Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Just Bought An iPad -- Now What!

If you just bought your first iPad this blog post is for you. I’m going to walk you through many of the basics. My bet is the first thing you did after tearing the cellophane of that bright shiny new box is go thru the built in tutorial. This tutorial walks you through setting up an Apple ID. (This is your user name and password that you use to buy or install free apps, music, books, videos from iTunes or the App Store.)

  • Sleep/Wake Button - The iPad Sleep/Wake button is the small, black button at the top right-hand corner of the iPad. It is one of the few hardware buttons on the iPad and is primarily used to put the iPad to sleep or to wake it up. Because it is used to put the iPad into a suspended mode, the Sleep/Wake button is sometimes referred to as the suspend button or the hold button.

1.      To lock the iPad, press the Sleep/Wake button.                                         
2.      To unlock the iPad, press the Home button or the Sleep/Wake button and then drag the slide bar to the right.
3.      If you want to turn your iPad completely off hold down the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then drag the onscreen slider bar.

If your iPad does not detect any activity, it will automatically lock. The predetermined amount of time can be set for 2, 5, 10 or 15 minutes or the feature can be disabled and it will automatically lock.
Users can set-up their iPad to require a passcode to unlock it. That can be done in the Settings by going to General > Passcode Lock > Then tap On or Off. Make sure you remember this passcode.
If you invested in an Apple Smart Cover you can set you iPad to lock or unlock when the cover is place. Setting that up requires you go to Settings > iPad Cover > Lock/Unlock and turn the feature on or off

Home Button - The iPad home button is the small, circular button located at the bottom of the iPad. The home button is one of the few ways to control the iPad outside of the onscreen controls.

1.      Whenever you press the home button you will always be brought back to the home screen.
2.      Tap on an app one time to open it, then tap on the home button and it will close.
3.      Double tapping your home button will open the multitasking bar. This allows you to see what apps have been recently opened. If you scroll all the way to the right on the multitasking bar you will locate the screen lock, brightness, music and volume controls.
4.      All of the apps located on the multitasking bar are open and running. Closing these apps will save battery life and speed up your iPad. Closing the apps requires you to press on the app until it wiggles and then touch the red dash.Volume Button and Side Button – The volume button is located on the right hand side of the iPad. Press the top half of the button to increase the volume and the lower half to decrease it. Located just above the volume button is the side button. This button slides and is used to mute or lock the rotation of the iPad.

Volume Button and Side Button – The volume button is located on the right hand side of the iPad. Press the top half of the button to increase the volume and the lower half to decrease it. Located just above the volume button is the side button. This button slides and is used to mute or lock the rotation of the iPad.

Settings – This icon allows you to personalize your iPad. Settings can be accessed by tapping on the icon on your home screen that looks like turning gears. Some of the things you can access thru the settings feature are:

1.      Setting Up An Email Account – iPad work with iCloud, Microsoft Exchange, and most of the internet bases email, contacts and calendars.
§  Set Up iCloud account: Settings > iCloud
§  Set Up another account: Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars,
2.      Turn Off Push Notifications for Apps – Push Notifications provides the app the ability to communicate with your when it isn’t open. Notifications can be turned off on individual apps by Notifications > App Name > Notification Center (at top of screen) > Turn On or Off.  For safety reasons it is good to turn notifications off on apps that utilize the GPS features of the iPad, iPod or iPhone.
3.      Screen Brightness – Simply by moving the slider it will change the brightness of the iPad’s screen. The lower the brightness the longer the battery will last.
4.      Setting Wallpaper – You can choose to use one of the wallpapers Apple has preinstalled on the device or make your own by using a picture from your photo stream. Settings > Brightness and Wallpaper > Tap Wallpaper or My Photo Stream. If you choose a photo, drag or pinch it to reposition/resize it, until it looks just the way you want it to. Tap Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both.
5.      Multi-Task Gesturing – Allows the user to use four or five fingers to:
§  Pinch to the home screen
§  Swipe to the reveal multitasking bar
§  Swipe left or right between apps.
6.      Restrictions – If children will be using the iPad without parental supervision, it is important to set some parental restrictions. They can be accessed by Settings > General > Restrictions. Tap on enable restrictions at the top of the page. You will be prompted to enter a four digit passcode. Now it is time to decide which features of the iPad you would like the children to have access to and turn those features on or off.  Then you will need to decide what type of content you will allow on the device. One I would suggest turning off is all in-app purchases so your child doesn’t run up a huge credit card bill or spend all of your app store credit. The next section involves determining what privacy setting you want turned on. Last you will have to decide about how much access you will allow your child to have to the Game Center.

