Thursday, February 3, 2011

App Corner: iPod and iPad Resources

App has been used as a shorthand term for "applications" and has recently become popular to indicate specifically a mobile application. App as a term grew even more in popularity with the opening of Apples App Store which can be accessed through iTunes. In our new "App Corner" in Tech Notes we have highlighted mobile applications This month we will highlight app resources to help you learn more about using apps both at home and in the classroom.

Learning with the iPod Touch and iPhone -
Learning with the iPod Touch and iPhone is information brought to you by Apple, the makers of the iPod Touch and iPhone.  They devote a section of their website to Apple Education.  The page discusses not only apps for education but highlights a variety of features built into the iPod Touch/iPhone that make it a classroom solution including iTunes U where video and audio podcasts are available from a variety of universities.

Moms with Apps -
Moms with Apps is a group of parents who develop parent and family friendly apps.  They also develop relationships with companies that develop family friendly apps and feature them on their site.  App Friday is a popular event where they feature a free or reduced price app, available for that free or reduced price only on that Friday.

This Week in Tech (TWIT): iPad Today -
This Week in Tech or TWIT has its roots in cable television with a show that featured the latest in technology news.  Using new and cutting edge technology and at the request of their many fans they started recording video and audio conversations about what was new in technology.  iPad Today is one of several shows that they feature.  iPad Today show hosts share their opinion on the best apps and the most helpful tools.

Connsense Bulletin - Apps for Education May 2010 -
This listing of apps was compiled by Carolann Cormier, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP from Cromwell, CT as a handout resource.  The resources features apps which are llisted by category. The resource list also includes a listing of resource sites.  There are no hyperlinks so you will have to look up each app you are interested in through iTunes.  The handout is also a reminder to read the reviews and ratings of other users before making a purchasing decision.
Speech Language Pathology Sharing -
Speech Langauge Pathology Sharing is a blog written by Speech Language Pathologist Eric Sailers. A portion of his blog is dedicated to app resources including some that he has developed.
Geek SLP -
Geek SLP is another blog and app resource brought to you by self proclaimed geek aficionado  Brenda Fernandes.  She writes about speech/language and technology via a blog and video cast. A section of her blog is devoted to app recommendations including ones that she has developed through her company Smarty Ears.
The Top 30 Free Google Android Apps 2010 -
This article from PC magazines features 30 free Google Android apps for mobile phones such as the HTC Evo 4G, the HTC Incredible and  the Motorola X.  There are not as many android apps available compared to iPod/iPad apps but the list continues to grow.
Best Kids Apps -
This site has a playful headline "We play all the iPhone and iPad games so you don't have to" which says it all.  But playing and reviewing games is not all they do.  They have a tab just for educational apps.

Did You Know: Project Lifesaver

What kind of technology can help families find a loved one who may wander because of disabilities or related disorders?  The STC receives numerous requests for helpful information on this topic.  While GPS  technology can be helfpul, it doesn't always work.  An organization called  Project Lifesaver offers an option.  It trains public safety agencies to be first responders when an individual wearing a Project Lifesaver beacon goes missing.  The beacon, worn on the wrist, ankle or sewn into clothing, emits a radio signal that responders can search for when Project Lifesaver is activated.

Through trained public safety agencies, Project Lifesaver provdes a timely response when loved ones become lost.  Its mission is to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to a variety of disabilities including Alzheimer's, autism, and other related conditions or disorders.

Did you know that 24 counties in Minnesota participate in Project Lifesaver?  Volunteer Coordinator Bob Parrot, from the Ramsey County Sheriff Department shared that once Project Lifesaver is activated, the search time is generally less than 30 minutes.  To activate Project Lifesaver, someone simply notifies the sheriff's department about the missing person.  Bob is available to answer questions about Project Lifesaver in MN and to give you the information to get Project Lifesaver started in your county.  Bob can be reached at 651-266-7345 or 651-285-0269.

Library Corner: Highlighting Hidden Gems in the STC Library

Highlighted below are a few of the library items that are available to borrow under a free library membership.  Items in this inventory were purchased with funds from a MN Star grant and are available to library members in MN.

Boardmaker Activity Pad
The Boardmaker Activity Pad takes interactive activities off the computer and into the hands of the learner through the Activity Pad.  Similar to other Mayer Johnson products users have the ability to create educational pages on the computer and then deliver them to the student via the Activity Pad.  Each pocket or page holder is programed for the user.  Boardmaker is not required although Boardmaker does come with pre-programmed layouts for the Activity Pad.
7-Message Take N Talk Go! Board
This communication board allows you to record seven 35 second messages.  The messages are played by removing or replacing one of the 3" by 3" icon frames. The pocket in the front can be used for storage.  Dimensions of Board: 29" x 5" x 3".
Advanced 31 Message Communicator with 6 Levels
The 32 Message Communicator features a 32 button overlay with 6 levels.  Levels are easy to change with the push of a button.  One message square is dedicated to changing levels.  The name of each level can be recorded and replayed so the user can hear and select the appropriate level.
The ChatBox 40-XT is a communication device that allows digitized or recorded speech and synthesized or computer text to speech messages to be spoken by pressing buttons on the keyboard.  This increases the flexibility and growth potential for communication device users.  Users can access pre-stored messages or use the keyboard to type their own unique message.  Numerous scanning options are also available for individuals who are unable to use direct access.

Smart/128 is a multi-level communication device.  The Smart/128 features interchangeable keyguards with visual scene capabilities, and a transparent top grid that can be easily removed. When the grid is used the Smart/128 is a standard static 128 location communication device.  Without the grid, the Smart/128 can be used as a pictorial communication device using visual scenes.

Revelation Natural Art
Revelation Natural Art is a software program that allows students with disabilities the opportunity to work with a variety of art mediums.  The realistic art tools look they same on the computer as they would on paper and allow all learners to paint, draw and animate.  The software has an  extensive range of natural media including Pencil, Pen, Watercolour, Acrylic, Charcoal, Crayon, Chalk, Oil Pastel and more.
Adjustable Angle Switch
An adjustable 5" switch which can be set up with angles from 32 degrees to 90 degrees.   Dimensions:  6"H x 8"W x 8"D
Jumbo Switch with Ligths, Music and Vibration
This is a sensitive and easy to use switch that is available with lights, music and vibration.  It is designed to provide visual, auditory and tactile feedback to the user.  Each stimuli (visual, auditory and tactile) has individual on/off switch for control of the three stimuli.  Dimensions: 5"D x 1/2"H.
New and Fun Switch Toys
The following switch toys are now available for check out and demonstration.  Push & Go Crab (pictured), Counting Penguin and Rocket Ride Carousel.
For further information on other items available in the STC library please visit  For information on becoming a member of the library and checking out these items contact library staff at 952-838-9000 or