Monday, December 17, 2012

Category TherAppy

Thank you to Aubrey Klingensmith of Speechie Apps for allowing us to repost this app review. Be sure to check out her blog for other great reviews.

App: Category TherAppy

What It Is: An app for addressing various categorization skills by Tactus Therapy.

Price: $14.99
OS: Apple

Version: 1.0

How It Works: The app has four main parts: find, classify, exclude, and add one. Each of these can be used at three difficulty levels (ranging from concrete to abstract). The therapist can change the number of trials (10, 25, 50, or “all”), target type (word, pictures, or both), and field size. In addition, both child mode and audio reinforcement can be turned on/off. You can select which exact categories you would like or choose them all.

Find–pick out the item that fits in the appropriate category. (E.g. Prompt: “Find the big thing.” Options: giraffe, bee, marbles.)

Find--in this case, I used the "picture only" setting. Note the audio button underneath to still allow for hearing the word. Touching the word underneath the picture if choosing "word & picture" will have the same effect.
Find–in this case, I used the “picture only” setting. Note the audio button underneath to still allow for hearing the word. Touching the word underneath the picture if choosing “word & picture” will have the same effect.

Classify–choose the category that the target belongs to. (E.g. Prompt: “Which category does this [picture of checkbook] belong to?” Options: metal things, paper things.)

Classify--see how the patient incorrectly guessed and that option was grayed out; however, she was still able to continue.
Classify–see how the patient incorrectly guessed and that option was grayed out; however, she was still able to continue.

Excludeotherwise known as “what doesn’t belong?” (E.g. Prompt: “Touch the one that doesn’t belong.” Options: can, ticket, calendar.) This section also includes a “hint” button. (E.g. for the previous example, the hint would say “things made of paper.”)

Exclude--check out how the incorrect guess is highlighted in red after it is selected. When first selected, all answers are briefly blue then turn red/green if they are incorrect/correct.
Exclude–check out how the incorrect guess is highlighted in red after it is selected. When first selected, all answers are briefly blue then turn red/green if they are incorrect/correct.

Add One–pick which option on the bottom goes with the others at the top. (E.g. Prompt: “Touch the one that goes with the others [at top, light bulb, window, jar].” Options: toilet paper, glass, sheets, cactus.)

Classify--if the patient or I had hit the "hint" button, it would have provided the category to help the patient reason through which of the bottom pictures to select.
Add One–if the patient or I had hit the “hint” button, it would have provided the category to help the patient reason through which of the bottom pictures to select.


At the end of any of these, you can email the data to yourself (or your patient/student/family).

Therapy Applications: Of course, the main purpose of this app is obvious: teach categorization skills. On a deeper level, though, categorization involves many more skills than just being able to categorize. As Tactus Therapy mentions on their website, the other following goals can be addressed using the app: semantics (you have to know what the words/pictures are and how they relate before you can categorize), organization, reasoning, problem-solving, auditory comprehension, reading comprehension (you can turn on/off the pictures to assist with this depending on the person’s skill level), attention (e.g. you could have a goal of getting through 5 choices without redirection), verbal fluency, divergent naming, convergent naming. In addition to these, I’d like to add that the app is wonderful for working on processing speed in a functional way. The various parts of the app as well as the settings menu can help narrow down which skills are required during a session. I have only used the app with adults; however, I could easily see this being used with primary and secondary students.

Pros: 1. Price. $14.99 is very reasonable for all the opportunities this app offers.
2. Clean layout.
3. Settings options. In my opinion, this is what makes Tactus Therapy apps go from good to great. While many apps can only be used with a certain “type” of patient/student (e.g. certain cognitive level), the different settings in this app make it easy to use with a wide variety of individuals.
4. The prompt phrase gets phased out after a few responses, as clinicians typically do in therapy. However, touching the phrase at the top will repeat it, which is great for people with attention and/or memory difficulties.
5. There is always an option below the picture/word to hear it. This can be used for a variety of functions, but is particularly great for those with visual processing or reading deficits.
6. Areas that have already been guessed incorrectly get grayed out so the individual doesn’t keep pressing same button repeatedly.
7. Errorless learning. You’ll hear a mild ding/beep for correct/incorrect responses.
8. Seemingly endless number of targets and large number of categories.
9. Real photos for more functional representation.
10. As you can see in my reviews of Comprehension TherAppy and Visual Attention TherAppy, the developer’s customer service and networking efforts are wonderful and make using their apps that much easier.