Home Screen – The first screen on the iPad is considered the home screen. This screen contains twenty apps factory installed by Apple and cannot be deleted from the device but can be rearranged. To rearrange the app icons you need to press your finger down on the icon until it starts wiggling. Drag the app around (move it to the edge of the screen to go to a new page). If you would like to delete an app you need to tap the X icon. Press the home button to get the apps to stop wiggling. The small white dots above the dock indicate how many screens of apps there are and which screen you are on. Apps can be placed in folders for organization purposes. This is done my pressing down on the app until it begins to wiggle and then dragging and dropping two apps on top of each other. You will be provided an option to rename the folder anything you would like.

Dock – The five icons that fit on the bottom of the home screen. These can be personalized to meet the user’s needs. The things I have on my dock are:
1.      Mail – The mail icon retrieves and displays the most recent mail messages. The red number shows the total number of unread messages.
2.      Photos – Where all of the pictures taken with the device are stored.
3.      App Store – Where you can browse the app store for whatever type of app you are looking for then buy it using a credit card purchase or iTunes card.
4.      Settings – See previous information
5.      Atomic Web – Web Browser used for searching the internet. I like this browser way better than the pre-installed Safari.

Apps Pre-installed on the iPad – As I previously mentioned, Apple pre-installs a number of apps on the device that cannot be deleted. Those apps are:
1.      Messages – Allows you to text with iOS device using an Apple ID.
2.      Facetime – Video conferencing with other iOS devices only.
3.      Photo Booth – Special effects that you can apply to pictures taken with the iPad.
4.      Notification Center – This is activated by dragging your finger from the top center of the iPad screen. You can control which notifications are shown and how they are shown in Settings > Notifications. When you see notifications at the top of the iPad screen, touch it to open the app.
5.      Safari – Apples web browser. It allows you to surf the internet.
6.      Calendar – Tap and hold the date in your calendar to add a new event. You could also click the  + sign in the lower right hand corner.
7.      Contacts – It displays an alphabetical listing of all of the contacts on your device. New contacts can be added by tapping on the + sign on the left side of the screen and filling in the required blanks.
8.      Maps – Find a location by typing the address into the search box. You can find your current location by tapping of the arrow in the lower left hand corner and your location is represented by the blue marker. To get directions, enter the starting and ending location.
9.      iBooks – Where all the books and PDF documents your reading are stored on the device. This app is not pre-installed on the device. You are required to download it from the app store. 

Standard Keyboard – A keyboard pops up whenever you tap on an area that allows you to enter text. The button in the lower right hand corner of the keyboard will hide the keyboard once you are done typing. There are actually three keyboard on every iPad. The first one focuses on letters, he second numbers and he last one punctuation and various symbols. Keyboards change based on the app you are accessing. When you are typing letters, the iPad adds a return key. At other times the return key will change into join or go based on what is needed. When entering a web address hold, down the .com key to get other choices.

Keyboard Shortcuts – The iPad’s dictionary tried to automatically correct typos and spelling errors. If you want the word hit the space bar, if you do not want the word, hit the X. If auto correction bugs you, turn it off at Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto Correction > Off. Double tapping the space bar at the end of the sentence will get you a period. Or if you do the same things at the beginning of a sentence you will get a capital letter. Cap Lock can be activated by tapping twice on the shift key.

Cut, Copy, & Paste – To cut or copy text, double tap a word to highlight it and then select more words by dragging the blue dots. Remove your finger and you will see the words highlighted in blue, with the words cut, copy and paste above it. Select cut or copy. Double tap wherever you would like the copied or cut information to go and tap paste. On the number keyboard is the undo button and redo is located of the punctuation and symbols keyboard.

Now you’re ready to unleash the potential of the iPad and see that it has unlimited potential as an educational tool. Check back later this summer for more posts.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Phonological Processes

  • $16.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Jun 18, 2013
  • Version: 1.1
  • Size: 87.2 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Virtual Speech Center Inc.
  • © Virtual Speech Center Inc.
  • Rated 4+
  • Requirements: Phonological Processes in compatible with iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later.

The line from the old song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” describes the app Phonological Process wonderfully….. “in the jungle, the mighty jungle.” The Virtual Speech Center has centered this app on a jungle theme and even thought to include a few of the sounds.

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 be prompted to select the appropriate student(s) from the student list then prompted to select the activity. Phonological Processes has two activities; Flashcards and Board Game. After the activity has been selected, it is necessary to tap “Next” in the upper right hand corner. On the next screen you will be required to choose which of the phonological processes that will be addressed: Affrication, Cluster Reduction L, Cluster Reduction R, Cluster Reduction S, Cluster Reduction Mixed, Deaffrication, Final Consonant Deletion, Fronting, Gliding L, Gliding R, Gliding Mixed, Prevocalic Voicing, Stopping Affricatives, Stopping Fricatives and Stopping Mixed. Last, it is necessary to choose one of the four ways to address the phonological process.

