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: