App of the Week-Shake-a-Phrase!

25 05 2011

I have a cool job. I admit it. Where else do you get to try out stuff, see if it’s accessible, figure out how it could be used in the classroom, and then show it to teachers and students? Watching a student “get it” when using technology-or any material for that matter-is so powerful. But I digress…this is about the App of the Week!

I was asked by the people at Artgig Studio if I would write a review of their app Shake-a-Phrase. So I went onto iTunes and did just that. Then I went to my Appolicious site and did just that. But, being the person that I am, I had to cover my bases and share it in more detail on the blog.

Here is a short video on the app made by the peeps at Artgig:

Here’s the skinny on Shake-a Phrase:
Shake-a-Phrase is a way for students to shake up their grammar skills and learn some cool vocabulary in the process. I am a fan of big words. I love them. They are not used enough, in my humble opinion. Shake-a-Phrase offers sentences for students that utilize sophisticated vocabulary, but are fun for kids. Students then “shake” the device for a new sentence or phrase. Not sure what a word means? Click on it and the definition appears.
Another feature of Shake-a-Phrase is quizzes. Identify the noun, adverb, or adjective in a given sentence and you can go on! The sound effects remind me of Fred Flinstone or Scooby Doo, and are appropriate for the app.

View of Quiz in Shake a Phrase

Lastly, Shake-a-Phrase also provides fun story starters for kids, which may spark imagination-and some fun stories using the vocabulary that is within the app!

Example of a story starter in Shake-a phrase

Now, while I think this app is pretty neat, I have one bugaboo-what about the student that has difficulty reading? How are they supposed to access sophisticated vernacular if they can’t read it? A built-in support such as turning on and off text to speech so that the sentences could be highlighted and read would make this app SUPER cool, and accessible to more students. I will be curious to see what comes up next for the people at Artgig! If you are an app developer, or would like a review on an app, let me know by sending me an e-mail or posting to Twitter.

Happy Learning!

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