You’re the Storyteller: The Surprise (Home edition) by Hamaguchi Apps – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

Review by Brenda

What we love…

Ease of use, solidly built app, fun storyline that prompts discussion and creativity.

What we’d love to see…

More! Having the opportunity to explore more stories in this manner could replace game night!

Summary

Hamaguchi presents a well-made, fun app that leaves us wanting more.

Our Rating

You’re the Storyteller: The Surprise (Home Edition) HDHamaguchi Apps, founded by speech-language pathologist and author, Patti Hamaguchi, creates apps for speech, language and auditory development.  You’re the StoryTeller: The Surprise, is a brilliantly simple and engaging way to encourage story telling. There is an animated story broken into short sequences with no text or narration. It’s your job to tell the story. Children are encouraged to pay close attention to actions and reasoning so they can share their thoughts. Each sequence has “challenge” words to incorporate in the telling as well as questions to prompt critical thinking. Your child can tell their story by voice narration, text or both. Upon completion, you can enjoy the story your child has created or tell it a new way and record again. Only one story can be saved at a time in the home edition, but up to thirty versions can be saved in the Pro edition.

There was a lot of giggling as my children and I reviewed this app. Not a minute of time felt like work, but every minute was filled with thoughtful consideration for how to incorporate challenge words, create correct sentence structure, and understand why we made certain inferences about character actions. Without giving anything away, there was one scene that my son got so giggly over that we had to go back several times to re-narrate or just plain watch.

iPad Screenshot 2

Here is where I am supposed to tell you what I would like to see worked on. The app as it stands, is really wonderful and rivals a family game night. What I would very much like to see, are more versions available in the App Store. When we were finished with this review I was ready to buy more. I hope Hamaguchi has plans to make that a reality!

Overall I am really impressed with this app. There was a lot of potential for mishap in the development with either poor base storyline, lagging video or poor options, but Hamaguchi did a superb job.  My kids and I enjoyed this app and it would be a pleasure to recommend it to others.

Brenda Shetland is a real-life mother and lover of apps, but her name has been changed to protect the innocent, or at least her email inbox. She is looking forward to reviewing bad apps so she can tell it like it is, but was given a great app to start.

You’re the Storyteller: The Surprise Pro HD – Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

The Surprise (Pro) The Surprise (Pro) by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Price: $2.99 USD

From ConsonantlySpeaking.com: "Hamaguchi Apps has revolutionized storytelling in their application, "You're the Storyteller: The Surprise."

You’re the storyteller! In this beautifully animated.

You’re the Storyteller: The Surprise (Home Edition) HD – Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

The Surprise (Home) The Surprise (Home) by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Price: $0.99 USD

From ConsonantlySpeaking.com: "Hamaguchi Apps has revolutionized storytelling in their application, "You're the Storyteller: The Surprise."

In this beautifully animated, wordless story, the child.

Brenda Shetland is the mother of three kids and a lover of educational apps and not-so-educational apps (she can usually find a good use for all of them!) She likes reading, laughing and not cleaning her house. Brenda has high standards, but a good heart and loves seeing apps improve because of good critiques. Although she writes under a pseudonym, everything else about her is real and she is very happy to help the amazing iMums!



Avaz for Autism by Invention Lab – Review



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Review by Brenda

What we love…

this app was to easy to learn and customize. I especially love the keyboard and predictive text with pictures that offer quick selection.

What we’d love to see…

I would like to see more natural sounding voices included.

Summary

Avaz is an easy to use and customize AAC app for people with Autism that can easily be included on top picks for communication.

Our Rating

Avaz for AutismAvaz for Autism, developed by Invention Labs, is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) App brought to the U.S. market from India where it was the first AAC introduced to the country in 2010. The creators of Avaz have worked to create an AAC that is tailored to fit the use of people with Autism and their caregivers/therapists in an easy to use and customize way. On their website, under research > therapy, they write, “The major factor driving speech therapy sessions in children with autism is motivation. A conversation with a child with autism cannot revolve around a fixed curriculum, or what the therapist decides to talk about. It must, instead, conform to what the child wants to say.”