Cons: 1. While data can be emailed, there is no option for adding patients/students and data cannot be stored over time within the app.
2. I would like to be able to change the settings options within a session instead of ending the data collection, changing the settings, and then returning to the activity.

The Take-Away: A very well thought-out, systematic app with a wide variety of uses. It will be a LONG time before you run out of content to use with one patient/student, and the app’s fantastic settings options will allow you to use it with a variety of individuals, regardless of cognitive abilities.

My Questions for You: How would you use this app in therapy? Do you often address categorization or related skills with the population you support?
Disclosure: Tactus Therapy provided me with a free copy of this app to review. I was not compensated in any way for the review, and they were aware that I would be discussing the app’s strengths and weaknesses.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jolly Jingle





Thank you to Jessica Chase of Consonantly Speaking for this review.  Check out her blog for more great app reviews.  

App Name/Developer:  Jolly Jingle by Hompimplay
Christmas is on its way and the school halls are full of music! Every afternoon when I am walking down the hall, I hear first and second graders practicing Christmas songs for their Chrismas musical! It's definitely a great time to sing along with your children and help them learn various carols full of cheer, and Jolly Jingle is just the app to do so! With written lyrics, fun animations, and multiple versions of various Christmas carols, this application is non-stop fun for the Christmas season! Continue reading to learn how to incorporate it into your therapy room!

Jolly Jingle Main Page
Main Page
The Main Page of the application shows a snowglobe which images representing each song, a postcard to send the application's information to recommend it to a friend, and a home decorated for Christmas in the background. Instrumental Christmas music also plays in the background.
Application Play
Jolly Jingle Songs
Press on the snow globe to switch between the different songs. Once you have chosen the song you would like to play, press the button at the bottom of the snowglobe. An animated scene will then show with characters related to the song. The song will begin playing and the lyrics will show as well. Press on the different items on the screen for different sounds and animations to play. Press on the musical note to change the version of the carol to be played between a kid's choir, female solo, instrumental, or piano solo. Press on Santa's hat at the bottom of the screen to turn on/off lyrics being shown at the top of the application's screen or exit back to the Main Menu.
Jolly Jingle Lyrics
What I Like About This Application:
  • The application includes multiple common Christmas carols. In addition, there are multiple versions of each song, which allows for the application to be used over and over!
  • There are lyrics to help children learn how to sing the song. The fact that you can turn them on and off is great too!
  • The fact that there are different interactive elements to the application to press while listening to the song makes it motivating to play for kids!
What I Would Like to See in Future Updates:
  • I would love if on the Main Page, when selecting the songs, it stated in text what each song was for children to read. Also, because I was not sure at first what two of the songs were until I played them.
Therapy Use:
  • Articulation/Fluency/Voice - Have students state or sing each song using their best speech sounds, fluency strategies, or vocal strategies.
  • Receptive Language - Children can learn different Christmas-related vocabulary and describe different holiday traditions.
  • Expressive Language - Have children describe a time they went caroling, saw carolers, were in a holiday musical, or a holiday tradition they participate in.
  • Pragmatic Language - Talk about what the different songs/figurative language within the songs mean, what each child's favorite Christmas carol or tradition is, who each child's favorite Christmas character is, etc.
  • WH Questions - After listening to a song, ask the child wh questions about different parts of the songs.
Price:  Jolly Jingle is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad for $2.99. A free version is available that comes with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for you to try.
Disclaimer:  Consonantly Speaking was given a copy of this application to review. No other form of compensation was given.
Review by:  Jessica Chase
Consonantly Speaking

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monumental

This post originally appeared on Your Therapy Source.  Thank you Margaret Rice for allowing us to repost it on TherapyApp411.


