App: Flashcards by Me
What It Is: A flashcards app with customizable text and image by Laughing Fairy.
How It Works: Choose from over 100 pre-made cards or make your own using your own pictures, voice recording, and typed words. What makes this app different from many of the other flashcard apps I’ve used is the categorization system. When you enter in the card info, you also tag it by color, category (e.g. food, animal), and shape. In addition, you can note if it is an “action word” or not. When you actually go to use the app, you can customize the settings to only show cards that start with a certain letter, or only cards of certain colors, shapes, and categories. Or maybe you want to narrow it down to only action words or user-generated cards.
Therapy Applications: As with other flashcard apps, there are many potential ways for using this in therapy. Use personalized photos to increase meaning and functionality of therapy tasks. Use it as a conversation starter to elicit spontaneous language or to address articulation at the conversation level. Record question prompts to accompany pictures or have the children practice formulating their own questions with them. Use pictures of faces to work on identifying or expressing emotions. And of course, use it for one-word receptive and expressive vocabulary.
In addition to all this, though, the app’s unique categorization system makes it easy to address several other skills. For example, you can choose to only show cards that begin with a certain letter(s). This could be adapted for some initial phoneme articulation/phonological processes therapy, always keeping in mind that the app was not intended for this purpose, which may lead to some flaws, as Megan Sutton very nicely explains about another app in her recent blog post. One of my favorite ways to use this app, though, is for categorization skills. You can have the child create cards for various categories by taking pictures of objects in the room, or you have the child flip through a few cards before guessing the category you chose. The app is also quite useful for working on basic concepts such as colors and shapes. Oh, and I don’t want to forget using it for teaching verbs and tenses, especially since the app allows you to turn on/off the “action words only” category.
Pros: 1. Price. $2.99 is quite fair for this app.
2. Great categorization/customization options.
3. You can choose more than one letter to work on at a time (e.g. you can choose to show all cards that start with b, p, d, and t at the same time).
4. You can put cards in multiple categories (e.g. a multi-colored object can be tagged as orange, black, green, and so on; a picture of a cat’s face can be tagged as animal and body parts).
5. In the settings options, as you narrow down which types of cards you want to be present (e.g. only words that start with b that are orange and in the category animal), it shows you how many cards match your selection.
6. Wonderful and fun ease-of-use. It really is as fun for the kids to add the pictures and categories as it is to go through them after, especially since it is set up to be as kid-friendly as possible.
Cons: 1. I wish the app offered a “front/back” type option. For example, it would be nice to put a picture on one side and then flip it over to see the word/categories on the other side. This would be a great tool for students/patients to use for their own practicing/self-testing purposes, too!
2. No ability to customize categories in order to be able to make different “decks” (e.g. can’t add a category for “holidays”).
3. I would love to see a data collection option in the future, perhaps broken down by category.
The Take-Away: Great app for working on a wide variety of skills. This would be a good one to recommend to parents for home practice. It’s definitely intended for children and will likely be too childish to use with adult populations. Definitely worth the price given how versatile and fun it is!
Looking for more expert reviews of this app? Check it out on YappGuru.com!
Disclosure: Laughing Fairy provided me with a free copy of this app to review. I was not compensated in any way for the review, and they were aware that I would be discussing the app’s strengths and weaknesses.