OTFC’s Top 10 Resources – Part 4

Last year we restarted the top 10 OTFC resources list, looking at an old favourite, Wedgits. We will continue that list over coming weeks and months, introducing some new resources, as well as some you may have already tried.

One of my personal favourites is a new device for the iPad which will transform the device, from what can be at times a passive device, into a more interactive system! Having only been released last year, and started as a small trial project, this device could become a staple amongst households everywhere!

I’m talking about OSMO! Voted one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2014, “Osmo’s groundbreaking system fosters social intelligence and creative thinking by opening up the iPad to the endless possibilities of physical play”

The device, pictured above, is essentially a base for an iPad (all makes) which uses a small reflective mirror attachment (seen in between the base) which interacts with images placed in front of it. This allows the ipad to become more than just a screen, and encourages interaction with tangible items.

This is demonstrated through the three games which are bundled with the device, Tangram (a visual perceptual shapes game, pictured below), Words (an interactive spelling and reasoning game) and Newton (a ‘draw your own’ path game, to collect all the coins).

For lots of children and families, something like Osmo presents a new and interactive way to explore technology. For children who have difficulties or fear around drawing, writing or pencil skills, games like Newton introduce fun and non-threatening ways to draw and create.

Similarly, children who require opportunities to work on their visual perceptual skills, fine motor coordination, motor planning and problem solving, Tangram allows a ‘tangible’ interaction with the iPad and can be played solo, as the game will give visual cues of correct piece placement and completion of a puzzle.

Finally, Words is a great way to work on spelling, words and social interaction. Words can be played solo, against another person or in teams. Best of all, if you are unsure of the spelling, you can have a few attempts at the word, place letters in a number of orders, and the game will recognise letters that are found in the word, so children become aware of the spelling without the ‘fear’ of getting it wrong! Best of all, you can create and uplaod your own word lists (i.e. a great way to work on those tricky sight words!)

The device is now being sold on the Australian Apple Store for $99, coming with the three original games, or can be purchased via the Osmo website, from the United States.

For more information, follow the link to the Osmo website

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