“If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
-- Ignacio Estrada

Friday, May 13, 2011

i Learn With Poko: Season and Weather ~Review~

It appears that my original review of this was lost in "blog-land". I published the night Google was apparently doing some kind of upgrade and it is now lost. I will do my best to recreate the post. Blog lesson #1: type and save somewhere else before posting to blog just in case "blog-land" decides to eat your work.

WAIT.......Through the amazing world of the internet, I was able to find a pdf copy of my post! (Thank you iLearnWith for posting a link to a pdf version of my blog post on your website!) I was able to copy and paste the review, then take a few minutes to preview, edit, and post! I love technology!!

i Learn With Poko: Season and Weather
This app is by the same people who created The Mighty Jungle:Animals. This app focuses on weather conditions, what to wear during different types of weather, and figuring out days of the week and activities that take place on those days. The app consists of 3 levels: level 1: weather, level 2: what to wear, and level 3: days and activities. The objective for Level 1 is to help Bibi fill her photo book. Pictures are displayed and a clue is given. User must choose picture that fit the clue. Once correct choices are made, the picture that doesn't belong disappears and another clue is given. Once one picture is left, the picture that Bibi wanted, it goes into her photo book. Due to the ability to answer incorrectly and have the picture disappear, my students were able to complete this level with minimal assistance. However, they were not always getting the correct answer and were utilizing the "hint" (disappearing picture). The objective of Level 2 is to get the best picture of Bibi and Poko. Users are asked to choose what is wrong with the picture after a clue about the weather condition is given. The number of incorrect things in the picture is indicated by the number of lights on the camera. When all the things that don't fit the weather are found, it acts like a picture was taken of Bibi and Poko. I used this app with both students in the general education KDG classroom as well as my intervention room (totally of 4 students). It took the general education KDG a while to complete this level. The student really struggled with finding the wrong clothing items. My intervention students were able to complete some of the activities as I was prompting them and retelling about the picture. I eventually was giving my own clues of "where is her head?, where would he wear his boots?" in order for them to find the incorrect item. Level 3 get more difficult as the user has to figure out day, type of weather, season, and where activities may have taken place. User is expected to touch and drag "post it"-like note to correct day. I did not trial this level with any students.

When a level was completed, user was brought back to the main screen to choose a level again. The option for clues to be re-read is available on each level by touching a given area. If user needs help, they are directed to touch the monkey, Mr. Murphy. Incorrect responses were indicated by a "incorrect" sound. Correct responses were rewarded with stars chime sound.

Additional IEP applications
This app presents the opportunity to work on so many skills. Not only can it be used to reinforce seasons, the weather, and appropriate clothing, it could also be used to work on language skills (such as on level 2: touch her head or what do you wear on your feet). I think this app would be a nice addition to a unit on seasons.

There are a couple suggestions that crossed my mind while working with this app:

  1. During some of the activities, the user was asked to find the picture with "no" (of something), like "find the pictures with no clouds. It has been my experience, that students have difficulty distinguishing the negative. The often tune out the "no" and only hear the "clouds". This made for some discussion on the subject which was good, but could cause a problem during independent use.
  2. To repeat clue, users were expected to touch different areas (radio in level 1, Mr. Murphy in level 2 and the day on the calendar in level 3 ). I could see this being difficult for students to figure out. A central clue icon, whether that be Mr. Murphy, Bibi, or Poko would be helpful for users with special needs.
  3. I mentioned this with the Animals app too. It would be nice to have an option of how student is reinforced with sound or to not have a "incorrect" sound at all.

In conclusion, this app would be a great was to reinforce weather and seasons with students both individually and within a small group. Many basic languages concepts that most of my students work on (body parts, clothing, etc.) could be reinforced through using this app. Graphics are very engaging and the students seemed to really like the characters. This app is priced at $2.99. Decently price for an educational app that is different from any other I have come across.

Blog lesson #2: hope that the developer posts your comments to their website for you to retrieve them later! Thanks again, Marc and iLearnWith crew!

developer: iLearn With
website: http://www.ilearnwith.com/
itunes: i Lern With Poko: Season and Weather
category: Education
recently updated: May 4, 2011

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