Candra Grether shares:
How fun is Tech Tuesday?! I love getting new ideas for my iPad and hope you find something useful in this post as well.
First, I love my iPad for AAC purposes. I have downloaded the free (lighter) versions of costly AAC apps (Sono Flex Lite, Avaz, and Snap + Core First) to trial for short periods of time with a couple of students prior to requesting Cindy come out for an AT Consult. Of course, this short trial period is only when the student is with me since the iPad stays with me but these free versions of the apps can still be useful for this purpose. I haven’t done this for all AT Consults, only when it makes sense to me depending on the student.
A ton of great speech-language specific iPad apps have already been mentioned in previous Tech Tuesday posts. Others that fall in this category that I have used with positive reactions from students include:
Silly Sentence Articulation (sentence level for S, Z, R, L, SH, CH, and TH)
Speech Tutor (great visual for articulator placement with side and front views as well as in-app video recording for comparison purposes)
Social Quest. With consideration to the concept of role release, I have used this app myself less and less as my caseload changes but I’m including it in this post because it is still a good one to suggest to teachers in Social Communication Programs or Autism units. In the past, I have found it more appropriate for students who have a good foundation of language skills with primarily just pragmatic weaknesses as some of the questions/answers are wordy and/or target higher-level language skills including figurative language. Students can practice skills, receptively or expressively, in the context of scenarios for a variety of settings: neighborhood, doctor, supermarket, mall, movies, restaurant, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, garage/yard, and living room. Each student can practice in a different setting during the same game (see picture below).
Splingo’s Language Universe (great for following directions (you select 1, 2, 3, or 4-step)). A professor introduced this app to me in grad school for a young student I worked with. Younger students love Splingo the orange alien and watching him blast off into space with their help. I do wish the black arrows (see picture below) were optional for some students but still like the app. After a few rounds of trials and helping Splingo with his rocket ship, he blasts off to another planet for more trials. Cute! I like cute!
And finally, my FAVORITE apps! Because I work with middle and high schoolers right now, my most used apps are honestly the ones not specific to speech-language skills at all as many of those often look/feel “young”, you know? I know we all have varying opinions on using games in therapy but I have found that easy to play games like Dots and Boxes, Tic Tac Toe, and Four In A Row (all made by OutOfTheBit Ltd) can be highly motivating for my older students, sometimes even more than their original versions since everything is neater on an iPad. Ha!
Other highly motivating apps include the My PlayHome series (there is also My PlayHome School, Store, and Hospital). Originally intended for me for younger students, I have had students in middle school MSD classrooms discover these on my iPad and who will practice their very best speech and language skills with the first/then promise of a minute of free time with these apps. Screen shots below of a backyard in My PlayHome and a grocery store in My PlayHome Store do not do these apps justice – great movements and sounds within the apps and you can interact with the characters in SO MANY WAYS that even I think these apps are enjoyable. While I can’t remember how many of the apps in this post I’ve mentioned were free or not, I do know that these were roughly $2-4/each. Well worth the price in my opinion, especially if you have younger students (basic concepts, following directions, and more, oh my!). I used these apps as a much needed motivator during an assessment for an elementary-aged student recently and I’m pretty sure I’m the coolest SLP (human?) on the planet because of it. J If you buy more than one of these apps, they all link to work within each other.
The girls are jumping, swinging, turning, and watering. Verbs! You can also pick some of the flowers as well as the carrots in this scene plus touch the sun/moon for daytime or nighttime effects.