Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Apps for OTs | Switch Activated OctoPlus

When Zyrobotics reached out to me to see if I was interested in checking out their new math app, OctoPlus, the switch-access is what really caught my eye about this new app. Switch accessible apps are not something that I have much experience with, so I hit the internet to see find more information. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend that you visit Jane Farrall's website, especially her very newly updated page on Switch Accessible Apps for iPad/iPhone. 

For the record: I don't currently have access to a switch, so I did not try this app with a switch. However, I did try this app, and as an OT, I really like the visual motor component of this math game. If you do have a switch, or work with a child who uses a switch to access apps, then this might be a good app for you to add to your toolbox.

Here's how OctoPlus works:

In this app, there are two options to choose from: drill and challenge. Within each option, you can choose Beginner, Advanced, or Expert. The drill option is just that-a drill of repetitive math problems where all of the problems have the same answer. This seems to be just to increase exposure to the math problems. In the challenge option, the user must solve the math problems and locate the correct answer.

OctoPlus is a beginner math app for sure, as the settings only go up to math problems that add up to 10. In both options, drill and challenge, the user must tap the correct answer at the bottom of the screen, while the octopus is near that number to squirt ink up to the turtle. This is where the visual motor and visual attention skills come into play, and as an OT, I appreciate that this app challenges more than just math skills.

As an OT, these are the things I love about the OctoPlus app:

  • Switch accessible. While I did not try out this feature, it is my understanding that not a lot of apps are switch accessible, so I like that this app is accessible to children with special needs who may have mobility impairments. Zyrobotics sells a TabAccess Bluetooth Switch Interface that is compatible with OctoPlus, but I believe any iPad compatible switch will work.
  • Encourages visual motor skills. The numbers at the bottom of the screen must be tapped and the numbers keep changing, so the user must visually locate the correct answer and then tap the number.
  • Encourages visual attention skills. The numbers at the bottom of the screen are constantly changing, and the octopus is in constant motion, so the user must maintain visual attention to keep track of the numbers and the octopus.

App Information:

Name of App: OctoPlus
Publisher: Zyrobotics LLC
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Price: $0.99

P.S. Check out my app page for all of the apps I've shared.

*Disclosure: I received a promo code for this app, but all writing and opinions are my own. Information was correct at the time of publication, but is subject to change, so please confirm prior to downloading. This post contains affiliate links.

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