Archives for Apps

Having fun with Instagram

I have always been “snap happy”. I’ve been a picture person since I was young! Having a baby has sent that into overdrive. Like, 50-100 photos on an average day isn’t rare. One of my requirements  for my phone is that it has a GREAT camera. So many friends were getting blurry photos with their iPhones and other smartphones, I knew it would just drive me crazy. And, because my photos are taken on my phone, they are uploaded to Intagram and FB from my phone. Instagram offers a little “fun”, but I wanted to do a LOT more with my photos. I began searching and playing. Since I started doing more with my photos, a TON of people have asked me what apps I use. I figured it would be easier to direct them here than continue to retype my answers again and again.

NOTE: I am an Android user. Some of the apps are available on both Android and iOS, and I’ll try to note when it is. But keep in mind, I have never used the iOS versions of these apps!


“Labels” are the colored strips with text. They often look like something that has come out of a real label maker or text written on masking tape, washi tape, etc. I am picky with these, I don’t like it to look “junky”. Some of my favorite apps are…

labelbox Labelbox

  • 15 different labels
  • Ability to undo – but only to clear EVERYTHING you’ve done, and you have to
    shake your phone. (which, quite frankly, leaves you looking ridiculous in

  • [Available
    on iOS]


  • I couldn’t even begin to count the number of tapes
  • Divided by colors, then patterns (you scroll for miles)
  • All are semi see-though – meant to look like Japanese Washi Tape
  • [Available
    on iOS]


This is the trick to putting a bunch of related photos into one image for sharing via social media. I prefer ones that create square collages. Then I can quickly plug it into Instagram, which then shoots it out to Facebook and Twitter. I’ve tried quite a few, but it really comes down to two for me.


  • Super clean and quick
  • All the frames are divided by number of images
  • Can change the thickness and color of the frame around the collage
  • You can save to your gallery or send it straight to another app (Instagram,
    Facebook, editors, etc)
  • For iOS Check Out: Fuzel
photogridPhoto Grid
    • Some cool collage options (not all square/rectangle)
    • Funky borders available as well (patterns, etc)
    • Add text right in the app
    • [Available
      on iOS]
  • Editors

    Sometimes you want to do just a bit MORE. Maybe add some clip art, some “chalk drawing-like” text or images. A photo needs “touch-up” or even “blacked out” . Maybe even some silly arrows or talking bubbles? That’s when I go to my editor for the extra “ooph”. Now, I have a LOT of editors, and I use them all for different things. But I have a few I use more frequently for “common” edits or even more specialized features …


     Beautiful Mess

    • This one is a great one for cutesy borders, fonts, clips art, etc. It’s
      become my go-to and probably yours friends’ too!

    • It also lets you create images without a picture – use a blank background or
      one of the many patterns available!
    • [Available on iOS]
    • A little chalk-like clip art in the library
    • Some great fonts – sometimes I’ll leave my labels plank and add text from
      this app!

    • You can add stickers, frames, borders, layer photos, masks, draw and other

    • Also, create from scratch a brand new image!
    • [Available
      on iOS]
  • realbokehReal Bokeh
    • This adds a little “magical aura” to your images – it looks like light

    • It also lets you pick shapes, colors and placement!
    • [Available
      on iOS]
  • Examples

    Here are some examples of these apps in use!

    Used: PicArt

    label: labelbox
    Used: LabelBox

    collage: photo frames
    Used: PhotoFrame

    heart lights: real brokeh
    Used: Real Bokeh

    clipart: picsart
    Used: PicsArt

    Used: Beautiful Mess

    Happy Editing!

    – Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

    Review the Lesson

    The Dilemma:

    One of my favorite ways to wrap-up a session with some of my upper-elementary and middle school students is to make THEM wrap-up my lesson. This demonstrates to me what they’ve learned and also helps them solidify it in their own mind. It also avoids them being able to say “nothing” to their parents asking what they’ve learned! The “review” typically involves them telling me what they learned in our session through a handout. This holds it own limitations. Many of my students have  writing aversions and difficulties, anxiety about saying/doing the wrong thing, and difficulty working with others. I realized I needed to find a way to help them review the lesson that was motivating, allowed them to use their strengths and removed as many barriers as possible to really get a solid picture of their learning.

