apps for education, volume 2: reading and writing

Last month I began this series on apps and education with apps for education, volume 1: organization and time management. This month we are looking at apps for reading and writing. 

** Remember, apps that say for iPhone also work on the iPod Touch and most of these are available for the iPad as well. I will have a post just on apps that are exclusive to the iPad later.


** BE SURE TO CHECK THE SOFTWARE/SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS BEFORE PURCHASING! Many of these apps only work on the 4th generation iPod Touch and iPhone. 




WRITING
Dragon Dictation   FREE

Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.

With Dragon Dictation you can also dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications (Facebook and Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself….all using your voice.  So when you’re on-the-go, stop typing and start speaking – from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between. 


{This app will be great for students who struggling with handwriting and/or written expression. I plan to get this for Luke when he has to write stories and reports at home. Dragon Dictation is also available in a full computer program that allows you to control your entire computer by voice.}



iWriteWords   $2.99 (there’s also a Lite version for FREE)

iWriteWords teaches your child handwriting while playing a fun and entertaining game. Help Mr. Crab collect the numbers in sequence by dragging him with your finger – and drawing the letter at the same time. Once all the letters in the word are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears. Tilt your iPhone or iPod Touch and watch the letters slide into the rotating hole and advance to the next level.

Features:
• Learn handwriting the fun way
• Playback the accomplished words featuring your child’s own handwriting
• Uses realistic physics and gravity for falling letters
• Play the ABC song by tapping or shaking your iPhone or iPod Touch like drumming
• Each letter and word is spoken as it was completed
• 3 levels (words) of lowercase letters.
• 3 levels (words) of uppercase letters.
• 9 levels of numbers.
• 3 levels (A to C) of individual letter tracing for uppercase letters
• 3 levels (a to c) of individual letter tracing for lowercase letters




Dictionary.com   $2.99 (there’s also a Lite version for FREE w/ads)


The Dictionary.com app delivers trusted reference content from Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. NO INTERNET CONNECTION IS NEEDED TO SEARCH WORDS. The app includes nearly 2,000,000 words, definitions, synonyms and antonyms. It also features audio pronunciation, voice-to-text search and Dictionary.com’s popular Word of the Day and Hot Word blog. 


* Named as a top 10 app in the App Store’s High School Survival Guide

* Voted best app for college students – US News & World Report

* Recognized as a top 10 Back-to-School iPhone App – Time Magazine

Features:
* Dictionary and Thesaurus
* Nearly 1,000,000 words and definitions in our Dictionary
* More than 90,000 synonyms and antonyms in our Thesaurus
* Alphabetical indexing
* Spelling suggestions
* Phonetic and audio pronunciation
* Example sentences
* Non-standard uses
* Word origin and history
* Daily content, including Word of the Day and our new Hot Word blog
* Voice-to-text search (for the most accurate results, please enunciate clearly and speak slowly)
* Favorite words list
* Custom backgrounds
* Shake device to see a randomly-selected word
* No Internet connection required for Dictionary and Thesaurus word look-ups
* Internet connection required for daily content feeds, voice-to-text search, audio pronunciation and spelling suggestions




Think Tree   $1.19

If you want to sort things out your complicated schedule,
If you want to make an efficient plan for important matters,
If you want to systematically plan out for the future,
If you want to draw relationship diagrams,
Think Tree would support you.

You can categorize your thoughts with various themes and mind-map, and even allow to text or email it by saving it as a picture file. Your detailed ideas can be complied with mind map.

[Key Features]

1. Note page
– Categorize subjects with various themes.
– Write down subject of your ideas in the theme.
– Construct the mind maps of each subjects.
– Store it as the picture of characters.
(Able to text or email it afterwards and use it as background)

2. Mind-map
– 8 Colors, 4 Shapes available.
– No restriction on the number of a text box.
– The location of a text box can be freely adjusted.
– The spokes of a wheel, vertical, and horizontal.
– Store the mind map as a picture.
– Multi-Selection & Batch Edit (Location, Photo, Shape, Color)
– Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete
– Simple memo for each node
– Add high quality photo on the mind map.

{This would work well to organize thoughts for those that struggle with written expression. It also can be used to plan and prioritize any other project. }




MindNode   $5.99


MindNode is a very easy and intuitive application for collecting, organizing and outlining your thoughts and ideas as mind maps.