App Name/Developer:  Monumental/MeYouHealth LLC

Here is a fun, free app to add to your iPhone or iTouch - Monumental.  It keeps track of how many stairs you climb using the phones accelerometer.  Holding the iPhone at your hip, you hit the GO button.  Start climbing the stairs. It will keep track of how many steps you climb.  When you have climbed the correct number of steps you reach the top of your destination and then you can see the view.  The first level is the Museum of Art in Philadelphia (Rocky Movie stairs).  So when you reach that level it shows you a view from the top.

This adds a little bit of extra fun to stair climbing.  Since many children work on stair climbing during therapy sessions this freebie app can help keep track of their progress over time.  

I give this app a huge thumbs up.  I have tested it out with some kids and they were motivated by it especially to get to the next level.  Personally, I enjoyed checking out the views but the kids seemed to want to just achieve the next level.  You can share your status on the social networking sites although I did not use the app in this manner.  The only downfall is that I wish you could create different accounts.  I have the kids just adding on to each other's accomplishments rather than each climbing their own monuments.  The feature of counting the steps is still convenient though to track progress in therapy session notes. 

Why not give it a try?  Can't beat free and maybe one of the children (or yourself) will be motivated to climb the monuments of the World.  Hey this even relates to the Common Core Standards right? More on that another time.

Reviewed by: Margaret Rice, PT
Your Therapy Source
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Webber Photo Artic Castle

This post has been reposted with permission from the blog Consonantly Speaking by Jessica Chase.   Check out her blog for more great app reviews.
  
App Name/Developer:  Webber Photo Artic Castle by Super Duper Publications

Do you love using the Webber Photo Artic Decks from Super Duper Publications but don't like always carrying them around with you? Do you want all of the sounds but purchasing all of the decks is too expensive? For the low price of $39.99, Super Duper Publications is giving you sound and blend cards at the word, phrase, and sentence levels plus fun games in app form! Continue reading to learn about what all is included in this great application!

Main Page



The Main Page of this application has five main buttons in a shape of a crown and shields on a castle with a prince and princess. These include: New Session, Continue Session, Quick Play, Players, and Results. There are five additional buttons at the bottom of the Main Page - Settings, Share, Support, Info, and Help.

Info
Pressing the "i" button at the bottom of the Main Page will show information about the app, how it can be used, how to play, credits, and security.

Help
Pressing the "?" button at the bottom of the Main Page will bring the user to a Help list with the headings of - Players and Goals, Start New Session, Games and Activities, Viewing Results, and Quick Play. Press and highlight a topic to view a visual handbook that takes you step by step through the app.

Support
Press the "thumbs up" button to report a bug, offer a suggestion, or rate the app in iTunes.

Share
Press the square button with an arrow to recommend the app via Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail.

Settings
There is only one setting available on the Settings page. This on/off switch allows you to turn on/off Auto Advance between players. If you wish to advance players manually, slide it to "Off". Press "Save" to save the setting.

Players

Before you can begin application play, you must input players to use the application with. To add a player, press the "+" button. Then, type the students' name in the white rectangle. Next, add a goal/multiple goals by pressing the "+" next to the "Add Goal" text. Then, select a sound class or sound from the following:


Class:
Stops
Nasals
Glides
Fricatives
Affricates
Liquids
L-blends
R-blends
S-blends

Sound:
/p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /m/, /n/, /w/, /y/, /h/, /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /sh/, /th/ (voiced), /th/ (voiceless), /ch/, /j/, /l/, /r/, /bl/, /fl/, /gl/, /kl/, /pl/,
/br/, /dr/, /fr/, /gr/, /kr/, /pr/, /tr/, /sk/, /sl/, /sm/, /sn/, /sp/, /st/, or /sw/

