Archive

Archive for February, 2011

iPod Touch/iPhone Apps with TTS for AAC

A recent search for an app that could be used on an iPod Touch or iPhone as a portable AAC device that has features of text to speech, word prediction, a high quality voice  and ability to store phrases for easy access found a few interesting options available. There are many picture or image based systems out there currently however that was not the need for this individual who had basic typing and spelling skills, good motor abilities to access a small handheld device but also was  also was interested in having an AAC app integrated into a phone.

Although there are probably more out there (or will be tomorrow…) I found these two Apps that I thought could be appropriate choices:

Assistive Chat

The voice qualities of this app I thought were very good using the text to speech output for communication. AssistiveChat has word prediction available (alphabetical not phonetic but did pick up new words entered) and will store recent sentences or communication written as well as “favorite” phrases it does not have the ability to categories phrases. I really liked the speech quality and the ease of use of the interface to pick up and use right away!  Although it does not have a lot of customization available, at $24.99 this app would be well worth it for the right individual with good fine motor and functional spelling skills needing a simple text based AAC system. Exploring a speaker system for additional amplification of a voice might be needed if in a large group or noisy environment.

IMG_0080(600)

Check out the website for videos and application of Assistive Chat!

PredictAble – This is a new app that does more than just text to speech, word prediction and provide phrase banks for the iPhone or iPod Touch. PredictAble also provides tools for scanning and switch access as well as  direct access capabilities for the iPhone or iPod Touch. Greater choices of high quality voices by Loquendo are available as well as other customizable features.

Predictable - tbox app

At a much higher cost of $159.99 this AAC app provides the ability to customize categories of phrases spoken to enhance the rate of vocalizations. Images can also be added to the categories for access by users needing visual supports. Although I did not trial this app, it appears to have great features, promise of a high quality voice for many different types of AAC users including those with access challenges. With as much promise as Proloquo2Go has for the right individual, PredictAble appears to have wonderful features for a variety of other AAC users.

Both website have videos for more information on features of the apps

Carol

LiveBinders

While in search for apps and resources I discovered another web 2.0 social bookmarking tool called LiveBinders. I have been using Delicious  successfully to compile web based resources in the clouds however organizing links by topics and tags is not exactly my forte.

LiveBinders  differs by actually creating online “binders” of topics. You can create sub categories under tabs just like you would in a binder. LiveBinders is similar to OneNote, providing a very visually method of organizing topics and information in binders. Links and other media can then be accumulated in your LiveBinders through this online bookmarking service. Binders can be designated as private or public allowing others access to the resource binders.

LiveBinders has free service as well as a premium for pay service.  Here is a glimpse of what My LiveBinders  free service looks like after  creating binders just a few days ago:

LiveBinder

LiveBinder also provides the options of searching for topics other individuals have created by subject. While creating a LiveBinder of iPad/iPod resources for school, I found an excellent LiveBinder developed by Susan Brooks Young and Chris O’Neal on the same subject. Although I had similiar links in my LiveBinder,  their accumulated resources as a wider scope of  iPad apps, management tips and tricks and tutorial aids. I was able to include their binder in “My Binders” to easily organize these resources for myself as well as others access.

So if you are challenged with organizing your web based resources check out LiveBinders ! Carol

Digital Storytelling Tools and Tutorials

 With the use of iPad apps for student learning and for communication, additional questions arose regarding apps to make stories for students. Although there are a more here are two free digital storytelling apps for the iPad and iPod Touch:

  • Storyrobe
  • Story Kit

These apps are easy to use and the links below will provide you with tutorials for how to use the apps. The tutorials are each 3-6 minutes long so it does not take much to get you going with the use of these apps. Both Apps allow use exiting photo stored in your Photo folder or Camera Roll on your iPad or iPod, so before you start make sure you have uploaded or saved photos to your device. (A post on the steps to upload pictures to your device will be coming.)

 Storyrobe

Storyrobe

This is apps is quick and easy to use to create a story using  existing photos or images you select from your Photos folder and then record a story line. It does not allow writing text on the pictures in the story. Simple and easy to use, you can have a photo story slide show going in no time. Seriously! A 3 minute Storyrobe tutorial is included in the Tutorial link below.

 

 Story Kit

 This iStory KitPad and iPod app provides the tools to create a story book you can digitally narrate as well as type the text into to create a book using photos stored on your Photos folder on your device. You will need to have the pictures available on the device to use in the story. Story Kit also provides a simple drawing tool that can be used to draw a picture while creating the story. Story Kit is also simple to use with a few more authoring tools. Find a 6 minute tutorial on the link below that will get you started being a digital storytelling author! 

Tutorial Link:

https://sites.google.com/site/digitalstorytellingwiththeipad/app-tutorials

More Storytelling Resources:

Karen Janowski, on her outstanding EdTech Solutions Blog, recently reviewed storytelling apps. Visit her blog for a review on above apps as well as for purchase storytelling apps for iPad and iPod Touch devices.  Check them out at http://teachingeverystudent.blogspot.com/ .

Have fun storytelling!

Carol