Monday, November 24, 2014
Top App for Therapy: Create custom activities with iESLp!
Bottom Line: This app is perfect for those who like to use the iPad to create materials for therapy. It requires a good amount of input from the user, though — don’t expect to sit down in a session without having prepared in advance for specific goals and objectives. But for those who want to integrate technology into teaching/therapy, iESLp is a creative approach with an incredible number of customization options.
Creative types who love to create therapy and educational materials, this app is for you! Support Smart Apps For Kids and download it right now using our download button (iPad only, $19.99 with in-app purchases):
In-app purchases for additional images (but 14,000 + Symbolstix are free)
No locked sections, because app is designed for adult/educator use, not for children to play independently.
This is one of the more difficult reviews I’ve written in awhile, but only because there is so much in this app it’s hard to sum it up quickly in a review that’s readable! iESLp is a new app developed by Irmgard Raubenheimer, and it allows the user to set up tasks, activity sheets, stories, game boards, and so much more.
iESLp is similar to both Boardmaker (on the computer) and Custom Boards (an iOS app) — the app doesn’t do the work for you, it simply provides the tools and attempts to make the tools as easy to use as possible. Both iESLp and Custom Boards use symbols, though Custom Boards uses Smarty Symbols instead of Symbol Stix. Symbol Stix are also used in other commonly utilized materials, including News-2-You and Unique Learning Systems, and may be more familiar to students. There are also multiple free templates to use, which is a great way to start out using this app.
The user can customize the built-in activity boards or create one entirely from scratch. And it's not just a printable worksheet — the activities can have multiple layers, include recorded sound and so much more.
There are tutorial screens built into the app anytime the help question mark is selected, which was critical for me. I didn’t necessarily find the app immediately easy to use, but that is likely related to the sheer number of options available. Still, it’s helpful to be able to quickly get help by having a visual explanation of how to use the app.
I am amazed at the examples of activities shown on the iTunes page and developer website. One thing I have very little of in my professional life is time, and this app takes planning time I don’t easily have available to me. But I know that learning how to create activities is better for me in the long run, and will help save time.
I didn’t find an option to search the numerous images, something that is absolutely necessary for the developer to add. If I have to hunt around for just the right symbol, I will be unlikely to use this app very often.
And even at $20, the app still contains additional in-app purchases for more images. Another $10 purchases all of the Scrappin’ Doodle sets available, or sets can be purchased individually.
I also couldn’t find an undo button that allowed me to just take back the previous step. It is easy to clear the entire activity set, but sometimes the ability to remove just one item, or to change an item placement with a simple undo button, would be helpful.
Overall, this is a strong app for those who love to create new materials every week. Others may be interested, too, for the amazing amount of customization of activities that is available. It's a little expensive compared to typical kid game apps, but it's an expected cost for a therapy app.
Heather H is ready to hibernate after getting a foot of snow today. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.