I am a strong proponent of drill, drill, drill for artic (see “Drill, Baby, Drill” post for details), so I was delighted to find a a new app for the iPad offers lots of practice at the word, phrase, and sentence level in a format that doesn’t slow down the session or take away from valuable practice time. As a bonus, it offers some unique features that are quite useful to the student and the therapist. The app is “Articulate It!” by Smarty Ears.
Like a lot of the newer Smarty Ears Apps, this one communicates with the Therapy Report Center, an app which lets you add the student info once, then pull it into other Smarty Ears Apps for quick play. When the activity is done, the data transfers to the Therapy Report Center, so you can see at a glance the apps a student has used and his performance on each one. Up to six students can use this app at one time.
There are two main games — Flashcards and Matching. Within each of those activities, you can select from phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, and number of syllables. Within each of those categories you can choose the specific area(s) that you want to work on, and you have the opportunity to view the word list and deselect any you won’t want included in the game. In the Matching game, a stimulus photo is shown and the label is spoken. The student(s) have to locate the match by touching and naming the photos that are revealed. The SLP touches the check mark or X to score the student’s production for each turn.
My favorite game is Flashcards. As above, you select the skill(s) and specific parameters that you want to target. A “flip chart” appears with a photo in the center and three tabs below, labeled “words, phrases, sentences.” This makes for very quick and easy selection of levels for each student in a mixed group. Also as above, the SLP can quickly score each production. The SLP can also make notes about the student’s performance on any of the words, and the student can record his/her production and play it back for immediate feedback. But one of the coolest features is the ability to use the iPad’s camera as a mirror so the student can watch his/her production! Another great feature: you can add your own photos and words to the game.
This app is so well designed. It offers the SLP control over features of the target presentation, provides extensive choices of target words and photos, allows the SLP to customize by adding even more words, and will generate a detailed report when the session is done. The photos (over 1,000 of them!) and sound quality are excellent. I love the fact that “Articulate It!” is quick and easy to play — no sound effects, silly reinforcement interludes, or other delays that take away from therapy time — and it can be effectively used in small groups. There are other matching games and other flashcard apps out there, but none as versatile and as near to my therapy philosophy as “Articulate It!” With this app, my students get all the drill that I want them to have in a format that they enjoy. This app sells for $38.99 at iTunes. More information can be found at www.smartyearsapps.com.