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Pilot Program Introduced into New York City Schools

Kayle Concepts implemented a Bluebee Pal Pilot Program in five Bronx and five Brooklyn Schools. The program was designed to promote Bluebee Pals as an effective communication and educational tool for early childhood educators and therapists in mainstream and special needs schools. New York City Schools consists of five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island and considered one of the largest educational institutions in the United States. In the New York City School system, technology is recognized as an important component of education. While we anticipated a supportive response, the teachers and therapists have exceeded our expectations in recognizing Bluebee Pals as a vital assistive technology tool in engaging learning and communication. https://www.bluebeepals.com

P. 53K at P384 Brooklyn, New York: Barbara Barone-Speech Therapist 

1. How often are Bluebee Pals used daily/weekly?  We use Bluebeee daily during speech therapy, classroom lessons, and student enrichment clusters (SEM).

2.  What activities are Bluebee Pals used with? We focus on literacy, music and vocabulary connected to AAC devices for communication. In addition to social/emotional interaction skills.

3. Who is using the Bluebee Pals? The speech therapists and teachers at our site are using the Bluebee Pals as well as the students we each service.  

4. What goals/objectives are you targeting when using Bluebee PalsAs a speech therapist, my main objective is to use Bluebee Pals to improve social interaction skills. In particular, we have been working on the students greeting the Bluebee, maintaining conversations by asking and answering questions, and engaging in eye contact. We have also been targeting vocabulary and speech production by using the Bluebee as a model for language.

5. How does Bluebee Pal effect the activity and student progress/engagement? The students absolutely love the Blueebee Pals. They are fun, interactive and motivating for all! Many of my students exhibit social delays that make it difficult for them to engage with their peers. They have been so excited to interact with Bluebee by asking him questions and modeling his language. I hope this will teach them the social skills they need to communicate with their peers. 

6. What are your favorite apps to use with Bluebee Pals?  AAC Apps – Proloquo, Touch Chat, LAMP, Myon, Reading AppSpotify – Sammy is a great addition to our dance parties social Story and Pictello – I have been creating stories and social scripts with the students and Bluebee does a great job of bringing them to life. Voice Recorder – to record social scripts for the students to use when practicing asking and answering questions with the Bluebee.https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voice-recorder-audio-editor/id685310398

7. What is your feedback on the Bluebee Pal App, Book and Activity Book? The app is great! My students really enjoy completing the puzzles and putting cars on the race track. I like using the alphabet board to word on letter recognition and the home for activities of daily living skills (ADL).

Early childhood teachers, speech and occupational therapists are integrating Bluebee into their programs. Their passion is reflected in the variety and creative usages Bluebee Pals are utilized on a daily basis as an assistive technology tool. “I have only been using the Bluebee Pals for a month but the students and I already love it! I look forward  to discovering new and exciting ways to incorporate it into my speech practice.” -Barbra Barone Barbara Barone Speech Department, P. 53K at P384 Brooklyn, New York

Bluebee Pal Engaging Communication at P. 53K at P384

I am a speech-language pathologist working with verbal, minimally verbal, and non-verbal children on my caseload. I use Bluebee Pal Leo the Lion in nearly all of my therapy sessions. Leo the Lion, while paired to my iPad as I use absolutely any text-to-speech or communication app, provides spoken instructions to my students.

The kiddos sometimes ignore me, a human (I think), but I haven’t yet noticed anyone ignoring Bluebee Pal Leo, who is a cute robotic stuffed animal kind of thing, who moves his mouth as he talks or sings. I can’t compete with Leo. When he runs out of power (which takes days of use to happen), and I put him on the shelf, my kiddos look up at him, point, and request him! He is a powerful motivator for a number of my students who in the past resisted demands to try to pronounce difficult words but now readily imitate Leo. They sing along with him (e.g., Spotify app), and he tells them stories (e.g., MyOn app). https://www.bluebeepals.com

Their increased engagement has resulted in measurable therapeutic gains, whether quality of speech production, range of vocabulary on a speech device (e.g., Proloquo2Go app; LAMP Words for Life app; TouchChat app), combining words, or adding new communicative functions. Students who previously requested only, learned from Leo to direct a peer to take turns or perform actions in a game (e.g., open).  As a bilingual provider, I toggle languages on my personal communication apps to change the language when needed. So, Leo speaks Spanish (or any other language) that my apps support. https://aacapps.com

I recommend Bluebee Pals for your kiddos. – Joseph Kurtz, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist, MS, CCC-SLP, PC

 

Joseph Kurtz
Bilingual Speech Pathologist, Spanish Extension
PROMPT Certified MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE, PC
P. 53K at P384
242 Cooper Street, Brooklyn NY 11207