Mind maps can be used for many different tasks (e.g. to-do lists, brainstorming, holiday planning, research, writing, project management…) and in many different environments (e.g. school, meetings, working place…).

MindNode makes creating mind maps on the iPhone and iPod touch extremely easy. You create new nodes directly on the canvas by dragging them out of the node well which appears as a plus sign next to a selected node.

Main Features:
• Create and edit new nodes directly on the canvas.
• Freely rearrange your thoughts.
• Search and view nodes in outline view.
• Export your mind maps as FreeMind documents, OPML outlines, text outlines and PNG images.
• Import and export documents from MindNode Pro (Mac desktop application).
• Well designed multitouch interaction.
• Automatically expanding work space.
• Full Cut, Copy & Paste support.
• Undo & Redo support.
• VGA output support on supported iOS devices.
• Print mind map scaled to fit a page.
• Multiple main nodes on one canvas.
• Fullscreen mode support in landscape mode.
{This would work well to organize thoughts for those that struggle with written expression. It also can be used to plan and prioritize any other project. } 






Idea Sketch lets you easily draw a diagram – mind map, concept map, or flow chart – and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa. You can use Idea Sketch for anything, such as brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts, making lists and outlines, planning presentations, creating organizational charts, and more!

Share Your Ideas
Diagrams can be saved to the Photos app, which are then synced to your desktop computer. You can also copy-and-paste diagrams and outlines into any other app on your iPhone. You can even upload diagrams to your Facebook account!

Easy-to-Use
Idea Sketch is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. You’ll be creating and editing diagrams and outlines right away.

No Drawing Required
Just enter your text and move the shapes around, Idea Sketch handles all the drawing.

(requires iOS 4 on the iPhone)


{This would work well to organize thoughts for those that struggle with written expression. It also can be used to plan and prioritize any other project. } 



Question Builder is designed to help elementary aged children learn to answer abstract questions and create responses based on inference. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders. Audio clip reinforcement can be turned on or off for non-special needs children.

Question Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to abstract.

FEATURES
-Simple and intuitive interface to answer questions
-Why, What, Where, How and Random question formats
-1200 audio clips of questions and answers
-3 levels of abstraction
-Optional text and audio reinforcement
-Statistics to track student progress
-60 encouragement animations and audio clips

Question Builder features SmarTots, the premier mobile education application network for families.

SmarTots provides learning reports and mobile education app reviews that help parents understand what their children are learning. Signing up for SmarTots also gives parents access to fun activities that enhance the educational value of mobile education apps like this one. Click the Parent Button inside this app to get these great features.




**WINNER** – 2010 IEAR Language Arts App of the Year!!!

Sentence Builder is designed to help elementary aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences. Explicit attention is paid to the connector words that make up over 80% of the english language. Sentence Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the grammar of all children.

FEATURES
– Simple and intuitive interface to build sentences
– 100 distinct pictures to build sentences around
– 3 Levels of play
– 60 encouragement animations and audio clips
– Optional correct sentence audio re-enforcement
– Statistics to track students progress

Sentence Builder features SmarTots, the premier mobile education application network for families.

SmarTots provides learning reports and mobile education app reviews that help parents understand what their children are learning. Signing up for SmarTots also gives parents access to fun activities that enhance the educational value of mobile education apps like this one. Click the Parent Button inside this app to get these great features.




  
Story Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following educational goals: 1) Improve paragraph formation ; 2) Improve integration of ideas; and 3) Improve higher level abstractions by inference. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders.

Story Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to create a narrative.

FEATURES
-Record feature allows students to record narrative in their own voice
-3 levels of play
-Simple and intuitive interface to record narrative
-Recorded answers are stitched together to create complete narrative
-50 distinct story lines to create narrative from
-500 audio clips of questions to guide narrative
-Optional question text and answer introduction reinforcement
-Email recorded stories

SmarTots provides learning reports and mobile education app reviews that help parents understand what their children are learning. Signing up for SmarTots also gives parents access to fun activities that enhance the educational value of mobile education apps like this one. Click the Parent Button inside this app to get these great features.




  
Language Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following educational goals: 1) Improve sentence ideation ; 2) Improve sentence formation; and 3) Improve receptive and expressive language. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders. Auditory playback of child’s voice offers reinforcement for language development.

