Featured App: Read with Phonzy by MeowTek



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Read With PhonzyRead with Phonzy by MeowTek is a free universal app for iOS which features speech recognition to understand how well kids pronounced words using a character named Phonzy who provides prompts on the words.  The app requires that you opt in via email to use it and understand the terms and conditions.  It utilizes speech technology which recognizes and assesses the specific word that you are focusing on in the sentence.  It works best with children and does work well in a noisy environment like a busy home or a place where there is background noise.  As children pronounce words correctly, they can unlock the word which is then put into a gallery.  It also helps kids build confidence in reading (especially sight words) and improves skills of sentence building and thinking quickly.  We tested the app in a variety of environments including with a television on in the background, at a local park and in a classroom with other children.  Each time Phonzy was able to zero in and understand the words being spoken without picking up the ambient noise.

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One of the great things for me about the app was that I could help my son focus in on specific word types which he would learn and then as he got better with the pronunciation we were able to go back and re-listen to where he might have previously stumbled.  The app helps you correctly pronounce words and encourages children to read out loud – without a lot of corrections “in the moment” which then helps to build self confidence and sounding out skills.  MeowTek collects the audio recordings to improve the speech technology of the app and increase recognition, but no personal information about your child is collected.  Phonzy currently focuses on key words and important phrases, with the end goal of understanding the entire sentence.  The app is PRIVIO certified which means that MeoTek has COPPA compliant privacy practices to protect your child’s information and the verification via email is the method of ensuring that a parent understands that their child is using the app.

To use the app, Phonzy presents the user with a simple sentence similar to the one above with one specific word highlighted.  Your child reads and records the sentence and if the highlighted word is pronounced correctly, you get the object which is then placed in your gallery.  The words presented are appropriate for children from late kindergarten through mid-elementary school or approximately end of grade 3 according to the ones that I saw.  My son gained huge amounts of confidence when reading with Phonzy aloud because I wasn’t always trying to correct him and he didn’t feel “pressured” to perform on the spot.  My son liked that Phonzy would recognize his words most of the time and that he could easily re-record them as needed.

iPhone Screenshot 2

Phonzy is currently working to understand additional speech and speech recognition technology.  Currently, Phonzy is programmed to understand the specific highlighted words, very occasionally he will misunderstand a user however, as my son used the app more we found that Phonzy was correct in 18/20 trials.  The data collected from the app is made anonymous and is used to build and improve on speech recognition technology, it is never shared with any third parties and neither are the actual recordings.  I also loved that I could save the sentences that my son was saying and share them with his speech therapist to show his progress over time.

Overall, this is a great free app that encourages children to increase the number of words that they can read and earn some fun gallery prizes doing so.  It was a great self confidence booster for my son who struggled at times reading out loud and now has built up some confidence as he works through using the app and practicing new words.  We also liked knowing that we were helping Meowtek improve their speech recognition technology and perhaps, learn from some of the challenges that my son was having.

 

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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Also available on Google Play and Amazon

NOTE:  This post was sponsored by Meowtek but all opinions expressed are mine and are given honestly

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.

Hudson The Puppy Bluebee Pal Pro by Bluebee Pals – Review

What we love…

soft and cuddly Bluetooth enabled animal which reads you stories, sings and allows use of special needs apps like an AAC, we loved seeing his mouth “move” as he spoke and interacted with us

What we’d love to see…

better mechanism for younger kids not to be able to access back of the Bluebee Pal, my son saw me open the velcro once and it became a game for him to rip it open to access the blue box in the back

Summary

Super fun toy which helped my 2 year old engage with my iPad, listen to stories and music.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Hudson the Puppy by Bluebee Pals is a plush toy which brings your iPad to life.  Hudson is a huggable plush learning tool with a moving mouth that talks, sings and reads to your child using content from your Bluetooth enabled device ranging from a iPhone or iPad, Android or bluetooth enabled laptop.  The puppy includes lip synchronization which allows the puppy’s mouth to move in time to the words or music, read a story or work with a learning app like an Alternative Augmentative Communication device (AAC).  Hudson the Puppy has velcro on his back, which you open to access a box used to turn him on/off, charge and a light which indicates if it is charging..  There is an on/off switch in the back as well as a mini-USB charging port for when the device needs a charge.  You can press on the right “ear” to access the phone and answer it or disconnect from a call. To connect Hudson, you go into settings, Bluetooth and from there you can connect under “other devices” to Bluebee Pals. You can also sit your device on Hudson’s lap or simply have the device nearby and hold Hudson.