PedsAcademy at Nemours Children’s Hospital

The University of Central Florida’s PedsAcademy at Nemours Children’s Hospital is the world’s first pediatric school program designed to provide children in hospitals with extraordinary, research-backed educational opportunities specific to their respective disease or condition. The team of UCF affiliated faculty is on site Monday through Friday from 10-5 to help your child succeed in school. Their faculty are experts in the fields of mathematics, science, reading, engineering education, the humanities, and special education. https://pedsacademy.org/about-variant-1/

Bluebee Pals Collaboration and PedsAcademy

Bluebee Pals were donated to the PedsAcademy to assist early childhood educators in literacy and reading. The hospital setting created a challenging situation considering the strict sanitary protocols ingrained in most hospital policies. Rebeca A. Grysko(Associate Director of Teacher Education) created the idea to dress the Bluebee Pals in costumes, specifically, astronauts themed outfits that would cover the Bluebee Pal head to toe. The customers were approved and Bluebee Pals were introduced on reading aloud day!

“Yesterday’s event was a great success! We were able to introduce Bluebee to patients and families. We used Bluebee to read-aloud books to patients using a children’s digital book application called Epic. I have attached a few photos as well as a video. We had a few parents inquire about Bluebee. I was able to speak about the many educational uses of Bluebee and direct them to the Bluebee Pals website for additional info. I also posted about the event on Twitter and tagged @BluebeePals in all posts.” Rebeca A. Grysko, Associate Director of Education

Rebeca A. Grysko, Ph.D.

“In addition to yesterday’s event, I have conducted professional development sessions for our student-teacher interns. I modeled how to connect Bluebee to a device via Bluetooth and demonstrated how Bluebee can be used with a variety of educational apps. The student teacher interns have been exploring different ways to utilize Bluebee in their instruction. They were all asked to complete the Bluebee Pals Project Questionnaire to provide feedback and information about their experiences. We are currently working on scanning all the questionnaires into one PDF document to send to you. We look forward to continuing to use Bluebee pals with patients here at PedsAcademy.”

   We greatly value the collaboration with Bluebee Pals and see a lot of potential for using them to foster reading motivation and engagement with the patients here at Nemours.

Rebeca A. Grysko, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Teacher Education; Post-Doctoral Scholar
UCF’s PedsAcademy at Nemours Children’s Hospital 
 

 

 

 

 

 

STEM Teacher Utilizing Bluebee Pals

Frances Amato Dominguez, David Marquis School of the Arts:  Bluebee Pals Pro 

“Functional educational toys for young children are not something common to find. Many items available these days have gimmicks and look to create a cycle where you have to keep purchasing more and more kits for the products to be fully functional. As a mother and a teacher, I look at educational toys in a different light. One of the best toys that I have seen as of late has been Bluebee Pals Pro. Many years ago when I was a special education classroom teacher, I had purchased their original Bluebee pals and used it to have stories read to my class and to practice vocabulary. After using the Pro version, I was in awe. I cannot believe everything that it can now do. There is a free app that pairs with your new plush friend that has all different educational opportunities split into different rooms of a house. The app is well though out and easy to navigate. My students were able to follow along and complete activities with very little prompting and information.”

Attributes of Bluebee in the Classroom 

“My favorite part of the new updates Bluebee Pals Pro is the functionality with Speech and Language apps. I work in a population where many of my students are non-verbal and use a device to facilitate communication. This can pair with the apps and speak for the child. Not only that but I have seen my students engage with their new toy and trying so hard to talk and interact with it. Computer generated voices are not the best outputs or appropriate models for my students to follow. I have found that when my bear talks to them in a more human voice than naturally produced by the app, there is a huge change in the child.”

“Bluebee Pals provide a way to learn functional life skills and the support of cognitive development of early learners. Children can fully immerse themselves into a connected experience through nine educational games. In addition to speech and language apps, Bluebee Pals pair with many apps and narrate them to the child. This is perfect for mainstream and special needs children. My work is targeted to special needs children and they love it. From a simple cuddle buddy to a talking companion it provides the right resources for children to learn.”

Literacy and Bluebee Pals 

“I am a STEM Teacher at The David Marquis School of the Arts; Bluebee Pals are instrumental at helping my students learn our fringe vocabulary words. It pronounces the words for them and they get a chance to then hear them, repeat what they are hearing and them complete our spelling and writing activities. This month we are learning words like food chain, relationships, patterns, predator and prey. These are not words typical to my student’s lives. With the help of Bluebee Pals my students are starting to say and pronounce the words correctly. It is such an amazing visual model. Many of my students are visual learners so it is the perfect classroom tool.”  http://The David Marquis School of the Arts”

Bluebee Options 

“There are also many options to choose from so you can find the perfect friend for your child’s educational journey. Your lineup of available friends are Hudson the puppy; Parker the Monkey; Lily the Lamb; Sammy the Bear; Leo the Lion and Riley the Zebra. I personally have both Sammy and Riley and they are too cute for words.”  https://www.bluebeepals.com

“In this educator’s opinion, Bluebee Pals are the perfect educational companion for any child. I have the privilege of sharing it with my students and colleagues and will continue to use it in my classroom.”