Language Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to create grammatically correct sentences.

FEATURES
-Record feature allows students to record sentences in their own voice
-3 levels of hints
-Simple and intuitive interface to record sentence
-Email recorded sentences
-50 distinct story lines to create sentences from
-Optional hint button

Mobile Education Tools is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.




Achievers Writing Center  $26.99 (less expensive version available w/out editing and review services)
  
Achievers Writing Center is a full-service writing center in an app.  The app contains complete instructions on how to write the perfect essay. Also includes a live personal writing assistant to help you with any questions, editing and review of your essay by a live editor, a subscription to a unique online writing platform, discounts on other essay writing products and more….all for one affordable price!

Not the essay app you need? There are many more. To find the one you want, use the App Store search, enter “AWC ESL”, and click the blue Search button. This will show both native English-speaking apps and the ESL apps.

There are over 40 types of essay apps. A few examples are: Argumentative (Persuasive), Book Report, SAT Essay, Opinion Essay, Movie Critique, College Admissions Essay, Expository Essay, Compare and Contrast, Biography, Evaluation Essay, First Person Narrative, Third Person Narrative, Approach Paper, College Scholarship Essay, Response Paper, Process Essays (Technical and Non-Technical), Reader’s Summary, Teacher’s Summary, Character Analysis, Descriptive Essay…..we could go on. Enter “AWC ESL” into search, press the blue Search button, see for yourself, and get the perfect essay app that you need.

———————————————–

1) A COMPREHENSIVE APP – You get a mobile app that contains everything you need to develop, organize, and write an excellent essay. It has instructions on how to write effectively, explanations of the different essay genres, a specific essay synopsis, detailed writing steps, constructive revision guidelines plus footnoting and outlining tutorials. There are also two writing pages so you can develop and write your essay anytime, anywhere.

2)  LIVE WRITING ASSISTANT – You are assigned a personal writing assistant who provides unlimited support as you write your essay.  If you are stuck, have a question about how to best organize something, or are experiencing serious writer’s block, simply email your personal writing assistant with your issue and they help you.

3)  PROFESSIONAL EDITING – Editing and Review of your finished essay by your personal writing assistant; complete with suggestions on how to improve it.

4)  FREE ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION – A complimentary 6-month subscription to The Learning Accelerator, a web-based online writing platform.  This online platform has instructions on how to write 50 different types of essays including complex research papers and synthesis essays.

5)  PRODUCT DISCOUNTS – 30% off our Essay Writing Wizard hardcopy manual. You get over 40 “apps” in one book. Includes the same excellent content that is in all our 40+ single-essay apps in one convenient, easy-to-carry manual. Excellent for the days you rather work from a book.

6)  PERSONAL ASSISTANCE – Personal assistance choosing the best app for your next essay. Email us your assignment, and we will suggest which app is best to use.

*** NOTE: There is a lower price version for those that want everything EXCEPT the Editing and Review services. ***

{It’s my opinion that this app would be best on the iPad.}

READING

Speak It!   $1.99
  













Future Apps presents Speak it!, the highest quality text to speech App available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and now iPad! Speak it! utilizes the same voice synthesis engine that has made our iSpeak translator apps such a great hit. The text to speech engine is so powerful, it reproduces speech which is clear and natural sounding.

Copy emails, documents, web pages, PDF files, and more; paste them into Speak it!, and have the text spoken back to you with the highest quality text to speech engine available anywhere. You can even create the same quality audio files of the text to speech which can then be emailed to anyone you like! Need an elegant way to make announcements over your PA system? Speak it! can do that too. You can easily set up a list of pre-made announcements, and play them with a press of a button. You can even use Speak it! as a fun way to prank your friends! Speak it! is your own custom soundboard, with endless phrases and possible uses.

We have also realized in the past year there has been a growing disability community using Speak it! We would like to thank those users for supporting Speak it!, and for all the incredible feedback we have received. Speak it! 2.0 has new features just for these users including landscape more, ability to change font size, and much more coming in future updates!

