Sunday, December 2, 2012

Agnitus...Finding Apps for Derrick

I know I should follow up my last post about NearPod with my observations/work/results/impressions of using the app in the classroom with students, and I will get there. I promise!

But, I have to share about an app that I've started using with a little guy that I tutor on the weekend...using the ipad.

So, first...
let me introduce you to Derrick!
Derrick is a sweet little guy. I've known him for about the past 4 years of his 9 year old life. He's had a really rough start in life, but now he is in the care of a loving family that is committed to doing everything they can to help him live an independent, happy life. With a combination of therapy and love, these parents are doing the very best they can to bring Derrick from an isolated, angry, scared, non-communicative  and uncontrollable state to one in which he can start making sense of the world.

And, they've asked me to help with guidance on the technology front. :)
(They know about my love of tech because my family helped with respite care in the past. We were able to get Derrick to calm down with us and communicate by using the iPad. The parents were very impressed with the way we used the iPad, and they were desperate to know more! So, here we go...)

Working with Derrick, I use apps for creating social stories (stories that help him understand the world around him):

  • iMovie (movies about going to the library, sharing, brushing teeth, reading books, content stories)
  • Scribble press (stories about his stuffed animals, family, my daughter)
  • Toontastic (showing how characters can share ideas)
I also use story book apps:
I also use apps for learning life skills:
  • Brushing Teeth
  • Learn 2 Dial (combined with a real phone and making the screen lock his phone number...we are working on this!)
I work with Derrick on communication skills with:
And, periodically I pick up free/cost apps by using:
That's where I found:
  • DinoPuzzle which is one of Derrick's favorite apps from break time!

But, I wanted to share about a little app called Agnitus...

This app is phenomenal! It capitalizes on game based learning in such cool ways. It also sends me such detailed reports on Derrick's progress...even when he's using the app at home without me. I can see how he is working through the curriculum, how much time he spent in the app, and what percentage he is accomplishing at.

(This is kind of what the email looked like. Sorry...little unorganized in the screen shot!)

This skill report looks a little better. :)

The game based portion is really in line with games like Angry Birds. Derrick is flinging vowels at birds and making attempts to say them as well. This is huge! To help this little guy build speech and vocabulary is a massive goal. He also has the opportunity to work on colors, numbers, life skills like washing up, and shapes, and...MORE!

In an hour long tutoring session, Derrick, Jayden, and I create a quick video or scribble press book that Derrick can access later. We take time to play with apps, practice sharing, and learn with great apps like Agnitus.

Seeing him light up with THIS app is great! He's learning...his way...and HE'S HAPPY!

He hugs me when he sees me. He is excited every Saturday morning knowing that he's going to work with me. The boy that screamed, kicked, and bit me when he stayed in my care for a week during foster care rubs my cheek with his little stuffed toys that he brings to our session. He enjoys me...but he LOVES what I represent...a way to unlock what is inside of him.

What a wonderful way to learn, teach, and grow.
It really is all about the conversations! The iPad is just helping me unlock barriers for Derrick to give him the ways to connect with his world, family, and friends.

Please take the time to visit their website if you have any inclination to pass this app along!


  1. I just love reading about all that you do. I appreciate how you share your knowledge with all of us. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Check it out: Teaching is Elementary

  2. Nancy,
    Thank you for your comment, your nomination, and your ideas. I cherish your feedback!
    I love thinking out loud through my writing, and it helps to have you out there telling me that I'm not crazy. Life is such an amazing journey, and it is great to have this platform to share!