Mrs. Frances Amato Dominguez
STEM Teacher, Technology Liaison, Website Master 
Public School 37R
The David Marquis School of the Arts
15 Fairfield Street
Staten Island, New York 10308

“Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers is transformational.” – George Couros

 

 

 

Bluebee Pal and Speech Therapy Tool

What a great therapy tool!  What I love best about our bluebee pal is how diverse it is. We use it in so many ways! We have older kids use it as a projection of their voice to greet the younger kids;  increasing peer to peer interaction is such a great foundational communication skill for our kids to learn.  Also, the kids are more motivated to pick a song when the bluebee pal is singing it.  We are currently using it in our joint action routines (JARs) to teach a variety of communication skills to children with autism.

Therapists utilize Bluebee as a effective speech therapy motivational tool to engage in communication and learning. Bluebee participates in repeating words, answering questions and reading stories. There are variety of popular speech apps from basic to apps to AAC apps for non verbal children. What are the main apps paired with Bluebee Pals? Text to Speech Apps with reading activities, Proloquo2Go is an AAC app to enhance communication, Autism ihelps Apps teaches vocabulary, Super Duper Publications for speech, Smarty Ears for speech and Splingo for speech and language acquisition. Gregory Horan, M.S., SLP Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist.

 

 

Bluebee Pals are a Great Holiday Gift


It’s the season for holiday gifting! It can be especially difficult to select quality gifts for young children, and even more difficult to find gifts with excellent educational value that also have that “fun” factor! Look no further…Bluebee Pals are the perfect gift choice for children! They are uniquely suited to engage the interest of little learners, they easily support reading and educational activities, and they make charming friends! Bluebee Pals make stories come to life, encourage listening, speaking, language development, good social skills, and more! They work with any tablet or smartphone, to deliver not only hours, but also years of enjoyment. If the child on your list is also receiving a tablet for the holidays, or already has access to a tablet, a Bluebee Pal gift would be a perfect match!

 

Bluebee Pals Make Perfect Reading and Learning Companions!

Bluebee Pals are softly huggable, lovable, plush interactive learning tools/toys that connect via Bluetooth to all iOS and Android devices. They wirelessly pair with all apps with a narrative, which provides endless educational opportunities and entertainment for children of all ability levels. Bluebee’s mouth and head realistically move while speaking, making reading, educational apps, games, and activities so much fun! Which Bluebee Pal will you choose? Hudson the dog, Riley the zebra, Leo the Lion, Lily the lamb, Sammy the bear, or Parker the monkey? https://www.bluebeepals.com/
Benefits:
  • Bluebee is compatible with ALL apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee makes storybook apps come to life!
  • Bluebee is compatible with text-to-speech apps
  • Bluebee teaches language and AAC (alternative augmentative communication).
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.
  • With Bluebee, children become immediately more engaged and attentive, and eagerly look forward to focused learning opportunities!

Bluebee comes with a FREE companion app!

The Bluebee Pals app is a fun and easy way to begin learning through play.
In the Bluebee Pals app there are 5 colorful and interactive rooms to explore with your child: Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, Living roomand Playroom. By talking about, asking questions, playing mini-games and encouraging free play, you can focus on and reinforce many early learning, educational, and life skills. https://www.bluebeepals.com/bluebee-pals-app/

Additional Suggested Apps:
Reading: Epic! – Kids’ Books and Videos by Epic! Creations Inc
Educational: Listening Power Grades K-3 HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/listening-power-grades-k-3-hd/id1065753089?mt=8
Voice Recording: Voice Memos by Apple. Quickly and easily record vocabulary words to practice spelling, play matching games by matching words to pictures, use the recorder to have Bluebee give instructions or ask questions, or use the recorder to sequence or retell a story.
Book Creator for iPad by Red Jumper Limited. Easily create your own books! Add music, narration, video, text! Share with family and friends.
Text-to-Speech—-Talk For Me – Text to Speech by Darrin Altman
Interact in real time with your Bluebee Pal by typing in text for your Bluebee to speak! Ask and answer questions, make up your own stories or type in the text of books for your Bluebee Pal to read. Have Bluebee help practice vocabulary by typing in words or definitions, questions, or even tests for him to say aloud.
Happy Holidays!

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