The App is ready to use “out-of-the-box” and with some simple tinkering a fully customized experience can be had in a very short time. I found changing the voices (7 included -U.S., British, Indian), layout, word prediction, and adding new messages and categories, as well as setting up social media sharing very intuitive and non-frustrating. The app uses the Symbolstix picture library, but custom photos and pictures can be added. Pictures can be adjusted for text and color as well as categorization. Number of pictures presented per page as well as size can also be adjusted. In the keyboard section, you have the choice of a straight alphabet or QWERTY configuration and also the wonderful settings for word prediction which can also be set to offer cards as writing occurs. The voice can be set to narrate each typed key or word and a password can be set to disable settings changes.

Switching between keyboard and pictures could not be simpler as the icon is always available next to the message box. Help is always available at the top of the screen and 4 videos are included as well as access to 21 other videos on the Avaz website. The potential for custom settings is so abundant, that I will not bog the review down by mentioning them all here. Just know that if you want to change or edit something, you probably can. Backing up custom settings is also a breeze via DropBox or iTunes.

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Another nice feature in this app is the ease of social sharing. If you choose to allow this feature, Facebook, Twitter and Email are available and after typing a message, a simple hold and send gets your message sent. I tried these out via Facebook and Email with the results pictured.

The only thing that I would like to see improved are the voices. Even after tinkering with what is available and the speed of each, they all have a “robotic” feel to them, but perform well, so it is easy to look past the unnatural feel in favor of what the rest of this app has to offer.

Avaz is an easy to use and customize AAC app for people with Autism that can easily be included on top picks for communication.

Avaz – AAC App for Autism (Augmentative Picture Communication Software for Children with Special Needs) – Invention Labs

Avaz Pro - AAC app for Autism
Avaz Pro - AAC app for Autism
by Avaz, Inc.

Category: Education, Medical
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: 1070.82 MB

$199.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

 

Brenda Shetland loves things that are easy. Easy is a winner.

Brenda Shetland is the mother of three kids and a lover of educational apps and not-so-educational apps (she can usually find a good use for all of them!) She likes reading, laughing and not cleaning her house. Brenda has high standards, but a good heart and loves seeing apps improve because of good critiques. Although she writes under a pseudonym, everything else about her is real and she is very happy to help the amazing iMums!



Tensebuilder by Mobile Education Store -Sale & Giveaway 2013



iPad Screenshot 1

Reviewed by Brenda

What we love…

I love the well-made animations, ease-of-use (including video tutorial) and customization options as well as the ability to share statistics and audio recordings.

What we’d love to see…

The app is solid and I could find nothing lacking as presented, but an option to purchase other languages or specialty packs could open up the playing field even more.

Summary

TenseBuilder is a strong and well-made app that is easy to use and is adaptable to the learning needs of each user. The huge list of customization options make this an app that can continue to be useful as a users learning progresses and the sharing features can be vital in teacher/parent/therapist correspondence.

Our Rating

TenseBuilder Mobile Education Store has another great new app available that is geared to speech and language for kids that need a better way of learning. Founded in 2008 by Kyle Tomson, who found apps lacking and expensive for his special needs daughter, Mobile Education Store continues to raise the standard for education apps.  TenseBuilder  is the latest endeavor by Kyle and his team and is packed with features to help learn verb tenses. The app has 48 humorous (but clear) video models of each verb illustrating each tense. I rarely list all custom options available in a review, but I think it’s necessary here to fully illustrate how TenseBuilder can be utilized. Users have a plethora of customization options available including;

