Kandoobi: Animal Edition

Kandoobi: Animal Edition

by Kandoobi

Has your child “kandoobi” lately?  Are you wondering what that even means?  If so, then it’s time to meet the next educational app developers from Kandoobi.  They are a development group designing apps so “kids can do” on their own or with the support of a parent.  They recently released Kandoobi: Animals Edition for all Apple devices running iOS 4.3 or later.  It is a creative application designed for toddlers and preschoolers.  This target audience love to manipulate and explore.  Well, now it is time to accomplish those two things as they encounter 100+ adorable animals all dolled up.  For $2.99 and one simple download, users will get their hands on four interactive games.   Whether you are playing at home, school or on the go, your child will soon be saying they “kando.” Kandoobi: Animal Edition encourages letter recognition, builds one’s creativity and imagination and allows users to manipulate and match animals from all types of environments.  Come fly, swim, slither or walk in order to have some fun!

Knowing the population that this educational app was designed for, developers have certainly created a very kid friendly navigation menu, intuitive tasks and buttons as directions are very short and sweet.  In addition, we immediately noticed how both verbal and visual representations were incorporated on the main menu as a way to support all learning styles. Whether your child is a toddler, preschooler or grade level, they want to hear or see words of encouragement.  Throughout each game, reinforcements are presented as auditory sounds such as: a bounce, pop or magical stars. As they game for a reason, users will certainly not be surprised or confused when they play the pre-installed games – Letters, Coloring, Scratch & Fill or Matching.

Letters –  Upon entering the first academic game, users are presented with a 6 page catalogue of animals to choose from. Whether the animal is known as a creature to fear or “ooh and ahh” over, illustrators have done a nice job at designing colorful and eye pleasing graphics with their wonderful expressions and unusual accessories. It is up to the user where they would like to begin.  As an animal is chosen, game play within Letters continues in order from that particular animal.   Immediately, users will notice that the screen is divided into three parts: draggable Scrabble pieces on the left, animal graphic on the right and its corresponding word at the bottom, grayed out.  It is up to the user to match those grayed out letters at the bottom with those Scrabble like pieces by simply dragging and dropping them into their correct places. If a Scrabble like piece is tapped, the narrator will announce that letters name. As users begin to recognize and match letters, it is also important to note that they do not have to be dropped in any particular order.  If letters are dropped incorrectly, they will bounce back.  Once the animal’s name is spelled, both letters and animal will animate across the screen.  Game play continues as the train drops off and introduces the next animal friend.

The next gaming option is Coloring which allows users to be creative as they learn various art skills.  As they color with Kandoobi: Animal Edition, children will build their vocabulary of color names while manipulating three writing utensils: a pencil, paint brush and an eraser.  Coloring exploration can occur in two ways, with those animals previously seen in the “animal catalogue” or as free choice.  Regardless of which is chosen, users are given a paint palette of both primary and secondary colors. Depending on a users age and creative need will determine if a thin lined pencil or a thick stroke of a paint brush is required for their coloring page.  If mistakes are made, no need to panic, developers have also included an eraser.  As coloring pages are complete, share them with others by simply tapping the button in the upper left hand corner, as it is saved to your devices camera roll.

Does your child or student have difficulty with their fine motor skills, but love to be creative?  Then, the next gaming option of Scratch & Fill is just what you are looking for. Scratch & Fill does not require users to stay within the lines, simply swipe your finger from left to right, up and down and the colors will come alive within the picture. The last gaming feature called Matching is one that has children manipulating with puzzles.  At the top of the screen users will see an outline of an animal.  While at the bottom of the screen are three choices.  The goal is to simply drag, drop and match the correct animal puzzle piece.

Kandoobi: Animal Edition is very academically appropriate for this age level.  It provides just the right amount of repetition, supports ones creativity, and allows for independence.  It is an educational app that disguises learning as fun.  To learn more about the Kandoobi development group be sure to visit their website here.  If you are looking to stimulate your child’s need for creativity and imagination, then begin downloading Kandoobi: Animal Edition to your iTunes library by simply clicking here.

This review and many others are featured on Fun Educational Apps, AppStar Picks and iear.org

Kidoodle: Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure with Oscar and Josephine

Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure with Oscar & Josephine

by Kidoodle Apps

Ahoy matey!  It’s time to tell a story but you are in control of what it looks like.  How often do we as adults find ourselves doodling during a work related meeting, or when we are bored. It is certainly not a skill to ignore, but one that should be fostered.  Come aboard this adorable ship with pirates Oscar and Josephine and be amazed at this new approach to storytelling. What better way to foster creativity than with an interactive book that can change with each return use.  With a few simple clicks, users will become not only the author but the illustrator of their own story.  Currently a free application in your iTunes Library, Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure with Oscar and Josephine is definitely not one to miss out on.  This interactive story app contains 14 pages worth of story starter like images and more pages are coming with future updates.  Kidoodle Apps mission is to foster the genius that is born in each and every child.  With the help of paper doll like characters, Oscar and Josephine, readers as young as 3 will be engaged in so many ways as they see their drawings come to life.

