Michelle Russell

Reading Comprehension App

Posted by Michelle Russell on March 17, 2010 at 8:09pmSend Message View Discussions

I am looking for an iPod app for 2nd-5th grade that is like Raz Kids. Reads a story with words on screen, and then asks questions (Comprehension)
Any ideas?
(We do have a subscription to Reading A-Z and they do have apps, but the story are not read.)
We are looking to us iPod Touches as part of a Reading Intervention with some students who have difficulties with reading comprehension

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I’ve written about jailbreaking my iPod Touch using the Pwnage Tool, but since that post, I have found the blackra1n tool to be a much easier jailbreak solution. The catch with blackra1n is that it only unlocks iPhones/iPod Touch devices that are running version 3.1.2 firmware. That means if you have a device running 3.1.3, no chance of jailbreaking with blackra1n. I discussed this 3.1.3 conundrum with Wesley Fryer at METC 2010 and he suggested rolling back the device firmware to 3.1.2 would be a good work around.

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Coming soon: Skype on America’s most reliable wireless network.

Skype and Verizon Wireless are set to launch a new service, Skype mobile™ that enables customers to use Skype on a variety of best-selling Verizon Wireless BlackBerry® and Android™ 3G Smartphones.

In addition to free Skype-to-Skype global calling and low rates to international landlines and cell phones, Skype will be ‘always on’, meaning customers can receive Skype calls, instant messages and see friends’ presence anytime. And, Skype usage won’t be charged against customers’ monthly Verizon Wireless data plans or minute allowances.

Check out the press release, and follow Skype on Twitter, Facebook and our blogs.

@kbrueck sent me this link earlier today. I thought it was an interesting development given the Ustream iPhone app that has been available for some time now, but I have been unable to take advantage of, given my Verizon contract & Blackberry Storm device. I’m excited to see that VoIP apps are starting to become available for other smartphone devices. If you are currently a Blackberry user and would like to try the Skype app when it is available, there is a form on the website that you can fill out and submit to receive updates.

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I Education Apps Review - I Education Apps Review

[Cross posted at http://www.iear.org/]

I Education Apps Review (IEAR) is looking for dedicated educational bloggers to contribute monthly reviews of current educational apps available in the iTunes store. Additionally, IEAR is interested in having blog posts regarding classroom uses of iPhones, Touches, or iPads contributed regularly.

If you are a passionate classroom teacher or administrator who would like to share your thoughts, ideas and insights into how iPhone/ iPod Touch / iPad applications can be used in the classroom setting, join our online community (http://ieducationappsreview.ning.com/) and begin to share what you are doing (or want to do) in your classroom with iPhone, Touch, and iPad apps!

If you are interested in signing up to become an IEAR blogger/reviewer, look over the complete details below.

Link to Submit Application to be a Reviewer: http://tinyurl.com/IEAR-AppReviewer


First eBook on iPad video I’ve run across. I’m wondering if these devices will be big in early elementary education. All of the criticism of the iPad for being media consuming devices rather than media creation devices might be warranted, but this type of eBook application certainly seems to hold some promise in the area of early reading instruction.

Posted via web from brueckj23’s posterous


METC 2010

I’ve been attending the Midwest Educational Technology Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, for the past two days. One of the highlights of my trip the METC 2010 has been having the opportunity to meet Scott Meech in person for the first time. I first began to communicate virtually with Scott through the I Education App Review (IEAR) community that he founded. Dedicated to exploring the educational value of iPhone and iPod Touch applications in the classroom, IEAR has a growing online community that has a lot of great conversations going on. I provided more details about the benefits of IEAR in a previous post.

Earlier this morning, Scott gave a spotlight presentation at METC where he talked about the IEAR community and highlighted a number of apps that he feels have strong educational potential for classroom use. From the conference planner:

The potential for mobile learning devices such as Apple’s iPhone and iTouch devices are very high. This presentation will take a closer look at the educational possibilities of these devices for students, teachers and administrators. We will focus on the work being done through the online community “I Educational Apps Review.” This community is focused on helping school personnel to effectively and safely use these devices for their personal and educational productivity. Apple’s “Application Store” has thousands of educational applications and yet, are they really educational? We will walk through some fantastic applications and their potential with schools. Additionally, we will discuss issues surounding these devices such as how to effectively implement these devices with students in classrooms to the highlighting of concrete lessons.

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Grade Level: P-16

Program Functionality: A

Purpose: C

Overall Educational Value: B

The application is most suited to provide a skill and drill approach to memorizing vocabulary, math facts and other learning content. It also provides learners with the opportunity to:

  • learn “bite sized” pieces of relevant information at a time
  • receive immediate feedback on results
  • test knowledge in any subject using custom card set integration with Google Docs

Cost: Free

Recommendation: I recommend this app for personal use and school use at this time. I feel this app would be most appropriate for use at home for parents who want to provide an extra supplement to school curriculum that requires a skill and drill approach, like addition and subtraction facts. It will require teacher or adult modeling of use for most early elementary students to operate successfully.

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2 com

My youngest son, Aiden, is two and a half years old and seems to be devloping a real interest in the iPod Touch. While this is most likely because he watches his mom and dad use mobile devices on a daily basis, his interest really made me consider if and how the iPod Touch and the apps available for it could be used to support early learning.

There are approximately 6000 educational apps available in the iTunes store, so I have been trying to spend some time each day investigating, experimenting and analyzing an educational app. To further explore my research questions, I also decided to follow the example of Piaget and use my own children as a research subjects, so I downloaded a few apps, synced them to my iPod Touch and set Aiden loose.

In the coming months, I plan to continue working with Aiden and various iPhone apps. I’ll be collecting data, video documenting his learning experiences and trying to determine what place, if any, these apps have in the early childhood classroom. In some cases, I’ll review the apps and contribute them to I Education App Review. To kick this little project off, I thought I’d share a few of the early videos I’ve collected.

Shape Builder Lite

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I reviewed the Wheels on the Bus and Word Magic iPhone apps for the I Education Apps Review community back in April. Each review consisted of a written component and a supplemental video review to show the app in action. One thing that I was never quite satisfied with was the technique I had to use to capture video of the iPhone app in use. To complete the first two app reviews, I resorted to mounting my video camera to a modified tripod that allowed me to capture video from directly above my iPod Touch. This method was less than ideal as it was very difficult to attain the proper lighting so that the screen was always clearly visible.

This weekend, I sat down to write, record and edit a long overdue IEAR review, but I just couldn’t seem to produce video of the iPod screen that was high-quality enough to use. After nearly an hour of frustration, I decided there had to be a better way to create video of an iPhone app in use. That’s when I turned to Google and YouTube. I started with a Google search of the terms “iPhone screen capture.” Jackpot. The search results provided a plethora of website and video tutorials.

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Let’s take a closer look at the educational application Word Magic from anusen.com, which is available for both the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The application is currently on sale for 99 cents.


Word decoding is an important phonics skill for students to master. Effective teachers combine  the use of context or picture clues when they provide instruction in this area. Word Magic applies this pedagogical approach to a skill based iPhone app that provides students of various skill levels to use multiple clues and problem solving strategies to figure out unknown words. This instructional component provides plenty of potential for classroom use.

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This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.

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