s milestones because although I remember them at the moment in time, I can easily flip back to see exactly when they happened which makes doctors appointments so much easier as well as updating a baby book!
The app also allows you to create photobooks, manage multiple children (which you can tag for the individual photos) as well as creating slide shows and exporting your favorites.
The premium version of the app ($80 USD/annually) unlocks many of the features I was seeking when using the app – they include longer video’s, the ability to upload multiple photos at once, ability to export all of your photos via a simple click rather than downloading them one at a time, create online photo shows for those that do not have Tinybeans.
In terms of enhancements, I’d love to see a collage option where I can take three to four photos and make them into one – for example on my son’s first birthday I would have loved to do this and pin that as my “moment of the day” photo. I’d also like to see “background” options when doing the slideshow so you can customize the background of the photo show. I’d also love the ability to save specific moments privately rather than sharing with everyone.
Overall, this is my go to photo app and has been since the day I installed it on my phone. I can’t believe all the features that are included in the free version and the premium version takes it to the next level. I love the ability to edit my photos on the fly and upload them which means that they are shared with others and not stuck on my device. I can’t wait to see what Tinybeans comes up with next!
Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
For #BHSM we have x copies to give away of ArtikPix Levels Plus By Expressive Solutions, we reviewed this app in 2014 you can read our review below.
What we love…
Variety of levels from word to paragraph, customization options, ability to create own cards, ability to record both audio and video.
What we’d love to see…
Ability to use a cards for multiple target sounds, and to add pre-existing cards to custom decks
ArtikPix Levels Plus is the most comprehensive, flexible, articulation app I have yet come across – highly recommended !
Reviewed by Mary Mahon with input from Suzanne Berhow, SLP
ArtikPix Levels is the latest articulation therapy app from Expressive Solutions. ArtikPix Levels Plus is the full version including all decks and features, a free version is also available which just includes the Th deck, with other decks available as in-app purchases. This review is of the full version, which includes almost 1,500 cards in 24 decks: b, ch, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, l-blends, m, n, p, r, r-blends, s, s-blends, sh, t, th, v, w, y, z. ArtikPix Levels Plus also includes the ability to create your own decks, this is not included in the free version unless you purchase all decks.
The app allows creation of multiple student profiles, each with their own personalized settings, and up to 8 students can play at one time – making it very useful in group therapy settings. It is very customizable – for each student you can choose which decks to work on and you can further customize the decks by e.g. by choosing initial, medial or final, and can even pick which exact words to target. The app allows you to work at word, phrase, sentence or paragraph level, and you can also choose the syllable length (1-4) of the target words. The best part is ArtikPix Levels remembers the configurations, so you don’t have to repeatedly select them to target your students’ needs.
There are 3 different activities in the app: Flashcards, Pick or Spin and Matching. Flashcards and Pick or Spin both include all 4 levels: word, phrase, sentence & paragraph; the Matching game just includes Word level. In each activity there is the option to record the student’s response and listen to it played back. This recording can be audio only or video and audio. Many articulation apps offer audio recording but this is the first time I have seen video recording included. This can be really useful for letting students see how their tongue and mouth position compares to the SLP or parent working with them for both correct and incorrect sound production. There is also an option to save these videos to the camera roll which can be a great asset in communication between SLPs and parents to show how a child is doing at producing a particular sound or word at home vs in therapy sessions.
Flashcards have color photographs and you can choose to have them narrated, or have the student read the text on the card. The paragraph level is designed to be read by the student so narration is not provided at this level. Within each session you can easily switch between word, phrase, sentence and paragraph levels by tapping on the tabs under the flashcard. The SLP or parent marks each production by tapping a x for incorrect, or check mark for correct, or a P to indicate prompts required. You can skip any cards that you wish and record any that you wish the student to hear &/see their production of.
Matching game has 3 difficulty levels : from 6 cards up to 20 cards, you can choose whether pair matches are removed or stay visible.
Pick or Spin : in this game an electronic machine picks a random card from the students decks, they can choose to say this card or spin again. The player can easily switch between word, phrase, sentence and paragraph levels by pressing buttons. The target e.g “initial l sentence” is displayed on the machine after each spin.
In each activity, you can collect data separated by student and sound group for independent and prompted responses. You can collect prompted data as well (gestural, physical, verbal and visual) and write your own notes. After an activity, students’ data is saved in the app, and you can also easily share via clipboard or email.
