Thursday, February 25, 2016

Week One -- February 15th -- iPad Project

Overview before the week;
I was very excited to start this project with little Jay*. As of now, his parents have made it understood that the iPad is a reward, not something that is expected or "his". This is great for me, because he already respects the use of the iPad, as well as thinks it is fun using it. This made my job of implementing learning application very easy because he saw them all as a reward or game. Before starting this 8 week project, I spoke with his parents and grandparents (they watch him regularly as well) about what the purpose of the project was. Even though they do not promote the excessive use of technology in their home, they were excited to see his reaction to the learning applications and if they would be able to substitute them out for the other free play games he currently had on his iPad for "rewards". One struggle I had at the beginning was changing Jay's* time of using the iPad while he eats dinner, to having time before dinner using his iPad. Another struggle was realizing when we practiced using an application before dinner, that using his current iPad with his other applications on it did not work. Before truly starting the implementation of the applications I had picked out, I made sure that I set up my own personal iPad for Jay to use. This also will help me in the long run decide and let his parents know which applications he enjoyed and which were not so great for him. That way they can go forward and download them on his iPad later when they no longer have access to mine.

This week Jay* worked on his ABC's using 2 different applications;
  • ABC Alphabet Phonics - Preschool Kids Game Free Lite
  • Bubble School Adventure vol 1
Being that this was his first week, it took us some time to truly get used to working with the iPad. We talked about why we were using the iPad and how long we would use it for (depending on his attitude that day, as well as game time). Jay* definitely struggles at first with continually using the iPad. He would start something, then see his sister or a toy he would rather play with. Explaining that the quicker we got done with our iPad time, the faster we get back to playing was key in keeping his engagement on task.

The first app we used was the ABC Alphabet Phonics - Preschool Kids Game Free Lite. This was more of the dry cut academic game for Jay*, and took him some time to figure it out. He is not used to trying to find a certain answer, instead of randomly pressing things to win a game. But once he got started he got a hang of it and started "racing" himself to get them all right. The app it self is very user friendly. A set of letters will pop up on the screen and it will say the letter name of the letter you are looking for. Once you have selected the correct letter, a new set of letters to choose from. As you continue to choose the correct letters, they will increase the number of letters on the screen to choose from. This made it a little more difficult for Jay*, however I did not like the fact that they would put familiar letter sounds on the same page. If Jay* did not hear it clearly, he would pick the incorrect letter.

For the second app, I chose Bubble School Adventure vol 1, which is meant to be the more interactive fun game app of the week. The major differences between the first app and the second is that you have the option of learning, playing or just popping bubbles. In the "lets play" game, the gradually start popping the corresponding letter to which one they need to find. As the levels get harder, more bubbles with a variety of letters start to fill the screen. Jay* loved this app because it was more of a game for him to physically pop the bubbles. He liked the fact that it seemed like it was a race to pop them.

Between these two applications, I would give the first one a 3 star rating, and the second 4.5 stars. The second one Jay enjoyed a lot more, due to it having more of a game feel for him, I knew he would like it more. The second app also had the option of purchasing more subjects to learn about. This is great for others to make an in-app purchase, however I stuck with the free ABC subject only. 

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