 

Hudson is a soft and cuddly toy which my two year old loved.  I can’t tell you how many times he has asked me to read his favorite story books, and now Hudson can help read them to him, by speaking the words and allowing him to look at the images on our iPad.  It was also great with other apps we were playing with because my son is too young to read, Hudson would read aloud the text on the screen when we were playing with a Trucks storybook which let him “read” independently.  My son enjoys listening to music and I loved that I could connect Hudson to act as a speaker for music without actually having to give him my device, this meant I could stream Pandora easily without worrying about him swiping and using my iPad.  I also liked that I could pair Hudson to both my iPhone and iPad, so that it didn’t matter which device I was using with my son.  You can also use your Bluebee Pro to answer phone calls – the calls were clear and my two year old enjoyed hearing his puppy “speak” using another’s voice.  On the other end, at times the caller heard a slight echo or a muffling, I’m not 100% sure why as it was clear on our end with my iPhone 6.  I loved the “voice” that Hudson gave to my son when we used it.  The battery life was quite good and I’ve only had to recharge it once despite many uses.  The music option is great too or you can use it in “read to me mode” which means that the stories will be read to your child without them having to use your device and having it act more like an audiobook. I wiped down Hudson Puppy a few times when my son sneezed on him and it cleaned up very nicely which is very important for a toy.

In terms of improvements, my son saw me open the velcro in the back and then it became a “game” for him to open it.  I almost wish there was a zipper or something instead that wasn’t as easy for kids to open.

Overall, we loved using Hudson and my son kept asking for the story over and over again.  I loved how easy it was to set up and use, and when I tested it with some friends who had kids with special needs and an AAC app, they loved how it gave their son a voice.

BlueBee Pals are available online from the BlueBee Pals website and from Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers RRP $64.99

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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

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.


MotionPen Kids – stylus for children by MotionPen Kids – Review



motionpen_kids_product-640x640

What we love…

easy to use stylus that is kid friendly for kids of all ages, the companion apps are amazing especially for drawing and exploring the human body/hide and seek.  I loved the Palm Rejection for my younger son who used his second hand to stabilize when he was “drawing” on the iPad.

What we’d love to see…

the pen number etched into the stylus somehow, a bump or something to show which side of the stylus to use and ability to use other apps with the MotionPen

Summary

Overall, the MotionPen Kids Stylus and companion apps are a fun way to introduce a stylus to kids both younger and older.  I was happy to see how fast each of my kids adapted to using the stylus despite the wide variation in their ages.  This stylus is definitely something I will keep in my purse or bag when we have to go somewhere that might have a wait.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

As a mom, I have tested a lot of styluses including those designed for kids.  I recently had a chance to test the MotionPen Kids Stylus by Widevantage and was pleasantly surprised to see how fast my 8 year old adapted to drawing with it. Widevantage is a South Korean company   The stylus works with any Bluetooth enabled device including an iPhone/iPad, Android Tablet.  It does not use Bluetooth or have a battery.  The apps know the stylus is there, because you enter the number of the pen which is printed on the side.  The stylus is also waterproof which means if it’s accidentally dropped, unlike those that have electronics a puddle will not mean that it is damaged.    Pens need to be registered with their unique ID and an email address, they can be paired with up to 3 devices at once, but this can be changed on the go so if you have a different device than one it is paired with you can easily add it.

One of my favorite features of the MotionPen is “Palm Rejection” this means you can rest your palm on the surface of the iPad while only the tip of the stylus is used.  My older son didn’t use this feature as much, but my 2 year old who is just learning how to grip things often used his other hand to stabilize the stylus and I was happy to see we didn’t get any errant marks.

