Five Little Monkeys

During therapy with younger students, I’m using iPod touch apps that are classic educational songs. I like Wheels on the Bus, but my new favorite app is Five Little Monkeys. Both of the apps involve interaction with the iPod touch screen. I think the interaction is important for students to learn cause and effect, to attend, and to demonstrate various touch methods.

In a therapy session today, a student and I interacted with the Five Little Monkeys app. We took turns requesting and touching the screen. I began by requesting, as he touched the screen. I requested things like “open shutters”, “bounce ball,” “stop monkeys,” and “touch blue monkey.” He independently touched the requested items throughout the entire song. Then, we switched, and we played the song for a second time. He requested, but as usual, he requested with one word utterances. I prompted him visually with either two or three fingers, depending on whether the elicited utterance was two or three words. While he requested, I managed to collect data using Tallymander, an iPod touch app for tallying. I tallied the number of one- and two-word utterances. Later, I transferred the data into a data collection spreadsheet.

I’d like to share how I created the video demonstration. After realizing that my Flip video camera (original version) doesn’t capture clear video of the iPod touch, I started experimenting with my MacBook webcam. First, I tried to capture video (using iMovie) by sitting behind the laptop lid. It definitely was clearer, but I experienced difficulty with stabilizing and centering the iPod touch. So, I tried sitting in front of my laptop, and I lowered the lid to my iPod touch resting on the table. I soon realized that I needed my iPod touch to be upside down from my view. And, rather than using my right pointer finger, I needed to use my left. That way, I wouldn’t cover a large portion of the iPod touch screen during the recording.

The video demonstration got me thinking about demonstrating for workshops. Since there currently aren’t any A/V cables for demonstrating iPod touch apps, I previously used an Elmo document camera. Well, I don’t always have access to an Elmo, and even when I do, I don’t really enjoy fiddling with the focus. So, using my MacBook with my projector is a feasible alternative.

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