·         Auditory Bombardment – Students are presented two pictures. They are not expected to do anything other than listen to the production of two images. If repetition is necessary playback buttons are located under each image. The record and playback features are present at the level and can be integrated into the session in the manner the speech language pathologist feels is best for the user. No data collection features are present at this level.

·         Auditory Discrimination – Students are present two images and asked to “Show me the ____.”  The students are expected to find the correct image and tap on it. Again the record and playback features are present at the level and can be integrated into the session in the manner the speech language pathologist feels is best for the user. Data is automatically collected in this section of the app.

·         Minimal Pair Production – Students see two images and are asked to correctly say both words. The record and playback features are present so students can record their production and playback the recording to work on self-monitoring their speech and be able to contribute to the data recording. Data collection is done manually in this section of the app. A green check mark indicates correct and the red check mark is incorrect. The student or therapist need to tap on the correct one based on the student’s production of the words.

·         Single Word Production – A single image is present on the screen and the students are asked to “Name this Picture”. The record and playback features are present so students can record their production and playback the recording to work on self-monitoring their speech and be able to contribute to the data recording. It is necessary to do data collection manually by tapping on the green check (correct) or red X (incorrect) on the left hand side of the screen.

If the Flashcard activity is chosen the students will be presented with electronic flashcards that have selected activity listed above. The Board Game activity is similar to a traditional board game. Students race their chosen fruit shaped avatar along the jungle river. The number of spaces each person moves is determined by spinning a spinner. When the number of spaces is determined the appropriate spaces are automatically moved along the river. Some of the spaces are marked with question marks and others have jungle animals sitting on them. If a student lands on a question mark a “flashcard” opens and the student is expected to complete the activity that focuses on the phonological process chosen. When a student lands on a jungle animal the animal makes jungle sounds and moves across the screen to the dock at the end of the path.  The snake requires the student to moved backward one spot.
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.  These features are: User Alternate Count, Enable Audio, Show Instructions, Automatic Paging, and Random Paging.

·  I did not get the opportunity to use this app with any of my students because the school year had ended but I am positive it will be a huge hit next fall as they loved the other apps by the Virtual Speech Center.

What I Like About This App
·         Easy set up
·         Comprehensive data is available in the reports
·         Based off of research
·         Record and playback feature is available
·         The flexibility the app offers in addressing phonological disorders

What I Would Like to See In Future Updates
·         The ending of the board game was a bit lack luster and could confuse some students.

Support For Phonological Processes and all Virtual Speech Center Apps can be Accessed by Clicking on the Links Below:
·         Website
·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         Vimeo

Monday, June 17, 2013

  • $9.99
  • Category: Education
  • Released: Jun 07, 2013
  • Version: 1.0
  • Size: 280 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Synapse Apps LLC
  • © copyright_2013@SynapseApps
  • Rated 4+
  • Requirements: Artic Academy is compatible with iPad but requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Are you ready for a new twist to articulation apps? Synapse Apps LLC better known as Pocket SLP has created an engaging and motivating app to practice articulation skills. Artic Academy features five activities that build in hierarchical fashion. Things begin with discrimination activities, progress through two word levels activities before moving on to the sentence level and then finishing up at the paragraph level.
The app has a clean simple interface. To enter students into the app, you need to tap on the Add Name button and then you will be prompted to enter the students first and last name. You are also given the option of entering an avatar/picture that represents the student. Finally you need to choose the phoneme that you will be working on. The following twenty three options are available; S, Z, S Blends, L, L Blends, SH, CH, J, TH, K, G, F, V, R, AIR, AR, EAR, ER, IRE, R Blends, and OR. Once all of your students are entered all you need to do is check the box in front of the appropriate names to begin.

·         Level One – Auditory Discrimination --Student are presented with three pictures that are said orally and asked, “Which word has the same beginning/middle/final sound as _____?” Users are expected to find the appropriate picture.
·         Level Two – Guess the Word – Students are shown twenty one distorted images on their screen and they are expected to guess what each image is. When the distorted image is tapped it will reveal the picture. (Hint - each image contains the target phoneme.)
·         Level Three – 3x Drill Burst – This is a traditional articulation activity. Three images appear on the screen and the students are expected to say each of the words. If repetition of any of the words is needs students can tap on the playback button located directly under the image.
·         Level Four – Sentence Scramble – Students are expected to put the scrambled sentence containing the target phoneme in order. Once the sentence is in the correct order it is said out loud.
·         Level Five – Paragraphs – Users are provided a humorous paragraph and a number of individual images that contains a variety of words with the target phoneme. They are expected to read the paragraph and then drag and drop the pictures into the appropriate locations in the paragraph.

