Tuesday, October 2, 2012

App Review & Giveaway: SpeechCards

Are you always on the the look out for great and affordable apps that you can use for therapy?  Then you may want to check out SpeechCards Pro  by RWH Technology ($4.99 in the App Store).  The app developer refers to SpeechCards as a "flashcards app for improving speech and language skills."

SpeechCards comes with four card decks:  Animals, Food, Initial /p/, and CVC words.  Each card deck includes 10 cards, for a total of 40.  Here's a screenshot of the list of cards in the Animals deck.

But the best thing about this app is that cards and decks are customizable.  You can add cards to the existing decks (up to 20 cards/deck) and also add your own decks (up to 24).  I decided to add a deck of thematic vocabulary words.  Since we are entering fall, here's my "Fall Vocabulary" deck.  It's very simple to create a new deck.  From the screen seen in the top image, I selected the Pencil icon ("Customize").  From there you will see a screen like that above, simply select "Add Deck" from the bottom of the screen. You then give your deck a name and click "Done."

Now it's time to add cards.  See the green plus sign on the right side?  It's as simple as that!  Then tap the gray box to insert a picture.  You then can choose a photo from your camera roll.  Because this is the only option at this point, you will need to take photos using the camera function or upload from Google images prior to creating cards.  (For more info on uploading photos from Google images, check out this post.)

Choose a picture and give it a name.  Then tap the microphone to record speech for the card.  This is the sound that will play when the student touches the card during your session.

Here you can see a list of words that I included in my Fall Vocabulary deck...

Here's the biggest problem I ran into...When adding photos to cards, you are given the editing option of rotating the photo, but not of resizing.

For some reason, I had a couple of pictures that were too large for the box.  I'm not sure why this happened, but I don't think kids can name an acorn if they can't see the whole thing!

Using SpeechCards in Therapy:

SpeechCards allows you to add up to 12 students for data collection purposes.  Click the little blue guy labeled "Students" from the bottom of the welcome screen.  Here you will see a list of students you have already input, plus the option of "Add Student."  From this screen, select the students who will be playing during your session.

Next, select the card deck(s) you wish to use during the session (Yes, you can choose more than one!), and hit "Play."

Here you can select a player.  You do need to manually change players.  Once a card pops up, you can tap the microphone to record a child's response.  Once a response is recorded, a play button will appear next to the microphone.  Tapping this will play back a child's response.  Tapping on the picture will play the desired response (The pre-loaded cards come with pre-recorded responses, if you created your own card, this is where you will hear your recording).  This is very helpful for children who are self-monitoring articulation!  Did you notice the data collection marks on the right?  Another great feature!  You can give a child full credit (check), no credit (X), or partial credit ( ).   I love apps that allow for partial credit in data collection!

When you are finished, tap "End Session" in the upper left corner.  You will be shown accuracy percentages for each student.  You can then "Keep" the data and add it to the child's profile, or "Discard" the data.

When you do "Keep" the data, you can create reports for each child stored in the app.  The Session Summary Reports will show you an overall percentage for each session.

You can select a session for more detailed information (e.g., which words the child got correct/incorrect, the number of responses for each).  Notice how the audio saves as well!  With this, you can  play back the child's responses from the reports!  Why I like this feature:  I can share responses with parents/teachers!

The Pros:

  • Customization - I love customizable apps!  You can create decks for just about any target:  thematic vocabulary initial /s/, categories, antonyms, synonyms, sight words, etc.  You could even create a deck of all the students in a class so that a child with social language can learn the names of his/her peers.
  • The pictures are great.  Using real-life photos makes learning vocabulary more concrete.  Google images plus your iPad camera function allow for endless possibilities
  • Data collection!  Need I say more?  
  • Record feature - Did I mention that in the Session Summary reports, if you had recorded the child's responses, it will allow you to replay from the report?

The Cons:

  • Adding images - there is no image resize feature (see Acorn picture above).
  • Limit of 12 students - I don't know about you, but my caseload is larger than 12!!!  I would love to see this expanded in a future update.

The Bottom Line:

         The Pros far outweigh the Cons!  SpeechCards is a must-have app for SLPs.  The
         customization will allow you to use the app to work on just about any target.  You will
         definitely get lots and lots of use out of this app!

Enter for a chance to win using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Robert from RWH Technology provided me with a code for this app review and another for the giveaway but the opinions are, as always, my own.
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