I have been honored and so thankful to have been writing reviews here for Teachers with Apps since January 2013! This summary is a top five list of the twenty-two speech-language apps that I provided feedback on over the last year. So, without further ado, here are the winners:
Number 5: Sign to Talk, by Northern Speech Services, (released 2012) got in just under the wire since it was the last review I wrote for the year! I really like how you get the best of both worlds in this app: sign language demonstrations and word list breakdowns for children with motor speech challenges.
Number 4: Starting Sounds by I Can Do Apps (released 2012) was my favorite of all the phonics apps that I assessed last summer. I especially liked the breakdown of learning levels and use of actual photos to teach young children foundational phonics skills.
Number 3: Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test by Smarty Ears (released 2010) with several updates since its release. If you are a speech-language pathologist, this little gem NEEDS to be on your iPad! I have used the speech screening portion countless times in both my school and private placements. The full evaluation link is also helpful in conjunction with standardized speech tests. My favorite feature is the ability to flip the target word around to face you while the student views picture images right-side-up. It’s the little things that make me happy.
Number 2: A tie between Articulation Station Pro (released 2012) and Articulation Test Center (released 2013) both by Little Bee Speech. First, Articulation Station has caused my box of flash cards to collect dust over the last year! I RARELY waste time now sorting cards for initial, medial, and final word position targets since I added this app to my tool kit. Not only is it perfect for speech-language pathologists, but if the families you work with have access to an iPad or iPhone, they can purchase just the target sounds they need to work on at home for a nominal price. The second app in the number two spot was released in November: Articulation Test Center. I really liked the detailed information regarding phonological errors, the concise report template, and the ability to record connected speech samples using a picture scene prompt.
Number 1: The jaw dropping, unbelievable, can’t live without it app: Custom Boards by Smarty Ears (released in 2011) has had several updates over the last few years. This app is the BIGGEST time saver for me when it comes to planning sessions and providing Augmentative communication picture boards for my private clients. In less than ten minutes, I can create twenty picture cards for a sorting lesson or menu board for meal time using either the colorful, Smarty Symbols or actual photo images from Google searches. With this app, you can not only create layout boards for a wide variety of voice output devices, but also games and activity worksheets! In all seriousness, if you are a speech-language pathologist, this app will change your life for the better!
Thank you to all the app developers who allowed me opportunities to preview your hard work in 2013! Wishing you and yours a happy and successful new year!
About the Author
Nanette Cote, MA, CCC-SLP has her own speech-language practice, Therapediatrics. She is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in Naperville, Illinois who was has been practicing Speech Pathology for close to two decades. Her blog, speech2me, was named one of the top Speech-Language blogs for 2012. For more information about this practitioner, please visit speech2me Blog or Facebook