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February 25, 2016

Activity of the Week: 2/22/16

This week has been another exciting time for speech and language classes.  Since I am working with an A&M graduate student clinician, I am trying to show her a nice range of activities to offer her current and future students/clients.  This week's activity theme is using the iPad to target goals!  I love using my iPad because the technology really seems to motivate students to work towards their targeted goals.  I showed her a variety of apps that I utilize when I use the iPad for therapy.  I will include links to the app store for all the apps I mention in this post for those interested.  I hope to offer future app reviews in upcoming blog posts. 

Here's a sneak peek at some of the apps and activities we did together on the iPad:

1. The Social Express : It used to be an app only and I have version 1.0 but now it is an app and website version 2.0 and is now subscription based.  I love the first version and am considering a subscription while school is in session.  I can only report on version 1 and that I and my student love the characters and activities.  I hope to report back about version 2.0 once I subscribe, which will probably be at the beginning of the school year for Fall 2016.

2. Articulation Station : In app purchases, This is by Smarty Bee Speech and I love it. It was probably one of the first apps I purchased as a graduate SLP clinician.  I use it constantly for my articulation students and it just keeps getting better and better.  There is another app that is for an articulation screener and I love using it as well. It offers the ability to record and track data for performance evaluation.

3.  Buddy Bear (Associations) : $14.99, by Linguisystems. The Buddy Bear apps for autism are some of the best out there.  They are interesting, engaging, and they target a variety of skills.  This version targets object categories/connections/associations.  Such as "Buddy Bear has a toothbrush. What goes with toothbrush? (toothpaste), etc.)

4. Language Adventures : $24.99, by Smarty Ears, they make a lot of different speech and language apps.  This one is great for targeting vocabulary and comprehension. Antonyms, synonyms, multiple-meaning words, inferencing, and -WH questions in three varying levels, this app is a great board-game based activity. Each level sticks to a fun school theme such as playground, cafeteria, and classroom themed questions. The questions that are read out loud are clear and understandable and are repeatable if needed.

5. /R/ Intensive : $19.99, by Smarty Ears.  If you have a student working on /r/ variations, this is a nice app that targets words, phrases, and sentences with different productions such as /ar/, /ear/, /ire/, /rl/, /or/, /er/, etc.). It also has the ability for students to record their production for self analysis and 3 buttons to keep data: green, orange, and red.

6.  Buddy Bear (Yes/No questions): $14.99, by Linguisystems. This is a great app for teaching students how to appropriately and consistently answer yes and no questions with an engaging story/theme.

7.  Articulation Scenes : By Smarty Ears.  Another great articulation app that targets words, phrases, sentences, reading, and conversational speech with a find the hidden picture, matching, and reading practice to engage students in practicing their targeted sounds in a multitude of activities. I will say this, that the app is great... when it works.  Too often my students click the targeted word or picture to have credit for finding it and the app never gives recognition, the touch response of the app is a bit wonky.  Can cause some students to become frustrated!

8.  QuickType : $1.99, This is an AAC app that I use for one of my students who is non-verbal and on the autism spectrum. I typically use a symbol and text based app but my current student is very proficient at typing out what he wants.  The app is cheap, has a simple design, has a yes/no option, and speaks what is typed.  Perfect to suit my needs!

Hope you enjoyed this tour of apps I use. There are a lot more than this, but this is a good first start.  Know that I fully funded the cost of every app I mentioned myself so I do not have any kind of monetary agreement or contract to endorse these apps for personal gain.  I simply try things out to see what works and what is simple and effective to use.

I have the luxury of using multiple iPads.  2 are ones I own and have used personal funds to purchase, and 1 is funded and owned by my school system (thanks MCSS!).  Sometimes students share 1 iPad between them and sometimes they get their own iPad to work on separately, it just depends on what task/goal we are targeting.  How do you use iPads in your classroom or for therapy?  Hope you enjoyed my information!

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