Once you tap on a sound or class button, it will bring you to the goal screen. Type in a title for the goal if you wish. Then, choose the response type you wish to target: Imitated (Im) or Spontaneous (Sp). Next, choose the position of the word to practice the sounds in: Initial (I), Medial (M), or Final (F). You can choose more than one. After that, choose the syllableness between 1, 2, and >2 syllables. The next choice is to determine the level(s) in which to practice sounds: Word (W), Phrase (P), or Sentence (S) level. A sliding bar will help you determine the accuracy in which to set the goal at. If you would like, you can then view a word list and photo for each word by pressing on the option and then the word. Finally, you can determine how to score each response (check mark for correct, "x" for incorrect, "~" for approximate, or "C" for cued) by pressing on the icons you wish to show. If you need to know what any button's abbreviation means, press the "Key" button at the bottom of the Goal list. Once all of the settings for the goal have been chosen, press "Done".

You can also use the "Players" list to select a player to view his or her goals and progress from the last 5 sessions. The SLP can also view completed goals, mark a goal as completed, or delete a player from this list.

Start New Session





To begin a new session, choose a player/players from the list. You can select or deselect all using the buttons at the bottom of the page as well. A checkmark will appear next to the user(s) selected to play. Be sure to note that whomever played the application last will be selected. Once you have chosen a player/players, press the "Next" button. Each players' goal to focus on will appear and you can choose a different goal to focus on by pressing "Change Goal" and highlighting the one you wish to focus on. Then, press "Next".



A "Games" list will appear with game names/images on 9 different crests. Choices for games include:



Photo Fun - flashcards with scoring at the bottom of the card



Balloon Pop - press a colored, floating in the air, balloon and an animation of it popping will appear with the number of a card



Duck Derby - press a yellow rubber duck floating on the water and it will squeak. After a word/phrase/sentence is stated and scored, it will move faster on the screen.




Hidden Treasure - press a colored gem and a digging sound will play with the gem appearing larger




Raceway - different colored cars will be shown racing on a track. Press a car to hear it honk and after a word/phrase/sentence is scored, it will drive faster.



Space Explorer - press a spaceship and a sound will play. Then, after the word/phrase/sentence is scored, the spaceship will turn red and zoom away.



Match: Level 1 - match cards on a grid of 4 x 3



Match: Level 2 - match cards on a grid of 5 x 4

On each of the games, when a card or object is pressed, a card with the child's sound on it will appear full-screen to be scored and/or recorded. If you choose to record a word/phrase/sentence, you can play it back and save it as well. Press the "More" button at any time to end the session, view results of the current session, show/hide the recorder, take notes on a student, switch games, or adjust game settings.

Continue Session

Pressing the "Continue Session" button on the Main Page will allow you to continue previously played, non-closed session. Sessions are shown by date/game played. You can close a session by swiping right to left over it. You can continue a session by pressing on it. Finally, to close all sessions, press the "Close All Sessions" button.

Quick Play

If you do not wish to save data but want to begin application play quickly, press the "Quick Play" button. Then, select the phoneme/class to be addressed. Next, select the position of the sound in the word. You cannot choose a level. Finally, choose the game to play. The "Key" button is at the bottom in case you need help. Press the "Start" button once everything is set.

There are still check and "x" buttons to score and you can view the score by pressing the "Score" button; however, data will not save. You also do not have any of the other options of regular gameplay. Press "Home" when done using Quick Play.

Results




You can view a list of students' reports or dates/times saved within the app via the Results page. Press on the person or session date/time you wish to review a report on. If a person is chosen, it will show the goals categorized by month, date, time, amount correct via a percentage and fraction, and a colored bar with the goal marked. View even more information by pressing an individual goal to view the words stated correctly, incorrectly, approximate, and cued. Press the goal to view it as a chart by totals or percentages.




If you choose to view reports by dates, choose a date/time and the student(s) along with their goal(s), and accuracy will appear. You can view an individuals' progress by tapping on his or her name and view further information by pressing the goal.



Press the "More" button at the top of the app to view options for e-mailing, printing, or writing notes on the session. If you choose to e-mail or print a session, it will show as a chart. You can add graphs to the charts by sliding the on/off switch.

