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Info Exchange Magazine

Apps Alert No. 21 15 December 2013

Free or Lite indicates that the app is free today. Some apps may be for Android devices, as well as for iPads. Editor: Florence Longhorn

Note the new flyers available on the Info Exchange website for Flo’s courses and workshops for January and February 2014! Access them from the link on the Info Exchange website home page.

Please send an email to if there are any particular areas of apps of interest to you. I am happy to research and produce such a list, not only for you, but for other readers to use as well.

First and Then (priced at under 2 UK pounds, so very reasonable) This scheduler app was devised by an occupational therapist, Alisha Forrest, and is very useful for visual learners. It is a very simple app that uses a board with photos to show that one activity must happen before the next can occur. The idea is to encourage a child to complete an activity that they do not particularly enjoy. The board motivates the child to engage in a less preferred activity, knowing that a preferred activity (or a reward) will follow. For example, the ‘first’ activity may be something such as eating vegetables, using the toilet or going out to play. The ‘then’ activity may be going on the swing, computer time or receiving a sweetie. The board is set up from one page, with clear prompts to help along the way. Photos are inserted quickly and simply from the iPads photo library, so they can be created almost at once if necessary. Photos are saved within the app so can be reused as necessary. The app includes a coloured visual timer that can be used to show how long a user needs to spend on an activity. As well as a digital display, the time is also represented by a coloured pie chart. When the pie is green, you need to keep going. When the pie turns amber, get ready to finish. The pie turns red when it is time to stop the activity.

 The app also includes a ‘Finished box.' The child can drag the photo into this box when the activity is completed. A nice completion.

Category Communication, visual sequence, The above app is not to be confused with the following app.

First Then Visual Schedule This app is also a visual schedule, but a lot more complex and offers a lot more, which is reflected in the price (about 7 UK pounds) Have a look at the following review to see what level you need for a particular learner, and compare what is on offer.

Category Communication, visual sequence plus more. Discover Drag and Drop Free (also has full version, but it looks the same to me, only no adverts) This is a Scottish app devised by Carol Beck from Dunfermline. Visually rather good, as the background remains black and the 'drop and drag' spots are very clear. There is a distinct red and white target to which you drag a coloured spot. There is a sample 'finger' dragging a spot to the target to show you what to do. The number of spots increase and are placed in various places on the screen as each level is achieved. There is a fun reward such as a plane swooping from the sky or a pile of balls bounce up and down. You can drag more than one spot onto the target. I have just dragged 4 over to the target!

Category Fine motor, simple game, counting. Tablet skills Drag and drop skills, use of fingers, coordinating fingers to work together, left/right.

Bubbles & Birds Lite This is also from Carol Beck, and is a simple cause and effect game plus a chance to tap and pop. The bubbles appear randomly on the screen, tap one as it flies upwards and a little bird appear, chirps and flies away. The screen colour changes the more you burst bubbles and let the birds escape. There is a scoring system if needed.

 Category Simple game, hide and reveal, cause and effect, fine motor. Tablet skills Playing a simple game, tap and pop, use of fingers.

Roby Robot Free Roby is a talking, hip-hop dancing robot. He has a space age voice and when you type in words, he repeats them, magic! Try to poke or pet Roby to see his reactions. Press buttons and see Roby dance. Type a word or a sentence and Roby will speak it. Talk to Roby and he will repeat your words with his robo voice. Poke Roby in the head, body or arms and watch his reaction. Pet him and he will like it. Shake your device and see how Roby keeps his balance. Press button to see Roby dance.

Crazy Shave Free The following app is for the guys, those students who are about to enter the rite of passage, which involves shaving! Make sure you have real shaving stuff available plus a mirror to try out shaving! Have a look at the following youTube clip here:

Category Self help skills, being a male! Hygiene. Tablet skills Interactive game, fun!

Apps Alert No. 21  

Flo Longhorn's Apps Alert No. 21 from 15 December published in Info Exchange Magazine.