Student name
Audio instructions (Off/On)
Correct Answer Reinforcement (Off/On)
Record Correct Answer (Off/On)
Level of Play (2 levels)
Maximum Number of Level 2 Choices (3 to 7)
Tense (Future/Present/Past/All)
Verbs (Regular/Irregular/All)
Select Verbs (48)
Lesson Style (Long/Short)
TenseBuilder also includes a thorough video tutorial, an option to save sentences and statistics report that can be emailed. Audio recordings of users can also be saved and shared.
TenseBuilder is very user-friendly. As a parent and not a specialist or educator, any app that holds my hand through the process and is easy to learn is a big winner in my book. I love that the videos are engaging and do not have a “special needs” feel to them. I tried them with each of my children and received equally positive feedback. I was especially enamored with the audio recording option because having quick feedback seems to make a huge difference with getting my kids to participate.
I enjoyed reviewing this app so much that instead of finding flaws, I found myself thinking of potential expansion options Mobile Education Store might want to consider. Possible ideas are specialized verb packs for different situations like sports, science and computing or learning second languages like French and Spanish.
I think TenseBuilder is a strong and well-made app that is easy to use and is adaptable to the learning needs of each user. The huge list of customization options make this an app that can continue to be useful as a users learning progresses and the sharing features can be vital in teacher/parent/therapist correspondence.

50% DISCOUNT FOR OUR LET’S TALK EVENT !

TenseBuilder
TenseBuilder
by Mobile Education Store LLC

Category: Education, Games
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: 443.39 MB

$9.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH3wa2-l8tA’]

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!

This app is on sale for 50% off during our special event, so if you aren’t lucky enough to win please buy it using the link above.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brenda Shetland is the mother of three kids and a lover of educational apps and not-so-educational apps (she can usually find a good use for all of them!) She likes reading, laughing and not cleaning her house. Brenda has high standards, but a good heart and loves seeing apps improve because of good critiques. Although she writes under a pseudonym, everything else about her is real and she is very happy to help the amazing iMums!



Map My Globe Full by Kids & Beyond – Review



Reviewed by Brenda

What we love…

the amount of content packed into this app, user profiles, tracking and rewards.

What we’d love to see…

I would like to see more attention given to where narration occurs and how it is completed during use.

Summary

Overall, I think the app has a lot of great content and though I would like to see additional attention given to where narration is used, I think Map My Globe has a lot of potential to help supplement learning at home.

Our Rating

Map My Globe FullMap My Globe Full, by KidsAndBeyond, LLC is packed with content and continents! Children learn about geography and fun facts while exploring three learning areas of the app (Map the Globe, Map the Continents and Flash Cards and Fun Facts) then they can visit Quiz Master to test their knowledge. Users also use rewards earned by playing the app to purchase virtual items and can compare scores to other users (up to 4 profiles available).

The information contained in the learning sections is robust and each has Easy, Moderate and Difficult levels. The Quiz Master has a whopping 5 levels to indicate how much a student is absorbing. Custom profiles that track progress is a great feature to have on any educational app as well as comparing scores between players. The Fun Facts make the geography come to life by adding a more personal feel to the lessons. My son enjoyed putting the geography puzzles together, while I preferred the trivia. I also appreciated that there were no in-app purchases or external links. Game-play is straight forward and easy to get started.

The app could do with a bit of tweaking where narration is present and placement of small map areas. For instance, there is a full page of narrated explanation at the beginning of the app and each section title is narrated, but there is little present in flashcards or quizzes. More consistency would make it easier to determine an appropriate age group for this app as young readers may have difficulty following along without help. When placing pieces on the map, I noticed that my son and I both quickly placed them before the narration was complete, but the narration stops as the item is placed. Having the narration complete during placement would be a big help with absorbing the place names and location.

iPad Screenshot 4

Overall, I think the app has a lot of great content and though I would like to see additional attention given to where narration is used, I think Map My Globe has a lot of potential to help supplement learning at home.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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Brenda Shetland is the mother of three kids and a lover of educational apps and not-so-educational apps (she can usually find a good use for all of them!) She likes reading, laughing and not cleaning her house. Brenda has high standards, but a good heart and loves seeing apps improve because of good critiques. Although she writes under a pseudonym, everything else about her is real and she is very happy to help the amazing iMums!

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