    The Solution:

    If I need a motivating activity, I always go straight to my iPad. But I still wanted something that could go home for them to review and show parents their learning. Imagine my excitement when I began using the Educreations app! There were so many features of this app that really motivated and enabled my student’s to review their sessions using their strengths while supporting their weaknesses.

    The Features:

    Click on the image for a larger view


    The Lesson

    I introduced the app by teaching a mini-lesson through it – usually no more than a few minutes of a new concept or a review of an older one. Most of my students are extremely tech savvy, so it didn’t take long for them for them to master the app. The first few reviews we planned out on the whiteboard to make sure they were able to identify the key points from the lesson and discuss why we had worked on those areas today (Example: Today we talking about ______ to help me with ______). Then did a few “takes” on the app until we got it right and had a finished product to send home! Over the following weeks I was able to lesson the support and pre-thinking I gave them. Soon we were down to me just listening in while they did the review off of what we’d put on the board throughout the lesson (no structured planning needed) to now, where my students do the review when I leave to go discuss the session with the parents! They are motivated to do their review and get to do a “free time” activity afterwards until I return. And with Educreations, I can privately share the Reviews with them and their families. The Review makes it home before they do when I send it home in a quick e-mail!


    • It can be easy for students to accidentally delete all their work if they don’t save it correctly and close out the app. I’ve had this happen a few times and it can be frustrating for all of us! Making sure you know how to save them, and making sure to emphasize to them the importance of saving before they exit the app usually solves this problem!
    • There is no erase button – so those students who see mistakes as “big deals” or may become fixated on their mistakes might have a lot of difficulty with this!
    • Fingers work ok – but I highly suggest a stylus for this app. It allows students to copy down drawings and diagrams from the lesson with less frustration and more clarity. There is a text button for writing, but most often I find we all resort to writing it out.
    • There is a little arrow in the bottom right corner of the app – play with this! It allows you to make multiple “page” presentations.
    • There are other apps out there with similar functions (Doodlecast, etc). But this one was the right price (free) and after meeting the creators at the Bay Area Maker Fair, I was really impressed with how receptive they were to suggestions! The sold me on their app all over again!

    Let me know if you try Educreations, or if you already use in interesting other ways!

    – Tara, the SpeechyKeenSLP

    Speech News – February 10, 2012

    #ASHA Recap – Apps, Apps and More Apps

    “App” was the buzz word this year at ASHA, with every talk resuling in crowds overflowing from their rooms. I don’t think I was in a single talk about apps where people weren’t sitting on the floor or where overflow rooms being opened. I believe the interest is two-fold – SLPs wanting to know how to use this new tool in therapy, and SLPs worrying about how this new tool is being used in our field. Before you jump to conclusions, it isn’t just the “old school” SLPs who are doing the worrying. It’s also the tech savvy who have been keeping a close eye on these developments. Everything is good – in moderation. But too often people are quick to jump onto the latest fad, forgetting their “smarts”. One of my favorite quotes from ASHA was heard by one of my fellow SLPs @apujo5 – “Apps do not make a therapist better, a good therapist can creatively intrigue and engage clients technologically using apps.” Are we using apps to run our therapy, or running the therapy ourselves and using apps to support our work?

    I went to a pretty uneventful talk on apps at one point during the convention, but tucked somewhere in the middle of the talk was a nougat that grabbed my attention. They were talking about the need for standardized reviews to be completed by therapists in the field. The iTunes ratings are informative, but they are filled out by parents more than those of us in the speech and language/special needs fields. So although they can give us an “idea” ofhow we could use them, we aren’t getting the big picture. Where else could we get the “gestalt” than from those in the trenches just like us? They suggested an outline of information that was pertinent to us in the field, yet quick to reference – just like the iTunes store. I created the form below and would love to hear:

    1. Your feedback – what else should be on this form? What is not as important to you?
    2. About the apps you love! Any information submitted may be posted on this blog in the future unless you note you would not like it included in the box at the bottom. It can be annonymous as well.


    The form can also be found here.


    – Tara, SpeechyKeenSLP