MotionCrayonMotionCrayon was my older son’s favorite companion app to use with the stylus.  This app is essentially a drawing app which turns your stylus into a crayon, marker, colored pencil or regular pencil.  You can control the thickness of the tip and even erase by flipping over the stylus and hovering it over the app.  We used this stylus at a recent doctors appointment where my son and I played Pictionary in real time while we waited all from the comfort of an iPad.  There is a coloring book with 48 different images, a free form blank canvas that you can draw on, and even a magnifying glass that lets you zoom in for more detail.

MotionLampMotionLamp is an app where your stylus turns into a lamp and as you move it around on the iPad your device lights up and shows you the different objects in the picture.  There are two modes to this app, one is a search and find the hidden object, and the second is an “explore” mode where you memorize items in the image and find the correct answer after time is up.  My son did find the explore mode a bit frustrating at times because he would run out of time while trying to find the objects.  I’d suggest an untimed version of the explore mode especially for those just learning how to use it.

MotionGamesMotionGames includes six mini games including Jurassic Travel where you turn unto a stegosaurus dinosaur, a Jenga game where you have to remove the blocks without making the tower fall (much easier said than done even for me!), Pinwheel where you experiment with the wind to keep six pinwheels spinning at the same time for as long as you can, Claw Crane where you try to reach and grab the objects like the real life arcade game, Sling Shot where you try to pop all the balloons before they fly away and finally Rocket Riding where you travel through space to shoot asteroids.  Each of the games has varying levels of difficulty, my two year old was able to play the Sling Shot with my help while my older son got frustrated with the Jenga game because it was harder than he thought it should be.

MotionPenMotionPen is a app that essentially acts as a whiteboard where you can create notes, make notes on photos, drawings and diagrams and then share them via social media. I used this app on my iPhone but due to the social sharing did not let my kids use it.

 

 

 

MotionWebMotionWeb is a web browsing app that lets you browse using the pen instead of the traditional mouse or your fingers on your iPad.  You can zoom, scroll in/out, hover, used tabbed browsing and interact with the web in a way that I never really imaged prior to trying it.  As I would move the pen slightly, I could be able to move around on the web pages.  This was an app I used, not my kids simply because it was a bit more difficult to explain to my 8 year old who doesn’t regularly navigate the web using a tablet.

 

MotionBodyMotionBody teaches your kids about the human body.  The pen allows you to “peel away” the layers of the human body and discover how different parts interact with each other and better understand the structure of the human body.  This is an app that really brings the MotionPen to life, I was able to show my son recently what happened within certain parts of his body and how the blood circulated.  It also shows organ function and animation.  This uses the “hover” function as well as 3D animation.

 

 

The stylus has some heft to it which means that it’s not heavy per se, but it reminds the user that they have something in their hand and encourages them to grasp it properly.  With my older son, he quickly was able to adjust his grip while using it to draw as well as experiment with angles.  The free companion apps can encourage learning including drawing, writing, science, whiteboard, and even browsing the web.  I loved how he was creative and came up with the idea to play Pictionary during a recent doctors appointment and then we guessed what the picture was and he was entertained at the same time.

I’d love it if the number for the pen was etched in somehow, my son didn’t like the sticker on the stylus and took it off.  Luckily I stuck the sticker to the inside of the box just in case if ever becomes disconnected, but I know I might lose it at some point.  I also had to reregister my stylus twice, I’m not sure why but this was at times a bit frustrating.  I’d also love to see MotionPen Kids work with other app developers, especially those that include art to make it compatible.  For my older son, he knew where to place his fingers, but the ability to put a grip of some sort would have been helpful for my younger son who tried to “draw” with the eraser end – I just slid a chunky pencil grip on and solved it but this might help the younger users.

Overall, the MotionPen Kids Stylus and companion apps are a fun way to introduce a stylus to kids both younger and older.  I was happy to see how fast each of my kids adapted to using the stylus despite the wide variation in their ages.  This stylus is definitely something I will keep in my purse or bag when we have to go somewhere that might have a wait.

The MotionPen Kids Stylus is available for $22.95 from Amazon.

