Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

Managing Your iDevice for the Young Learner – 101

Children love using the iPod or iPad and with a single touch can explore games and stories and lots of things, sometimes much more than you want them to! The iDevices ease of use can be a two edged sword with children/students easily getting to places you don’t want them to go.

I have heard repeatedly from fellow OT’s ” I wish I could hide the home button”. As a OT who frequently thinks about adapting things a number of things go through my mind, none which has come to fruition yet and chances are may not end up being esthetically pleasing. Good news, now there is something inexpensive and esthetically pleasing out there to help with hiding the home button and keeping the kids from escaping the app or activity you intend for them to complete.

BubCaps are home button covers for the iDevices that deter young fingers from pressing the home button. Available with different amounts of rigidity, BubCaps come in Regular, Ultra and Max depending on the age or strength of the user. Inexpensive, they come in 4-packs of a mixture or 4 of one kind for $5. BubCaps are available at their website (see link above) or through

The making of BubCaps seems to come from experience (necessity is the mother of invention, right?). The company’s blog features a great overview of how to prepare your iDevice for toddlers. Check our their recommendations on protecting your iDevice on PaperClip Robot’s blog. It is worth it if you are new to using an iDevice and work with users with busy hands!

Another review of the BubCaps is on the great resources of I Education App Review .

Anyone else have any methods of protecting the home button or management tips for young users?

Happy Apping



First Grade Math Apps for iPod/iPad

While considering possible accommodations for a first grader who struggles with writing math problems, I started exploring high and medium tech possibilities that would support the student in the classroom. Generating of problems using Intellitools Classroom Suite  (ICS) is a possibility using an on screen keyboard, customized tool bar is available however would require some creation time and require her to understand another computer program when working away from her desk at the student computers. Although this is a very feasible answer given the available software and support to a tech savy teacher however it also requires “different” at the computer and time to generate the templates using ICS.

Having been afflicted with case of iThing-itis, of course, I started researching apps that might be available on an iPod that would allow the student to remain at her desk to perform the same type of task using the touch input of a handheld device (…and can you hear the refrain of other first graders saying “why does she get to use that?”). Many students write answers with ease, however for some handwriting is a barrier in expressing what they know and masks what their real abilities are.  My search resulted in finding the following math apps, most customizable for the students needs and appropriate for learning math facts for first grade students:

Math Magic –  $.99 – Provides customizable simple math fact addition and subtraction. Objects to support use of visuals to assist students who are at the being stage of math computation. It has an easy to use interface and is appealing to young students.  For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Kids Math Fun 1st Grade – $1.99 – This app provides addition and subtraction practice in a traditional format with timed practice, type of feedback to problems completed and scores. It provided a kid friendly user interface for easy access however there were no customization features for selecting addend maximums/minimums or sum for problems. The Kids Math Fun Kindergarten app provides practice for students beginning to learn their math facts. No  visual manipulatives are provided with the app. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

 Math Smart – $.99 – 1st grade math app containing addition, subtraction practice and number sequencing tasks. Easy interface for early elementary school children. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Kid Calc–  $.99 – 7 in 1 app for kindergarten to first grade students including counting, number tracking, math puzzle, calculator and flash card challenged. The flash card challenge shown below allows customization of numbers used in flash card presentation. For iPod and iPad.

Math Tappers – Free – Early elementary school app that uses visuals to learn math addens of a sum.  For iPod.                                         

Math Drills –  $1.99 – Another math fact drill app. Provides numerous features to customize the fact drill set for a student including number of problems top and bottom numbers of the addends, arrangement of the problems and more. Gathers scores on user drills and tests. Provides reviews assistance including block manipulatives, a number line or facts chart. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.


Math Fact Drills – $1.99 – This math app creates the ability to set “game parameter” such as number of questions, top and bottom number limit, length of timed test for provides a lot of customization for a user. It does not appear to collect data over time but provides final results of a “game”. Provides addition, subtraction, multiplication and division practice. For iPod/iPhone and iPad.   

If you were a 1st grader which one would allow you to learn in your best learning mode?

What are your favorite first grade math apps? 


vBookz 2.1 Manages ePub Format for iPad, iPod and iPhone

It is here! vBookz has updated their ebook app providing the tools to be able to upload your own ePub files to its interface!

vBookz picture


 vBookz is a beautiful, free ebook reader with speech capabilities that has been out for the iPad for a while. It’s interface is easy to navigate, beautiful, providing public domain ebooks with text to speech capabilities.  The arrival of the new version 2.1 now allows uploading of other files converted to ePub format, which is a boon for loading curriculum content to students onto devices such as iPad or iPods for access using text to speech capabilties.


vBooks text to speech provides a good quality female or a male voice and the ability to adjust the rate of speech.  There are basic choices of  white on black or black on white background contrast and text size. Book marking capabilities are intuitively available. The vBookz website provides an easy tutorial on how to created an ePub file and transfer it to your vBookz app on your iDevice.

Having waited and searched the Internet for an ebook reader with text to speech, I am excited to learn about the upgrade of vBookz  to version 2.1  and the ability to manage ePub files! The wait is over!!

 AT Quester

Using Video Modeling on the iPod

Uploading video to the iPod Touch is an easy process once you’ve converted your video files to the correct format. It can be a bit overwhelming when you are not familiar with the devices or using iTunes.

Here are some easy directions for uploading the video to your iDevice. Make sure you have edited your video and converted it to a compatible format (MP4 or MP4 format first!

Adding Video to your iPod Touch

How to upload videos to your iPod

1. First you have to ensure the video is in one of the formats supported, MPEG or MP4. The videos you can purchase via iTunes are all in these formats. If you have another format like AVI or WMV you wish to use, it has to be converted to MPEG or MP4 first ( other compatible formats are MOV or MV4). Videora as well as other free converters are available on the Internet to convert different formats to MP4 or MPEG format.

2. iTunes needs to be used to transfer the video file. On the left side panel under Library, find the Movies and TV Shows options. Connect your iPod Touch to the computer, then drag and drop the ones you want to the iPod Touch under Devices on the left side panel.

Videos that are not listed in iTunes can be dragged from any folder on your computer and dropped to the Movies section in iTunes. From there, you can drag and drop the videos to your iPod Touch.

3. With the iPod connected to your computer and the video in the Movies section, click Sync. Wait to remove your iPod until the Sync is complete.

4. After completion of the Sync, the video will be available in the Videos tool on your iPod.

5. Play and enjoy!

iPad and iPod Touch


There are so many app currently available for the iPod Touch and iPad it can be overwhelming. Managing those resources is always a challenge- but not when you have a blog!

Listed below are a few links to great resources for apps for the iPad and iPod Touch or iPhone:

Carolann Cormeir at ConnSense Bulletin has one of the most extensive lists I’ve seen:

Eric Sailor has information on apps and accessories and more information about the iPod and iPad:

Other links containing reviews of iPod and iPad apps are at:

  • Questions on protective cases for the iPod and iPad are frequent. The Otterbox Defender made specifically the iPod and one for the iPad appear to be favorites but not the only cases used. Check out more  information on the Otterbox  website.

    Otterbox Defender