Category Archives: Foreign Language

Learn Spanish for Kids – Ottercall

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 2.59.34 PMThis app has an interesting concept behind it, but overall – it fails to fully deliver.  From the ‘About’ section of the app: “Ottercall helps you practice your pronunciation and learn to speak a new language.  We use speech recognition to help judge your pronunciation and give useful feedback.”

Unfortunately, the speech recognition component of the app is in need of improvement.  It often gives negative feedback when words are actually correctly pronounced.

To begin, the user selects from the list of lessons.  They also choose for the language to be English or Spanish.  Then they tap the picture to listen as the device reads the word aloud.  This feature is the best in the app!  Although the voice sounds very ‘computer like’, it is still beneficial to have the app read each vocabulary word aloud.  But I do not recommend using the speech recognition component of the app until the developers greatly improve that feature.

Unlocked Lessons

  • Animals
  • School
  • Beach
  • Bedroom
  • Breakfast
  • Clothing

Locked Lessons (Unlocked via an in-app purchase)

  • Fast food
  • Fruits
  • Holiday
  • Music
  • Kitchen
  • Appliances
  • Seasons
  • Sports
  • Tools
  • Vehicles
  • Vegetables
  • Weather
Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Paid | Tagged , | Comments Off on Learn Spanish for Kids – Ottercall

Easy Portfolio

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 4.10.51 PMDigital portfolios are still a fairly new concept in K – 12 education.  But apps like this make it easy to bring this new technology into classrooms at all grade levels.

After creating a new portfolio, it takes just a couple of taps to add records.  The records can be in the form of videos, images, audio files, notes, URLs, and documents.  The app easily retrieves records from DropBox or from the iPad itself.

Individual records or even the entire portfolio can be exported via DropBox or Google Drive.  The app links to tutorial videos and blog posts that help navigate the process of creating and maintaining portfolios.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Tagged | Comments Off on Easy Portfolio


Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 3.27.58 PMThis app provides students with a way to explore the names of a variety of objects not only in English, but also in Spanish and French.  In each category, students can tap on an object that appears across the bottom of the screen.  The app will state its name in the language selected from the Settings menu (only one language can be selected at a time).  After tapping an object, students can drag it across the screen to begin a simple animated sequence.  The graphics are very visually-appealing and the voiceover is pleasant (and can be made as loud or soft – or even muted – as necessary).

The categories are:

  • Alphabet (with an example word for each letter)
  • Numbers (0 – 9)
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Animals
  • Fruit
  • Space
Posted in 1st - 2nd, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Paid, PreK - Kindergarten | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Kidpedia

Book Creator

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 10.37.18 PMThis app allows users to effortlessly create anything from a simple to complex book.  After choosing from portrait, landscape, or square orientation, the process is unbelievably simple.  Begin by adding text.  You can choose from all fonts installed on the device.  Also change the font’s size and color; make some or all words italicized, bold, or underlined.  Photos (and videos) can be added from the device’s library or directly from the camera, then moved and resized as needed.  Finally, sound can be recorded from within the app or imported from elsewhere on the device.

Completed books can be opened in a variety of apps on the device – such as in iBooks.  But each can also be exported to iTunes or as a PDF (no audio/video capability with this option).

Use the free version to make one book before committing to the paid version.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, iPad, Language Arts, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on Book Creator


Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 7.07.46 AMThis is another interactive whiteboard type of app.  It is similar to Show Me and Screen Chomp.  But it is even more closely related to Explain Everything due to its ability to move through more than one slide (or page) during a single recording.  Students can also scroll on the same slide/page if they need more room.

After hitting the record button, everything that is said in close proximity to the device is recorded – along, of course, with everything that is done on the screen.  Students have a choice of 10 ink colors – black, blue, red, green, purple, white, gray, brown, orange, and yellow.  The eraser and undo tools are also readily available.  Text can also be added.  It is quite simple to add an image to a slide/page.  Students can take a picture from the device’s camera or import one from the Camera Roll, DropBox, or the Internet.  Once imported, images can be moved, rotated, and resized.

Sharing is easily done by email, Facebook, or Twitter.  Students can access ‘Featured Lessons’ created by other users from within the app.  The Featured Lessons are grouped into the following categories: Computer Technology, Creative Arts, Health/P.E., Language Arts, Mathematics, Professional Development, Science, Social Studies, Special Education, Vocational Studies, World Languages, and Other.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies | Tagged , | Comments Off on Educreations

Google Translate

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 10.05.07 PMWhile this may be considered more of a travel app, I believe it also has a place in an educational setting.  Like any app, it’s important to teach students when it’s appropriate to use an app such as this.

Here are the key features as listed in the built-in User’s Guide.

