Saturday, March 30, 2013

Speech With Milo Articulation Board Game

  • $23.99 Professional Version
  • $6.99 Regular Version
  • Category: Education
  • Released: Mar 13, 2013
  • Version: 1.0
  • Size: 56.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Poorani Doonan
  • © Doonan Speech Therapy Inc
  • Rated 4+

Mickey, Minnie, and Mighty Mouse don’t have anything on Milo. He is the charismatic, cuddly mouse that can be found in all of Doonan Speech Therapy apps. Last year they came out with Speech with Milo Articulation Board Game which is compatible with the iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later. The app is engaging way to practice articulation skills. After listening to the users request for more phonemes to be added to the game, the developers updated the app in March. Now there are two versions. Speech with Milo Articulation Board Game which includes the common sounds /F/, /V/, /K/, /G/, /S/, /Z/, /CH/, /SH/ in the initial, medial and final positions of words. Four in app purchases are available to add additional phonemes to the game board.
  1. Early Sounds Pack:  /p,b,t,d,m,n/, and /h,w,y,ng/ in all positions of words
  2. /L/ & /L/ blends: in the initial, medial, and final positions of words  
  3. /R/ & /r/ blends: In all positions of words 
  4. /TH/ sounds: initial, medial, and final positions of words
Speech with Milo Articulation Board Game Pro contains all of the following phonemes /r/, /r/ blends, /l/, /l/ blends, /th/, /f/, /v/, /k/, /g/, /s/, /z/, /ch/, /sh/,/p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /m/, /n/, /h/, /w/, /y/,/ng/ in the initial, medial, and final positions of words.

In both versions of the app the first thing that must be done is to enter the student’s information into the app. This is accessed on the Main Screen by using the “Set Up Student” button. You will need to add each student’s name and choose the phoneme they will be working on and what position of word or words will be targeted.  After set up is complete, you tap on the “Play” button to access the game board. You will be asked to choose which students will be playing. Players are allowed to pick which of six different characters they want to represent them as they play the game. The game itself is set up very similar to any traditional board game. Anywhere from two to five players race from the start square to the last square on the board which happens to be a schoolhouse. 

Individual turns are determined by whose character appears in the circle located on the upper left hand side of the screen. Players spin the spinner located on the game board to determine how many spaces they should move. After they have move the predetermined number of spaces, a picture card will appear on the screen. It contains the player’s targeted phoneme. The player is expected to repeat the targeted word. The player with adult guidance will need to determine if the student’s production was correct (checkmark), incorrect (X) or an approximation (wavy lines) and tap the appropriate marking.  As players progress down the path toward victory they will encounter squares that can help or hurt their progress. The first player to reach the schoolhouse is declared the winner.

Player data can be accessed at any time by tapping on the red data button located on the upper left hand side of the game board screen. Data can be checked while the game is in session or after the end has been reached. When data is accessed after a game has been completed the result can be emailed outside of the app.

Some customization is possible by accessing the “Settings” feature. This allows you to turn the following features on or off; background sound, spinner sound, card sound, sound on game piece movement, spoken words, and written words. I typically leave them all turned on with the exception of the background sound which was too distracting to the students and myself.

Speech with Milo Articulation Board Game is a great app to provide variety to the drill and practice portion of therapy. It keeps the kids engaged and involved in the activity which helps to make every learning minute count. 

What I Like About This App

  • Data collection is available
  • Data reports can be emailed outside of the app
  • How five different learners can have their portion of the game individualized to address their educational needs.
  • User friendly
  • Board game format makes it highly appealing to the kids
  • The recent addition of the Pro version or the in-app purchases to add additional phonemes to the app.

What I Would Like To See In Future Updates
  • Nothing to this app
Support for Speech with Milo Articulation Board Game Can Be Found At

Syntax Workout by Virtual Speech Center

·         $16.99
·         Category: Education
·         Released: Mar 21, 2013
·         Version: 1.0
·         Size: 95.1 MB
·         Language: English
·         Seller: Virtual Speech Center Inc.
·         © Virtual Speech Center Inc.