FEATURES:
• Easy to use interface: simply enter the text you want to say, and press the “Speak it! button
• Four high quality voices are included: American Male, American Female, British Male, British Female
• NEW! Highlights words as they are spoken
• Ability to create audio files and email them
• Save as many phrases as you would like, and easily repeat them later
• Pause and resume speech playback
• Change the volume, as well as the speed of spoken text
• Change the font size of the text field
• Speak it! Store, where you can download 20 new voices




Kindle  FREE
  
The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface. You’ll have access to over 810,000* books in the Kindle Store, including best sellers and new releases. Amazon Whispersync automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across devices (including Kindle), so you can pick up where you left off on another device.

Get the best reading experience available on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad:
• Shop the Kindle Store for over 810,000* Kindle books, including New Releases and 107 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 610,000* of these books are $9.99 or less, including 79 New York Times Best Sellers.
• Start reading immediately with three free books: Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island, and Aesop’s Fables. Thousands more free classics are available in the Kindle Store.
• Get free book samples – read the first chapter free before you decide to buy.
• Customize your reading experience by choosing the background color, font size, and either portrait or landscape format.
• Instant dictionary word lookup with 250,000 entries and definitions. Tap and hold a word to view the definition. Use the Google and Wikipedia links to get more information.
• Search inside the book to find a character, topic, or section you want to revisit.
• Simply tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages.
• You can also read your Kindle books on your Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Android-based device, and Windows Phone 7-based device. Our Whispersync technology syncs your last page read, notes, bookmarks, and highlights across devices, so you can pick up where you left off.




See Read Say   $0.99
  
Did you know before children finish first grade, they should be able to read all of the Dolch sight words? This list of 220 words, prepared by E.W. Dolch, generally make up from 50 to 75 percent of the reading material encountered by students. These words are generally known as DolchWords, high-frequency words, or “sight words”.

The lists represent frequency of use in books on different grade levels. For example, if is on the third grade list. This only means that E. W. Dolch found this word frequently in third grade books. He put words on the third grade list, which did not appear often in pre-primer through second grade books.

Confidence and reading ability improve when children know Dolch sight words. Many of these words are in almost anything they read. Readers will have more experiences of success if they know these words. Dolch words are service words, which are necessary for understanding sentences.

KEY FEATURES
•Allows up to 4 DIFFERENT users to save individual progress
•Easily erase user data to start over if needed
•Welcome message on menu screen shows current user
•Includes ALL 220 Dolch Sight Words for one low price!
•Child friendly interface (but also suitable for adults!)
•Vibrant colors
•Shake iPhone/iPod for a new word
•Control for random and non-random words
•Words spoken at the push of a button
•Audio control for sounds
•Separate word lists for each level
•Tracks individual progress and number of completed words for each user
•Report feature after every 100 words completed with audio (kids love this)
•Star rating system keeps kids wanting to continue learning




Stanza  FREE
  
Read books on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad! Lexcycle Stanza brings the digital book revolution to your pocket with a reading interface that is unrivaled in its clarity and ease of use. With over 4 million downloads around the world, Stanza has become an iPhone phenomenon, and is featured as one of the top three Apple favorites in their “App Store Turns 1” celebration.

Purchase popular new books from a selection of over 50,000 contemporary titles available in various partner stores, or choose from an additional 50,000 free classics and recent original works available from Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, and many other sources. Store and categorize hundreds of books in the organizer, and transfer your own ePub, eReader, PDF, Comic Book Archive (CBR & CBZ), and DjVu books from your Mac or PC to Stanza by dragging & dropping the files into the “File Sharing” section of the “Apps” tab of your device in iTunes.







  
A+English ( 11 books + audio ) is a great tool to improve English speaking,listening, and reading skills, on both iPhone and iPod.

It integrates classic books with audio download manager, player, and voice recorder.

Advanced and easy-to-use features:
-High quality audio books: you may listen to the audio play while reading the text.
-Voice Recorder: speak aloud and record your own voices.
-Automatically playback your voice recorded, so that you can compare your own voice to audio book, to improve your speech easily.

Note: the recording function is for iPhone only.
Users will need wireless connections to download and save the audio books. After downloaded, the audio books can be used anywhere without connection.




Of course, there are dozens more apps for assistance with reading and writing. This is just a sampling of the apps that turn up on lists of Special Education apps.

What apps do you use for reading and writing?  


COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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Related posts:

adhd and school, dysgraphia, Penny Williams, written output disorder ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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