Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: Kangaroo Island Photo Classifying

Purpose of App:  Help children learn to group items by category.  In addition, it's a tool for therapists to track students' progress toward this skill.

Strengths:  Offers classification work on 336 items (using pictures of actual objects) in 15 categories. Wonderful data collection capability.

Weakness:  You can only collect data on one student at a time.

Suggested Audience:  Children ages 3 and up learning to classify and categorize. Designed for speech therapists, but could also be used by parents.

Star Rating Breakdown
Meets Intended Goal: 5
Entertainment: 5
Worth the Price: 4
Ease of Use: 5
Educational Value: 5
Level of Customization: 4

If you would like to download Kangaroo Island Photo Classifying ($9.99, iPad), please show your support of Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link:


This app contains no ads or in-app purchases. There are external links to email, Facebook and Twitter as well as a link to the app store for bug reports, reviews and suggestions.


Most speech therapists have materials from Super Duper Publications. I know I have more than 20 of those little metal boxes filled with flash cards for all sorts of language targets. I'll admit, I wasn't impressed with the first few apps I downloaded from Super Duper because I felt they were basically flash cards in app form. Fortunately, Kangaroo Island has changed my opinion. This is a solid and useful app for any therapist working on classifying.

Kangaroo Island features 336 items in 15 different categories. There are six different activities, which offer categorization work within a variety of fun tasks. Help a Kangaroo find her friends, feed a parrot, and play Skee-ball with a lizard; all while learning to classify everyday items into categories such as animals, clothing, tools, furniture, uppercase letters and more!

From the main screen you can choose "Categories" to see a list of all the categories and the items within each group. By tapping on a picture, a verbal label is given for each item within the
category. This is a great way to work on labeling and to "teach" or review the items in each group before moving onto the games.

The "Player" option allows a therapist/teacher to add students and view the data collected. The app tracks a student's scores by date/time and each specific game. You can view results from each of the six activities separately and an average of overall scores. The data collection provides percentages as well as a line graph. Results can be emailed or printed out from the player page. While there is no limit to the number of students you can enter, you can only collect data on one student at a time which is a drawback.

A settings button at the top of the Player page allows you to customize the settings for each student. You can select which categories to work on and how many groups will be targeted. This is a great feature for preschool age kids because you could target as few as 2 categories at a time. I love that you can select "picture" for younger students and "text" for older kids. You can also choose if you want the category and items named verbally said or not.

At the bottom of the app are three blue buttons. The first is a share button to tell others about the app through email and social media. A Thumbs Up button allows you to report a bug, write an itunes review or make a suggestion to the app developer. An info button lists all the features of the app with how-to's for adding a player, changing players, changing settings, reviewing items in category, viewing results and more.

The app offers a great variety of games and each game targets the skill of categorization in a slightly different way. My students love this app and are excited that I often let them choose which activity to play. It gets a little tricky when I have a group because currently there isn't a way to collect data on multiple students within the same activity. To solve this problem I created a player for myself. During teaching therapy, I have my students take turns under my name. Then when I'm ready to assess the progress they've made, I have them play under their own name.

The graphics and feedback on this app are adorable. It has fun music, but also allows the background music to be turned off (bless you app developer). The Australian animals are fun and allow for more vocabulary expansion and discussion. It is a little pricey, but offers quite a bit of variety and as a therapist working with multiple students that have classification goals I found it to be worth the investment.

From iTunes:

Welcome to Kangaroo Island Photo Classifying where children learn to name and classify 336 items in 15 different categories: 
 • Animals 
 • Bathroom 
• Clothing 
• Colors 
• Foods 
• Furniture 
• Instruments 
• Kitchen
 • Lowercase Letters 
• Uppercase Letters 
• Numbers 1-20
 • Shapes 
 • Tools
 • Toys 
 • Transportation

Children get to tour Kangaroo Island in Australia and play six interactive activities while improving their vocabulary and classifying skills; basic concept knowledge; and listening and reading comprehension. 

 Six Interactive Activities: 
Class-A-Roo – Help Sally the Kangaroo find her friends by choosing the correct item that goes with the category and putting it in her pouch. 

 Picking Parrot – Sort all the items into the correct categories and then feed Paul the Parrot. 

 Skink Ball – Roll the ball down the lane that matches the correct category. Earn a ticket and choose a prize after each game. 

 Turtle River – Put each turtle on the island with the correct category. 

 Koala Canvas – Help Cole the Koala identify the correct items in a category while painting a picture. 

 Seal Search – Find Cindy the Seal by choosing the item that does not belong from a group of four. Reveal a part of the hidden picture with each correct answer. 

 Features of Kangaroo Island Photo Classifying: 
 • Teach children to classify photos in 15 different categories. 
• Choose to teach one to five categories at a time. 
• Teach children classifying using text or photos. 
• Turn audio on or off. 
• Track and graph data for an unlimited number of children. 
• Document the items a child identifies incorrectly. 
• Email, print, and share results.

Sarah is a practicing Speech Language Pathologist.  She has family in Australia and hopes to hang out with a real kangaroo someday.

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