Thursday, 11 October 2012

I Learn With Boing: Ocean Adventures - Review

iLearn With Boing: Ocean Adventures is a universal app from Tribal Nova. It requires iOS 4.0 or later. Ocean Adventures is the latest app from the iLearn series . It focuses primarily on language skills, whilst allowing the user to have fun at the same time. You can try out the app for FREE, but in order to unlock the full version there is an in-app  purchase of $0.99 (for a limited time) . This price is only an introductory offer. 

There are 3 games within the app. The first game, Vocabulary, comes free. In this game you have to help the Octopus find the hidden objects in order to be able to perform his juggling trick. You are told the name of the object that needs to be found . The user has to search behind corals, rocks etc spanning across two pages to find the missing items. As each item is discovered you will see it appear at one of the octopus's tentacles . Once all items are found the octopus will perform a juggling act using the found items. There is a time limit within which the user must find the hidden objects.  This game is important for enhancing your child's vocabulary and listening skills. The user also learns the task of matching the spoken word/ name of the object to the image of the item. There are 3 levels within the vocabulary game involving object recognition, the categories they belong to and the function that they play . Each of these areas teaches important learning skills to our special needs children.

The second game The Clown Fishes (Listening Comprehension)  was my sons favourite game. In this game the child needs to focus on instructions given in order to complete the task correctly . The object of the game is to place 4 clown fish in specific locations in order to complete the task and have them perform a dance routine. The important thing about this game is that it teaches the child spatial awareness and helps them with their understanding of and also following of directions. Children with special needs often have difficulty with understanding the concept of "in front" or "behind" etc. Here they get a chance to see this put into play and get a little reward at the end of the task. 

The third and final game in the app is The Crabs. This is my own personal favourite as it teaches sentence formation. Here the user needs to place the crabs in correct order so that they form grammatically correct sentences. A little coloured circle which corresponds with each coloured crab aides the user in completing this task . Once all the crabs are placed in the right order they perform a little routine which is acted out . As your child progresses through the various levels of this game their choices for sentence structure increases and they are able to form  entertaining sentences . Nouns, prepositions and verbs all come into play here. The developer has added in the option of allowing two player mode here, where the child can play with a parent or a peer if doing this in an educational setting. 

To take full advantage of all this app has to offer you need to set up a user account which tracks your child's progress on line. It can allow for four different profiles to be set up. The Parents Center then allows you to monitor your child's attempts, success rate and compare it to the average ratings for their age group. This is a useful tool as it gives you a sense of how your child is coping with each area of learning focused on in this app.

The reward system in Ocean Adventures is a huge bonus for children. There is a total of 27 gifts that they can earn. On completing     three rounds the user is given a medal. Whether it is a gold or silver medal is based on the amount of time they took to complete the particular tasks.

Overall I believe this app is very useful to children with special needs. It focuses on areas of learning that often create numerous problems . The ability to track your child's progress levels is an added bonus for the educator or parent. The one area I did find fault with is the time limit that is set within the app. I would like to have seen the developer add in the option for the parent or  teacher to adjust the time limit to suit individual users. The app is of great educational value and can help your child enhance their vocabulary  and comprehension skills.

This app is FREE with the in-app purchase priced at the introductory rate of $0.99 for a limited time. If you would like to download it please do so by clicking on this link  iTunes 

To find out more about the other apps in the iLearn With Series please  check out the following links

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