Saturday, November 8, 2014

Awesome iPad Apps for School Counselors

My time spent in professional development at the Florida School Counseling Association Convention include this great pre-conference session with School Counselor Daniel Turk, a 7th grade Counselor, at Osceola Middle School in Pinellas County, Florida.  His session, iHelp Too provided a great list of  FREE apps for use by School Counselors, students, and parents.  I have now downloaded them all and am slowly working my way through the list trying out each one.
He divided the apps into categories such as:  solo apps for academic skills, group/classroom counseling apps, individual counseling apps, special education apps and apps for parents.
Many of you may already be familiar with a lot of these apps.  There were quite a few I had heard of but a number I had not. This is just a sample of some of the great apps he shared with us.

Solo Apps
Duolingo Languages helps with the learning of  languages (covers most Romance languages) and placement tests.  Described as learning a new language on the go. Mini games test your skills in reading, writing, and speaking.  Earn badges, compete with friends, track your progress while learning up to 9 languages.

Flashcards+  is a great way to create and  review your own  flashcards or choose from millions of existing flashcard decks. App includes pronunciation help, shuffle feature, marking cards as learned, toggle between showing the term and definition.

iTooch Elementary School Math/Language Arts and Science is based on the US National Common Core and  has more than 18,000 exercises.  It is a fun way for students in grades 1-5 to practice and learn math, language arts, and science.

Group or Classroom Counseling Apps
Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion  Using an interactive story, Professor Garfield and friends help Nermal learn about good information and misinformation on the internet. The Fact-Bot  also helps Nermal learn the difference in fact and opinion.

Professor Garfield Cyberbullying  Professor Garfield helps Nermal get to the bottom of a cyber attack.  Students are asked to apply their knowledge to prevent becoming a victim of cyberbullying.  Students will understand the meaning of cyberbullying, reconize its different forms, learn strategies for handing cyberbullying, and the importance in getting the help of a trusted adult.

Professor Garfield Online Safety  Nermal connects with other comic book fans online and one in particular wants to meet in person.  Professor Garfield helps Nermal learn about keeping his personal information safe online. Students learn how to use the internet safely, that people are not always who they say they are, never give out personal information without adult permission, and that predators are always present on the internet.

 My Profession  Designed for 4-5 year olds, this matching game teaches children about the world of professions. Two matching type games (boards) are provided for free.  The additional ten boards are available for $2.99.
Puppet Pals HD Ages 4+  Pick actors and back drops, drag to the stage and tap to record.  Students can create and act out with puppets their original story with audio and video for playback later.  This could be a really great app for individual counseling too.  Sort of like a virtual play therapy using puppet characters for telling their story in a non-threatening way.

Individual Counseling Apps

Feel Electric builds emotional awareness and encourages self expression.  It introduces 50 emotion words and definitions, features three fast-paced vocabulary based games, includes a digital diary to record daily moods and a "zany" story maker.

Moody Monsters  ages 3-8.  Explore emotions and create your own moody monster.  Children can explore Monster Manor, play games, win Monster Merit Badges, take care of their monster friends and help them solve their problems. This app teaches about emotions and problem solving.

Unstuck offers personalized digital tools to help you move from stuck to unstuck.  This app helps you figure out why you are stuck, how you can get unstuck and action tips for getting unstuck.  This app definitely needs the guidance of the School Counselor.
 Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Street   Ages 2-5
This bilingual app teaches children the breathe, think, do strategy for problem solving. Tap the monster to help him take deep breaths, think of plans, and try them out.

Fluid Monkey  Responsive pools of liquid such as ink in water, thick paint, gelatin, oil paint, wet mud and bowls of paint are good for one on one de-escalation and relaxation.

Zen Space   This virtual Zen garden sand tray allows you to relax while creating paths through the sand with different types of rakes.  Rocks and leaves may be added to create your own environment while listening to the sounds of  birds, sea, forest or rain.

Emotionary  An emotional diary tool designed for therapist or teachers who work with children and adolescents with ASD or similar mental disorders.  Helps develop understanding of emotions  necessary in the development of social skills and empathy.  Users take their own photo of a particular feeling and record  their voice and/or make a written entry.  Students can go back and reflect on previous feelings and situations.

Emotions Collections  Ages 2.5-8  Serious emotional story situations,  the first story about death is free, 5 remaining stories are $2.99 each or $3. 99 for the rest of the collection.  The stories are available in 7 languages and the narrator voice can be turned off or on.  You are are also able to record your own voice reading the story.  Thinking, talking, drawing activities are provided at the end of the story for deeper understanding.  Anna and Pete are the main characters who learn to recognize and put into practice different feelings such as death, anger, happiness, sadness, fear, and worry.