It is time to put on some of those fashionable shoes and hit the lanes. When you hit these lanes you’re going to hear a little bit different kind of lingo than you usually would. The lingo focuses on word structure. Virtual Speech Center’s newest app titled Syntax Workout is awesome! It combines working on work structure with bowling and it is a ton of fun! It is an iPad app that requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Set up is similar to the other apps in the Virtual Speech Center family. It is done by tapping on “Start” on the main screen and then the orange “Add Student” button. A dialogue box appears that requires you to enter the student’s name and tap on “Save”. You will then be prompted to select the appropriate student(s) from the student list. After the student(s) have been selected, it is necessary to tap “Next” in the upper right hand corner. Then you will be prompted to select the activity (word form) that will be focused on for each user. There are twenty six different word forms that can be worked on with 1,500 different stimuli. More than one activity can be chosen for each user but it works the best to have each student(s) focus on one skill at a time.

On the next screen you are welcomed to the bowling lanes at the local alley by an avatar. The app flips to a screen that contains a brightly colored real life image. Above the image you see the sentence with a blank where the user is expected to pick the appropriate word form to complete the sentence correctly. The two choices that are provided are located in squares below the image. When younger students or struggling readers are using the app, you can enable the audio in the settings feature and it will read the content to the users. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that users cannot make their choice until all of the choices have been read. If a user needs to hear the screen again they can press the green replay button located in the upper left hand side of the screen. Older students can read the content themselves if the enable audio feature is turned off but then someone will need to help them determine if their answer was correct or incorrect so data can be collected using the appropriate buttons on the right hand side of the app. Users make their choice by tapping on the appropriate word. The record and playback feature are located on the upper left hand side of the screen. It provides the opportunity for the student to self-evaluate their answers as part of the data collection process or a means to practice using the verb form in an expressive format. On the upper right hand side of the screen you will see the percentage correct and on the lower right the portion of lesson completed.

After a predetermined number (5-10) of trials have been completed, the user is allowed to head the alley and bowl a few frames. The bowling simulation is set up very similar to real bowling. Users are required to throw two balls per frame with the pins being reset just like at a real bowling alley. Bowling is completed by swiping a path from the ball to the pins.

When your session is complete you can access a session report that lists the date, student’s name, skill worked on, and percentage correct. A more comprehensive report is available by tapping on “Reports” on the main screen. You will need to select the user and the skill for which you want data. Then you are able to view the data by activity or date. All reports are printable or they can be emailed.

Some customization is available by accessing the “Settings” features. As I previously mentioned, you can enable the audio, turn the instructions on or off, turn on or off the reward (bowling game), change the number of response necessary to be completed before accessing the reward, enable or disable randomization or select alternate counts for multiple students.

My students rate this app two thumbs up. They worked hard on mastering the learning that was presented to them but LOVED the opportunity to bowl. They stayed so motivated.

What I Like About This App
·         Easy set up.
·         Data collection is available.
·         When the audio is enabled students cannot access the app until everything has been read.
·         The use of real pictures in the learning activities.
·         Record and playback feature is available
·         A high interest reward (bowling) activity keeps the learner “tuned in” to the learning.
·         Wide variety (26) of concepts are addressed

What I Would Like to See In Future Updates
·         The ability to set how many frames of bowling the student can have as a reward.

Support For Syntax Workout And All Virtual Speech Center Apps Can Be Found At
·         Website
·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         You Tube


Saturday, March 23, 2013

One Step Two Step by Pocket SLP

This is a review I wrote last week for for AppAbled.