ArtikPix Levels Plus also includes the ability to create your own cards. I love to have this option in articulation apps, my daughter has Apraxia and so we often have to customize which words she has as targets to work with her unique articulation patterns. With the custom card option I can use the exact word lists her SLP has chosen for her, even if some of those words are not in the app’s included word lists.
I love having the ability to add the student or their family members or pets names when they are working on a sound in those names, as these are important target words for them.
There are 3 ways to create cards: using photos from your camera roll, taking pictures with your device camera and using images from Bing image search (which is similar to Google images). Once you have an image you enter its target sound, syllable length, and enter the word, phrase, sentence and paragraph. You can also record audio for the word, phrase and sentence. The custom decks are available when you are working in all activities so you can choose to work on them alone or in combination with any of the pre-made decks in all activities.
Much as I love the custom deck feature there are a few more features I would love to see added: the ability to integrate newly created cards into the pre-existing decks; ability to use cards for multiple target sounds e.g. to use lamp for both initial l and final p so that you don’t need to create it twice and ability to re-use existing cards in my custom decks.
Overall, this is an excellent articulation app -it is very flexible, allows lots of customization, choice of word, phrase, sentence and paragraph levels, ability to record and playback both audio and video and the ability to create your own custom decks. It is the most comprehensive, flexible, articulation app I have yet come across – highly recommended !
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).
I love the graphics and the music on the app. They are both so engaging and really get in your head.
What we’d love to see…
I would like to see more tools that are geared towards the specific tasks. Although my 5 year old niece didn’t mind, I’d like to see more appropriate building tools for each activity. However the ones available were fun and the children that played it didn’t seem to mind.
I like the game and it’s something that I would want to purchase for my daughter to play when she’s a little older. It’s fun and light hearted and hopefully isn’t too addictive.
Sago Mini Toolbox by Sago Sago is an app for iOS targeting children aged two to four years. I was initially nervous because I thought my telly-addict daughter could do with a little less stimulation in the form of a computer of television screen and a little more time outside. I read a bit more about the company and discovered that they are very much into creating educationally focused, fun apps for kids. That was a tick in my box compared to some of the cartoons my daughter likes to watch. I read reviews from other people who’d had tried other Sago Mini games. Adults and children seemed to enjoy their games. I was swayed by the charm of this game in that it wouldn’t be scary or have any sort of negative tones. The game also helps develop cognitive skills. I opened the app and started the game. There was a section with information for parents which explained the motivation behind the creation of this game ‘Sago Mini Toolbox’ app. I appreciated this as they bothered to engage with me and convince me to have a closer look.
The graphics were first class. They were smooth, bold and attractive. The music was entertaining, even for me though I knew I was clearly not in the target demographic. The game centred around creating items with tools from my toolbox. I could create lots of different types of things using three or four items from my toolbox. These included a scooter and kite amongst other fun items. My toolbox included a hammer, machine screw driver and a few other things. Oddly enough there was a needle and thread in the toolbox. I found the game very simple and easy to follow. I could be a number of different characters in the game. I did lose some interest after about ten minutes of playing as I found the game quite repetitive. But alas, why does my view count? I’m the parent and the game is for kids.
I showed it to my 16 month old daughter who was immediately drawn in by the music and graphics. The target age was 2-5 years but my daughter enjoyed tap-tap-tapping away at the tools to build things. Her attention span was extremely short so I wasn’t sure whether this was due to the simplicity of the game or that she was too young to be interested for any longer than a few minutes.
I called in the help of my 5 year old niece to have a go at playing the game. Guess what? Sago Mini were spot on. She loved the game. No instructions were needed and she raced through the various building activities, excited after completing each activity. After about 15 minutes, she gave me back my phone and said she’d very much enjoyed it. Her words were ‘I liked everything, it was all fun!’. I asked repeatedly if there was anything she would change and she said no. I asked if she’d like to play it again another day and she said yes. So I stood corrected from my initial thoughts that it might be too simple in its goals or too repetitive. She loved being able to sew as well as drill and thought nothing of the fact that a toolbox containing a hammer might not necessarily also contain a needle and thread in the real world. She also thought there was nothing wrong with using, amongst other tools, the same needle and thread to help in building a dog house.
