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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Change an App - YOU Have the Power!!

Changing An App - Ideas

Have you ever tried an app that is 'close but no cigar'??  YOU have the power to change it.  I have had multiple changes made to apps!

First Try - Great for Special Ed Apps:

 My first strategy is always to just e-mail the app developer, with very specific ideas for change. 

For example, I e-mailed the developer of iHow-To Book with ideas for having students 'read it in your head' BEFORE hearing the sound, plus other ideas. 
iHow-To Book

Kensei was immediately responsive.  Changes were made, so that a great app became even more flexible for a wide range of students!!  We even found out that he lives relatively close to my daughter in NYC, so we have been able to meet up.  See our review at the link below:
SpedApps2 Review: Read Aloud Books

2nd Try - For General Purpose Apps

Many of the apps that we LOVE are used in far different purposes that was originally planned!  One of our favorites is Sticky Notes.  It's a great app for making reminder notes for yourself.  However, we use it to support tasks as disparate as:
• Idea generation for writing
• Editing in writing - supporting students with word order
• Syntax in speaking - supporting students with spoken word order
• Visual word sorts for phonics
• Making words for phonics

Sticky Notes Link

Here is a link to one of our reviews, in the 'phonics' section:
SpedApps2 Review: Sticky Notes

Note that this app has THOUSANDS of reviews.  Guess what - my e-mail to that company was ignored.  So, my strategy is to review the app, giving it only 4 stars, and explaining what is needed to get 5 stars.  Then, I'm going to ask everyone to do the same!

Here is what that app needs (feel free to modify this for YOUR iTunes review!!)
 • Would like to have optional recorded feedback (that is, a sound for each note)
• Would love to have LARGER FONTS (we often have a note with only one letter, so it needs to be BIG!)
• Would be nice to be able to 'set' the color of notes (e.g., when you make a yellow note with black font, it predicts that the next note will be the same)
• Would like simpler backgrounds, such as flat black (many backgrounds are 'busy' which is a problem for students with visual impairments and students with autism spectrum disorder)


Okay people, your homework is to write a review for Sticky Notes asking for the changes above (and others you might suggest!)  Together, we have the power!!

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