One step Two Step is compatible with iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

·         $4.99
·         Category: Education
·         Updated: Dec 26, 2012
·         Version: 1.2
·         Size: 78.6 MB
·         Language: English
·         Seller: Synapse Apps LLC
·         © 2012 Synapse Apps LLC

Students face hundreds of directions each day in school. Their ability to follow those directions is critical to how successful they will be in the educational setting. Students that struggle with following these directions both in and out of school, frequently have weaker auditory sequential memory skills.
Synapse Apps LLC better known in the app world as Pocket SLP has developed an app that provides  a well-rounded way to practice following directions and expand the users auditory sequential memory skills. This app is called One Step Two Step and is available in the lite version but also for an in app purchase of $1.99 the user can upgrade to the professional version. The difference between the “Pro” and “Lite” versions is that the “Pro” version has the ability to enter multiple students at one time and export student data.

The app consists of twenty three different scenes with two levels of play. An easy level titled “Caterpillar” (one step directions) and an hard level called “Butterfly” (two step directions). Eight different directions are located on each of the levels. When the app opens, the scenes look like pages in a coloring book. When the directions button (which is located on the bottom of the page.) is pushed, the student will need to choose which of the eight directions they want to hear. The student will be presented with an oral direction about the picture. Each direction focuses on either coloring an object in the picture or placing a shape on an object. When the students are asked to color they have access to twelve colors, an eraser and three different color sizes. Once the appropriate color choices are made, the student can color by moving their finger on the appropriate location. Shapes presented for the student to add to the scene upon request are circle, star, square, triangle, check mark, and an X. They are dragged and dropped onto the appropriate location. An example of one of the directions (Caterpillar level) in the grocery store scene is; “Find the monkey. Color the monkey’s hat orange.” An example of a direction at the (Butterfly level) in the grocery store scene; “Color the pig pink and the mouse brown.” When a scene needs to be cleared because it is finished or an error has been made, it is done by touching the clear button and you will be asked, “Are you sure you want to clear the scene for user (student’s name)?” You are required to answer this prompt.
Data can be taken while each direction followed. It is done by pressing the correct or incorrect button located on the left hand side of the screen. Also located on the left hand side of the screen is a report button. Pressing this button will access the report feature. It provides the students name, scene, percentage correct/incorrect and allows you to enter comments. The report can be emailed out or printed. All of the user’s data can be accessed by clicking on the report icon on the opening screen of the app. Once the user is chosen, all of the user’s data is stored by date.

One Step Two Step also contains an additional section titled “Activity.” This is a way to practice following directions given by an adult rather than the technology. For many children, this is more realistic to the educational setting. It also can be used to allow the student practice giving directions and having the adult follow them. The activity section provides a nice follow up to the main focus of the app.

What I Like About This App
·         The wide variety of scenes and directions available.
·         The two levels of play addressing one step and two step directions.
·         In app data collection is available as well as exportable reports.
·         It includes a follow up activity to see how the students can generalize the skills they are working on.
·         It allows you to also work on vocabulary, colors, concepts and shapes in addition to following directions.

What I Would Like to See In Future Updates
·         Changing from a color feature to a paint feature as some students are going to obsess with attempting to make the coloring perfect.

Articulation Games is compatible with iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later.

·         $34.99
·         Category: Education
·         Released: Sep 21, 2012
·         Version: 1.0
·         Size: 238 MB
·         Language: English
·         Seller: Virtual Speech Center Inc.
·         © Virtual Speech Center Inc.

Look out 21st century! Virtual Speech Center, Inc. has created an engaging and motivating app to practice articulation skills. Articulation Games features 40 different phonemes that can be targeted in four different activities. Two of the activities are two common features in many of the articulation apps on the market. These two activities are: Flashcards and Memory. The other two activities are: Artic Wheel and Sweet Spinner. The combination of the traditional style of articulation games with something new and novel is exciting for everyone that opens that app.

Articulation Games provides that user access to 46 different phonemes so it is designed to meet all your articulation needs. You begin by adding a student or students to the app. Once your students have been added, you will be prompted to choose a phoneme or phonemes for each student.  The app automatically alphabetizes the students name for easier access.

