A School Psychologist's resource for all things tech.

Archive for January, 2014

Behavior Motivation Tools

There are times when something makes you think, “you’re meant to write a blog post today” and today is one of those days.  I received an alert via AppShopper that an app I use and one I’ve been wanting to write about dropped in price. So here I am, writing a post so that maybe you can take advantage of iRewards being on sale. Both of the apps below are great apps to use for behavior plans.


Price: $4.99   $2.99

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 9.06.17 PMThere are many ways to utilize iRewards but recently I used it with a student who needed a lot of external motivation in order to persevere through challenging tasks. Who would have thought the cognitive assessments that require a student to get 5 or 6 wrong in a row would be frustrating?!


I think of iRewards as similar to token strips meaning you have a set number of tasks, steps, behaviors, expectations you want the student to complete before they will receive a break or reward or preferential activity.  An example would be 5 math problems before earning time on an iPad. Within iReward you would choose “reward after 5” and then the picture might be one of an iPad or a picture of the student playing on the iPad.

Pros / Features

  • Multiple student rewards can be set-up
  • Multiple goals/rewards for each student
  • Ability to email and then import already set-up rewards
  • Ability to record voice praise for completion
  • Lock the screen so the number of behaviors can’t be changed without knowing how to unlock the app
  • Google image search built in so you don’t have to first search google and then save the image to your camera roll.

Cons / Improvements

  • I wish you could customize the stars to make them something else like other shapes especially if a student is especially motivated by earning coins, cars, trains, etc.
photo 1

The main screen you see once you have the goal and rewards setup

iReward multiple goals

Multiple goals for each student as well as the ability to share and import

 iReward setup

Change the number of tasks for child to receive before reward. Import images from google. Record verbal praise
iReward Settings

Additional setup features such as locking.

Win a Spin

Price: $0.99


Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 9.05.39 PM

Who doesn’t like a little excitement delivered by a random reward?  Win a Spin is a 6 space spinning wheel that you can customize for what rewards are displayed.  This would be great to use as the reward for the tasks completed with iRewards app.  If you’re thinking, whatever happened to a good sticker chart, why so many bells and whistles? I think about that sometimes as well.

Pros / Features

  • Plenty of places to put in potential rewards
  • Great exciting way to provide random reinforcers

Cons / Improvements

  • Have to fill in all 6 options otherwise you might land on a blank space
  • Can’t have multiple spinners/students set-up
  • Only text rewards, not images

Win A Spin

Additional Ways to Utilize these Apps

I love utilizing both of these apps in conjunction with Intervention Central’s Jackpot Reward Finder. I often have teachers look at which rewards they’re willing to offer to students and then I work with the students to have them indicate which rewards they would really like to earn.  I’ve stopped being surprised by how many students want rewards such as adult attention through game time, or talk time, etc.

What other apps to you use to support behavior plans of behavior interventions? I’d love to see some more and try out other ones!


Two Factor Authentication

The discussions around the use of cloud computing continues, as it should, but “the cloud” continues continue grow in popularity and acceptance for a variety of reasons.  I’ve discussed in some previous posts the precautions I take with the cloud computing services I utilize on a regular basis but, a part of our legal and ethical practice as NCSP School Psychologists is to continue evaluating ethical uses and practices.  Two factor authentication is another step I’ve taken as a part of my daily work.

Not familiar with two factor authentication?

The video below does a good job explaining two factor authentication.  Here is my brief explanation.  Entering a password is one way of verifying who you are because hopefully you’re the only one who knows the password but two factor authentication adds another way to authenticate that you are who you say you are.

So why would you want two factor authentication?

A strong password is the first step to protecting information but two factor authentication is similar to a second, completely random password.  This completely random password improves your protection of information.  Who doesn’t want more security?

My Uses of Two Factor Authentication

I currently use two factor authentication with both Dropbox and Evernote.  This means when I log-in to either dropbox or evernote, via their website, I first log-in with my username and password but then the service prompts me to enter in the code displayed in my Authenticator app.


Google Authenticator AppThen I use my Google Authenticator App to get the code that I enter in the log-in. The authenticator number only displays for 30 to 60 seconds before another one displays. Below is a screenshot of my authenticator app displaying the code for evernote and dropbox for whichever service I’m logging in to.


So some way, I never promised to have all the technical background and know how, Evernote knows what number is being displayed and so when I enter it Evernote knows I am who I say I am! Voila!

I should draw your attention to the fact that two factor authentication is when you used the web-based service. If you have Dropbox or Evernote installed on your computer then you only use two part authentication when you log-in, which for me is not every time (depends on your settings).  So for me, because I don’t have Evernote or Dropbox installed directly on work computers I access the information by logging in to the website and this is when I’m prompted first for my password and then for my authentication code.

Couple Words of Caution

During the two part authentication set-up process for whichever service(s) you choose to use it with, the service will provide you with an EMERGENCY backup code in case you lose you authenticator app.  KEEP THIS SAFE! If you lose your authenticator app and don’t have this code you won’t be able to get back in to your account. Period. Can I stress any more how important this is to keep this safe!

Ready? Set. Go!

Evernote and Dropbox both have great information and directions for how to set-up two factor authentication. Check it out and send me any questions you might have that come up. I’ll do my best to answer your questions and help out.

Evernote Two Step Verification

Dropbox Two Step Verification

Google Two Step Verification  – If you’re wondering why I didn’t discuss Google Two Step Verification its because I don’t currently use it.  Since my district isn’t a Google Apps District currently I rarely have any information that I need to keep that secure so I don’t have two step verification enabled.  I’ve started reading about it though because the word on the street is that our district will be moving that way in the near future.

iTunes Gift Cards


As a techy geek, an iTunes gift card is a no brainer for me as a gift from my family members and Santa is always good to me and tosses one in my stocking as well. If you received an iTunes card and are contemplating what to spend it on you could definitely spend it on Angry Birds, Mindcraft or new music but you could also spend it on new apps to help you work smarter not harder.

Here are few suggestions:

I know it has been a while since I last posted but I’m really going to work hard to post more often.  I have some ideas for reviews or posts but I’m up for suggestions so send them my way.

Jill Kuzma's SLP Social & Emotional Skill Sharing Site

Ideas for Educators Supporting Social/Emotional Language Skills

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