Applicable2U was impressed with the way it almost felt like a “Mad Lib” as users fill in the blanks to tell a story.  Unlike your typical book, Kidoodle Apps has opened up their book in a new way.  Pages can be navigated and created out of order, saved and emailed to a designated parent.  It is an interactive book that incorporates the skill of developing ones fine motor skills.  With only a few drawing features: eight markers, two marker thicknesses and an eraser, doodling has never been more fun.  However, if drawing with the magic touch of your finger is challenging, Kidoodle Apps also has for a minimal price, a Magic Stylus that can support all types of users.  Just like a hard covered book, Kidoodle Apps has developed a product that can encourage a wide range of conversations between a parent and their child.  Young readers can further describe their illustration(s) as they extend on their pirate story.  As your child grows, parents will be amazed at how their child’s doodling will change over time.

Recently, my five year old son got a hold of my iPad and began exploring the high seas while driving to school one day.  Without any support during that drive, he was able to listen to the narrators on each page and to begin filling in his rendition of the story.  Prior to beginning this review, I opened the application and noticed his drawings and was amazed.  Story pages can be viewed like a an artist just establishing their storyboard.  Or with a click of an arrow, stories can be told left to right as if holding a book.   A note to the developers – in a future update, it might be interesting to think about adding a button option that would animate the entire book as if it were a movie.

Overall, Applicable2U definitely gives this a five star rating.  As our children become school aged, how often do they get to have fun and be creative. They work so hard academically, now it is time to bring out the artistic side of your child. If you would like to learn more about Kidoodle Apps, then visit their website here.  Be sure to download Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure with Oscar and Josephine from your iTunes library here and get it for free this weekend only.

Color Mix for Kids

Color Mix for Kids HD
By Eightfold Education

As a child, whether you had a box of Crayola crayons or some other generic brand, the thought of blending colors to create something new would intrigue just about anyone. Now with the help of an educational app called Color Mix for Kids HD, technology and creativity will come together in one simple download. With only a painters palette for mixing, multiple types of canvases, a sponge and four primary colors, early elementary students will feel like an artist. Color Mix for Kids HD is not only fun to explore, but it also meets a number of academic requirements beginning at first through fourth grade.

With a very clean design as you navigate from page to page, users will quickly understand through visual clues or buttons what choices they have that will encourage or develop their artistic side. This educational app is suitable for both home and school use. To begin creating, simply tap the painters palette. Here users are given the four primary colors: red, green, yellow and blue.  The primary color toolbar is referred to as the mixing bar. Immediately users can begin creating a master piece on the right hand side.  To set themselves apart from other art applications, Eightfold Education has added the ability to have multiple fingers drawing at one time. A note to the developers – is it possible to have users each choosing their own color as they create at the same time?  This would encourage and build the life skill of working together and collaborating.   In addition, by selecting the paint palette button, users can explore and discover new colors. Through this discovery, users should recall various art terms learned such as: primary and secondary colors, warm and cool colors, analogous and complementary, or the color wheel depending on the grade level of the user. With very realistic paint blobs, budding arts can click on a color and drop it onto the mixing bar. If you want to remove or start a new color, simply tap the sponge to clean one or more of the mixing bar colors. Once the color exploration is complete, click the green checkmark to continue drawing. As pictures are completed, the user has the option to save their picture to the gallery, empty it into the trash can or to fix any mistakes. Free draw and this idea of color mixing provides an educator another way to assess their students understanding of key arts benchmarks in a less stressful way.

Free exploration is not the only option that a user has within Color Mixing for Kids. For those not yet in school and those that are in school, they also have the ability to color in a variety of animal coloring pages and environmental science lesson connect the dot pages.  A cross curricular application that also reinforces fine motor skills is definite bonus!  Each can be saved to the applications gallery or to your photo album on your iPad device. If desired, these pages can then be emailed, printed, assigned to a contact, turned into your wallpaper or copied. In addition, users can choose from 32 different backgrounds to extend their free drawing experience.   A note to the developer – might it be possible to choose different sized paint brushes as children are manipulating the coloring and dot to dot pages.  With this incorporated additional art standards would be mastered.

Overall, Applicable2U gives Color Mix for Kids HD a thumbs up!  It provides the user an educational, interactive, and fun experience.  If you like what you see now on this version, just wait until you see some of the upcoming updates.  To learn more about Eightfold Education, please visit their website here.  To encourage learners in a variety of ways, begin downloading Color Mix for Kids HD as a way to bring out the artist inside of them.

