Lil’ Brainiac

Lil’ Brainiac

by GetBonkers, Inc.

Come play and show off your brainiac skills with a new friend on the block who happens to look just like Leo from the Little Einstein’s Disney show.  A flash card like educational application that develops ones vocabulary in both English and Spanish and encourages one to use their listening skills in a game like format.  From developers GetBonkers Inc., Lil’ Brainiac is available to download for free for all Apple devices running iOS 4.0 or later.  Amazingly, it is preinstalled with a large library of images and clipart for children ages 1-10, as they explore and learn, children will be able to make personal connections to a number of items and even learn a few new ones.  Have you ever visited a home or classroom setting that has notecards taped all over the place that indicate what each item in the room is?  If you answered yes, then Lil’ Brainiac is the mobile rendition of this effective learning technique.

Upon entering Lil’ Brainiac, users will be greeted with an adorable four eyed friend whom we unfortunately do not see again and a large START button above his head.  Like any user, adult or child, one might think to immediately click the START button.  However, before starting, users will want to visit the “information” button in the lower left hand corner of the screen.  A note to the developers – might it be possible to click on our adorable friend in the middle and have him provide a brief explanation of where to begin and what to do?  Most mobile device users might think the “informational” button will provide generic information about the developers and acknowledgements to those that worked on the project.  However, your informational button provides a great deal more and should not be overlooked as it will truly make each child’s experience different.

To meet the learning needs of the individual using Lil’ Brainiac, an educator or parent will want to access the many option features available.  It is here that the type of gaming experience that you want your child to have is established (easy, medium, hard or very hard).  If at any time a games level is too easy or too challenging, simply reset this option.  Regardless of which mode is chosen, the object the of game stays the same, listen for what the “announcer” is looking for and click on the square shaped card to match.  If at anytime you are unsure of what the announcer says, simply click the megaphone in the upper right hand corner and the item name will be repeated. Game boards appear as an array.  The easy mode is a 2 X 3, medium is a 3 X 4, hard is a 5 X 7 and the very hard is a 6 X 8 array. Once the game level has been set, select the close button and then hit START and exploration can begin.

To make the user wanting more, additional image packages can be downloaded for free or for an additional fee.  Additional packages can be added to your device by simply visiting the options feature.  Here parents will be pleased to see that packages are broken down by age level categories so as to meet the needs of their students or children.  In addition, clipart packages are available in both English and Spanish, a great option for those sponge like minds that our children have.  Another nice feature is the ability to add your own photos which can coordinate with a familiar voice recording.  Those images that are stored on your device are very easily accessible and are then added to the Lil’ Brainiac library.

As children build their file folder of new and old vocabulary words, they will be required to listen and tap cards, correct answers are indicated with a green checkmark, while incorrect answers are indicated with a red checkmark.  At no time are children timed or penalized for incorrect answers.  Simply try again and the game continues.  Once all items have been found, a firework show of stars and trumpets will flash and game play continues to the next board of items.  Play does not end until the house icon in the upper left hand corner is pressed.

Overall, Lil’ Brainiac is a very simple concept that provides users an interesting way to learn new words as it is academically appropriate for a large age range.  Come play with numbers, letters, US States and Capitals, food, animals, various forms of transportation, learn the meaning behind facial expressions or see the amazing sights of the world.  Whether you are using this application individually or with an adult, it can spark new conversations of unknown things.  If you would like to learn more about GetBonkers, Inc., be sure to visit their website.  Or simply click here to expand your child’s growing mind with Lil’ Brainiac for free today!

iVocAudio – Your Memory Chum!

    By Jean-Eudes Lepelletier

Do you want to learn a new language?  Interested in creating a study guide to prepare for a test?  If you answered yes to either of these two questions, then you will want to download iVocAudio for your iPhone or iPad device. As of today, iVocAudio is a free download, so be sure to take advantage of this amazing offer before it’s too late.  It is an application that is customizable for your own learning needs.  With built in Quick Start Guides, video tutorials and various viewing options, voice recording flash cards could not be more simple to create. Developers chose to design this application so that it would function in three languages: English, French and Turkish. Integration of iVocAudio is the 21st Century way of reviewing and reinforcing skills.  The need to hand write your study notes for educational or personal reasons is now taken out of the equation and your voice becomes the main tool.  Whether you are a teacher, student or parent, this application is applicable to you.

Through our exploration, Applicable2U can envision iVocAudio fitting nicely within an educational setting as early as late primary to college and beyond.  Learning, reviewing or reinforcement occurs with the creation of folders and recordings of pairs.  Amazingly, students both young and old can feel independent as they build and experience this mobile learning application.  As you begin, a user will want to click the folder tab, simply tap the “+” button and you now have the option to generate a new folder name.  Folders are the placeholders that store questions/answers or as iVocAudio likes to call them, pairs.  As we tested this educational application, Applicable2U chose to build a folder called United States. Throughout the course of the year, fourth graders are required to know the regions of the United States, state names and their capitals being one component of their social studies curriculum. With this in mind, we chose our first set of pairs to be named: Question – State and Answer – Capital.  This is a folder that could be continuously added too and revisited throughout the school year.

