Thursday, January 15, 2015

App Review: Articulate It!


The following is an app review. The views are my own. I received no compensation for expressing my opinions.  Links (in dark red) are provided for your convenience. Want to see larger pictures? Just click on one and scroll through!

Articulate It! (Smarty Ears) was one of the first apps that was purchased for SLPs in my system. It just gets better with each update.
Adding a student got less time consuming with one update. Only the student's name is required. You have the option to add a picture of the student or not.
The "Quick Play" option lets you skip choosing a student, but still allows you to keep data.
There are now 3 different "activities" to choose from: Flash Cards, Matching, or Stories (yay!).
With Flash Cards & Matching, you can then choose how you want to target the errors: Phonemes, Phonological Processes, Manner of Articulation, or Number of Syllables (1, 2, or 3).
With Stories, you choose the error phoneme.
The Matching feature allows you to mix things up a bit: instead of only having the students identify the flash cards, they can play a matching game. If you are playing with more than 1 student (you can play with up to 6 students), there is no way to change turns to another student until the match has been found. With multi-player Flash Cards, the student switches after each response.
In Flash Cards, the screen is able to be rotated so that if the student is sitting in front of you, the picture will be right-side up for them, but the information the SLP needs is right-side up for her.
One of the previous updates allows you to change the theme, or background, of the screen. My kids love this feature! Just be aware that there are sounds that are played after every response in Flash Cards (for example, for Christmas the sound was bells); the only way to not have the sound is to mute the iPad. The sounds are pretty neat at first. I've had students ask me to mute it after a few times.
Under Settings on the Home Screen, approximations can be chosen or can be taken off. Personally, I don't keep track of approximations once my students hit the word level, so I take it off.
Another feature that was added during one update was the ability to add custom words. So, if there's a target word that you want to add, you can take a picture (or use a picture from somewhere else) and add it to the library, where you want it.
The newest update added Stories, so now Articulate it! can be used with those students who are in the carry-over phase. The SLP can keep track of correct/incorrect productions while the student reads the story, or the app can read the story and the student can answer the 7 questions presented.
After the session is closed, there is a break-down of the responses, and you can share the report through email, printing, or transfer the session's results into Smarty Ears' Therapy Report Center  (TRC) app.
But first, with the newest update, you have to get passed the "teachers restricted area" by typing in the answer to a simple math problem.
If all of that weren't enough, there is also a homework feature:
as well as a certificate section:

What I would like to see:
* If there is inactivity, the iPad will go to sleep, resulting in the app closing. It's a little aggravating to have the app ready for a group ahead of time, only to have to open it when I'm ready to use it. I'd love to have the app stay open until I close it. Even if I double click on the home button (to see the open apps), the app is re-opened.

* In the Story feature, you have to choose the position of the target sound. I'd love to see the ability to choose "all positions". I imagine that would mean there would need to be an additional story for each sound, but I would still love to see it.

* In the Matching feature, I'd like to have the ability for each student to have 1 turn instead of the turn staying with the student until he/she finds a match.

* Having the ability to turn off the sound within the different themes would be ideal.

How I use the app:
I use this app quite a bit during my 5-Minute Days. It makes an ideal listening center for auditory bombardment. Now, with the Story update, it will be more perfect with those students who are on the carryover level.
I also use this app with my students who are in our Quick Speech program. It's a quick way to present target words to those students while keeping data.

Articulate it! is available for purchase for $44.99. To view in iTunes, click here.

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