In levels One through Four you are able to choose which position in words you like to practice the targeted phoneme (I-initial, M-medial, F-final and X-mixed) but in level five you are only able to practice the targeted phoneme in the mixed position. Data keeping is available in all five levels. At the discrimination level, data is automatically recorded by the app. In levels two through five data collection is available by touching the green check (correct), red X (incorrect) or the yellow wavy lines (approximation) on the screen. Multiple users are all able to use the app at the same time as you are easily able to move between users by tapping on the word clients at the top of the screen and picking a different user. An individual user can also target two or more phonemes in the same manner.
All of the data can be accessed by tapping on the reports function. It provides comprehensive data that is reported by date, type of activity and how they did in each position of words. There is also a comment section available. Professionals are able to type in comments they may have about a session and that information is saved within the app. All of the data is exportable via email.
Two additional navigational features that are worth mentioning are:
  • Diagram – Provides users with a picture of tongue placement for the targeted phoneme.
  • Record Audio – Allows the users to record their production of targeted phonemes and play them back for self-evaluation.

Pocket SLP does an awesome job of supporting the users of Artic Academy by providing a great video tutorial. This can be accessed by tapping on the glasses on the opening screen of the app.

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.
·         I LOVE how they leave a comment section for professionals in the data section.
·         It is easy to change between multiple users that are using the app at the same time.
·         The hierarchal format is a nice change of pace in the world of articulation apps.

What I Would Like To See In Future Updates
·         It would be awesome to have additional paragraphs added in future updates.

I am looking forward to testing Artic Academy with students this fall. It looks like a breath of fresh air in the world of articulation apps.

Support for all Pocket SLP apps is located at:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Phono Learning Center

·         $14.99
·         Category: Education
·         Released: May 31, 2013
·         Version: 1.0
·         Size: 351 MB
·         Language: English
·         Seller: Smarty Ears, LLC
·         © All rights reserved to Smarty Ears, LLC
·         Rated 4+

I haven’t seen a Smarty Ears app that I don’t like and Phono Learning Center is no exception. This isn’t your run of the mill articulation app. Phono Learning Center is a well thought out, highly engaging app that is based on Barbra W. Hodson’s cycles approach. It is designed for the student whose conversational speech contains multiple errors and is unintelligible to most listeners.

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

During the set up process you will be asked to customize each student’s profile. This is done on the “Add New Student” screen. You will need to turn “Auditory Bombardment” on or off. This feature is only accessible when a single user is accessing the app if it is turned on. It is also necessary to individualize each students Primary, Secondary, and Advanced targets and if they will be worked on at the word, phrase, or sentence level.

When you access the settings feature which is located in the upper hand corner of the student set up screen, you are able to customize the app further. The additional customization features are:
·         Display written word
·         Audio
·         Restrict app use based on cycle’s framework
·         Scoring style
o   Standard
o   Levels of prompts

There are four different activities located in the app. The first activity is called “Balloon.” Students see a hot air balloon deflated in a field. They are required to drag and drop the picture which contains the targeted phoneme into the balloons basket. With ever card that is placed in the basket the balloon grows larger and larger until it finally floats off of the screen.

Matching is the next activity. This isn’t your typical matching game. Students are presented with a card that contains a picture of the targeted phoneme and they are expected to find its match from eight cards upside down on the screen.

The third activity is titled Basket Paper. It is a take-off on garbage can basketball that has been played for centuries in school room around the world. Students are presented with a sheet of paper containing a picture. The paper can be crumpled by tapping on it and shot in the basket by swiping a finger on the screen.

Last but not least is a puzzle activity. Students are presented a blank puzzle on a mat. They are given puzzle pieces with their targeted phoneme. They place them one at a time onto the blank puzzle and picture starts to magically appear on the screen.

You can choose to terminate a work session at anytime. Once the session has been terminated you will be able to access comprehension reports in the “Report Card” section of the app. Data will be available in either the “Standard Scoring Style” or the “Prompts Style” based on your choice when setting up the individual users.

A feature that I love is located in the “Support” section of the app. A button called “Homework” is available. It allows you to access a homework file based on the phoneme and level 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.

Phono Learning Center is a great tool for educational speech language pathologists. It is a research driven tool that the kids will love. You can’t go wrong. It is well worth the money you invest in it.

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

What I Would Like to See In Future Updates
·         Continue to add additional activities slowly as time allows

Support for Phono Learning Center and all Smarty Ears Apps can be found at: