Saturday, March 23, 2013

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!