The flashcard activity is similar to what you find in other articulation apps on the market. The instructor first sets up the user. Then it is time to choose the phoneme and position of the phoneme in words, phrases or sentences that the user will be working on.  These words/phrases/sentences are presented in the app with brightly colored photographs of items that contain the targeted phoneme. If the student doesn’t know what the item on the screen is they can press the blue play button located in the lower right hand corner of the app and it will be stated by a professionally narrated voice. To assist students in monitoring their own speech, there is a record feature. The student is able to state the targeted word, phrase or sentence, record and listen to their recording to determine if their production is correct or incorrect. Data collection is available by touching the check or x on the screen on the right hand side of the screen. This activity is great for drill and practice of phoneme production. Multiple users are all able to use the app at the same time as you are easily able to move between users by clicking on the students name at the top of the screen and picking a different user. An individual user can also target two or more phonemes by clicking on the drop down arrow at the top of the activities box.

Another traditional articulation activity is also present in Articulation Games; a Memory Game. Multiple users can all be playing Memory at the same time on their own game boards. What I really like about this Memory game is the picture that is chosen opens up into a new dialogue box so the student cannot skip saying the word. The ability to move between users at the adults discretion allows for different rules (additional turn for making a match) that adults may have for the Memory game. Like the Flashcard activity, this game has record, playback and data collection available.

My student’s favorite activity is Sweet Spinner. In essences it is a slot machine that focuses on “sweets” and items that contain the target phoneme. Like all of the other activities, it allows for customization of phoneme position and level. Students pull the handle on the slot machine and see sweets rapidly flying by. When the slot machine stops spinning it will either land on a picture that contains the targeted phoneme or some form of a sweet treat. Data collection, recording, playback, and multiplayer functions are available in this game also.

The final activity in the Articulation Games stays with the Las Vegas feel. It is called Artic Wheel. Students are asked to spin the wheel of articulation. If they land on a star, they will be presented with a picture that contains an item with their targeted phoneme. If it lands on a pet, they will be treated to a cartoon animal dancing across the screen. All of the additional features mentioned above are also available in Artic Wheel.

What I Like About This App
·         Data collection is built into the app.
·         Great reports are generated to show the users proficiency and they can be emailed.
·         It is easy to change between multiple users that are using the app at the same time.
·         Love how you can drill down to what phoneme and what position of words, phrases or sentences that the user needs to work on.
·         The bright colors and fun activities keep the kids engaged and interested.
·         It uses realistic pictures to feature the targeted phonemes.

What I Would Like To See In Future Updates
·         Make sure all of the sentences featured in the app contain words that are kid friendly. A few of the sentences were difficult for some students.
·         The ability to keep track of the number of “sweet treats” obtained in Sweet Spinner and “pets” in Artic Wheel

I frequently use Articulation Games with groups of students. We display the iPad onto my Smart Board and pass the iPad between users. It allows the students to attend to the activities when it isn’t their turn. My students really like the Sweet Spinner and Artic Wheel activities and are highly motivated to attempt to get more “treats” or “pets” than their peers. I love it because my students stay highly engaged and motivated to produce their targeted phonemes correctly. Try this! Your students might also like this one!

Apraxia Ville by Smarty Ears

This is a post I wrote for AppAbled that should be coming out in the next few days.

Old MacDonald’s place is probably the most famous farmstead but it doesn’t have anything on the spread over at Apraxia Ville. Smarty Ears has rolled out another awesome app. This time it is centered on the farm. As the name suggests Apraxia Ville is an app that is designed for children with childhood apraxia or has severe phoneme production difficulties.

Apraxia Ville is compatible with the iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later. It is designed to be used with single or up to four users in a group setting. Student set up is similar to other Smarty Ears apps. Students can be entered individually by clicking on “New Player” and entering their name and choosing a picture or avatar or by importing this information from Therapy Report Center.