Free companion apps

MotionCrayon
MotionCrayon
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Games, Entertainment, Family
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: 250.74 MB

$FREE

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Screenshots for iPad
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MotionLamp
MotionLamp
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Entertainment, Family, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 230.14 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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MotionGames
MotionGames
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Games, Entertainment, Arcade, Simulation
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 429.33 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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MotionPen
MotionPen
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Utilities, Productivity
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: 16.61 MB

$FREE

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Screenshots for iPad
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by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


MotionBody
MotionBody
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Education, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 379.75 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Giveaway

If you would like to win a Motion Pen , 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

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.

Article: Adapting your device for kids with special needs

 

adapting_device_kids_special_needs

Adapting your device for kids with special needs

Eight ideas to make your device more usable for kids with special needs.
By Caroline Knorr

One-size-fits-all might be fine for some things, but it’s definitely not OK when it comes to devices. Fortunately, you can tweak most tablets, phones, and computers to make them work better for your kid. Whether your kid has vision, hearing, attention, or communication issues, different settings can reduce frustration and improve the experience.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Even when you make changes, you can always go back to the default setting. And remember, although this may be a new world and language to you, kids typically take to tech devices faster than parents, so let them test things out. As you’re learning, check the website for your device or YouTube for tutorials to help you navigate and learn about the variety of options for your device.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Use accessibility settings (all devices, all operating systems). Accessibility settings are specifically designed for people with special needs. There are settings that narrate commands for kids with hearing loss, invert colors for kids with vision issues, provide dictation for kids with dyslexia, and more. Look in the Settings folder on your device for different options. In iOS, you can create an accessibility shortcut to quickly change settings. Learn more about the individual accessibility features available on Android and iOS.

Enable Restrictions (iOS). Find Restrictions by going to Settings/General. You can create a passcode (which is different from the password that unlocks your phone) that blocks access to different features including the Safari browser, the camera, FaceTime, the iTunes Store, the iBooks Store, in-app purchases, Siri, and more.

Set up restricted profiles (Android). On Android devices, you can create individual user profiles, restricting or allowing access to different features for different people. Go to Settings -> Device -> Users to add a new profile.

Lock rotation (most devices). This is a handy setting that reduces frustration, especially when you’re sharing a device with your kid. You can lock the mode you prefer so you can view your device only in portrait or landscape mode. In iOS, portrait orientation is located in the Control Center.

Mute (all devices). If your child is noise-sensitive, you can mute the volume.

Use a key guard (all devices). These clear or colored plastic overlays have openings for each icon on the screen of a communication app such as Proloquo2go. These are helpful for kids who may have difficulty with motor skills. Colored key guards are available for kids with low vision. You can order customized key guards for different devices and apps.

Limit options (all devices). Try not to overload your child’s computer with too many apps. On the Mac, Simple Finder displays only three folders (enable it by going to Parental Controls). On other iOS devices, you can enable Guided Access (find it in Accessibility Settings), which temporarily disables everything but the app your kid is using. In Android’s restricted user profile, you can allow access to a small number of apps.

Organize apps (all devices). To help your child stay organized, both iOS and Android let you add apps into separate folders and label them, for example, as games, books, or math. In iOS, hold your finger over the app you want to put into a folder; when it jiggles, drag it on top of another app you want to put into the same folder and let go. It’s a similar process on Android devices.

Be sure to check out The iMums reviews of apps for kids with special needs to help load your device is all adapted.

Common Sense Media is a proud founding partner of Understood.

About the Author: Caroline Knorr

As Common Sense Media’s parenting editor, Caroline helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids’ media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you’re wondering “what’s the right age for…?” Caroline can help you make the decision that works best for your family. She has more than 20 years of editorial and creative marketing writing experience and has held senior-level positions at Walmart.com, Walmart stores, Cnet, and Bay Area Parent magazine. She specializes in translating complex information into bite-sized chunks to help families make informed choices about what their kids watch, play, read, and do. And she’s the proud mom of a teenage son whose media passions include Star Wars, StarCraft,graphic novels, and the radio program This American Life.

 

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsensemedia.org.

 

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