Thursday, December 19, 2013

Staff Review: iTouchiLearn Words for Preschool Kids Free - a vocabulary app

Purpose of App: Teaches vocabulary through pictures and animations.  Provides games to further practice the vocabulary

Strengths:  Introduces good vocabulary, provides a good amount of content for free, contains animations for vocabulary, "quizzes" kids on vocabulary

Weaknesses:  No purpose to earned stars, lacks in teaching sounds and lowercase letters, automatic movement through vocab does not allow a child to redo words immediately

Suggested Audience: Preschool and kids with special needs working on basic vocabulary

Number of Reviewers: 5



If you'd like to download iTouchiLearn Words for Preschool Kids Free (FREE, iPad/iPhone) please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using this link:








iTouchiLearn Words for Preschool Kids Free

iTunes App description:
Engaging and interactive animations and activities that teach kids about the context of words while making them laugh. Each word game reinforces learning with virtual rewards. Interactive word animations associate words and corresponding action. This provides preschool and special needs kids with a greater understanding of words and their corresponding meaning.
                          Total reviews: 5
                          Developer: Staytoooned


Heather S.
Rating

Strengths

iTouchiLearn Words provides a user with a variety of words accompanied by both actions and videos.  Multiple words are associated with the same picture or video. There are games that allow the user to spell words and to match words with pictures. I like that the app spells the word aloud once it is completed in the spelling game. This app says the picture or word that a child touches, even when it is incorrect. This helps to allow the child to know why what they touched is incorrect. This app is a free app and provides a variety of activities for free.
Suggestions

This app makes a sound when a child chooses an incorrect response. Some children may find this sound to be fun and will choose the incorrect on purpose. I would like for it to just state the word or picture that is touched and not make a sound. On the spelling game, I would like for the app to say the sounds of the letters as they are touched and moved, instead of the letter names. The letter names can be said when spelling the whole word once completed. The app is not highly engaging, and needs better games and more songs to make a child want to continue to use it.
General opinion

This is an app that can help a child build vocabulary words by touching words to see a picture with actions or by watching short videos. The app will engage a user with the singing of “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. iTouchiLearn could benefit from the removal of sounds for incorrect responses and adding some customizable features, but for a free app, it is worth a try.
Odd Socks Mummy
Rating
Strengths
iTouchiLearn Words features increasing difficulty of learning – it says the words and actions with pictures, and then allows the child to pick the picture that matches the word, and then move on to spelling the words. There is a great amount of content for a free app.
Suggestions
It was very slow between the words in the game section, and it would be great if this wait time could be reduced. I would prefer to have the option of using lower case letters for the spelling section. My child got stuck in the words and action section – the back arrow needs to be a bit bigger. I would love to see the option to change the accent. Stars are given as rewards throughout the game but there is no area to see how many stars have been gained, seeing this would help increase motivation.
General opinion
iTouchiLearn Words has a decent amount of content for a free app. Chatterbox liked playing it but hasn’t asked to play it again since. There is a bit of waiting between games and this made it hard for Chatterbox (who has ADHD) to maintain motivation in playing. I would have given it a higher rating if the suggestions above were already part of the app. At the moment, I don’t think my two will play with iTouchiLearn Words of their own accord.
Rachel H.
Rating
Strengths
Not only does iTouchLearn Words introduce useful vocabulary words for children, it also includes words commonly associated with them. For instance, the section for ball also includes bounce, catch, and throw. When it first introduces the words, it says the word, has it spelled out, and shows a picture. The games section gives children two options, choose which picture goes with the word or choose which word goes with a given picture. These different options allow the app to benefit both kids who learn visually or audibly.
Suggestions
Although I like the fact that iTouchLearn Words awards stars for correct answers, I would like if the app did something with the stars once they are earned. Possibly allow stars to accumulate to unlock more advanced levels. Also, as a parent, I would love if there was a report on how many stars they earned or what areas they are having problems with. I also feel in the Words, Actions section, kid should be allowed to pick any of the words on the list and not be forced to go in order. If the kid wants to see the balloon pop over and over, they should be allowed to keep clicking on "Pop" without having to cycle through all the other words first. In the song section, I would like more than one song if possible. It would also be nice to find a way to get the child involved with the song. While the song is playing, have the child tap the named body part and show little starbursts if they get it correct. Maybe when the song is done, the app could ask the child to match the body parts with the labels "head, shoulders, knees and toes."
General opinion
This is a fun little app which finds a good balance between written and spoken words, engaging pictures, and introducing vocabulary. It goes further than a simple flashcard type app by including animation as well as multiple words commonly associated with the main word. An educational and easy to use app.
Sarah
Rating
Strengths
This app offers several different options for activities which you don't always see with a free app. The "movie" feature for each vocabulary word is awesome. My students loved watching the baby over and over. I liked the animation and that the word is said and printed as it goes through the vocabulary associated with the word/picture. I love that the app allows you to "quiz" a student over the vocabulary that has been presented by picture or printed word. Being able to turn off the background music is a huge plus for me.
Suggestions
I found the notepaper background to be distracting and it didn't seem to fit with the overall theme of the app. I'd eliminate that if possible. On the quiz, there seemed to be too long of a gap between selecting the answer and the feedback. Several times, my students tried to change their answers because they didn't get immediate feedback. The app gives a "star" reinforcer for every correct answer. I'd like to option to spread out the reinforcers to every other or every third correct response. 4 out of the 5 vocabulary words start with a /b/. It'd be nice to have a little more variety in the target vocabulary.
General opinion
General Opinion - Overall, this is a very nice free app. There are several different activity options and the movie option allows for expansion and association work on the 5 vocabulary words provided. Any app that offers an assessment feature is a perk in my book. After playing this free version for a week, I liked it enough to spring for the full version.
Ron
Rating
Strengths
With five mini-games and a song, iTouchiLearn provides a solid amount of content for free -- enough to make it worth downloading for a younger child. I appreciate that the app doesn’t push the upgrade to full version very hard. The app tells the child the name of the wrong answer if they press it, rather than just giving them a wrong indication. The words utilized are often associated with each other.
Suggestions
There isn’t really anything new here that isn’t common in the app store. The app is very monotonous with the sounds and congratulatory phrases become annoying really quickly. The child gains stars but there is no reward system. There are short displays after certain things have been completed but not enough to make this the kind of app that kids will go back to on their own.
General opinion
Provides enough content for free to be worth downloading for younger kids who are just learning to read words. Could only recommend the full version if the child really likes the free one. There are a lot more advanced options out there. 

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