  • Translate text between 57 languages
  • Translate by voice by speaking the text instead of typing it
  • Listen to your translations
  • Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others to read
  • Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
  • Access your translation history even when you’re offline
  • Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages in Latin characters to read it phonetically
  • Supplemental bilingual dictionary results for single words or short phrases

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone | Comments Off on Google Translate


Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 8.12.34 AMOther options may exist, but I think the process of editing video footage into a ‘movie’ is quite simple using this app.  This is especially true if you’re already familiar with the computer software version of iMovie.  Make a note that more editing features and tools are made available when the device is in landscape (rather than portrait) mode.

When you begin a new project, you’ll have to decide if you want to create a new ‘movie’ or a new trailer.  Think of a trailer as a preview to an upcoming movie you may see at a theatre.  You can choose between the following trailer genres: Adrenaline, Bollywood, Coming of Age, Expedition, Fairy Tale, Narrative, Retro, Romance, Scary, Superhero, Swashbuckler and Teen.

iMovie will prove to be quite intuitive for most users.  In true Apple style, many onscreen tips and prompts can be accessed with a simple tap of the question mark towards the top of the screen.  It’s easy to import video clips, pictures, and audio files that are already on your mobile device.  But you can also record audio or additional take pictures and videos from directly in the app.  In addition to songs and other audio files you may already have, the app comes with an assortment of theme music and sound effects.  The processes of trimming, splitting, and deleting clips are also quite simple.

An array of options exist to complement your ‘movie’.  For example, you can select from one of eight themes: Modern, Bright, Playful, Neon, Travel, Simple, News, or CNN iReport.  Theme music can also be turned on or off.  Continue to customize your ‘movie’ by adding transitions and adjusting the audio.

A built-in ‘Help’ section extensively covers the following topics: Create a project; Create a trailer; Share projects, trailers, and media; and Use AirPlay to stream videos to your HDTV.

Once you’re satisfied with your new ‘movie’, you can share it to the camera roll, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, or CNN iReport.  You can also send it to iTunes.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on iMovie

Fetch It! Spanish

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 12.57.39 PMStudents can join Domino the dog on an adventure to find objects in his world.  The name of an object is given in Spanish and it appears on the screen.  Students then move the mobile device from side to side in order to give Domino plenty of room to run.  They are supposed to tap on the name of the object when they find it.  For example, when “manzana” is said and seen on the screen, navigate Domino close to the apple and tap it.

The following words are included in the word pack that comes with the free version of this app: manzana, bebe, bolsa, platano, baloncesto, cama, bicicleta, pajaro, barco, libro, puente, hamburguesa, bus, coche, castillo, CD, silla, payaso, despensa, perro, huevo, elefante, borrador, pez, guitarra, hamster, sombrero, hipopotamo, caballo, casa, jeans, leche, mono, raton, naranja, telefono, piano, pizza, avion, conejo, camisa, falda, sofa, arana, camiseta, mesa, oso de peluche, tren, TV, and agua.

Students can access a picture dictionary if they do not know all of the Spanish words.  Although the app is free, use the in-app purchase option to get two additional word packs.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone | Comments Off on Fetch It! Spanish

BrainPOP Featured Movie

The home page of this app features one movie each day.  The subject matter and targeted grade level varies.  After viewing the video, users are able to take the accompanying quiz.  The app also always has the option for users to view a short movie about BrainPOP.  Students who have previously viewed any of the videos from the subscription-based BrainPOP suite will find this app to be quite familiar.

The app also contains approximately two dozen additional movies/quizzes in the areas of science, Social Studies, English, math, arts & music, health, and tech & engineering.

Users that have paid for a subscription to the web-based BrainPOP services are now able to use their same login and have full access to all videos!

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on BrainPOP Featured Movie

Screen Chomp

This is one of my favorite apps!  I’m glad it’s free, but I’d definitely pay money for it!

Simply put, it’s a way to capture both an audio and visual account of what students do within the app.

The background initially appears as a plain white screen.  But you can also import any image you already have saved in the native ‘Photos’ app.  Once you have the background set, students can hit the ‘record’ button and draw and/or write on the screen.  They may also choose to talk about their work.  Screen Chomp is recording both the audio and the visual aspects.  Students will then need to press the ‘stop’ or ‘pause’ button.

Once ‘stop’ is pressed, the screen capture immediately starts to play back.  You can then delete the capture or send it to Screen Chomp’s website.  I recommend then copying and pasting the URL into a note-taking app (or into Pages).  You can then email it to yourself so you’ll have access to the URL where the capture is housed.

This app has endless possibilities!  I can see students using it as ‘Ticket Out the Door’ to show and explain their learning.  I’m incredibly impressed with this app and can’t imagine why you wouldn’t choose to include it on the iPad(s) in your classroom!

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, Language Arts, Math, PreK - Kindergarten, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on Screen Chomp