A few months ago I reviewed School Writing by Demografix, an excellent handwriting App with beginner and cursive handwriting styles for all Australian States and Territories, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. The main downside of this App is that it is only available for iPad. In the post, I mentioned that Demografix had a similar App for iPhone, School Fonts- Learn to Write. Demografix have kindly given me a copy of the App to review, so now I can give you a run-down of the App, and the similarities and differences between it and the School Writing App.
Many of the School Writing Features also appear in School Fonts:
- 3 Handwriting Activities for Upper Case, Lower Case and Numbers
- Words – Lessons include Dolche sight words, phonic elements, pre-writing patterns and more. You can your own custom activities, such as spelling lists or personal information (names, phone numbers etc). Words are limited to 10 characters.
- Handwriting Styles for Australian States and Territiories, New Zealand, the USA and the UK
- Beginner and Cursive options for each handwriting style
- Guide lines – options of standard thirds, and a midline.
- Student Profiles – You can create profiles for individual students.
- Audio visual reports for each student can be emailed to a nominated email address. The video allows teachers or parents to review the child’s progress far more accurately than a simple mark that an exercise has been completed.
- Internet links can be blocked: – Internet links for social networking, feedback on the iTunes store, and the Demografix website are all available by default, but can be turned off to prevent children accessing the Internet.
- Positive Feedback – The original version featured no feedback, relying on parents and teachers to do this. Positive feedback has since been added so that children receive encouraging messages as they complete exercises, but this can be turned off. I’ve noticed that in some iTunes reviews, people complain that children are rewarded even when they do poor work, but this is the reason why Demografix encourages parents and teachers to provide the feedback: you can provide the best supportive feedback, and encouragement from you is far more effective than a disembodied voice saying “Good Job.” Cheers for Demografix for adding the feedback in response to user requests, but I’m with them when it comes to adult interactions and supervision.
- Lockable – parents and teachers can lock the app so that children cannot turn on the Internet links or edit exercises.
- Import/Export custom activities.
The YouTube video below shows the App in action:
You find that the main differences to School Writing, apart from it being available for iPhone, are the absence of the White board activity, words and words being limited to 10 characters.
Tracing over letters with fingers will help children to learn the different patterns, letters and numbers, but I would suggest trying a stylus to practice pencil-grip too.
Demografix have a section on their website where you can download the default lessons plus lessons submitted by other teachers and parents. I strongly encourage sharing activities you create with this App, as it saves “reinventing the wheel”. I hope to upload some activities there soon.
This is the must-have iPhone App for every teacher and parent. Instead of being tut-tutted for letting your children play arcade games while you are out and about, you’ll be sue to earn a “good parent” sticker if your child is using this one.
Disclaimer – thank you to Paul Collins from Demografix for providing me with the App to review. All comments are my my own honest opinions.
Paul Collins from Demografix has given me some codes for both the USA and Australian iTunes stores to give away to my readers. Check that you are entering the raffle for your country only. THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.
School Fonts USA Giveaway – a Rafflecopter giveaway
Australian Giveaway – a Rafflecopter giveaway
Made for iPhone
- School Writing – the Must-Have App for all schools (onsarahsipad.wordpress.com)
- Demografix (www.demografix.com.au/)
- Ghost Type by Demografix (onsarahsipad.wordpress.com)