Teaching ASL (American Sign Language) via Kindle…

I have always had a fascination with sign language.  It is such a beautiful way to communicate!  And pretty useful too!  Last summer, while Vaughn was working one of the 2 firework stands that we run for the 4th, a deaf man came to the stand, and showed Vaughn that he wanted some firecrackers.  Vaughn knew enough sign language to get across which ones were the loudest, and to let the guy know that they were waterproof.  Vaughn showed him individual firecrackers that he thought the man would like, and before Vaughn knew it, the man, who was checking the firecrackers out, pulled a lighter out of his pocket, lit the one Vaughn said was loudest, and threw it out in the parking lot where it exploded.  He turned back with a big smile on his face, signed that he could hear that one, and bought several boxes.  While it is hilarious now, at the time it was a little frustrating to Vaughn to not be able to communicate quickly enough, in ASL, to ask the man not to be lighting fireworks next to the stand (could get us closed). LOL.  Mabye Vaughn will have to get in some tablet time, because these are the best ASL apps for Kindle…
Learning ASL comes in very handy even if you aren’t running a fireworks stand; it’s a great way to warn your kids of the coming impending doom when they start misbehaving at various public functions.  …which I’m sure we never have to (cough, cough).   😉

So, if you are interested in your kidlets (or even yourself – I think these are great fun for review!) learning ASL, these Kindle apps are the ones to go to:

ASL Spelling Game – My Smart Hands is a great app for learning beginning sign language. The spelling game teaches the ASL alphabet only.  While it is limited in what it teaches, it does the best job of getting across fingering, is very easy to use, and uses a realistic hand (child) to show hand posture.  The game offers 2 options: learn and play.  In ‘learn’, you simply choose a letter on the keyboard, and ‘the hand’ shows the fingering for that letter – the best part is that the hand is shown from front (what others see), and ‘you see’ showing the back of your hand as you hold it for others to see; the only con to this app was here, where I found the keyboard to be on the small side.  In ‘play’ mode. the hand signs words for you to cypher.  The hand moves between letters realistically, and you can individualize your play by choosing word length (3,4,5,any), speed (slow, med, fast, expert), whether you want to type in your answer or choose from a list, and either qwerty or abc keyboard.  Cheap & Fun! ($.99 at this posting)

ASL Hangman is a very basic, but enjoyable app to help with ASL review, offering hangman game after hangman game.  Working on just the alphabet fingering, this app features a gallows (for hanging the pirate 😉 ), and underneath are rows of hand signs (I had to scroll down to get to the last letters in the alphabet – not a biggie, just need to know…).  No letters are shown with the hands, but the signs are shown in ABC order.  When you first download the app, be sure to read the quickstart paragraph, as you won’t get another chance (couldn’t tell you what it said because I clicked past it! (insert eye roll)).  Tip: to get to the next screen, click on the word under the pirate (that you were guessing) – not sure if they tell you that in quickstart, but it took me some time to figure out how to move on! LOL!).

ASL Dictionary Sign Language – if you want to move on past alphabet fingering, this is the best app (IMHO).   This app includes ‘video’ clips of someone signing the word or phrase, including slow motion replay! <3  You can make a favorites list of the words and phrases you are trying to learn, and includes over 5200 signs. This is the link to the tablet version – there is also a couple of other downloads, including one for HD, but that one takes up huge amounts of space.  Be sure to read the description for space usage to make sure which version would best suit your needs.

Lilla Rose

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