After creating a folder, recording can now begin.  Pairs are added to individual folders in a very visual and intuitive manner.  Within the recording tab, users will see a number of visuals.  For example, a large “Q” and an “A” are center stage.  At the bottom of this window, there appears to be a watch like icon that stores the number of pairs, the REC button and a pair name.  When ready, simply click the REC button, the “Q” will be bold as the “A” is transparent.  A bolded “Q” or “A” indicates what the user should record.  Once recorded, simply click the STOP button.  At the completion of recording, users can then begin to “test” themselves.  If interested, users can even change how they attempt their test(s).  Within the general settings tab, many options can be altered.  For example, users can set answers to be announced after 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 seconds or not automated at all.  Also sorting can be manipulated as well has the direction of ones test from Q>A or A>Q.  Once these options have been manipulated, users can then click the test button at the bottom of the screen.  Testing begins as a user drags and drops the four way directional button to the flashing “Q” or “A”.  A user is expected to answer the question on their own and then check their answer.  After a comparison is done on your answer users are then expected to drag the directional button to either the green circle indicating a correct answer or the red circle at the bottom indicating an incorrect answer.

Concerned about mistakes that students might make while recording, not to worry, iVocAudio has an answer for that. Click the Pair button and users can listen and delete pairs as necessary.  When viewing all pairs within a folder, we noticed that users can test themselves at most 5 times.  Visually pairs explain whether they have been explored with a question mark or a colored in bubble.  If at the end of five testing experiences a user finds that they need more review, they would simply go into the folder tab and hit the reset button.  Whether the folder provided a positive or negative experience, the learning can continue until mastery is maintained.  In addition, by clicking a pair, users and even parents/teachers can see the number of successes, failures and the maximum number of successes in a row. Academically, reporting in some fashion and being held accountable for ones learning is critical in any good educational application.

There are a number of components that iVocAudio has to offer that intrigue Applicable2U.  The possibilities that this educational app has to offer is overwhelming.  Besides being able to build, record and test yourself on the go, users can even test their own peers.  After creating a folder and its coordinating pairs, that folder can be exported and shared with other users via the iVocAudio website, iTunes library or email.  Currently, there are a number of other iVocAudio users who have posted their folder(s) for others to use.  As more people become familiar with this mode of learning and reviewing this forum of sharing will continuously grow. It is a great way for teachers to support each other across the curriculum.  Whether you are learning a new language, reinforcing a part of the social studies or science curriculum, or even spelling out and reading grade level sight words, iVocAudio would definitely come in handy in school and at home.  If you would like to learn more about iVocAudio, please visit their website here.   Looking to do a little review on the go, then you will want to begin downloading iVocAudio to your iTunes library here.

iLearn With Little Pim

  iLearn With Little Pim
     by Tribal Nova

  It always amazes me how young children are able to soak up another language so quickly.  No matter where you in the world, more and more homes are integrating multiple languages being spoken at home.  Whether you are a one or multiple language family, Tribal Nova recently launched iLearn With Little Pim.  With the support of Pim, a fluffy and adorable panda, your little one will be on their way to learning the basics of spanish.  If you are familiar with Tribal Nova educational apps, then you are aware that Little Pim is designed for children ranging in ages from 3-6 years of age.   An educational app compatible with an iPad device, users will play along in three areas: wake up smiling, eating and drinking and playtime.  Each area has been broken down further into 3 sections:  Level 1Nouns, Level 2Verbs and Level 3Phrases.  In building their educational apps, Tribal Nova’s main objective is to give each user a chance to learn at their level of learning. With that in mind, along the way users will be provided a great deal of repetition, as well as verbal and pictorial reinforcements. Learning a language couldn’t be more fun.  You will be amazed at what your little one will soak up in a short period of time.  

Upon entering the application, users will see Pim standing in the lower right hand corner wearing a yellow satchel.  This satchel is for collecting those things the user finds or learns.  Pim is a growing panda who loves bamboo.  With each correct answer more bamboo is added to Pim’s satchel. Regardless of which area of learning your child would like to explore, they may not skip levels.  Learning is progressional with simple nouns learned first which is then added with an action and then put into a sentence.  As a way to reward your child, your soon to be spanish speaking child will know how they are doing based on a visual bamboo like graphing chart.  It is important to note that within each level users will be expanding their spanish dictionary by 6 or 7 words/phrases. Even after each word/phrase is introduced, repetition and further exploration can certainly be had.  Level 1 activities are designed to show individual objects.  Once word(s) are introduced, repetition and learning occurs as a matching game. Additional objects are placed on Pim’s table as a way to challenge your little one.  A note to the developers – might it be possible when introducing the word and picture that there could be an option to record the child saying that word.  In addition, might it be possible to click on the image which would say the word in english in case they are unable to recognize and make a connection with the spanish speaking word.  If there were an options button, this english speaking component could be turned on/off based on the users needs.  Level 2 activities incorporate an action word which might be associated with those words learned in level 1.  Here Pim is acting out the action for further reinforcement.  It is the users job to match the spanish speaking action with a coordinating picture.  If further support is needed, Pim will repeat the action needing to be found.  With the sound of magical chimes, users will know that they are correct.  However, if an incorrect answer is chosen, Pim will just repeat the desired action with no negative reinforcement incorporated.  Within level 3, activities are developed even further.  Users will now be re-introduced to words/actions taught in levels 1 and 2 as it is put into a sentence.  Like in the other levels, a matching game is incorporated, however, with a users success an extension activity is now added.  The opportunities for continued learning just keep coming with iLearn With Little Pim.

With very age appropriate activities that are well progressed, graphics that are appealing, an adorable friend to play with and lots of reinforcement, Applicable2U can’t wait for the next foreign language app that Tribal Nova has to offer.  It is an educational app that will appeal to many.  Soon you will be amazed to see what happens the next time you are on the playground or in the kitchen what new words/phrases your little will connect.  If you would like to learn more about Tribal Nova and their other applications, please visit their website here.  To begin downloading iLearn With Little Pim today, please click here to add to your iTunes library.