Wednesday, May 15, 2013

App Review & Giveaway: Articulate It!

Hello, Friends!  Today I'm going to be sharing another great app from Smarty Ears -- Articulate It! This app was created by a certified SLP and, as you can probably guess by the name, is designed to target articulation (and phonology) skills. :)

With most of Smarty Ears's apps, you can jump right in to "Quick Play" mode, or Add/Select Players to enable data collection features.  In either mode, you can select your target by a variety of methods...

You can select the target phoneme and then word position...

You can select a specific phonological process:

You can select targets by Manner of Articulation:

And finally, you can chose targets by the number of syllables:

Once you have selected your targets, you can view and modify the word list by removing words that may not be appropriate for your student.

Articulate It! Uses photographs of real objects/people in a notebook style layout.  If your student needs a model of the target, simply tap the picture!  Notice the tabs beneath the picture?  You can easily toggle between targeting words, phrases, and sentences:

Words:  Fast

Phrases:  The fast runner

Sentences:  Jimmy ran fast.
You can add notes to your sessions by tapping the "Note" circle from the menu...

You also have the option of modifying the settings directly from the home screen, or anytime during game play by tapping the "Settings" icon from the menu.  This is a nice feature because, with many apps, you need to terminate a session to change any of the settings.

Some other settings of can easily record a child's production of a target sound by tapping the "record" button."  Also,  you can rotate the image on the screen.  This is a GREAT feature when working with groups!  You can leave your iPad in the center of the table and just tap the "rotate" button so that the image faces the correct student!  Notice how the icons to mark correct/incorrect responses remains stationary while just the target image and words rotate?

Once you are finished, you can tap the "home" button (you will be prompted to select whether or not you truly intended to terminate the session).  Your data will automatically be tallied and stored.  You can view not only data from your current session, but from previous sessions as well:

You can access your notes by tapping the orange "notes" button on the right and see which words were used during the session by tapping the purple "words" button.

You can also access recording by tapping the blue "recordings" button.  This is great for comparing a child's production after a few sessions!

And there you have Articulate It!

What I like the most:

  • The variety!  You can quite easily target both articulation (single sound target) and phonology (phonological process target) in the same group/session!  Also, you have the ability to choose targets by the number of syllables.  I have so many kids this year who are working on sound sequencing within multi-syllable words and this is a great feature for me!
  • The ability to work at the word level, phrase level, and sentence level within one app and without changing the settings is AMAZING!  (I've seen other apps where you can target word/sentence level, but you need to make that decision when you are initially setting up your session.)
  • Utilizing real life photographs is always a plus in my opinion!  
  • The sheer quantity of stimulus items...individual sounds, manner of articulation, phonological processes, number of syllables in a word.  Plus you have the ability to increase the complexity by easily switching from word to phrase to sentence level.  If you're an SLP who travels, you will definitely want to add this app to your arsenal! 
  • The data collection feature is great!  I absolutely love that Articulate It! saves your recordings!  This is extremely helpful if you want to monitor progress after a few sessions working on a sound/process.
  • I love that you can rotate the image to face the student rather than turning the whole iPad.  When you work with little kids, you want to minimize moving the iPad as much as possible!!!
  • Compatibility with Therapy Report Center (TRC).  This is a great FREE app by Smarty Ears that allows you to keep all of your data (from Smarty Ears apps) in one convenient location!  

The Bottom Line:
I usually include some changes I would like to see in an update, but I can't really think of any for this app.  It is great for drill work (there isn't a game component), which is a necessary part of articulation/phonological treatment.  This app allows you to work on so many different targets and to easily switch between complexity levels.  Articulate It! is definitely a must for SLPs, especially those who travel!

Do you use this app?  What do you think of Articulate It?

Disclaimer:  Smarty Ears provided a copy of Articulate It! for the purpose of this app review and giveaway.  However, the opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.  Articulate It! sells for $38.99 in iTunes.

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