1-2-3 Draw

1-2-3 Draw

By Peel Productions

As school districts begin to implement iPads within individual classrooms or even an entire building, Applicable2U has begun to explore how the use of mobile learning devices can be applied to the integrated arts. In my school, integrated arts refers to physical education/wellness, general music, and art. For now, our exploration will focus on the arts with educational app 1-2-3 Draw which provides a step by step guide on how to create cartoons and illustrations. This isn’t just any drawing application, with guidance from well known cartoonist, Steve Barr and illustrator, Freddie Levin, an art class can have a whole new twist.

How Does It Work: 1-2-3 Draws offers two styles of learning to become an artist: cartoons, illustrations and a bonus area – free zone. Initially the application is preloaded with lessons. However, additional lessons can be purchased and added. All artists carry around their master pieces in a notebook. The artist hiding inside of you can now carry just your iPad. The notebook is laid out very clearly.  The right hand side is the creation page, while the left hand side hosts the step by step directions with a coordinating illustration and written directions.  If directions are missed, users have the option to flip back and forth as needed.  If at any time you run into a problem, the “question mark” button works as a handout tutorial. Amazingly, this educational app incorporates many of the necessary art tools. Such tools include a background grid, two types of writing utensils with ability to alter its color, thickness, and opacity. With budgets tight these days, think of the money that will be saved when certain supplies will no longer need to be purchased. On one iPad, a parent or teachers can set the ability for 1-2-3 Draw to host multiple artist accounts. As chosen lessons or free zone drawings are completed, work is saved and can be shared with others via email. To further extend this application into an educational setting, it would be great if work could be saved as a PDF file where multiple users work could be linked and shared via a classroom webpage. Another option which would add educational benefit would be the ability to save drawings as a jpeg file which could be inserted into a iWork file on your iPad device.  Over the years as old and new projects have been developed, the art curriculum has found its way into various educational areas outside of the art room.  For those schools that already have iPads, 1-2-3 Draw has a great deal of potential for both personal and educational reasons.

1-2-3 Draw Integration Ideas:

Science, Writing and 1-2-3 Draw: Currently, while working with various educators, students will research a particular plant native to the New England area and create an accompanying poem, typically an acrostic or free verse, which is then word processed. Is this true technology integration? No! This project could incorporate technology more effectively from start to finish with the use of an iPad, web browser, 1-2-3 Draw app, and iWorks Pages app. With the librarian and instructional technology specialists support, curriculum links would be preset for our late elementary students on our schools web page.  After research is complete, students would begin brainstorming ideas for their poem with the help of Pages.  As the research and writing pieces are finished, Applicable2U can now see the implementation of 1-2-3 Draw.  Incorporate with this science/writing project an authentic student illustration of their plant. Students should recall those art standards/skills that have been met over the year as they transition them from paper/pencil to interactive drawing via mobile learning. Simply enter the free draw zone and let your fingers do the work! Finished artwork can be saved, emailed to the classroom teacher and then printed.  If however, the developers are to implement into a future update the alternative sharing options, authentic illustrations could then be inserted directly into the Pages app.

Writing and 1-2-3 Draw: Throughout the year, students are introduced to a variety of writing styles, one of them being “How To” paragraphs.  Artistically, students are shown this style in a very low key, yet academically appropriate way.  Have students choose to be either an illustrator or a cartoonist.  Provide them opportunities to complete two lessons and then expand on those artistic skills that they just gained and apply them to the free zone area.  Ask students to draw a crazy monster, space object or animal of their own.  If multiple people are using the iPad, make sure artist accounts are locked so preferences can not be changed.  Once their individual creations are finished, share them via email to the classroom teacher. He/She can print and store them.  Students should then return to their iPad device and begin typing a “How to Draw” paragraph.  This paragraph would then be printed and shared with a classroom partner.  As the partner, they are expected to read the paragraph and then open 1-2-3 Draw app and follow the directions within the paragraph.  The objective is to have two illustrations that look alike, assuming directions were written clearly and understood properly by their partner.

Overall, Applicable2U was impressed with the capabilities that 1-2-3 Draw has to offer a classroom environment.  How often do students get to show their creative side?  For some, this application will open a child up academically in a whole new way.  Just keep in mind that drawing with pencils, crayons, and markers is very different on a computer and takes time, the same holds true with an iPad.  Those integration projects mentioned above are just some of the possibilities that this educational app has to offer.  Are you a teacher looking to use technology across the curriculum, then 1-2-3 Draw would be an excellent addition to your iPad device.  Be sure to visit Peel Productions website here.  As of today, April 18th, 1-2-3 Draw is free, so begin your download here!