Tuesday, July 19, 2016
It has been a very long time. I drifted away from the blog when I became busy with other projects. One project I completed was a course that is now available through Northern Speech Services (NSS). The course is Stopping the Stuttering Trajectory in the Preschool Years. It is a solid beginner-intermediate course for SLPs who wish to help children during these critical years.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Key Findings:
- Three-quarters (74%) of speech therapy patients have used or are using software to practice at home.
- The majority (89%) of patients that used software for home practice noticed improvements.
- Most respondents were more likely to choose a therapist-recommended at-home practice solution.
Other interesting findings were:
- 61% of adult patients felt they improved using speech therapy software
- 31% of parents of children reported that their child improved using speech therapy software.
- Speech therapy software was not a favorite for doing work at home. It seems that clients prefer verbal exercises to all methods. Physical tools, such as "listening tubes," were the least favorite.
The complete article can be found at: http://www.softwareadvice.com/medical/industryview/home-speech-therapy-report-2014/
Most Preferred Home Practice Methods
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
As I write this I am wondering if app developers for for all kinds of educational materials will become obsolete. Highly unlikely but the thought is satisfying after my experiences. Those who are familiar with my early posts know that not only did I lose money in my quest to develop an app, I also wasted time and experienced exasperation and frustration at every step.
TinyTap is an app that puts ability to create an app into the hands of tech dummies, like me. If you are like me, you do not have thousands of dollars to pay for someone to develop an app but have many good ideas. Here's the big bonus---this app is free. Its only requirements are ideas, time, creativity, and desire. Using this app one can create games, puzzles, quizzes, e-books, soundboards, interactive presentations, digital textbooks, photo albums, and various activities.
To create an app, one can choose from hundreds of different icons and backgrounds. One can draw or write on the app using different virtual writing tools and upload photos and videos of one's own or from YouTube. One can record questions, instructions and descriptions. If the recording asks the child to "Find the apple," the image will become highlighted and there will be a ding indicating her answer was correct. Images can be manipulated on the screen with two fingers.
Because TinyTap offers a wonderful tutorial that takes one step-by-step through the creative process, I will not do the same here. I played around a bit and found the app creation process easy and fun. The quality of the images is excellent. Clearly, I am impressed.
Using this app, you can create better quality apps than the ones have purchased. You can create a library of your own apps for any age group. How good is that? One more thing. You have the option to publish your app. That way others can use your creation. Tiny Tap offers a large number of apps created by others. The developer decides if she wants to offer her app(s) free of charge or not. As of the publishing of this post, all TinyTap apps are free. Mara Berman, TinyTap's Educational Partnership Director stated, "Indeed anyone can create an app using TinyTap. At the moment, all apps shared publicly on the TinyTap market are free. Of course, for the most talented teachers, there are certainly ways to monetize TinyTap lessons: You can keep all of your TinyTap lessons private (meaning, they won't be publicly available on the TinyTap market), and then sell the access to the unique URLs, TinyTap can publish your lessons as apps on Google Play and the App Store with a revenue share. You can also embed lessons on your website or blog, increasing engagement and boosting potential ad sales."
TinyTap also offers a community for app creators where one can follow another creator and comment on apps.
You may wonder, as I did, how TinyTap can afford to offer so much for free. I posed the question to Ms. Berman. She answered that TinyTap publishes particularly successful apps and shares the revenue with the creators. Also, "Verizon awarded TinyTap a $1M grand prize for the most powerful answer award in education last year; and just last month a premier European broadcasting network awarded €1M in TV advertising - allowing us to focus on developing the product and userbase, with a longer-term view on profitability."
So there we have it. I am leaving you now to begin creating my first app using TinyTap.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
For those of you who have been stymied by those hard to treat /k/ and /g/ sounds, I share tips on my website: http://helpmetalkright.com/index.phpoption=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=27&Itemid=289
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Vocabulary Builder 2 by BumbleBee Kids: This vocabulary app offers 23 words appropriate for the developmental ages 12 months to 3 years. The product description states that the app is appropriate for late talkers, children with autism or PDD and children with speech delays. I question its value with the last group, but more about that later.
The vocabulary is presented in two ways: picture cards and video. Each vocabulary picture card has a video associated with it that demonstrates different ways the item may look, how it is used and places it may be found. There is also an option for viewing the ASL sign version of the picture.
Real items are used in photos and its written word is below it. The photos clearly depict each item. To the right of the photo are four buttons. The top bottom is a picture of a television. That button takes one to the video. The second button is a thumbs up sign. Tap on it and a screen shows someone signing the word as the word is said. The third button is a question mark. Tap on it and a screen appears with item. A narrator asks a question, the question is answered and followed by a demonstration. For example, for the vocabulary item "bib," the narrator asks, "What does a baby do with a bib?" The question is answered by a child who says, "A baby wears a bib." A video of the mom putting the bib on the baby follows. The last button has a picture of a girl's head. Tap on it and a screen follows with a closeup of a woman saying the word.
I guess I am an SLP stickler. As a stickler, I noticed numerous issues with the app. The first issue is, if the vocabulary word is a singular such as "balloon," I prefer to see one of that item. Multiples changes the word to "balloons." The videos in this app do not make this distinction. The video shows single as well as multiple balloons and all fall under the word "balloon." When I work with children who have delays I prefer to work on one concept at a time. Mixing up single and plural muddies up the waters a bit for me, unless I am working on the singular/plural concepts, and it may cause confusion for some children. Another issue, I think that the lesson, of learning a specific word, gets lost in the rapid sequence of videos. A counter argument might be that the videos demonstrate the various settings and uses for the selected vocabulary word. That is a good thing. Perhaps if the video sequences had longer pause time between them I might have felt otherwise. The videos in this app are also problematic because the audio is not always in sync with the visuals. Sometimes the audio was delayed or partially came through. In some parts the mouth movements were not in sync with the speaker's mouth movements. I found other issues with the videos. I felt that often the narration was fast and the words were not always clearly articulated. This brings me to the question, how does this app benefit children with speech delays? I cannot really say.
I praise the developer's attempt to bring real life scenarios to the learning of vocabulary thus expanding the child's understanding of each word. The inclusion of the signing option is a nice plus and adds to the varied presentations of words.
This app comes in at 500MB making it one of the largest I have. This may be a consideration for those who have little room left on their iPads.
Ages: 12-36 months and children with delayed vocabularies
Developer: BumbleBee Kids @ www.bumblebeekids.com