Sailers video blog: Episode 3


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 3 includes CNN Student News, the BigGrips frame and stand, and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see me demonstrate one of my new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it’s best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.

Disclosure: The author was provided with a complimentary BigGrips iPad frame and stand.

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ArtikPix 2.2 adds landscape mode

ArtikPix and ArtikPix – Full version 2.2 were updated prior to the holidays. The major new feature is landscape mode for iPad, which was heavily requested by users. Version 2.2 also adds a feature to the matching activity that involves pressing the Done button after all matches have been made. Users had also requested this feature for enabling more practice at the end of matching, particularly when the configurable option of Hide Matched Cards is turned OFF. If you like these new features in ArtikPix and ArtikPix – Full 2.2, please rate and review the app on iTunes.

On behalf of Eric Sailers and RinnApps, thank you to all ArtikPix users. We appreciate receiving feedback to make ArtikPix a leading speech articulation app. We’re looking forward to working more with users in 2012. Happy Holidays!

Sailers video blog: Episode 2


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 2 includes BrainPOP, an iPad stand, and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see us demonstrate one of our new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it’s best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.

BubCap home button covers


I want to share the BubCap home button covers for iOS devices. A BubCap is like a rigid sticker that is placed over the home button so children (especially children with sensory needs) cannot accidentally exit an app. Although the BubCap protects the home button from children, adults are still able to press it for navigational purposes–though, my wife seemed to have a hard time with this :-).

The BubCap cover comes in a pack with three different rigidities based on the child’s age and the type of iOS device used. The company suggests that the regular BubCap is for toddlers with iPhone and iPod touch; the BubCap Ultra is for toddlers with iPad or older children with iPhone and iPod touch; finally, the BubCap Max is for older children with iPad. However, my preference is to use the BubCap Ultra on any iOS device. The BubCap Max feels too rigid even for an adult to press.

The BubCap works by peeling off the backing and then placing it on top of your iOS device home button. Once the BubCap has been adhered, let it sit for about 15 minutes before use. Then, you’re ready to go. When you no longer need the BubCap, you can peel it off with you fingernail (applying slow steady pressure) and dispose of it or save it for future use.

As the company website says, BubCaps make a great stocking stuffer and they start at $5 for a 4-pack. BubCaps are well made and a good solution to help children stay within an app.

Disclosure: The author was provided with a complimentary 6-pack of BubCaps for demonstration purposes.

Homework sheets for ArtikPix

Amanda Backof, Speech-Language Pathologist who runs speechlanguageneighborhood.com, has created homework sheets for ArtikPix. The sheets can be downloaded on her website at http://www.speechlanguageneighborhood.com/articulation/. I also thought I would provide the download links here to the homework sheets:

Initial/Medial/Final P
Initial/Medial/Final B
Initial/Medial/Final F
Initial/Medial/Final K
Initial/Medial/Final G
Initial/Medial/Final S
Initial/Medial/Final Z

The downloadable documents are available as of 11.17.11. Check Amanda’s website in the future for updates. She is planning to add more homework sheets.

Terms of use stated by Amanda: Thanks to Symbolstix for allowing us to make these available for personal use [not for re-sale] under the terms of our subscription.

App Gap

I was asked to share a link to an article titled 15 Telling Facts About the App Gap: http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2011/11/14/15-telling-facts-about-the-app-gap/.  The “App Gap” refers to children of low socioeconomic status who do not have access to mobile devices and apps. Affluent children who have more access to apps might be receiving a more enriching learning environment. I believe that there’s likely truth to this notion, however the article proceeds to explain that more time with apps can be harmful to child development and learning. Harmful, huh? That’s pretty strong language which I question.

In the article, apps are consequently compared to TV and DVDs, a comparison which I disagree with. I feel that apps provide active learning environments vs. passive environments provided by TV shows and DVD movies. Due to the various interactions in apps (e.g., tapping, dragging, shaking, tilting, etc.), children immerse themselves in very enriching learning environments. This rings especially true for many disabled children who prefer to read and write with technology including mobile devices due to the motivating platform, not to mention built-in supports.

Although I don’t agree with everything in this article, I still wanted to share a link to it because it does pose food for thought. It provides some interesting ideas to consider when determining the use of mobile devices and apps with children.

New AssistiveWare video for an Introduction to Pictello

I want to share a new AssistiveWare video for Pictello, the storytelling app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. We created an Introduction to Pictello video divided in three chapters: playing a sample story, creating a story, and importing a story. Learn how to utilize all of the story features via demonstrations in the iOS simulator. The video is fully accessible with captions that can be viewed either in the YouTube player below (click CC) or on the Pictello website. You can also view the YouTube videos in HD and full-screen mode.

Disclosure: I do work for AssistiveWare and I am the author of this Introduction to Pictello video.