Feature App #1: iSEQUENCES
User by: Christina Casserly, Scoil An Linbh Íosa in Galway City
iSEQUENCES costs €2.69 (a 'LITE' version is available free for trial)
iSEQUENCES is an App. used by Christina Casserly who works in Scoil An Linbh Íosa, a primary school situated in the heart of Galway city. Boys and girls are enrolled from junior infants to first class. Only girls are enrolled from second class onwards, .
Christina uses the iSEQUENCES App. with children in Junior and Senior Infants who have Specific Speech and Language Impairments. In addition, she uses this App. with a 4th class student with Hydrocephalus, who finds sequencing very challenging.
Speech Therapists have provided Christina with worksheets to teach the concept of sequencing as the children find the concept of 'first/next/last' very difficult. Christina finds that the children are very motivated by these sequences in the App., as it is an extremely attractive and appealing with its cartoon features. She finds it definitely more encouraging than the black and white pictures in the worksheets.
About the App:
iSequences - as the name suggests - is an educational sequencing App. It was developed by Fundacion Planeta Imaginario, which is a clinical and research centre that offers early intensive behaviour intervention programmes for children with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders.
The App. contains 100 sequences in total with six different characters with clear and attractive images. The sequences vary in content and are particularly designed for children with autism. The sequences include self-help skills such as brushing teeth, washing hands, getting dressed or going to bed; leisure activities such as going to the beach, to movies or sport.
Additional content include daily situations such as going to the doctor, getting wet in the rain, buying bread and falling down. There are also emotional sequences of feeling happy, sad, surprise and fear.
Christine describes two functionalities of the App:
First of all the child is presented with three- or four-part sequences and boxes underneath. The aim of the task is to drag the correct picture into the proper order. They are very similar to the BlackSheep worksheets that Speech Therapists give to teachers to practice the concept of sequencing. There is clapping and cheering if the pictures are put in the correct order, and one of 10 prize images are displayed. If the child gets the sequence incorrect, the screen dims and the pictures are removed for the child to try the sequence again. The child uses the right arrow to move onto the next scenario.
The aim of the second activity is to either choose the correct end for the sequence between two or three options or choose which emotion the character will feel in the situation described in the sequence. A descriptive text is displayed which is read aloud and a question follows. Alternatively, the question posed is how does the character feel. Two or three images of the characters are displayed at the bottom showing basic emotions and the child has to choose the correct face. The type of exercise is selected at random.
The settings menu allows the teacher to customise the tasks presented. There are numerous possibilities to customise including the type of activity, whether to show text/audio or otherwise, level of ability etc.
How Christina Uses the App.
This is how Christina explains one use of the App:
To ensure the child is getting the most from the App., I ask the child to explain to me what is happening in each picture. This ensures the child is really looking and examining the pictures.
Next I ask them to tell me what they think happened first, then next, and last of all. In this way I am encouraging their expressive language as they have to formulate a sentence for each picture. I feel it is necessary to talk the children through it as otherwise they would just put the pictures in any order. As an extension activity for my 4th class student, she writes the sequence into her copy to reinforce the concept of first/next/then/last.
The App. is very child-friendly and is self-correcting so the child can work independently without the need for teacher intervention.The children love waiting to see if they get the sequence correct as the cheering is very effective.
I like the fact that audio is included as this targets their listening skills and their receptiveness to language. The content is appropriate to their level also and reinforces basic routines and habits. The fact that there are100 sequences and over 250 exercises ensures there is a great variety for them which will keep them interested.
Cost and Availability
iSEQUENCES Costs €2.69 (there is also a LITE version available for free which offers the same functionality as the full version, but with 10 sequences instead of 100)
Compatibility: iPad (Requires iOS 4.0 or later)