What I Like About This Application:

  • There are over 3,000 photos/words.
  • Games are more motivating than static cards, especially for younger students. There are 9 different games as well.
  • You can choose to practice sounds at each students' level.
  • Multiple students can use the application at the same time.
  • Data collection is recorded within the app and can be e-mailed and/or printed. Multiple students can be saved to the application.
  • The application uses animations which are motivating, but for the cards uses mostly real-life photos which are great for carryover.
  • The application includes a manual to help users learn how to use the application.

What I Would Like to See in Future Updates:

  • The "More" menu is quite a bit long. It might be a better idea to include scoring, recording, and note taking options in the Settings menu to be on/off depending on the game.
  • I would like it if an individual student was able to adjust settings to focus on more than one goal at a time without having to change between goals via the "More" button.
  • When more than one player is playing one of the Matching games, each person has his or her own Matching game board. It switches between the two games when turns are changed. It would be better if the app could somehow combine the two into one board with all of the childrens' goals so that it is less difficult to recall where cards are. Otherwise, this may be better as a one-player game.
  • The arcade games sometimes take a bit to bring up a card after pressing an object. This causes additional time to play and less time practicing sounds. It would be nice if there was less wait time in between pressing an object and bringing up the card.

Therapy Use:

Articulation - The main focus of this application is to work on articulation skills. Choose the sound(s) to focus on, which level to work on the sound, imitated vs. spontaneous, position of the sound in the word, etc. Use the application for quick artic, a fun break from the regular drill, or to work on phrases/sentences. Have students listen to their speech by recording/playing it back.

Fluency/Voice - Have students state the words/phrases/sentences using appropriate fluency/vocal strategies. Have students rate their speech by recording/playing it back.

Expressive Language - Have students create sentences using words from the application.

Receptive Language - Children can describe different images, give definitions for different words, discuss which category a word falls into, talk about what different objects do/actions are in the image, etc.

Price:
Webber Photo Artic Castle is available for the iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone for $39.99. If you would like to trial the application before buying it, you can download the Webber Photo Artic Castle B Sound - Free version which allows you to trial the application using the /b/ sound for free. I understand that compared to many applications, this application is priced high; however, if you think about all that is included in the application and what you are saving compared to the Jumbo Artic Drill Book Volume 3 (which the photos are taken from) and Fun Decks, you are getting a huge deal!

Jumbo Artic Drill Book - $69.95
Artic Photos Fun Decks: Set 1 - $114.99
Artic Photos Fun Decks: Set 2 - $114.98
Say and Do Action Artic Combo Cards - $119.50
Webber Photo Artic Castle: $39.99 (includes data collection, data tracking, word/phrase/sentence levels, all-in-one app instead of carrying around all of the decks, recording, and more!)

Disclaimer:
Consonantly Speaking was given a copy of this application to review. No other form of compensation was given.

Reviewed by: 
Jessica Chase
Consonantly Speaking

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ten Apps to Get you Moving!

Thanks to Margaret Rice of Your Therapy Source for allowing us to repost her blog post "Ten Apps to Get you Moving"!  Be sure to check our her awesome blog for her fantastic ideas!


Here are 10 apps to get you moving with your iPhone or iPad (in no particular order).  You can click on the links to get more information about the apps.

1.  Dance Party Zoo - dance and the iPhone measures your rhythm

2.  Walk N Play - track physical activity with the iPhone

3.  Footsteps - pedometer that can track gait speech and distance

4.  Move Like Me - dance steps to follow

5.  Time Motion App - use this video app to analyze movement

6.  Using Apps to Evaluate Posture - doesn't exactly get you moving but does get you to sit up straight

7.  FitQuest - Jog, hop and duck with this app

8.  Egg and Spoon - walk with iPhone trying to keep egg on spoon

9.  Short Sequence - Kids Yoga - nice images to provide as a visual

10.  Motion Maze - maze powered by your movement.

Written by:
Margaret Rice, PT
Your Therapy Source