Virtual Speech Center – A Trio of Articulation Apps for three times the fun and practice

Articulation Vacation 1LThe newest in the artic line up from Virtual Speech Center, this app allows the instructor to work with multiple students/clients with four fun and engaging games set on a tropical island. Each game has an option for recording student productions during the practice/play/therapy session and choosing specific phoneme(s) for each user. Each of the 44 phoneme(s) (includes vocalic /r/ and blends for /l/, /r/, and /s/) has the choice of word, phrase or story level in addition to choosing the placement of the phoneme within the words (initial, medial or final). A super feature is that the instructor is also able to customize the words used by tapping edit and selecting or deselecting specific words.   Choose the Vacation Photos game where the user slides the camera from side to side to bring a photo into the camera’s viewfinder, press the button and the photo appears on the screen. 2L Take a rowboat and go fishing for your phonemes with the Fishing game. Touch the fisherman and the line will be cast. What will you catch? Maybe a /s/ock or a /s/addle if you are working on /s/ in the initial position.     3l Go on a treasure hunt with the Beach Treasure Hunt game and uncover objects in the sand with just a swipe of your fingers. Play the Parachute game and drop items from the parachute onto a floating log raft.   Customize your correct/approximate/incorrect sounds for the scoring buttons within the settings; each one has a choice of three types of audio tones/chimes to choose from. Choose the one that is most pleasing to you. I appreciate the ability to be able to differentiate the audio tones for each of the scored data areas as well as the option to completely turn the sound off if needed. Turning the sound off comes in handy when it seems to distract the user from doing their best practice; this is a nice feature so that you don’t have to use the volume settings on your iPad and accidentally disable your narrated words, phrases or stories. Keeping track of client/student progress is a snap with reports that can be emailed and viewed. You will appreciate the specific data information that allows the instructor to see each of the targeted words and how they were scored as correct, incorrect or approximate. Emailing the progress to a parent/caregiver can provide opportunities for carry over practice at home, which we all know leads to faster improvement with articulation errors. This app has been fun to use in therapy and the students appreciate the variety of game play. I like to keep the settings on change game so that the each game is cycled through while practicing. There is also an option to turn off the background sound on each of the games, although I found the background sounds to be fun. Articulation Games 4 This app, which contains four games has been out for a while and has had a lot of use in my therapy room. I absolutely love the setting feature to create and customize your own words by adding photos from your photo library. A super fun activity is to take a school campus/clinic walk and have your user take pictures of objects/items that have their specific phonemes; this creates some great opportunity for practice as well as allows the student to become active in the set up of their articulation practice. Each game allows for word, phrase or sentence practice in either the initial, medial or final positions. These games allow for so much practice that your student/client is sure to become a success in no time.   5(NOTE: this picture imported from a photo library) Flash Cards game is just that…. Beautiful crisp clear pictures of items/objects that contain the phoneme the user is practicing. Memory game is a matching game where the user can tap to display pictures and remember where the match is. Each time the user taps a card it is flipped over and displayed in a larger version with the ability for the instructor to score the production as correct, incorrect or approximate. Artic Wheel game is a favorite among the kiddos with the color wheel to spin with just a swipe of a finger. The realistic ‘tick’ makes it seem like you are spinning a 3D spinner. Land on PET and an animated pet will appear. 6 Try the Sweet Spinner game for additional practice with phonemes and maybe you’ll get a surprise and get a sweet treat! Just tap the handle and see what you get!     Articulation Carnival X Take a trip to the carnival wherever you are. Virtual Speech Center has created four fun carnival games to motivate and engage your students in practicing their sounds with peppy carnival background music that can be turned on or off. This app also has the ability to customize with your own photos and practice words, phrases and sentences. The material contained within this app with a plethora of beautiful images and the option to add your own will give you never ending practice for your students! Try your luck with the bubble gun at the Spray Ducks game or see how may baskets you can score with the Basketball game. The Balloon Dart game will get you focusing on just the right angle to pop the colorful balloons and if you want to test your strength then try the Strength Hammer game. I must make a comment here, when I first used this game with students I was sure that the Strength Hammer game would get passed over……boy was I wrong….it is the ‘go to’ carnival game for both boys and girls! What I love about Articulation Carnival is that the games can be set up within the options to appear after so many correctly scored productions OR you may use the games as a stand-alone reward while using other therapy materials. The games are so fun for the kids that they ask for them over and over! 8 The trio of Virtual Speech Center Articulation apps; Articulation Vacation, Articulation Games and Articulation Carnival will keep your students motivated and engaged with mountains of words, phrases, sentences and stories to practice and even record for self-monitoring. It’s a pleasure to use apps that create useful progress reports that can be viewed within the app as well as emailed and have useful settings that let the instructor/adult setup and create a practice session to meet the specific needs of the students. About the Author -1Jackie 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 the founder of act – Apps, Consulting, and Training. She is an app beta tester for educational app developers. Jackie is a board member of 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.
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