There are three different activities located in the app. The first activity is called “The Sound Windows.” This is designed to practice sound production. When the activity opens, you see two barn windows with an avatar of a boy in one and a girl in the other. The male avatar represents the consonants while the female avatar represents the vowels. When the avatar is tapped, you see and hear the production of the consonant or vowel. The simulation can be slowed down to view how the articulators are used to produce the phoneme or vowel sound by slowly sliding the “red pepper” shaped slider underneath the avatar. Consonant or vowel sounds can be changed by touching on the letter and using the wheel in the dialogue box that appears to choose the new sound. A unique feature is available in the “The Sound Windows” activity if you are accessing the app on an iPad 3 or higher. You can tap on the camera icon located next to the consonant or vowel avatar to utilize the camera as a mirror so the student can see themselves producing the phoneme.

Activity number two is called “The Farm House.” It is designed to provide practice with single syllable words. Once again this activity can be used for individual users or groups up to four in size. Whether you are accessing the activity with one or more than one players, it is necessary to choose a level of play for each player. Level one is designed for practice of consonant vowel and vowel consonant words. Level two is for students that need to practice consonant vowel consonant words. Apraxia Ville also allows you to choose the twelve groups of phonemes that you need to work on and it allows you to customize which vowel sounds and whether it is a short or a long vowel. If a user has accessed “The Farm House” before, you can use the ‘tap on a button” feature that allows you to automatically set everything to the previously level. Once the activity is opened, you will see a barn with the front doors swung open. In the doorway is a picture that contains the target phonemes. You can hear the word being pronounced by taping on the picture. Cupolas are located on top of the barn. Each cupola represents a user. The active user cupola contains a red, yellow and green stop above it to be accessed for data collection purposes. Changing between various users is easily accomplished by taping on the appropriate avatar in one of the cupolas. The images in the open barn door change automatically to what sound group was chosen for that user. The barns windows are filled with the avatars from the from “The Sound Windows” activity. The same information described earlier in this review can be accessed from this location as well. Finally a record and playback feature is also located on the page to allow users to record their production of the word and play it back to help in learning to self-monitor their speech.

The third and final activity in the Apraxia Ville apps is called “The Words Farm” and its focus is on practicing sets of words. Like the other activities in Apraxia Ville, you are able to play up to four players using the app together. They practice sets of words involving specific phonemes and patterns. It can be customized to practice two or three sets of words at a time. Pictures containing the appropriate phonemes and word patterns are presented in windows that can be quickly changed out. Users can hear the words in the group pronounced correctly by taping on the green pay button. They are also able to record and playback their own production for self-monitoring. Data collection is available and takes place in a similar format to “The Farm House” activity.

At the end of “The Farm House” and “The Words Farm” activities comprehensive data reports are available. They provide the following information; date of session, duration of session, number of participants, activity, target phonemes, syllable structure, and accuracy.  These reports are printable or can be emailed or exported to Therapy Report Center.

A feature that I love that is unique to Apraxia Ville is also located on the Reports and Prizes page. A button called “Homework” is available. It allows you to access a homework file based on the phoneme and word pattern that is being worked on. The homework is automatically generated and can be printed or emailed to the student’s parents to work on outside of the therapy setting.

If you access the settings feature you are able to customize word lists to your student and/or area. The lists are easily saved and neatly arranged for quick access at a later time.

Apraxia Ville is a great tool for educational and clinical speech language pathologists. It provides numerous additional ways for the individual with childhood apraxia or a severe sound production problem to work on improving phoneme production. For the reasonable cost, it is well worth the money.

What I Like About the App
·         Provide visual and auditory support for the learners.
·         Contains a nice variety of activities.
·         Built in data collection
·         Provides a homework component
·         Recording and playback feature is available to work on self-monitoring.

What I Would Like to See In Future Updates
·         Continue to add additional activities slowly.

Support For Apraxia Ville And All Smarty Ears Apps Can Be Found At