Phono Learning Center, by Smarty Ears, is a multi-use articulation app based on the cycles approach developed by Barbara W. Hodson. There are many amazing features of this app that are sure to bring success to the user.
Student/User profiles are easily set up in the Phono Learning Center app. Import all your users from the free Therapy Report Center (TRC) app, also from Smarty Ears, or enter your users one at a time. Choose a personal photo, a photo of favorite item/object or an avatar to represent the user. My students love to choose their own avatar.
Individualize targets (primary, secondary or advanced) for your users and choose the word, phrase or sentence level. The Auditory Bombardment is an excellent feature of this app; however this feature is not available for multi user play, it will only appear if one user is selected.
The purple ‘Settings’ button allows you to further customize for your students to display the written word, use the audio feature and use the app specifically for the cycle approach. One of the ideas behind the cycles approach is to target a specific sound for a period of time. Therefore, choosing the cycle framework option limits the app to one target sound at a time. Switching to the off position will allow more than one target sound to be chosen and uses the app in a familiar artic therapy approach.
Another great feature of this app is the ability to set the data collection to the typical Smarty Ears Standard style that scores based on missed, almost and correct. The additional option of Levels of Prompts is offered and allows the user to be scored by prompted, imitated or correct. I love this option of data collection. Data collection can also be exported into the Smarty Ears TRC app.
Now that you have customized the Phono Learning Center to accommodate your users, you are ready to choose one of the four options of game play: Balloon, Matching, BasketPaper or Puzzle. The auditory bombardment will display prior to game selections, if this was chosen in your single student setup. The single user will have fun listening to target words by tapping the balloons.
Carryover and Homework documents are an incredible feature of this app! With 100+ two page documents that can be emailed or printed you won’t run out of great practice for your PLC users! In short, the Phono Learning Center app is an amazing addition to my Speech/Language therapy apps. I hope in the future updates Smarty Ears will allow the data collection reports to show a specific break down of the target words/sounds and how they were individually scored (missed, prompted). This is a comprehensive app that will save you time in lesson planning for those users that can benefit from the cycle approach.
About the Author
Jackie Bryla is a school based SLPA in California. Her experience includes working with transitional kindergarten through high school age students as well as the functional skills population in the public schools. She regularly presents iPad Trainings for California State University Sacramento, American River College and San Joaquin Delta College speech and language programs. Jackie is also founder of act – Apps, Consulting and Training. She is an app beta tester for educational app developers. Jackie is a board member for the California Speech Language Hearing Association (CSHA) and is an active CSHA District 2 Advisory Committee member in the Sacramento area. Jackie received the outstanding SLPA for CSHA in 2012.