Thursday, January 22, 2015

App Review: Minimal Pairs Academy

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!

I used Minimal Pairs Academy (Smarty Ears) for the first time last week.  I just started working with a student who could benefit from working with minimal pairs, and this app was a perfect fit for him. 

Appreciated Features:

The ability to choose more than one minimal pair and have the app automatically cycle through them is a wonderful feature. It saves time not having to look back through my data sheet to figure out what was done last time, and what needs to be done next.
Being able to "stamp" the minimal pairs that have been mastered is a great way to keep track of what the student needs to work on.
Up to 4 students can work on the app at one time, and all of the students can be working on different levels. Each student has a turn upon completion of the activity on the screen.
The student's response can be recorded so that he can hear his response. (The microphone in the top left gives you access.)  And, you can add notes at any time during the session. (The Notes button is in the bottom right corner.)

Need to customize the stimuli? No problem! Just tap "Settings", then "Edit Exercises" and you can choose which pairs you want to target...or not target.

Three different video tutorials. The developer of the app (Barbara Fernandes) runs through basic "how to use the app". 
The report section gives you a choice of viewing the results through a thorough spreadsheet, 
 graphics,
 or Statistics.
The spreadsheet can be sent through email, printed, or shared to the Therapy Results Center (TRC) App.

What I would like to see:

It would be nice if there was an easier way to get back to the screen with the minimal pairs choices. It took me a few tries to figure out how to get back to that screen to change the activity. (Watching the video tutorials first would have helped me with this!)

I'm not real crazy about having to use an avatar or a photo when adding a student.

During the Auditory Discrimination Activity, there are times when the words are said with different inflections. That gives the student clues as to which word is the correct one.

How I plan to use the app:

Right now I only have 1 student who could benefit from the app. It will be a staple during our individual sessions, and will definitely be seen during 5-Minute Days.

Minimal Pairs Academy is available for purchase for $19.99. To view in iTunes, click here.

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