I would say that although she liked the game, it probably wouldn’t be enough to keep my nieces attention after playing it on two or three more occasions. She’s a very intelligent little girl and I would suggest that there should be a chance to unlock new hidden activities which also use some different tools and different repetitive actions in order to encourage her to want to come back to the game again and again.
In summary, I will definitely be taking a closer look at other games by Sago Mini. Hopefully they have games for younger kids and this may sway my daughter away from the 20-30 minutes of YouTube feeds of Raa Raa the Noisy Lion on my phone every morning as she shouts during the few minutes it takes me and my husband to wake up properly.
Well done Sago Mini, toolbox is a great little app. You’ve made a mobile phone gamer out of me (oops! I mean my niece) ;-p.
Fola is a thirty-something new mum and new wife. I moved from London to Wales about 6 years ago to in pursuit of happiness and I’m excited to say that I made the best decision possible.
I began blogging privately during my pregnancy as means of encouraging myself through some of the tough times and also to create a diary for my now daughter, to show her how importance she was even then.
After giving birth I began searching for advice on how to raise my daughter, (tips, tricks as well as general support) whilst balancing my career ambitions and social life. I sought inspiration from the blogging community and earlier on this year I took a leap of faith and began my own public blog in the hope that other women and men could walk a mile in my shoes and get some inspiration for their daily lives.
Easy to use, unlimited pages in books, unlimited books and authors, very customizable, ability to choose image by sounds -initial, medial & final, ability to add your own images and narration.
What we’d love to see…
Layout templates for beginning users, option to create a layout for the entire book at the onset
An easy to use storybook creator with multiple authors and unlimited books. As a Speech Language Pathologist I love that I can create books for home practice for each and every child on my caseload, and have the child’s input, allowing the kids to take ownership of their home practice.
My Story is the newest app for speech and language from Pocket SLP. The app is designed for adults and children to create and share stories. The interface is extremely user friendly and lends itself well to cooperative projects. It is available as a free version with in-app purchase, and a full version with no in-app purchases. The free version allows 1 author, 2 books and images from 2 categories; the full version has unlimited authors and books, all images and dropbox synchronization. This review is of the full version.
I love how easy this My Story is to use and to teach others how to use. The simplicity of use is an asset from the beginning. Right from the home page, the mechanics of the app are self explanatory. The platform makes it easy to find your way around the different parts of the app and the multiple different ways to embellish and individualize the pages of the book. There are unlimited pages per book.
OI have tried this app with kids as young as 5 and as old as 11. Everyone loved it. Their true creativity came through! The students asked if they could add to their books and even shared their editing skills on others projects. They loved that their books can be shared on social media and that the books can be saved to Dropbox. My Story app allows for multiple users.
As a Speech Language Pathologist I love that I can create books for home practice for each and every child on my caseload, and have the child’s input. It allows the kids to take ownership of their home practice. The stories can be edited from week to week, to allow new pages to be added. Once the book is completed there is an option to view, edit or share. The “view” is done in slideshow form.
Each page can be customized for background color, font, and images (size, position). There are a bunch of preloaded pictures available and you can also add your own images. The preloaded images can be viewed by category (alphabetically within a category) and even by sounds these are organized by position in words (initial, medial and final). There is also an option to draw and write (thick or thin lines) on each page. One of my favorite features (and the children also) is the ability to record audio to go with the images in the book.
There isn’t really much I didn’t like about this app. I would like to see some layout templates for beginning users. Some of the kids got really caught up in the placement and choices available to them. It would also be nice to have an option to create a layout for the entire book at the onset. This way little time is wasted on restructuring each page. While you can copy and paste individual images, on the same page, the chance to paste to another page would also be nice. A standard template would be a good option as well, much like the project or presentation apps that are commercially available. Another addition that might be fun would be the ability to add a soundtrack in addition to the current ability to record narration.
Overall, I highly recommend this app for classroom, therapy and home. Teachers can modify for specific academic goals, Speech Pathologists can adapt for various individualized goals, and families can create stories and memories for their children to talk about and bring back to school for discussions. The app has unlimited potential for kids creativity and most important the kids are fully engaged and become active participants in their learning and therapy experiences. 5/5 stars for My Story app!!
Free version (with IAP) My Story for Speech and Language Free – Synapse Apps, LLC
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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