Counselor Tools
120+Mental Disorders This app describes disorders and  allows you to search specific disorders.  It's like a mini DSM for your pocket.  Provides alphabetical listing of understanding for over 120 disorders.  Short articles provide a brief introduction, discuss symptoms, diagnosing,  and common and alternative treatments. The user is able to search by disorder, email information to others regarding certain disorders, post to Facebook, or mark articles as favorites. The disclaimer states this app is for information and educational purposes only.

World Lens  gives translations on the go.  This app uses your built in video camera in real time to translate any sign in one of six languages into your own language.  No network is required, it gives results immediately anytime, anywhere.  Translations are not perfect but you get the general meaning.  Does not recognize handwriting or stylized fonts.

Special Education
SeeTouchLearn   A picture card system for learning new words and concepts and fostering self expression.  This app combines the effectiveness of picture cards with the interactivity of the iPad. Custom lessons may be created using this starter library .  Fifty additional libraries with over 4,400 pictures and 2,200 exercises are available for purchase from $ .99 for individual libraries up to $34.99 for the entire library.
Model Me Kids  Great tool for helping a child learn to navigate challenging locations in the community. Each location contains a photo slideshow of children modeling appropriate behavior.

Autism Emotion Music and a photo story slideshow are narrated to help teach about different emotions (happy, sad, proud, calm).  May advance manually or set for automatic.

Moody Jigsaws for Kids Lite  Students learn about  four different emotions by putting puzzles together of various feelings.  A memory game is also included.  Children earn stickers every time they complete a puzzle.  The full version including i additional emotions is $.99.

Verbal Me Free  (also available in Spanish) This might be a good one for some of the selective mutes we work with. Nonverbal students can tap a button and the iPad will speak the text aloud in the voice of a girl or a boy. This free version includes 14 screen choices including: yes-no, A-B-C, 1-2-3-4-5, happy-mad-sad, day-night, bullying, weather, colors, fruits, letter sounds and an on screen keyboard that allows students to type their thoughts and the iPad reads their words aloud.

My Emotions Free  A storybook about a variety of emotions using a cute cartoon face with self flipping pages or manual setting.  At the end of the story is a memory matching game.

Vola Friends  Shows a variety of culturally diverse real faces expressing a variety of emotions. This app helps children to develop emotional facial recognition. You could ask a child to to touch the one that is...                                                                                                                                                                                      

Emopedia  This app reads like an encyclopedia, covering 62 different emotions.  Each emotion is depicted with faces with a slider underneath to change the face from the minimum to the maximum feeling of a particular emotion.  This app includes images, facts, professional actor,s and an original soundtrack to help you find everything you need to understand and experience even the most subtle shades of mood and feeling.  Includes the purpose of a particular emotion, why people experience it, recognizing it, and learning to control feelings.

For Parents
Sesame Street Divorce Provides parents and caregivers with tools to help children 2-8 cope with the many transitions related to separation and divorce.  This is really more of a primer or "how to for parents." It includes videos from Sesame Street, articles with tips and strategies, conversation starters, and interactive tools such as face maker and coloring pages.  Sesame Street recommends the caregiver use the tools and view the videos first to choose what is most helpful and relevant for the family.

Sesame Street Military Families  All of Sesame Street's resources in both English and Spanish can be found right here.  Because of the sensitive nature of this topic it is recommended that a parent or guardian previews materials before co-viewing with the child.
This  app is not appropriate to give a child to sit down and do alone, parental support and supervision are needed. Topics covered include deployment, homecoming, injuries, grief, and self-expression.

Sesame Street Incarceration This app is designed for parents and caregivers of children 3-8 to cope with the transitions related to a parent's incarceration. Pre-viewing and co-viewing are recommended to choose what is most relevant to the family.  A tip book provides parents and caregivers with age-appropriate language to talk honestly with children, videos of real families and Muppets, and an interactive story book and photo activity for caregivers to use with children.

I know this is a long post, but there were so many great apps to share and I know there are hundreds more out there and more being developed every day!  Do you have apps not mentioned here that you use on a regular basis?  I would love to hear about them and add them to my growing app library.  Please feel free to share your favorites!


  1. Than you for the post. I have used the Garfield bullying and safety. Kids love it.

    1. Glad you and your students liked it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. So many great apps!
    Love this post!

  3. This is great information thank you for sharing! I'm trying to find the app Moody Monster. Do you know if it is still available?

  4. Thank you for sharing this!!! Great resources....
    And to the above commenter, I could not find Moody Monster either.